Akshardham complex is a Hindu temple and a spiritual campus located in New Delhi. The complex was constructed in 2005 in Noida Mor region of New Delhi. 70% of tourists who visit Delhi, visit this temple complex. Located on the banks of River Yamuna, this temple is a beautiful place for sightseeing, exploring and pilgrimage.
This complex does not hold a temple alone. It has a water show, a theme garden, hall of values, IMAX film of Swaminarayan’s life, cultural boat ride and much more.
The main attraction of the complex is the temple, which is beautifully decorated with carved statues of dancers, deities, fauna, flora and others. This temple is built with Rajasthani sandstone (pink color) and Italian Carrara marble. This temple holds 234 pillars, 2000 deity statues, nine domes and much more. The temple holds 148 life-size elephant statues that weigh a total of 3000 tons.
The central dome contains the main deity, Swaminarayan. The deity is surrounded by many statues made with a composition of five different metals.
The hall of Values or Sahajanand Darshan features life-like robotic displays of life of Swaminarayan. The hall’s elements teach non-violence, prayers, vegetarianism, morality and others. There are 3D dioramas that uses light and sound effects, music and dialogues. This hall also holds the smallest robot in the world, in the form of Shanshyam Maharaj, the child version of Swaminarayan.
Nilkanth Darshan is the theatre that stages 40-minute film about the pilgrimage undertaken by Swaminarayan. This film is shown in giant screen and IMAX theatres. There is a large bronze statue of a Hindu deity outside the theatre.
The cultural boat ride spans 15 minutes, which includes robots that explains the lifestyle of Indian during vedic period. It also explains the contribution of many eminent people in various fields of study. It also displays the world’s first university, Takshashila. The boat ride then focuses on middle age and then the current modern development.
Yagnapurush Kund or musical fountain is the largest step well in the country. In the morning, the step well is a resting spot for pilgrims. In the evening, a grand water show takes place for 24 minutes with a media that explains the life of a Hindu sage. The musical fountain includes water jets, underwater flames, live actors and others.
Bharat Upavan, the Garden of India is filled with bronze sculptures of various genre like deity, freedom fighters, warriors, national figures and others. Other notable elements of this complex are the sunken gardinene, Narayan Sarovar Lake, Premvati food court and others.
The best way to reach the temple complex is through metro. The nearest metro station is Akshardham, which is right outside the temple. You can also find buses, taxis and autos from various parts of the city to reach the temple. It is quite a popular attraction and thus, reaching the temple is not a hard task.
The temple is open throughout the year. Since most of the exploration should be done on foot, it is better to avoid summer. Summer starts in March and ends in June. Summers are hot, humid and dehydrating. The monsoon season is the worst time to visit the temple. The best time to visit the temple is winter season, which starts in October and ends in February.
It is better to visit in the late afternoon, as you will have enough time to explore all the attractions and be at the musical fountain right in time for the show.
The temple is open from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. The exhibition tickets are sold between 10 am and 5 pm. There is no charge for entering the complex.