Akshardham temple, Delhi

The marvellous combination of pink sandstone and white marble spread over 100 acres on the banks of the river Yamuna gives a magnificent look to the 141 ft high and 316 ft wide main monument. The building was inspired and developed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, whose 3,000 volunteers helped 7,000 artisans construct Akshardham.

The temple, which attracts approximately 70 per cent of all tourists who visit Delhi, was built according to the Vastu Shastra and Pancharatra Shastra. The whole monument, opened in 2005, rises on the shoulders of 148 huge elephants with 11-feet tall panchdhatu statue of Swaminarayan presiding over the structure. The temple, named after a belief in Swaminarayan Hinduism, has drawn inspiration for its architecture from the historic temples of Badrinath (Uttarakhand), Somnath (Gujarat) and Konark (Odisha). It is the second Akshardham complex in the country after the one at Gandhinagar in Gujarat. On December 17, 2007, the temple was presented the Guinness World Record for being the World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple.


Over 10,000 visitors throng Akshardham Temple everyday.


Besides a robust queue system on the temple premises, there are innumerable CCTV cameras that keep constant vigil on the visitors. The temple’s private security guards and 850 volunteers work on a daily basis to manage crowds at the complex. According to the management, the temple makes great use of technology to facilitate darshan. On entry into the temple complex, aged and physically-challenged visitors may get wheelchair. Cameras, video cameras, mobile phones or any electronic items are not allowed inside the complex. The management does safety audits of the temple time to time. Old gadgets are replaced with modern equipment. Temperature control and fire alarm systems are installed in the complex so that any problem gets noticed immediately. After a fire incident in 2009, the Delhi Fire Department appreciated the temple management saying that they have ‘impressive’ safety and security mechanism and also the mandatory fire safety clearance.

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The New Indian Express