December 9, 2023 10:43:04

Akshardham Temple in New Jersey, USA: Second Largest Hindu Shrine Globally After Angkor Wat, Consecrated

Mahant Swami Maharaj presided over the consecration ceremony of the newly-constructed Akshardham temple in Robbinsville, New Jersey, solidifying its status as the world’s second-largest Hindu shrine outside of India. This remarkable temple boasts the largest elliptical stone dome and was a result of the dedicated efforts of over 12,500 volunteers who worked tirelessly for two years. Devotees from all corners of the globe, including virtual participants, attended this significant ceremony.

Robbinsville, New Jersey, is now home to the newly-constructed Akshardham temple, heralded as the second largest Hindu shrine globally, following Angkor Wat. The consecration, or “pran pratishtha,” ceremony was conducted by Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, in a grand celebration on a Sunday morning. The temple’s dedication ceremony was initially scheduled for 2.30 a.m. IST on Monday.

Leading up to the main event, consecration ceremonies for other deities were held. This architectural marvel features the world’s largest elliptical stone dome, constructed using a staggering 1.9 million cubic feet of stone sourced from 29 different locations worldwide. More than 12,500 volunteers diligently contributed their efforts over a span of two years to bring this magnificent temple to fruition.

A documentary showcased Mahant Swami’s integral role in designing the primary idol of Lord Swaminarayan and highlighted the invaluable contributions of senior sadhus and volunteers to the temple’s construction. Ishwarcharandas Swami, the international convenor of BAPS, paid tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the former spiritual leader of the sect, emphasizing his unwavering commitment to realizing this grand temple in the United States. He fondly recalled Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s visit to the site in 2014, where he emphasized the path of selfless devotion, known as “dasya bhakti.”

The consecration ceremony featured a series of events, with devotees from various parts of the United States, Canada, and across the world actively participating. In India, many temples organized screenings for sadhus, and a significant number of devotees also joined virtually, as reported by BAPS volunteers.