Breaking News, People!!
The largest Hindu Temple in USA or outside India has been finally inaugurated last Sunday (08th October 2023) in Robbinsville, New Jersey and we can’t keep calm! The temple will open for regular services on October 18.
This 191-feet tall sacred temple is spread over an area of 183-acres and took about 10 years to complete. It is said to be the second largest temple dedicated to Hindu deities, the first being the Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
With materials sourced from different corners of the world, hundreds of construction volunteers and artisans called upon all the way from India and just the perfect blending of the modernity of New Jersey and the traditional India make the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham one of the most precious gems for everyone, not just Hindus.
Today, we talk about the largest Hindu temple in USA, a monumental achievement and a beacon of cultural diversity that has recently graced the landscape of Robbinsville, New Jersey.
Table of Contents
Architecture of the Largest Hindu Temple in USA
The temple is built using about 2 million cubic feet of stone and contains marvelous and tall 7-foot marble carvings on the inside. These stones were sources from all over the world: from Greece, Italy and obviously India. It also contains a traditional Indian stepwell (or the Brahma Kund) containing waters from 300 water bodies in India and all the 50 states in USA.
To make sure the structure withstands the New Jersey winters, the outside of the temple is built with the non-traditional Bulgarian limestone.
One of the most outstanding feature of the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham is that it isn’t just what a traditional temple you can find in India looks like. It is all that, but more.
While it may be thousands of miles away, it shares the spirit of grandeur with the Khajuraho Temples in India, both awe-inspiring examples of architectural marvels dedicated to spirituality and culture.
With the wall carvings of historical figures from the American History like Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln, standing there along side the murtis of Swaminarayan and Gunatitanand Swami, the temple stands out as one of the most fascinating sights for everyone – the travelers, the believers, the history lovers and everyone.
Other than the massive carvings on the central hall, you will also find beautifully decorated shrines dedicated to the many legendary Hindu Gods and Goddesses like Ganesha, Hanuman, Lord Ram and Sita, Lord Krishna and Radha, Shiva-Parvati, the fascinating Indian classical musical instruments and also several BAPS gurus of who are Swaminarayan’s spiritual successors.
Significantly, it is the first temple to exhibit all 108 poses of Bharatanatyam, which is a classical Hindu dance form.
The largest Hindu temple in USA was first envisioned by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in the year 1997, almost 26 years ago. But the Mandir‘s construction only began years later in 2010. It was built in the Nagaradi style of architecture using Italian Carrara Marble, Indian pink stone and the magnificent limestone.
All these ingredients needed for the complex structuring and construction of this marvelous temple first came to India and the artisans here made somewhat of a guidebook and numbered the tall carvings. Next, all the elements of the temple were shipped towards Jersey and put as per the given guidelines to create what it is today.
The construction of the largest Hindu temple in USA, ever since it began almost a decade ago, had always been in talks in and around the country.
And when the need arose, it was wonderful to see hundreds of local ‘mericans come forward and volunteer to setup the marvelous structures within the temple premises to complete the construction, while being guided by artisans from India and keeping in mind the construction process as detailed within the ancient Hindu scripts.
After building the glorious and immensely popular Akshardham temples in Delhi and then in Jaipur, the third structure (or the abode of the divine) in Central Jersey stands as the largest Akshardham outside India.
BAPS or the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha is a Hindu denomination within the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, which was established by Yagnapurushdas (Shastriji Maharaj) all the way back in 1905.
This community follows the Swaminarayan conviction which remains present on earth through a huge lineage of gurus and has already established 100 beautiful temples all across the USA. BAPS is set to mark its 50 years of history in Northern America next year (2024).
The globally recognized organization is rooted deep in the principles of spirituality, selfless service and community harmony and represents a diverse and united group of individuals. They also create a nurturing environment for people from every background to come together as one and contribute to the society by organizing spiritual gatherings, cultural festivals and charitable initiatives across the world.
We have to admit that every good deed in the world we live in today comes with a little controversy, isn’t it? Same is the case here.
In 2021, the construction of the temple became a focal point of attention, as it was marred by a lawsuit that accused the BAPS organization of engaging in forced labor. Although the lawsuit was reportedly withdrawn, it still remains under investigation, as confirmed by a representative from BAPS.
Nevertheless, despite the controversies and hurdles it faced, this largest Hindu temple in USA is embraced by the community as a symbol of unity, humility, compassion, and harmony, reflecting the core values of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
Wrapping it up
In conclusion, it is a very important and outstanding thing to happen for Indians and followers of Hinduism to witness the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple in Robbinsville, New Jersey. This largest Hindu temple in USA is a testament ingenuity, faith and the power of unity.
With the fascinating towers, intricate architecture, the mere attractiveness and rich cultural significance, this temple is a symbol of diversity and harmony.
As we wrap up the big news, we encourage you to share what you thing about this temple on the comments down below. Share this blog with everyone around you to make them learn about this marvelous news.
That’s All Folks!