In a monumental inauguration, the Akshardham Temple, spanning 185 acres in Robbinsville, New Jersey, has been unveiled. It is hailed as the world’s second-largest Hindu temple and the Western Hemisphere’s largest. At a towering height of 191 feet, this architectural marvel is set to inspire.
The temple, located just 99 kilometers south of New York City, witnessed its grand inauguration on October 8, with Mahant Swami Maharaj of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan (BAPS) leading the event. Delaware Governor John Carney and Congressman Steny Hoyer were among the esteemed attendees.
A Monument to Universal Values
Mahant Swami Maharaj emphasized that the temple’s construction fulfilled the divine wish of Pramukh Swami Maharaj to create a place of inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, transcending race, creed, or religion. The temple stands as a symbol of Indian culture and Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s teachings.
Thousands Unite to Build a Masterpiece
What sets this temple apart is the remarkable collaboration of over 12,500 volunteers, dedicating from 10 days to more than five years of service, to bring the Akshardham Temple to life. The temple’s walls narrate stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, adorned with over 150 Indian musical instruments and dance postures.
Preservation of Art and Culture
Brahmaviharidas Swami, overseeing the under-construction Abu Dhabi Akshardham, lauds the temple for regenerating ancient art and reviving the skills of countless artisans, ensuring their invaluable work endures for future generations.
A Global Tapestry of Stones
The temple’s construction is a testament to global pluralism, as stones from seven countries, including India, Bulgaria, Italy, Greece, and Turkey, were intricately carved, assembled, and disassembled before reaching the US.
Embracing All Nations
At the temple’s entrance, the Brahmakund, or step wall, features water from 400 rivers and lakes worldwide, fostering a sense of belonging and inclusivity. It’s a testament to the temple’s openness to all, promoting the values of seva, spiritual transcendence, and love for humanity.
A Message Beyond Borders
The Akshardham Temple isn’t just a Hindu or Hindu American story; it’s a global narrative. It carries universal beliefs of inclusivity, love, and service that resonate with people from all walks of life.
Prominent Voices Applaud the Temple
Congressman Steny Hoyer praised not only the temple’s craftsmanship but also the community spirit that brought it to life, highlighting its embodiment of equality, truth, and service to others.
Indian Consul General Randhir Jaiswal conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s congratulations for this remarkable construction, underscoring its significance.