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Thursday, January 18, 2024

Snow covered temple - Swami Narayan's Akshardham

For those of feeling cold in Chennai – in degree Celsius it is 28 max and 23 min – before you see, it is cold, do read this completely !!

Parts of the South of USA  woke up to a blanket of snow on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, joining a large swath of other Lower 48 states that are in the icy grip of winter. Arctic air has brought breathtaking cold to much of the U.S. — and it's not going away any time soon. Schools that closed for the holiday were free to marvel at the snowfall along with everyone else.  "Snow. SNOW!" as the University of Mississippi proclaimed on Instagram.

Weather sites state that a cold storm will spread snow and ice from the south-central United States to the interior Southeast  -   a few weeks ago, during Christmas time, snow cover in the United States and other parts of North America was at its lowest extent on record for the time of year — in many cases melted away by record-warm weather.  That meant, many locations in the Lower 48 states accustomed to a white Christmas witnessed  bare ground and temperatures more typical of early spring.  The Dec. 22 snow cover extent of 13.2 percent marked the lowest in at least two decades, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The next lowest extent, of 18.5 percent, was in 2004. The 20-year average for Dec. 22 is 35 percent coverage, or nearly three times the current extent.

It is cold weather, fall of snow that is in news – picture of a beautiful temple surrounded by snow is doing rounds !

'Akshardham' means the divine abode of God. It is hailed as an eternal place of devotion, purity and peace. Swaminarayan Akshardham at New Delhi is a Mandir – an abode of God, a Hindu house of worship, and a spiritual and cultural campus dedicated to devotion, learning and harmony.  The mandir is a humble tribute to Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781- 1830), the avatars, devas and great sages of Hinduism. The traditionally-styled complex was inaugurated on 6 November 2005 with the blessings of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj and through the devoted efforts of skilled artisans and volunteers.

Visitors to Delhi cannot but admire the most magnificent temple in the banks of Yamuna adjacent to 2010 Commonwealth Games village in eastern New Delhi….   ‘Swaminarayan’s Akshardham’ – an engineering marvel.  There are many such beautiful temples established by the founder of the Swaminarayan Sampraday and his followers.  Swaminarayan Akshardham mandirs are in many cities including – Ahmedabad, Bhuj, Junagadh, Jetalpur.  These temples have the idols of Laxmi Narayan – Lord Maha Vishnu in various forms. 

                     According to Swaminarayan Hinduism, the word Akshardham means the abode of Swaminarayan and believed by followers as a temporal home of God on earth.  One of the most prominent features of the heritage of Swaminarayan is temple architecture. The images in the temples built by Swaminarayan are the evidence of the priority of Krishna. All of the temples constructed during his life show some form of Krishna. Swaminarayan temples, like other Hindu temples, have walkways around the central shrine to allow worshipers to circumambulate the shrine. These are often decorated with designs and inlaid marble

Standing as the largest Hindu temple in America, the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham temple was inaugurated in US' New Jersey on Oct 2023.  Despite being thousands of miles away from India, the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple is also one of the largest Hindu temples in the world.  

Snow-Covered Images Of BAPS Swaminarayan Temple In New Jersey Surface amid Heavy Snowfall © Provided by Jagran English

The construction of this temple started in the year 2015 and it was inaugurated in  2023 by Mahant Swami Maharaj.    Now, amid the snowfall in many parts of the US, pictures of the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple have surfaced on the internet, showing the grand temple covered in a white layer of snow. The snow covering the temple enhances its beauty during the winter season.   The temple premises are now adorned with a vast expanse of snow. The Akshardham Temple in Robbinsville spans 183 acres and boasts over 10,000 sculptures and carvings.    


With regards – S Sampathkumar

18th Jan 2024. 

Snow covered images of BAPS Swaminarayan Temple In New Jersey - ©Provided by Jagran English; rest of the pictures taken from Akshardham New Delhi / Ahmedabad website.

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