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Akshardham Temple

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= GARBHAGRUH =
 
= GARBHAGRUH =
 
he inner sanctum or garbhagruh of the Akshardham mandir is home to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his divine succession of gurus - Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj, and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. 
 
he inner sanctum or garbhagruh of the Akshardham mandir is home to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his divine succession of gurus - Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj, and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. 
[[File:Akshardham garbhagruh 5D1 8818.jpg|left|thumb|341x341px]]
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[[File:Akshardham garbhagruh 5D1 8818.jpg|left|thumb|246x246px]]
 
As manifestations of Aksharbrahma, the gurus, as manifestations of Aksharbrahma, are God’s eternal servants and ideals of saintliness and devotion. 
 
As manifestations of Aksharbrahma, the gurus, as manifestations of Aksharbrahma, are God’s eternal servants and ideals of saintliness and devotion. 
 
They reside in the garbhagruh eternally offering service and worship to Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Items sanctified by Bhagwan Swaminarayan during his time on Earth are also preserved for darshan directly behind the garbhagruh. 
 
They reside in the garbhagruh eternally offering service and worship to Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Items sanctified by Bhagwan Swaminarayan during his time on Earth are also preserved for darshan directly behind the garbhagruh. 
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= MANDAPAMS =
 
= MANDAPAMS =
[[File:Mandap-01.jpg|thumb|220x220px]]
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The interior of the Akshardham mandir can be divided into nine mandapams or thematic spaces. These nine mandapams are each filled with intricately carved murtis and pillars and capped by unique domes and ceilings. Travelling through these mandapams, one meets renowned devotees, great avatars and
[[File:Mandap-03.jpg|left|thumb|220x220px]]
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[[File:Akshardham dom 9927.jpg|thumb|273x273px]]
The interior of the Akshardham mandir can be divided into nine mandapams or thematic spaces. These nine mandapams are each
 
[[File:Mandap-08.jpg|left|thumb|220x220px]]
 
filled with intricately carved murtis and pillars and capped by unique domes and
 
[[File:Paramhans mandap.jpg|left|thumb|220x220px]]
 
ceilings. Travelling through these mandapams, one meets renowned devotees, great avatars and
 
[[File:Mandap-00.jpg|thumb|220x220px]]
 
[[File:Mandap-07.jpg|thumb|220x220px]]
 
 
rejoicing celestial beings. The ornate designs and intricate carvings of the mandapams inspire reflection of God’s inconceivable beauty and the beauty he inspires in creation.
 
rejoicing celestial beings. The ornate designs and intricate carvings of the mandapams inspire reflection of God’s inconceivable beauty and the beauty he inspires in creation.
   
 
= MANDOVAR =
 
= MANDOVAR =
 
The external facade of a traditional stone temple is known as a mandovar. Swaminarayan Akshardham's mandovar is the largest, most intricately carved mandovar built in India in the last eight hundred years. It is 25 feet high, 611 feet long and features 200 sculptured stone figures of many of
 
The external facade of a traditional stone temple is known as a mandovar. Swaminarayan Akshardham's mandovar is the largest, most intricately carved mandovar built in India in the last eight hundred years. It is 25 feet high, 611 feet long and features 200 sculptured stone figures of many of
[[File:Akshardham mandovar wide.jpg|left|thumb|348x348px]]
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[[File:Akshardham mandovar wide.jpg|left|thumb|304x304px]]
 
Hinduism’s great rishis, sadhus, devotees, acharyas and avatars. 
 
Hinduism’s great rishis, sadhus, devotees, acharyas and avatars. 
 
The base of the mandovar is called the jagati. In this layer, one finds carvings of living beings from our everyday world. First, we have the elephant which is a symbol of strength, then the lion, which symbolizes bravery and ferocity. Thereafter, one finds the vyal (a Pauranic animal) that was renowned for speed. 
 
The base of the mandovar is called the jagati. In this layer, one finds carvings of living beings from our everyday world. First, we have the elephant which is a symbol of strength, then the lion, which symbolizes bravery and ferocity. Thereafter, one finds the vyal (a Pauranic animal) that was renowned for speed. 
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= NARAYAN PEETH =
 
= NARAYAN PEETH =
 
It is an ancient Hindu tradition to perform pradakshinas or circumambulations as a sign of respect and prayers. The faithful walk clockwise around mandirs to reinforce the belief that God should be the center of one’s life. 
 
It is an ancient Hindu tradition to perform pradakshinas or circumambulations as a sign of respect and prayers. The faithful walk clockwise around mandirs to reinforce the belief that God should be the center of one’s life. 
[[File:Akshardham-narayanpeethika (1).jpg|thumb|335x335px]]
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[[File:Akshardham-narayanpeethika (1).jpg|thumb|287x287px]]
   
 
At the Akshardham mandir, the path for performing these circumambulations is embellished with three 60 feet long bronze relief panels. These panels illustrate divine incidents from the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and help the faithful walking these paths to remember God as they perform circumambulations. The layer of the mandir where these panels are installed is known as the Narayan Peeth.
 
At the Akshardham mandir, the path for performing these circumambulations is embellished with three 60 feet long bronze relief panels. These panels illustrate divine incidents from the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and help the faithful walking these paths to remember God as they perform circumambulations. The layer of the mandir where these panels are installed is known as the Narayan Peeth.
 
= GAJENDRA PEETH =
 
A mandir stands, traditionally and symbolically, on the shoulders of elephants. In a uniquely creative adaptation, the elephants at the base of Swaminarayan Akshardham are not just standing still. The Gajendra Peeth or Elephant Plinth presents stories and legends of elephants with nature, with humans and with God. This depiction of elephants is to honor these grand yet gentle animals and also share messages of peace, beauty and gentleness. 
 
[[File:Akshardham gajendrapith info.jpg|left|thumb|272x272px]]
 
   
 
==What to Experience==
 
==What to Experience==
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