New Jersey: The United States is on the verge of welcoming its largest temple, the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, with its formal inauguration scheduled for October 8. Situated 90 kilometers south of Times Square in New Jersey, this monumental temple spans an impressive 183 acres and has been a labor of love, taking nearly 12 years to complete with the dedicated efforts of over 12,500 volunteers from across the country.
Located in Robbinsville Township, New Jersey, the temple’s scale places it among the world’s largest religious structures, possibly second only to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site spanning 500 acres. The Swaminarayan Akshardham temple in the US has been meticulously designed in accordance with ancient Indian culture, boasting an awe-inspiring collection of over 10,000 statues and carvings depicting Indian musical instruments and dance forms.
Beyond the main shrine, the temple features 12 sub-shrines, nine shikhars (towering spire-like structures), and nine pyramidal shikhars. It also boasts the largest elliptical dome constructed using traditional stone architecture techniques. The temple’s construction utilized nearly two million cubic feet of stone, including limestone, granite, pink sandstone, and marble, sourced from various parts of the world, including India, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and China.
Notably, the temple includes a traditional Indian stepwell named the ‘Brahma Kund,’ which contains water collected from more than 300 water bodies across the globe, further highlighting its profound connection to diverse global waters.