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BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple Opens Its Doors In New Jersey, Public Visit To Begin On October 18

In a letter addressed to BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked that it is an occasion of profound spiritual significance for the vast legion of devotees worldwide. The temple will be accessible to the public starting from October 18th.

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BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Jersey, US.
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BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, recognized as the largest Hindu temple in the United States, opened its doors in New Jersey on Sunday, October 8. Situated in Robbinsville, New Jersey, this temple is hailed as the largest Hindu temple built outside India in the contemporary era.

In a letter addressed to BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked, "It is an occasion of profound spiritual significance for the vast legion of devotees worldwide." The temple will be accessible to the public starting from October 18th.

A devotee who visited the temple on Monday told PTI, "I am an immigrant and I came to America 20 years ago. For me to see this monument of our culture and our values here, it is really a special feeling and a moment of pride."

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Making of the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham temple

According to the Associated Press (AP), this monumental achievement required approximately 4.7 million hours of labor from skilled artisans and dedicated volunteers to meticulously hand-carve approximately 2 million cubic feet of stone. Four distinct types of marble from Italy and limestone from Bulgaria made a journey that spanned from India and covered over 8,000 miles to reach New Jersey. These materials were then intricately pieced together, resembling a colossal jigsaw puzzle, resulting in what is now acclaimed as the largest Hindu temple constructed outside India in the modern age. The temple is situated on a sprawling 126-acre property in Robbinsville.

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Reportedly, the Robbinsville temple is one of several temples constructed by the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a global religious and civic organization affiliated with the Swaminarayan sect. This temple marks the third Akshardham, or "abode of the divine," established by the organization, following those in New Delhi and Gujarat, where the BAPS headquarters is located. The former is recognized as the largest Hindu temple complex worldwide. As the sect approaches its 50th anniversary in North America next year, it oversees more than 1,200 temples and 3,850 centers across the globe.

The AP report also highlighted that the New Jersey Akshardham, under construction for approximately 12 years, faced scrutiny and criticism in the wake of a 2021 civil lawsuit alleging forced labor, low wages, and challenging working conditions.

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