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Fast Facts
Location : Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat
Built By : Pramukh Swami Maharaj
Built In : 1992
Dedicated To : Lord Swaminarayan
Total Complex Area : 1,004,349 sq.ft.

Overview
Akshardham Temple - GujratOne of the biggest temples in India, Akshardham Temple is a place which promotes Indian art, culture and values. The foundation stone of this temple was laid by the spiritual leader of BAPS (Bochasanwasi Shri Abar Purushottam Sanstha), Parmukh Swami Maharaj on 14th December 1979 and it was opened for common people on October 30, 1992 . Akharadham Temple complex nicely combines devotions, art, architecture, education, exhibitions and research at a single spot and it is popular among tourists visiting the state of Gujarat.

Akshardham Temple is a place where art is ageless, culture is borderless and morals are timeless. Moreover, it takes you to a world of peace and harmony.

Bochasanwasi Shri Abar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS)
BAPS Sanstha is a social, spiritual and charitable NGO of international level and is affiliated with the United Nations. BAPS performs more than 150 social activities, through its 9,000 centres (temples), 700 monks, 55,000 volunteers and over a million followers. Akshardham, Gandhi Nagar is a part of BAPS's culture and educational activities.

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Architecture of the Temple
Built in traditional Indian architectural style, Akshardham Temple radiates a spiritual aura into the temple complex. The main structure measures 240 ft in length, 108 ft in height and 131 ft in width. The temple is encircled by 1,751 ft (534 mts) long colonnade. An architectural masterpiece, the exquisitely carved stone structure is made from 6000 tons of pink sandstone brought from Rajasthan. The imposing 10 storey building enshrines seven feet high gold-leafed idol of Lord Swaminarayan. Akshardham Temple has three floors namely - Hari Mandap, Prasadi Mandap and Vibhuti Mandap. On the first floor, there is a museum.

Hari Mandap (Main Floor) : Prime attraction of Swaminarayan Temple is the Hari Mandap where devouts start their day with prayers and meditation, work or study honestly and spend hours in serving other visitors. In addition, five principal vows are followed here that include No Adultery, No Alcohol, No Stealing, No Meat and No Impurity of body and mind. By following such moral purity and spirutal surety, you can add a deeper brilliance to all the social services performed for betterment of life.

Prasadi Mandap : In this Mandap, you can see the garments, articles and other holy relics used by Lord Swaminarayan. The scientifically restored and honorably displayed holy relics satisfy the spiritual thirst of the visitors who visit the temple.

Vibhuti Mandap (Upper Floor) : Vibhuti andap presents the divine philosophy and personality of Lord Swaminarayan through his own sacred scripture - The Vachanamrut. Here, you will find every visitor involved in voluntary services and if you wish, you can also involve yourself in such services.

Other Attractions
Beautiful Gardens : Named as 'Sahajanand Vun', the garden is an interesting blend of speculative garden and childrens' park. The garden covers an area of 7,625 sq. kms and here you will see a single-piece marble statue of Lord Swaminarayan. The gardens boast of cultural spots, herbal garden, lakes, waterfalls, rock gardens and spray fountains. In brief, you can see nature at her best. A garden full of fun, frolic and fantasy, the 'Sahajanand Vun' offers exciting leisure options like dragon ride, bouncing giraffe, swinging pirate boat, flying saucer, cute baby train, thumping bumper cars, etc.

Research Centre AARSH : Situated in the peaceful surroundings of Akshardham Complex, Akhsardham Centre for Applied Research in Social Harmony (AARSH) is a unique research centre which houses a well-maintained library, study stations and archives. The research centre is a seat of education, drawing inspiration from the past, studies the present and provides solutions for the future. With variety of activities, the research centre brings the scholars together to exchange their thoughts for bringing social harmony. You can't visit the library of the research centre as entry is restricted to enrolled scholars only.

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Exhibitions : In Akshardham, three permanent exhibition halls have been set up to educate the visitors on various spiritual matters and also on the BAPS movement. These halls are Sahajanand, Sat Chitanand and Nityanand.

Architecture of The TempleSahajanand Hall : In Sahajanand hall, the life story of Lord Swaminarayan is exhibited through imaginative settings and shows. Other attractions of the exhibition hall include 'travel in time' video show, sound and light show, fiber-optics cosmos, miniature replica of Chhapiya village and a Journey through India.

Sat Chitanand Hall : Sat Chitanand Hall has a huge 14-screen multimedia presentation hall where an exposition of Vedic philosophy and man's search for the eternal truth are presented through a wonderful imagery. In addition to 14-screen multimedia presentation, other exhibition include a 'Tunnel of Mirrors,' a beautiful glass mosaic and lovely dancing musical fountains.

Nityanand Hall : Nityanand Hall houses dioramas and fiberglass images displaying the message of the popular mythologies, Upanishads, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Noted exhibits include an audio-animatronics show, a replica of the Hastinapur palace of the Mahabharata, a recreation of Gurukula set in the lap of mother nature, devotional compositions of saint poets and an exposition of 'Harmony of world religions.'

How to Reach
By Air : Nearest airport is situated in Ahmedabad which is connected to important places of India. From Ahmedabad airport, you have to hire taxi to reach Akshardham Temple.

By Rail : Ahmedabad and Gandhi Nagar are two major railway stations which are served by several trains from various parts of the country.

By Bus : State transport and private buses connect Gandhi Nagar with various places of Gujarat and neighbouring states.

Local Transport : Taxis, Autos, Cycle-rickshaws are local modes of transport.

Places Where You Can Stay
In Gandhi Nagar, sufficient accommodation options are available at reasonable rates. You can stay at Souverign The Heritage Hotel and Gujarat State Financial Corporation Lodge. Apart from these, Youth Hostel is also a good place to stay in Gandhi Nagar.

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