One of the largest temples in Gujarat, Akshardham Temple – Gandhinagar is a perfect amalgamation of ancient technique of stone architecture and modern era’s technology. The grandeur of the temple explains the skills and hard work of thousands of volunteers who devoted their precious time and efforts in construction of this temple which has beautifully turned out into even more than a marvelous piece of architecture.
Dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, the temple was inaugurated in 1992 by Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha. Spread over a huge area of 23 acres, the temple is made up of pink sandstone and comprises:
- A hari Mandapam which radiates a sense of extreme warmth and peace. The prime attraction of this complex as well as the entire temple is the splendid 7 feet tall gold-plated Murti of Lord Swaminarayan.
- A Vibhuti Mandapam which displays deep, philosophical and yet practical revealations by Lord Swaminarayan on exquisitely-lit brass lotuses.
- Prasadi Mandapam is a part of temple premises where holy relics of the Lord have been put-up. This is the area where visitors and devotees observe silence.
- A lush garden spread across over 14 acres which has a great marble sculpture of Swaminarayan. Also in the garden there is a lake, lots of greenery, waterfalls and fun rides and games for children.
An interesting and unique feature of the temple is that presents a superb amalgamation of religion, art, culture, architecture, education, exhibitions and research all at the same place.
Shows and Exhibitions
The Akshardham Temple also features a number of exhibitions and shows which could be an enduring and memorable experience for the visitors. The details of these are as under:
- Depiction of life story of Lord Swaminarayan through Neelkanth and Sahajanand Show takes place in Hall 1 and 2.
- Hall no. 3 showcases the act of Mystic India which is a video show of 45 minutes. An extremely entertaining and educating show which reveals India as a land of fascinations and mysteries.
- Premanand show takes place in Hall No.4 and is about harmony of religions, Palace of Hastinapur and songs of saints.
- Sant Param Hitkari show is about the key to eternal happiness and does this by an amazing audio-animation depiction of ancient events and characters.
- Last but not the least is the most prominent attraction of the Akshardham Temple of Gandhinagar– the Sat-Chit-Anand Water show. The 45 minutes show begins after sunset and reveals the secret of inner light and why India has been known as the land of enlightenment. It beautifully depicts a story from Upanishad. The story is about Nachiketa, a 9 year old boy who bravely encounters Yamaraj, the god of death and attains knowledge from him.
Temple prayers and timings
The temple remains open from Tuesday to Sunday. The entry starts at 9:30 a.m. and continues upto 7:30 p.m., after which no further entry is allowed. The temple remains closed on Mondays.
Facilities Available at the temple
- Baggage security sections since no bags are allowed inside the temple for security reasons.
- Free wheel-chair available at the reception for disabled and elderly which needs to be returned after completing the visit.
- A large parking area for convenience of devotees and visitors.
- Lost and found property can be requested at the reception, the management however does not bear any responsibility for that.
- Suggestion box as per which opinions and suggestions are welcome.
- A restaurant named Premvati Refreshments which provides fresh, pure vegetarian food and snacks since no food is allowed to be carried inside the temple. Visitors can relish numerous traditional delicacies available at the restaurant.
- Donation boxes for those who wish to donated their money to be used as charity which shall later be used for the purpose of education, medicine, environment, social service, culture and spiritual upliftment.
Do’s and Don’ts Akshardham Temple – Gandhinagar
- Co-operate with volunteers and security.
- Enjoy the holy ambience without harming it.
- Read and contemplate the exhibits.
- Click photographs or shoot videos
- Carry bags, luggage or any food inside the temple
- Smoke or chew tobacco in temple premises
- Spit, spread litter or eat in the premises
- Touch or damage any of the exhibits
- Wear disrespectful attire
- Bring pets along
Best time to visit
The months of October to March are the best time to visit Akshardham Temple since the weather in Gandhinagar during this time is delightful and ideal for enjoying the beauty of the temple.
- Location → Gandhinagar, Gujarat
- Dedicated to → Lord Swaminarayan
- Main Attraction → The temple and Sat-Chit-Anand Water Show
- Best time to visit → October to March
- How to reach by Air → The international airport located at Ahmedabad is the closest airport at 23km and is well connected to the entire country and the world.
- How to reach by Rail→ The temple is only 2km from Gandhinagar railway station and 31 km from Amdavad railway station. So reaching here by train from any part of the country is quite convenient.
- How to reach by Road → Gujarat tourism department has made arrangements for special buses plying to Akshardham Temple from all the major cities of Gujarat and nearby states. So getting to Akshardham becomes quite easy using the mode of public transport, else one can also drive own vehicle to reach the destination without any hassles.