In PILGRIMAGE by Tara Karmeshvari1 Comment

There is a brand new temple complex in Delhi with stunning architecture and mind-staggering stone carvings, the like of which rivals the ancient monuments in India, Cambodia and Indonesia. It took 300 million man-hours to carve 300.000 stones to create the entire 100 acre complex and that in only five years! Before starting, it was a dusty patch of barren land near the banks of Yamuna in Delhi. Millions of hours of dedication and hard work by 11.000 sadhus, volunteers and artisans have gone into the work. What an incredible feat of management.

Swaminarayan Akshardham, as the temple complex is known, means the eternal abode of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, a torchbearer of Indian culture and spirituality. The focal point of the entire complex is the Akshardham monument, built in pink sandstone and white marble. It has 234 intricately carved pillars, 9 magnificent domes, 20 pinnacles and over 20.000 superbly sculpted figures. The monument is surrounded by a sacred water body, Narayan Sarovar, the 2 km long double-storeyed parikrama which garlands the monument. It is absolutely amazing.

The two Peacock Gates pay tribute to joy and beauty. The ornate sculptures create a fascinating and delightful spectacle.

The message of India’s ancient heritage is wonderfully presented in Akshardham’s exhibition halls and brilliantly show the values of non-violence, courage, honesty, harmony and devotion. The message is presented through films, light and sound shows. There is a boat ride through 10.000 years of Indian culture, where we see how the world’s oldest Vedic village life would have looked like. Sail through Takshashila, our world’s first university, and learn about the discoveries and inventions by India’s age-old rishi-scientists. The people of India can really raise their heads and feel inspired by the fact that they are part of an ancient civilization that has influenced the entire world.

In the center of the grand Akshardham monument, build of pink sandstone and white marble, is seated a serene 11 feet high golden likeness of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his spiritual successors. A place for prayer and peace.

Narayan Sarover surrounds the main temple with holy water with ghats and lotus flowers. Sacred waters from the 151 rivers and lakes of India flow from 108 gaumukhs creating an ambience of a place of pilgrimage.


A third hall features a large cinema shows a film portraying an exciting and inspiring true story of the avatar Neelkanth Varni, an 11 year old child yogi’s mind-staggering journey on foot. He grew up and became know as Swami Narayan, the great reformer of India. The film was shot from the icy peaks of the Himalayas in the north to the pristine shores of Kerala in the south. The large format film depicts India’s holy places, festivals and spiritual traditions. Here is the movie Mystic India: A Child’s Incredible Journey of Inspiration, that incorporates parts of the original film, adapted to the international audience. Also a movie worth seeing.

The movie ends with these final words: Perhaps the greatest truth India can illuminate for the billions who lives on this planet, is to the cherish the attitude of unity in diversity. We share the same sky, walk the same earth, breathe the same air, and we are a single human family. This is the essence of mystic India.

The sheer magnitude, beauty and experience of Akshardham amazes everyone. By all means, make sure that your next visit to Delhi includes a half day to have your mind blown away by magnificent Akshardham, one of the crown jewels of human civilization.

Source: Swaminarayan Aksharpith
Photo from bird eye’s view.
About the Author
Tara Karmeshvari

Tara Karmeshvari

Art of Life artist & promoter of all living beings' right to freedom and enlightenment. Founder of Other LEVEKUNST articles by the same author.

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  1. Seema Sahoo

    Thank you Tara for sharing this. It is indeed magnificent !
    I have been to Akshardham few times , last time it was I think 4-5 years ago and they were doing some more addition to it.

    I am originally from Delhi and it brought some memories for me , thank you 🙂

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