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Akshardham Temple, billed to be second-largest in world

Spread over 185 acres, the temple stands 191 feet high

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Akshardham Temple, billed to be second-largest in world

Robbinsville: A Hindu temple, billed to be the second-largest in the world, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere, has been inaugurated in the US state of New Jersey.

Spread over a sprawling 185 acres, the Akshardham Temple in Robbinsville City, New Jersey, stands 191 feet high.

The temple, situated 99 kilometres south of New York City, was inaugurated on October 8 in the presence of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan (BAPS) leader Mahant Swami Maharaj, with several thousand people attending the event.

“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,” said Mahant Swami Maharaj.

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The inauguration ceremony was attended by Delaware Governor John Carney and Congressman Steny Hoyer.

“It is the second largest Hindu temple on this planet and of course, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, which was inaugurated on October 8, on the 90th birthday celebrations of Mahant Swami Maharaj. It was dedicated to this society, to humanity,” Gnanvatsaldas Swami, senior BAPS leader and motivational speaker, told media.

“The basic purpose of creating temples is to inspire people with values. Dharma, gyan, vairagya and bhakti are the four pillars of ekantik dharma that according to the Indian scriptures, was well prescribed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. So, this is a monument dedicated to Indian culture and tradition. It’s a monument dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s life and teachings,” he said.

“The surprising element of this in the United States is that 12,500 volunteers ranging from 10 days of service to more than five years of service have come together to build this Akshardham,” Gnanvatsaldas Swami said.

The temple has the story of Ramayana, Mahabharat carved on its stones. It has more than 150 Indian musical instruments and all the major dance postures on its pillars and walls.

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