Akshardham temple

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Akshardham Temple

Top choice in Delhi

Delhi's largest temple, the Gujarati Hindu Swaminarayan Group’s Akshardham Temple was built in 2005, and is breathtakingly lavish. Artisans used ancient techniques to carve the pale red sandstone into elaborate reliefs, including 20,000 deities, saints and mythical creatures. The centrepiece is a 3m-high gold statue of Bhagwan Shri Swaminarayan surrounded by more, fabulously intricate carvings.

The 'exhibitions' ticket includes a boat ride through 10,000 years of Indian history, with animatronics telling stories from the life of Swaminarayan.

Visiting the temple is more of a theme-park experience than a spiritual one, such are the tourist crowds and the security, but the architecture of the main buildings, and artisanship of their carvings is exceptional. A shame, then, that you cannot take photographs. Cameras, along with pretty much all other possessions apart from your wallet and passport, must be deposited in the free bag-drop by the entrance. You also cannot bring food and drink inside, but there's an outdoor food court within the complex.

The temple is in Delhi's eastern suburbs, but just 200m walk from Akshardham metro station.

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