A short trip to Delhi. As the trip was arranged immediately after Onam ( a festival celebrated by the people of Kerala), didn’t get enough time to plan new destination spots. Anyway the outcome of the trip was awesome :) .
Quite often we just need to find ways to recharge our mind and soul. A place to jot down some reflections.
The world is so wide and beautiful. The lure of visiting new places is always great. There are some places that grew on me and I can’t get out of my head. Of all the places I’ve been, (in Delhi) , that have stayed with me more than others is Akshardham , a temple of Swaminarayan . I’m completely infatuated with this place. Its about how it makes you feel. It has been a wonderful , divine ,spiritual experience for me. The silence and blissfulness has been an incredible experience. I love this place and dream about going back so that I can restore and revive the spirit . That’s how Akshardham made me feel :)
Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi represents Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s unparalleled devotion to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and fulfils Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj’s long-cherished wish for such a tribute to Bhagwan Swaminarayan in the nation’s capital.
In spite of India’s mosaic of cultures, languages, boundaries and human features, its spirituality pervades from north to south and east to west . Together with Swaminarayan , the other deities of Sanathan Dharma, namely, Shri Radha-Krishna, Shri Ram-Sita, Shri Lakshmi-Narayan and Shri Shiv-Parvati are also enshrined at Swaminarayan Akshardham. Their divine presence inspires faith, devotion and values.
The other features of this temple are :
1: THE TEN GATES – Representing the ten directions , symbolizing freedom of thought in Sanatan Dharma as revealed in Rig Veda, “Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides.”
2: THE BHAKTI DWAR – The Bhakti Dwar celebrates the Indian tradition of devotion with 208 sculpted dual forms of God and His ideal Devotee.
3: MAYUR DWAR- The two Mayur Dwars (Peacock Gates) pay tribute to the joy and beauty peacocks contribute to nature. A total of 869 stone peacocks in different shapes and sizes adorn each of the beautiful gates.
4: CEILINGS AND DOMES
5: GAJENDRA PEETH- A fascinating 1,070 ft long pageant of elephants in stone . It portrays elephants with nature, man and God, reflecting the message of peaceful coexistence , love faith effort, courage and service.
6: MANDOVAR- The ornate external wall of the Swaminarayan Akshadham is known as Mandovar. It features 200 sculptured stone figures of India’s great rishis, sadhus, devotees, acharyas and avatars.
7: NARAYAN SAROVAR – Narayan Sarovar surrounds the Akshardham Monument . The sacred waters of 151 rivers and lakes of India flow from 108 gaumukhs into the Narayan Sarovar, creating an ambience of a place of pilgrimage.
8: ABHISHEK MURTI- Visitors perform abhishek of the murti of Neelkanth Varni with the holy waters of river Ganga in the Abhishek Mandapam, and pray for spiritual progress, peace and fulfilment of wishes.
9: MUSICAL DELIGHT-
10: HALL OF VALUES- Exhibition Hall 1- The Hall of Values , also known as Sahajanand Dharshan, showcases the values of ahimsa ,courage, endeavour, service , honesty and faith from the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan through filims, light and sound shows and audio-animatronics.
11: LARGE FORMAT FILM THEATRE- Neelkanth Yatra- a superb award- winning large format period film on the amazing 12,000 km journey throughout India of Neelkanth Varni, an 11 -year- old child yogi.
12: CULTURAL BOAT RIDE – Exhibition Hall 2- The spectacular 14- minute boat ride exhibition shows more than 10,000 years of India’s ancient culture and contributions to the world. Sail through Takshashila- the world’s first university. And also learn about the seminal discoveries and inventions of India’s ancient rishi-scientists in the fields of education, medicine, astronomy, mathematics, aeronautics, music, dance atr, architecture and much more.
13: CULTURAL GARDEN-
14: FOOD COURT AND SOUVENIR SHOP- Premavati Food Court serves pure vegetarian delicacies and snacks. The restaurant has a cultural decor, serving north and south Indian favourites, and savoury Gujarati items like Swaminarayan khichdi , khamam etc.
Akshar Haat, the souvenir shop, offers an attractive range of gift items on Swaminarayan Akshardham.
Private photography is strictly prohibited inside the temple.