Swaminarayan Akshardham is a Hindu temple and spiritual-cultural campus in New Delhi, India. It showcases the millennia of traditional and modern Hindu culture, spirituality, and architecture. It was inspired by Yogiji Maharaj and created by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, and it was constructed by BAPS.
The ticket price for the Swaminarayan Akshardham is free, but there are separate charges for the exhibitions, water show, and boat ride. The prices are as follows:
- Exhibition: Rs. 220 for adults, Rs. 170 for seniors, Rs. 120 for children (4-11 years), free for children below 4 years
- Water show: Rs. 80 for adults, Rs. 80 for seniors, Rs. 50 for children (4-11 years), free for children below 4 years
- Boat ride: Rs. 170 for adults, Rs. 125 for seniors, Rs. 100 for children (4-11 years), free for children below 4 years
- Exhibition + water show + boat ride: Rs. 380 for adults, Rs. 330 for seniors, Rs. 230 for children (4-11 years), free for children below 4 years
The Swaminarayan Akshardham is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm. The exhibitions are open from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm. The water show starts at 7:45 pm. The complex is closed on Mondays.
Swaminarayan Akshardham is located near the border with Noida, on NH 24, Akshardham Setu. It is easily accessible by metro, bus, car, or taxi. The nearest metro station is Akshardham Metro Station on the Blue Line of Delhi Metro.
The Swaminarayan Akshardham has many attractions to see and experience, such as:
- The Akshardham Mandir, which is the main temple that rises 141 feet high and spans 316 feet wide. It is intricately carved with flora, fauna, dancers, musicians, and deities. It is entirely constructed from Rajasthani pink sandstone and Italian Carrara marble. It has no ferrous metal or concrete support. It houses the murti of Swaminarayan and his gurus under the central dome.
- The Abhishek Mandap, which is a ritual bathing chamber where visitors can offer water to the murti of Neelkanth Varni while chanting prayers.
- The Hall of Values (Sahajanand Darshan), which is an exhibition that displays the life and teachings of Swaminarayan through audio-animatronic figures, dioramas, and video projections. It also features a musical fountain that depicts the message of the Upanishads.
- The Giant Screen Film (Neelkanth Darshan), which is an IMAX film that narrates the story of Swaminarayan’s seven-year pilgrimage across India as a teenage yogi named Neelkanth. The film covers more than 100 locations and 50 festivals of India.
- The Cultural Boat Ride (Sanskruti Darshan), which is a 12-minute boat ride that takes visitors through the 10,000-year-old heritage of India. It showcases the contributions of India to various fields such as science, art, literature, music, yoga, and spirituality. It also features a replica of Takshashila, the world’s first university.
- The Garden of India (Bharat Upvan), which is a thematic garden that displays bronze statues of India’s role models such as freedom fighters, warriors, national figures, and child prodigies. It also has a lotus-shaped monument that honors Swaminarayan’s devotees who contributed to the construction of the temple complex.
- The Musical Fountain (Yagnapurush Kund), which is a large step-well that measures 300 feet by 300 feet with 2,870 steps and 108 small shrines. It contains a musical fountain that performs a spectacular show of water, lights, sound, and fire every evening after sunset. The show depicts the cycle of life according to Hindu scriptures.
The Swaminarayan Akshardham also offers guided tours for visitors who want to learn more about the history, architecture, and significance of the temple and its attractions. The tours are available in Hindi and English, and they last for about 2 hours. The tours are free of charge, but they require prior booking. The tours can be booked online at http://akshardham.com/visit/tours/ or by calling 011 4344 2344.
Some tips for visiting the Swaminarayan Akshardham are:
- Dress modestly and comfortably, as the temple is a sacred place of worship and some areas may require walking barefoot.
- Do not carry any electronic items such as mobile phones, cameras, laptops, etc., as they are not allowed inside the complex. There are lockers available at the entrance for storing such items.
- Follow the instructions of the security personnel and the volunteers, as they are there to ensure your safety and convenience.
- Respect the sanctity and cleanliness of the temple and its surroundings, and do not litter or damage any property.
- Enjoy the beauty and spirituality of the temple and its attractions, and feel free to ask any questions or share your feedback with the volunteers.
The Swaminarayan Akshardham has some prohibitions that visitors must follow, such as:
- No smoking, drinking, or eating inside the complex.
- No photography or videography inside the complex.
- No pets allowed inside the complex.
- No weapons or explosives allowed inside the complex.
- No touching or climbing on any statues or structures inside the complex.