Akshardham US introduces registration system for personalised visitors experience

WASHINGTON, July 6: Thousands of people are visiting the Akshardham temple in the US daily and to make their visit to the largest Hindu temple in the western hemisphere more enjoyable and personalised, its management has introduced a registration system.
Situated in the little Robbinsville Township of New Jersey and built by an army of more than 12,500 volunteers from across the US in over 12 years from 2011 to 2023, the temple was inaugurated last October by its spiritual leader Mahant Swami Maharaj, the present guru and president of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS).
Thousands of people visit the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple daily which is “possibly the second largest Hindu temple after Angkor Wat in Cambodia”.
“For the past seven and eight months now, since its opening, thousands of people have coming here. ..We want to make sure that they get a good (experience), they don’t have to wait in lines and everything is properly handled in terms of crowds so (in) May we started the registration process,” Chaitanyamurtidas Swami, BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, told PTI in an interview.
Designed according to ancient Hindu scriptures, the Akshardham which measures 255 ft x 345 ft x 191 ft and spans over 183 acres, includes design elements from ancient Indian culture including 10,000 statues and statuettes, carvings of Indian musical instruments and dance forms.
“Of course, the Indian public is aware, and they come for prayers as well. They come during the Aarti and the different ceremonies that happen…So many people are coming and learning about our culture, our background, our spirituality, and what this means to the world. So that is something that is, I think, the biggest success story,” Chaitanyamurtidas Swami said.
Under the new system, visitors must reserve a free, timed slot for entry into the Akshardham on weekends, national holidays, and select Hindu festivals.
“The reservation system is part of our commitment to providing the best possible experience for all our guests. By streamlining entry procedures and efficiently managing visitor flow, we aim to reduce wait times, minimise crowding, and create an enjoyable experience for everyone,” the temple says on its website.
According to the temple website, visitors will be required to reserve a spot online before their visit to BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham.
The BAPS spiritual leader estimated that more than 50 per cent of the people who come to the temple premises on a day-to-day basis are now not Indians and are American citizens from various backgrounds.
“They all appreciate something like this in America,” he said. (PTI)

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