BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, Largest Hindu Mandir In US, inaugurated in New Jersey



BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, the largest Hindu temple in US. PHOTO: BAPS
Pratishtha Mahotsav at BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, October 8, 2023. PHOTO: BAPS

A grand opening ceremony was held to officially inaugurate the spectacular, many-years in-the-making, BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, NJ, October 8, 2023. It becomes the largest Hindu temple in the United States.

Akshardham dedication at Robbinsville, NJ site, October 8, 2023, in the presence of spiritual leaders and VIPs including Congressman Steny Hoyer, 3rd from right, India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal, right. PHOTO: BAPS

“It was a moment of jubilation, a moment that transcended borders, cultures, and continents,” BAPS said in a press release, adding, “Hundreds of thousands of individuals from across the globe witnessed this historic celebration.”

Akshardham dedication ceremony October 8, 2023. PHOTO: BAPS

Described as “a marvel of Hindu art, architecture, and culture,” Akshardham is meant to portray India’s and Indian Americans’ heritage and traditions, and bridge the gap with other communities in the nation.

Mahant Swami Maharaj at the dedication ceremony for BAPS Swaminarayan, October 8, 2023. PHOTO: BAPS

The dedication ceremony also included a fireworks display, as devotees expressed their jubilation.

BAPS Akshardham dedication ceremony with fireworks, October 8, 2023, in Robbinsville, NJ. PHOTO: BAPS

The BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham represents a fusion of tradition and modernity, say those involved with the building of the edifice, “where the echoes of ancient wisdom resonate harmoniously with the vibrant energy of the present.”

Seeing the fireworks go up, Harish Patel, a BAPS volunteer from Washington, DC said, “This moment is going to be etched in stone in my heart forever.”

Above and below, dancers perform at the inauguration of BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, October 8, 2023. PHOTO: BAPS

Palak Shah, a New Jersey resident said, “I have a flood of emotions right now. The moment we were waiting for,( for years) is finally here.”

The spiritual guru of BAPS, Pramukh Swami Maharaj is regarded as the main person behind the idea of having an Akshardham in US, like the one in India. “It was Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s divine wish to construct an Akshardham in North America, where people can come and visit, irrespective of race, creed or religion,” Mahant Swami Maharaj is quoted saying in the press release.

BAPS said, “This gift, the Swaminarayan Akshardham, is a symbol of unity, spirituality, and cultural appreciation, reflecting the shared values that bind people from diverse backgrounds.”

In his address to the audience, U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said, “This mandir is magnificent. We marvel at its immense size. We admire the craftsmanship behind the thousands of carved elephants, peacocks and other sculptures. But what I find most extraordinary is the community that built it.” Admiring the dedication of the volunteers and their selfless service, Congressman Hoyer continued, “They did it because they believe in the values this structure represents: equality, liberation, truth, harmony, and most importantly, service to others. The values enshrined here are not just Hindu values, they are human values.”

Governor John Carney of Delaware shared his thoughts about the evening. “I was struck by what was said by the Swami just before … that the temple is a bridge, a bridge from the past to the future, a bridge from India to America, a bridge from one community to the next. It is an incredible place of devotion.”

Also, in attendance was Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General of India in New York who addressed the assembly and delivered a message of congratulations from Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.

Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media which publishes Desi Talk and News India Times, also attended the event. He told Desi Talk, “This inauguration was so grand. Anyone would feel the sense of peace and harmony, and joy, as well as togetherness. In a diverse country like United States, it is a gift to have a place like this, and also for our second generation. I will bring my friends and acquaintances who are not Indian to feel the spirituality of this Hindu mandir.”

Some 12,500 volunteers helped build Akshardham, BAPS said inviting everyone, regardless of their background, to visit. “It is a space where cultures converge, traditions flourish, and hearts unite,” BAPS said.

“Love the end and love the means by which we reached here,” said, Chaitali Inamdar a volunteer from Pennington, who was among the tens of thousands from around the world giving millions of volunteer hours to make the temple a reality.



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