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Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha aka BAPS is an organization dedicated to Hindu religion and the belief of manifestation of God. It was established by Shastriji Maharaj, who was a loyal devotee of Swaminarayan, also referred to as Lord Vishnu, on June 05, 1907. 

For the purpose of spreading Hinduism and its teachings, there are several Akshardham temples across India where devotees flock with utmost devotion. To be precise, there are a total of 18 countries where BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temples have been established to spread Hindu spirituality, culture, and religion. 

History of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

BAPS was founded by Shastriji Maharaj on June 05, 1910, after leaving Swaminarayan Sampraday. The first believer or follower was Sahajanand Swami who later on became a Yogi and believer of Dharma, Ahimsa, and Brahmacharya. 

It is said that Sahajanand Swami was born as Ghanshyam Pandey in a village of Uttar Pradesh. In 1800, he joined Uddhav Sampradaya founded by Swami Ramanand (his Guru) and was also given the name, Sahajanand Swami. 

After the death of Swami Ramanand, it came on his shoulders to handle Uddhav Sampraday. Since then, he is known as Swaminarayan and likewise, the Uddhav Sampraday’s name was changed to Swaminarayan Sampraday. 

Also Read: The name of this temple has been derived from an incident when maa Parvati massacred the two demons Chand and Munda

Being the true follower of Swaminarayan, Shastriji Maharaj founded Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha in order to pursue the preachings of Swaminarayan.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temples Across the World 

There are several Swaminarayan Temples across 18 countries and some of the prominent Swaminarayan Temples are:

  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, United Kingdom
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto, Canada
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Los Angeles, United States
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Houston, United States
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta, United States
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chicago, United States
  • Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple Complex in Delhi, India
  • Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple Complex in New Jersey, USA
  • Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple Complex in Gandhinagar, India

Prominent Swaminarayan Temples in India

1. Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple Complex in Delhi. Akshardham aka Swaminarayan Akshardham Mandir is a Hindu temple and a spiritual-cultural campus which is situated at Pandav Nagar in Delhi, India. It displays the glories of traditional Hindu and Indian culture along with spirituality, and architecture. It is inspired by Yogiji Maharaj and created by Pramukh Swami Maharaj. It was officially inaugurated on November 6 in 2005 by Pramukh Swami Maharaj himself. There were also several big names present during the ceremony such as Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh, L.K Advani, and B.L Joshi.

2. Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple Complex in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Made in the same image of other Swaminarayan temples, it took almost 13 years in its construction. It was inaugurated on October 30 in 1992. The temple is spread in an area of 23 acres and has been built from 6000 metric tonnes of pink sandstone from Rajasthan.

What’s Common in all Swaminarayan Temples

1. Garbhagriha. The Garbhagriha or inner sanctum is the prime place or home to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his divine successors. Visiting this place is no less than a spiritual experience for the seeker. 

2. Exhibitions. These exhibitions are an initiative to raise awareness about our Indian culture. These exhibitions are inclusive of recent research about India and our civilization. It is an overall amazing experience for the unversed to explore the Indian heritage while connecting with the essence of being Indian.

3. Abhishek Mandapam. Abhishek is a ritual bathing of a deity in the form of idol. The devotees are allowed to pour water on the idol of Swami Narayan. It is believed if a devotee does the Abhishek ceremony with full devotion then, all his or her wishes are fulfilled.

4. Gardens. The magnificent gardens of Akshardham are amazingly designed. These gardens hold and exude a blissful ambience throughout. To beautify the gardens, one can also see magnificent bronze statues that have been used. These statues belong to some of the great role models of India.

Things to do in and Around BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temple

1. For shopaholics. Delhi and Gandhinagar both are popular places for shopping. There are several renowned clothing markets in Delhi that are famous for trending clothes. When it comes to exploring Gandhinagar, the place is known for traditional Gujarati outfits for men, women, and kids. 

2. Food Joints. Many restaurants provide regional cuisines that comprise different dishes ranging from Dhokla to a complete Gujarati Thali. Delhi is another hub of food joints that provides a host of cuisines right from Indian to Continental. 

Best Time to Visit BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temple 

The official timings are: Tuesday to Sunday

First Entry: 9:30 am

Last Entry: 7:30pm

The temple is closed on Mondays.

How to Reach BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temple

By Air. If you want to visit the Akshardham temple of Delhi, then, the nearest airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport which is well-connected to major metropolitan cities of India and overseas. The Akshardham Mandir is just 29 kilometres which will take around 1-2 hours to reach, depending upon the traffic conditions.

By Rail. The nearest railway stations of Akshardham Temple Delhi are New Delhi Railway Station (6.1 km) and Anand Vihar Railway Station (8 km). If you want to reach Akshardham Temple Gandhinagar, the nearest railway station would be Gandhinagar Railway Station. 

By Road. Delhi has very good road connectivity with other Indian cities. Depending upon your location, you can travel here via private buses or a cab. 

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here

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