Delhi’s Akshardham is the world’s largest temple

This is the first time that The Guinness Book of World Records has recognised a Hindu temple in its list of large religious structures, reports Nivedita Khandekar.
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Updated on Dec 27, 2007 12:58 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By Nivedita Khandekar, New Delhi

People would make guesses about its size, till the confirmation came last week. The breath-taking Akshardham Temple in Delhi has earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple’.

Spread over 30 acres, the temple was opened to public two years ago and now gets over one lakh people visitors every week.

Consecrated on November 6, 2005, by Pramukh Swami Narayanswaroopdas of temple trust Bochasanwasi Sri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), the temple has 234 ornately carved pillars, nine domes and 20 quadrangular shikhars.

The pramukh swami also finds a place in the Guinness Book for “creating and consecrating, in accordance with Hindu rituals, a world record 713 temples in five continents between April 1971 and November 2007”.

According to the temple’s public relation officer Janakbhai Dave, “The ornately hand-crafted temple was conceptualized by consultant Veerendra Sompura (Sompuras are a known traditional tribe of temple builders) and his team based on the principles of indigenous Vastu Shilpa Shashtra.”

Around 7,000 artisans from Rajasthan, Orissa and Bengal carried out the intricate carving on the walls.

A specialty of the temple is that no steel was used in its construction. “Steel leads to corrosion due to harsh weather conditions which in turn leads to reduced life of the structure,” Dave said.

Guinness official Michael Witty, who presented the world record citation at a function in Ahmedabad on December 17, said it took more than three months of research to judge the temple the largest.

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