BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, the largest Hindu temple in the US, opened its doors on Sunday, October 8, in New Jersey, making it the largest Hindu temple outside India in the modern era.
Craftsmanship and Construction
The temple is a testament to remarkable craftsmanship, made from four varieties of marble sourced from Italy and limestone from Bulgaria. These precious materials traveled over 8,000 miles to reach their final destination in New Jersey. Intricately carved pieces were assembled on-site, culminating in the creation of this monumental Hindu temple.
Spanning 126 acres, the temple is a monumental architectural masterpiece achieved through the dedication of artisans and volunteers who invested approximately 4.7 million hours to meticulously hand-carve around two million cubic feet of stone.
Adorned with Historical Figures
Adorning the temple walls are carvings of historical figures, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. The temple’s grandeur has left visitors astounded, with one volunteer describing it as a transportive experience to India.
Collaborative Effort and Unique Features
The Akshardham temple’s construction involved 12,500 volunteers from around the world, working tirelessly since 2011. Notably, it features the largest elliptical stone dome ever built.
Globally, BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardhams serve as landmarks of Hindu art, architecture, and culture, welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. The New Jersey Akshardham marks the third such cultural complex worldwide, following those in Gandhinagar, India (1992), and New Delhi (2005).
Grand Dedication Ceremony
At the inauguration ceremony, Mahant Swami Maharaj conducted the ‘Pran Prathistha’ ritual, surrounded by traditional ceremonies and rituals. India’s Permanent Representative at the UN, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, led a delegation of ambassadors and representatives from the United Nations to the temple ahead of the grand dedication ceremony.
The Akshardham temple in New Jersey stands as a symbol of devotion, dedication, and a testament to the rich Hindu heritage, welcoming people of all backgrounds to experience its grandeur.