Largest overseas hindu temple to be unveiled in New Jersey on October 8

The largest Hindu temple will be inaugurated on October 8, 2023, in New Jersey, US. The Majestic Mahamandir took 12 years to complete, and more than 12,500 volunteers were involved in the construction

The largest Hindu temple will be inaugurated on October 8, 2023, in New Jersey, US

The largest Hindu temple will be inaugurated on October 8, 2023, in New Jersey, US

Sudeep Singh Rawat New Delhi

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The world's largest Hindu temple outside India, built in the modern world, is all set to be inaugurated on October 8 in New Jersey, United States. The majestic maha mandir which is dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, a 19th-century spiritual leader, is based 60 miles south of Times Square, New York, the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in the little Robbinsville township of New Jersey. 

The majestic Mahamandir was constructed by over 12,500 volunteers who took around 12 years from 2011 to 2013 to complete this. The temple was inspired by Bhagwan Swaminarayan's 5th spiritual successor and renowned sait Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

Thousands of devotees have been visiting every day even before the inauguration of the temple, which measures around 255 ft x 345 ft x 191 ft and spans over 183 acres. 

According to PTI, the temple was designed with ancient Hindu scriptures, including design elements from ancient culture, including 10,000 statues representing Indian musical instruments and dance forms. 

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This temple will likely be the second-largest temple in the world after Cambodia's Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat Temple was built in the 12th century and is the largest Hindu temple spread over 500 acres; it is also added to the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Akshardham Temple in New Delhi is spread over 100 acres, and this temple was opened to the general public in November 2005. 

It should be for all of the world, says BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha

In an interview with PTI, Aksharvatsaldas Swami from BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha said, "Our spiritual leader (Pramukh Swami Maharaj) had a vision that in the Western hemisphere there should be a place which can be a place for all people of the world, not only for Hindus, not only for Indians, not only for certain groups of people; it should be for all of the world where people can come and learn some values, universal values based in Hindu tradition." 

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha didn't give many interviews, however, they shared their thoughts about the temple inauguration in New Jersey. He said this was his wish and Sankalp (pledge) to build this Akshardham with traditional Hindu temple architecture.

According to BAPS officials, volunteers devoted millions of selfless hours in the service to the temple. Volunteers range from 18 years old to over 60, from students to CEOs, engineers, doctors, and architects. Most of these professionals took leave from their month and rented condos near the construction site to volunteer their services and build the temple.

First Published: Sep 25 2023 | 1:41 PM IST

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