One of the world’s largest Hindu temples demonstrates Indian culture and history through architecture, exhibitions, gardens, a musical fountain and a boat ride.
Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi is among the largest Hindu temples in the world. It showcases ancient Indian architecture and traditions, and educates visitors about Hindu heritage and spirituality. “Akshardham” means the home of the supreme god.
The huge temple, or mandir, was built with intricately carved pillars, and nine domes. It is decorated with stone elephants and statues of important figures and divine personalities in Indian history. The temple is made of pink stone and white marble, materials that symbolise purity and peace. It is 43 metres (141 feet) high and 108 metres (356 feet) long, sitting on 40 hectares (100 acres).
Learn about the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan through the shows performed in the Hall of Values. The theme of this exhibition is the search for happiness, success and peace of mind. The exhibit includes 3-D and walk-through dioramas that come to life through animatronic technology.
Watch the movie depicting 18th-century India. It was filmed in more than 100 locations across the country, including the peaks of the Himalayas in the north and the shores of Kerala in the south.
Allow time to take the 12-minute boat ride, which gives visitors a visual insight into Indian history. You will sail on an manmade river past models of the world’s first university and laboratories and bazaars.
Yagnapurush Kund, outside the temple, is India’s largest step well. Its centre is shaped like an eight-petaled lotus, and its symmetrical geometric forms testify to historical India’s advanced mathematical knowledge. Every evening, a musical fountain show representing the circle of life is displayed at the well.
The temple is closed on Mondays. Entry to the temple is free, but there are small fees for some of the activities. Allow at least half a day to see all the attractions and exhibitions and the large garden. Photography is not allowed inside the temple.
The complex has a car park, lockers and wheelchair accessibility. The temple is a 15-minute drive or 40-minute subway trip from central New Delhi.