The Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey was inaugurated on Sunday, October 8, 2023, marking a remarkable achievement by over 12,500 volunteers across the US who dedicated millions of hours to build the temple. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Akshardham stands as the largest Hindu temple outside India in the modern era.
The inauguration festivities that commenced on September 30 spanning a nine-day celebration in the presence of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj culminated in a grand dedication ceremony.
Hundreds of thousands of people from all corners of the world observed the momentous event, signifying not just the introduction of a magnificent Hindu temple but also a present to the world – the biggest Hindu temple in the US.
BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, a masterpiece of Hindu art, architecture, and culture, stands as a tribute to the profound heritage and customs of the Indian community. It acts as a bridge between the Asian Indian diaspora and the diverse American audience, welcoming everyone to delve into the spiritual and cultural treasures nestled within its sacred confines.
Akshardham measures 255 ft (width) x 345 ft (length) x 191 ft (height) and spans over 183 acres. Crafted with precision as per ancient Hindu scriptures, the temple stands as a testament to India’s rich heritage. Its design features 10,000 statues and statuettes, showcasing ancient Indian musical instruments and dance forms.
The temple design includes one main shrine surrounded by 12 sub-shrines. Nine shikhars, reminiscent of spire-like structures, grace the temple, alongside nine pyramidal shikhars. Akshardham also houses the largest elliptical dome of traditional stone architecture ever constructed, a press release by the temple said.
Nearly two million cubic feet of stone, sourced from global sites, became the building blocks of this divine creation. Limestone from Bulgaria and Turkey, marble from Greece, Turkey, and Italy, granite from India and China, and sandstone from India blended seamlessly with other decorative stones from Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
The Brahma Kund, a traditional Indian stepwell, holds water from over 300 sources worldwide. These include the holy rivers of India and waters from all 50 states of the US.
Akshardham, with its awe-inspiring dimensions and intricate details, stands not just as a temple, but as a living testament to the craftsmanship and cultural richness of ancient India, welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe.
BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham embodies a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity, where the ancient wisdom harmonises seamlessly with the vibrant energy of the present era.
In a world where birthdays are often marked by receiving gifts, the spiritual guru of BAPS, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, chose a different path on his 90th birthday.
His remarkable gift to the world, Swaminarayan Akshardham, stands as a beacon of unity, spirituality, and cultural appreciation. It mirrors the shared values that unite individuals from diverse backgrounds.
In his blessings, Mahant Swami Maharaj said, “It was Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s divine wish to construct an Akshardham in North America, where people can come and visit, irrespective of race, creed or religion.”