A visit to the Akshardham Temple was long awaited one. Every time we planned a trip to the temple, something or the other came up and we couldn’t go as per our plan. This time round, though, things were different and we finally made it to the temple. My parents, brother, sister and myself – together we went to explore the magnificent temple. But before we could go inside there was a series of security checks we had to go thourgh.
As we came close to the temple complex, the security checks started. The vehicles were checked thoroughly. Inside the complex, our mobiles, handbags, cameras were deposited at a counter. We could only carry a hand purse with us. We stood with long queues of people who waited to be checked before finally entering the temple area. There was so much of check that we wondered whether it was a routine process or a consequence of what happened to the Taj Hotel in Mumbai. Anyways, few people seemed to be bothered as everyone patiently went through the security checks.
Once inside the main area, the first set of structures that we came across were the Ten Gates. I had quickly got a brochure of the temple so that the visit becomes more fruitful. The Ten Gates were meant to bring good fortune from all the ten direction of Indian culture. Bhakti Dwar and the Mayur Dwar followed the Ten Gates. Bhakti Dwar or the Gate of Devotion honours ‘the God and His Choicest Devotees’. Right in front of the Bhakti Dwar is the Mayur Dwar and in between the two is the replica of holy footsteps of Lord Swami Narayan.
Turning towards our right, we saw the main Akshardham temple. The magnificent monument looked extremely serene and holy amidst all the hustle bustle. We climbed the steps of the temple and observed all the intricate carvings on the exterior walls, the ceilings and the pillars. It was extremely beautiful! The huge gold plated statue of Lord Swami Narayan and details of his life inside the main hall was really awesome! The exterior of the temple is equally beautiful. Following a circular path, we saw some incredibly fine sculptures.
The temple is surrounded by the Narayan Sarovar on three sides. Unfortunately, it was under maintenance work when we visited and hence there was no water in it. I really wished the Sarovar was full so that we could view the beautiful reflection of the temple in the waters. Also surrounding the temple is the Parikrama path. It’s a beautiful experience to walk through the parikram and observe the temple from all sides. Moreover, there is a very royal feeling that one experiences while walking through the parikrama.
The Musical Fountain show and the temple were the next what we saw. There were more than 500 people sitting and watching the musical fountain show! We couldn’t go for the boat ride, movie and the Cultural Garden due to shortage of time but on our next visit, these would definitely be on top of the ‘to do things’.
The Akshardham temple complex is a place where there is spirituality, peace, beauty, grandeur, entertainment and much more. The intricate sculptures make you realise how much effort must have been put together to make this temple. The time we spent at the temple complex were beautiful. If I had to sum up the experience in on word, it would be “marvellous”.
Do visit the temple, if you are in Delhi. It is definitely not to be missed out one.