In Robbinsville, New Jersey, stands the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, the largest Hindu temple in the United States and the largest Hindu temple outside India in the modern era. Here are ten key facts about this remarkable temple:
- Dedication to Bhagwan Swaminarayan: This grand temple is dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, a revered Hindu spiritual leader from the 19th century. Its construction was inspired by his 5th spiritual successor, the esteemed saint Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
- Commencement of Construction: Construction of this magnificent Mahamandir began in 2015, and it is set to be officially inaugurated on October 8, 2023, with Mahant Swami Maharaj and esteemed dignitaries presiding over the event.
- Vast Expanse: The BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville covers an impressive 185 acres, and it involved the expertise of more than 12,500 volunteers from various parts of North America. Together, they have created a landmark designed to endure for well over a millennium.
- Meticulous Design and Craftsmanship: The temple’s design was conceived by a group of BAPS swamis and dedicated volunteers in India. Stone for its construction was sourced from various regions in Europe and transported to India, where it underwent intricate craftsmanship.
- Global Collaboration: The stone pieces were then shipped to the United States, where a diverse group of volunteers, under the guidance of volunteer artisans from India, came together to work on the temple.
- Ongoing Construction: The finishing touches are currently being applied to the ground level and the primary mandir at the temple site in New Jersey, and construction work is progressing rapidly towards completion.
- Symbolism in Architecture: The temple’s apex, the Mahashikhar, is adorned with a golden pot known as the Kalash, symbolizing wholeness and excellence. Above this, the flag or Dhaja soars high, symbolizing victory and the triumph of good over evil.
- Artistic Representations: Inside Akshardham, intricate stone sculptures and figurines artistically depict the enduring heritage of Indian music, dance, and performing arts. They also pay homage to esteemed sages, saints, and spiritual luminaries who have made significant contributions to India and Hinduism.
- Guinness World Record Holder: The BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, India, currently holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest all-encompassing Hindu temple, situated within a vast 100-acre complex.
- Continued Growth: The Akshardham temple in the United States is set to surpass its own previous achievements. The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha has constructed approximately 1,400 temples across various locations, including India, the UK, US, Canada, Kenya, South Africa, and Australia.
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Source: MINT Live