Swaminarayan Akshardham Complex, New Delhi: A Place of Worship and Tourist Site

The Akshardham Complex in New Delhi is a major tourist attraction built on the banks of River Yamuna. The main attractions in the complex are Akshardham Mandir and the thematic gardens. People of any religion can visit here to offer prayer and learn a life lesson from the rich Indian culture and the Hindu religion.

The Swaminarayan Akshardham Complex is situated in the East Delhi zone of India’s Capital New Delhi. The Akshardham Mandir is the main attraction in the complex. The temple has 9 domes, 234 ornamentally carved pillars and 20000 murtis of devotees, acharyas, and sadhus. At its base you can see Gajendra Pith; a pedestal paying tribute to the elephants. There are 148 murtis of the elephant which collectively weigh 3000 tons. To sum up, the temple displays statues and paintings of flora, fauna, dancers, musicians, devotees and deities.

The Akshardham temple is designed to the standards of Maharishi Vastu Architecture and traditional Shilpa Shastras. It’s fully constructed from Italian Carrara marble and Rajasthani pink sandstone. Not a single ounce of steel or concrete is used in the construction of the temple. Other major attractions of Akshardham Complex are two Thematic Gardens named “Bharat Upvan” and “Yogi Hridaya Kamal”.

The “Bharat Upvan” is a green garden in Akshardham Complex and displays who’s who from India’s History of Great Men, Women, and Children.

“The Yogi Hridaya Kamal” built in the shape of lotus displays astuteness of great leaders from around the globe. It’s named after Yogiji Maharaj. He was the fourth divine successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

The Water Show and Maha Arti performed in the Evening are bound to rush your adrenaline high. You will promise yourself to revisit the Akshardham Temple again in near future.

Travel Tips

You can reach to Akshardham directly from Air Port / Railway Station / Bus Station by taking a city bus, in a taxi or auto rickshaw. Metro Rail is the quickest and cheapest way to reach here from any part of Delhi / New Delhi. Nearest Metro Station is Akshardham Metro Station. The Akshardham Complex opens for visitors at 9.30 AM. Guests are not allowed to enter the premises beyond 6.30 PM. Mondays are closed.

Best time to visit Akshardham in New Delhi is from October to March months. During this period weather is pleasant. Summers in Delhi are very hot however a safe bet if you want a discount on stay. Owing to hot weather, summers are off peak time for Hotels and Motels business in Delhi. I am sure you will avail heavy discount.

July / August are rainy months. Akshardham temple is situated on the banks of river Yamuna. In these months you will enjoy lush green ambiance here, definitely a bonus.

How to Reach

You can reach to India Capital New Delhi through all means of transport i.e. Air, Rail and Road from all major cities on the globe. Akshardham Temple is a well-known place and a tourist attraction. You won’t face any difficulty in reaching here.


By Air

Are you coming from Frankfurt or New York or from another Indian state? Upon reaching to Airport in Delhi, you can hire a taxi (AC/Non-AC) or an Auto Rickshaw to reach to Akshardham. All major International Airlines connects to New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA). The domestic airport Palam is located at a distance of 5 km from International Airport.


By Rail

The capital New Delhi is well connected to the railway network. The major Railway Stations in New Delhi are Old Delhi Railway Station, New Delhi Railway Station, Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station and Anand Vihar Railway Station. From these railway stations, you can take a Metro Rail / City Bus / Auto Rickshaw / Taxi to reach to Akshardham.

By Bus

Delhi is well connected by road to all major cities of neighboring states viz; Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan. The major Inter State Bus Terminus in Delhi are Maharana Pratap ISBT at Kashmere Gate, Delhi; Swami Vivekanand ISBT at Anand Vihar, Delhi; Vir Hakikat Rai ISBT at Sarai Kale Khan, Delhi. From any of the ISBT, you can take city transport like Metro Rail, Bus, a taxi or auto to reach to Akshardham Temple. If hiring an auto rickshaw to ask your driver to run the vehicle on meter instead of negotiable rates.


Warning:

1. While traveling during the night it's better to take public transport or taxi instead of an auto rickshaw. Beyond 8 PM traveling in an auto rickshaw is not advisable especially if you are the first-time tourist and traveling alone.

2. Beware of cheats and anti-social elements. In the case of suspicions do not hesitate to Dial 100, its Delhi Police Helpline.

Activities

Going in and around Akshardham Complex shall take some 3 hours. Watch Art & Architecture of the temple and offer prayer to Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The Akshardham Complex runs Exhibitions between 10 am to 5 pm. You can buy a ticket to learn more from India’s rich culture and Hindu religion. The water show in the evening is a special tourist attraction. If you are coming with kids, I am sure this will be fun for them. The Maha Arti which is mainly performed by Head Priest of the Akshardham Mandir is held before water show. The sound of bells and hymens shall make you feel like you are meeting to the God. The Thematic Gardens; Bharat Upvan and The Yogi Hridaya Kamal shall give you teaching in silence from the life of world’s great personalities.

From Akshardham Complex, you can head to Mayur Vihar Phase I for shopping and enjoying on Indian / Italian / Mexican cuisines. Or if you want to do more then go to EDM Mall near Anand Vihar, Kaushambi or Vasundhara. In these places, you can shop for clothes (casuals / fashion wears etc) and enjoy Indian delicacies. If you love eating spicy or want to try once, I will suggest you have “Chhole Bhature” from any food joint. Depending on the type of restaurant or eating joint you chose, a plate of Chhole Bhature shall cost you Rs. 50 – Rs 150.

Timings & Season

Best session to visit Akshardham Complex in New Delhi is from October to March. During these months the weather is pleasant. In December / January winters are at peak, days are partially cloudy. You will love watching in and around Akshardham Complex in the Sun.


Timings:

Tuesday to Sunday

First Entry: 9:30am
Last Entry: 6:30pm
CLOSED: EVERY MONDAY


MANDIR

Darshan: 9:30am to 8:00pm
Arti: 10:00am and 6:00pm

ABHISHEK MANDAP

Darshan and Puja
9:30am to 8:00pm
Arti: 6:30pm

EXHIBITIONS

Ticket Window
10:00am – 5:00pm

WATER SHOW

Show: After Sunset
(Currently: 7:15 pm Tues-Sun)
Maha Arti: Before First Show

History

The Akshardham Complex in New Delhi is a Hindu Temple and the abode of God open for everyone. The Yogi Maharaj (Head of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha) envisioned the construction of a grand temple at the banks of river Yamuna in 1968. Little progress was made in this but Yogi Maharaj died in 1971.

In 1982, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the successor of Yogi Maharaj and the spiritual head of BAPS decided to fulfill the dream of his guru. His efforts bear fruits in the Year 2000 when Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Uttar Pradesh Government gave final node for the construction and allotted the required land area. The constructed work of the temple commences on 8 November 2000. The Akshardham was sanctified by Pramukh Swami Maharaj on 6 November 2005 and given to the public by the Missile Man Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.