Site Name: Akshardham Temple
Site Type: Temple
Location: Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat state, India
Highlights: A huge temple complex; one of the largest temples of India; an architectural marvel
Nearest Railway Station: Ahmedabad
Nearest Airport: Ahmedabad
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: A lot of options across the entire city
Restaurants: Varieties of options across the entire city
Gandhi Nagar is the capital city of Gujarat state in India. It is located near the famous Ahmedabad city. Ahmedabad has a lot of important tourist destinations. However, Gandhi Nagar has only few places of interest. Akshardham temple is one of the few important places of interest located in Gandhi Nagar.
Akshardham temple is one of the largest temples of Gujarat state and even the entire nation. It is dedicated to Swami Narayan. Swami Narayan was a Hindu saint who lived in the beginning of the 19th century CE. He was from Uttar Pradesh state and settled down in Gujarat. He is the central figure in Swami Narayan sect of Hinduism. This Akshardham temple is much older than the Akshardham temple of New Delhi.
The temple is spread in a huge area of about 23 acres. It was built in 1992 CE. It came to international attention when two heavily armed terrorists attacked it in 2002 CE.
The complex consists of temple, gardens, educational centers and even a research center. The main shrine of the temple enshrines the 7 feet high idol of Swaminarayan. The temple structure is intricately carved and is an architectural masterpiece.
The temple structure is located in a garden named Sahajanand Van. It has herbal garden, children park, an artificial lake and waterfalls.
There are three permanent exhibition halls set up to educate the visitors about Swaminarayan and this movement. In the first hall name Sahajanand, the life of Swaminarayan is portrayed through shows and settings. The second hall named as Sat-Chit-Anand presents an IMAX large format film on Swaminarayan. The third hall is called as Nityanand. Here, the visitors can walk through the figures which display the messages of Hinduism.