Home Art & Culture Akshardham Temple Inaugurated in the US

Akshardham Temple Inaugurated in the US

The Akshardham temple was inaugurated on October 8 in New Jersey, 99 kilometers south of New York City, USA. The temple is billed as the second-largest in the world and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Situated in Robbinsville, the temple spreads over an area of 185 acres and its spire is 191 feet high. The inauguration took place in the presence of the leader of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan (BAPS), Mahant Swami Maharaj, and thousands of devotees assembled to pay their respects.

A Landmark Moment 

The impetus to construct a temple in Robbinsville came from Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the fifth guru of the BAPS denomination. The Pew Research Center estimates that at least 1.1 billion Hindus are living worldwide. Among them, approximately 2.5 million live in the USA. The tri-state area, in particular, has a significant Hindu population, with almost 300,000 living in New Jersey alone. The site of the temple, apart from being surrounded by a diverse community, shops, and plenty of open space, is also less than 100 kilometers from Manhattan.

Symbol of Pluralism:

According to the congregation, around 13,000 people from all over the world spent 12 years working on the project. The edifice is made of stone and marble with several decorative arches. Stones from countries like Bulgaria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and India were used in the construction. According to Yogi Trivedi, a scholar from Columbia University and a volunteer at the Akshardham Temple, “all of those stones also represent different cultural streams. They’ve all come together. They were shipped to India, intricately carved, then dry assembled there to make sure that it’s going to fit when it comes here, disassembled and then shipped here”. He also added that the Brahmakund, or temple pond, has water from 400 different rivers and lakes across the world, including the U.S., Australia, and India. Along with carvings and inscriptions from Mahabharata and Ramayana stories, the base plinth of the temple also contains spiritual messages resonating with the thoughts and beliefs of thinkers like Socrates, Reverend Martin Luther King, President Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein.


It is the first time that a place of this magnitude has opened up to the world the possibility of learning about the Hindu religion. Akshardham Temple is quite a landmark in American-Hindu history. It is a matter of great pride for American Hindus who can secure their identity while also being part of American culture. The construction of the temple is truly a step towards achieving cultural harmony and promoting a peaceful co-existence of tradition and modernity. It is a symbol not only of Indian values but also of universal beliefs and pluralism. The Akshardham temple is set to open its gates to devotees on October 18th.