New Delhi: After months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple – one of the most iconic and magnificent structures of the national capital – will reopen on October 13.
However, due to the pandemic which is still prevalent and government SOPs, there will be certain changes in terms of entry time. The temple management says, initially, the complex entry will be from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
“All visitors will be able to enjoy the Mandir darshan, the evening water show at 7:15 pm, the gardens, food court and the books and gifts centre will be available to all visitors,” reads a statement. However, the Abhishek puja and all exhibitions will still remain temporarily closed.
As per Covid-19 pandemic protocols, all visitors will have to mandatorily follow all health guidelines including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing all the time throughout the complex. Thermal screening and hand sanitisation facilities are being put up at the entry which will be compulsory for all. Visitors having a higher than normal temperature or symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted entry.
The heart of the Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is the Akshardham Mandir. Inaugurated on November 6, 2005, the temple has ever since become a major tourist attraction, drawing thousands of visitors every day.
The temple’s website describes the intricacy of its architecture that draws lakhs of visitors every month as, “The Akshardham mandir consists of 234 intricately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangled spires and 20,000 statues of Hinduism’s spiritual personalities. The mandir reaches 141.3 feet into the sky, spans 316 feet in width and is 356 feet long.”