World's second-largest Hindu temple outside India to be inaugurated in US on October 8: All you need to know
Akshardham temple in US: The temple is located about 90 km south of Times Square, New York in Robbinsville Township, New Jersey.
New Jersey in the US is set to host the world's second-largest Hindu temple outside India, to be formally inaugurated on October 8. Hailed as the world's largest Hindu temple outside India “in the modern era”, the Akshardham temple has been built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham organisation.
This grand temple is dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, a Hindu spiritual leader of the 19th century, and was inspired by his 5th spiritual successor and renowned saint Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
All you need to know about US's Akshardham temple:
1) Located in Robbinsville Township, New Jersey, the temple has been built by over 12,500 volunteers from across the US over a span of 12 years, from 2011 to 2023.
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2) The temple popular as Akshardham spans over 183 acres and has been designed according to ancient Hindu scriptures and includes design elements from ancient Indian culture. These include 10,000 statues and statuettes, carvings of Indian musical instruments and dance forms.
3) The unique Hindu temple design includes one main shrine, 12 sub-shrines, nine shikhars (spire-like structures), and nine pyramidal shikhars. It is designed to apparently last a thousand years.
4) In its construction, four types of stone including limestone, pink sandstone, marble, and granite were used to give it lasting strength. These were sources from around the world including limestone from Bulgaria and Turkey; Marble from Greece, Turkey and Italy; Granite from India and China; Sandstone from India.
5) The temple premises also have a ‘Brahma Kund’, a traditional Indian stepwell. It contains water from more than 300 water bodies from around the world, including the holy rivers of India and all 50 states of the US.
6) Though the temple will be formally inaugurated on October 8, it will be open for visitors from October 18. Currently, the temple is open for visitors during certain hours but will be closed between September 30 and October 17 due to a series of private events. The official website of the temple says that till September 30, the campus entry will be open to visitors Monday to Friday only, from 10am to 4:30pm.