Delhi Darshan - Part 3: Akshardham Visit Continues

We then moved on to Bharat Upvan as it was still not time for our turn at the exhibitions. This 22 acre garden is just opposite the monument. Although everywhere it mentions that it is very beautiful, I didn’t find anything khaas there. 65 bronze statues of India’s great men, women and children are displayed here. I somehow missed The Sun Chariot and The Moon Chariot with its 16 deers. The view of the monument from here is majestic. By then it was almost 5 PM.

Next we moved to the Exhibitions waiting area. Around 5.30 we entered Hall 1: Sahajanand Darshan (Hall of Values) (pics above)– Universal values for mankind are presented from the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan through films, light and sound shows with robotic figures. Everything here appeared so real, mainly in the robotic dramatizations. We were running from one room to other every 4 minutes. The sound-proof rooms have large theater screens filming short videos and maximum had robots. I think I do remember one with a real waterfall. Everything has been done with so much care…I was left astonished. We left this Hall after the 50-minute program to enter the next Hall and the one I most anxiously waited for. On the way, as it was already dark, we saw the beautifully illuminated temple.
Hall 2: Neelkanth Darshan (Giant Screen Theatre) (pic above)– Ever saw a 6-storey high movie screen? Even I hadn’t, before this. Projected on an 85 ft x 65 ft screen, a large format film vividly portrays the true story of an 11-year-old child-yogi, Neelkanth Varni (The young Bhagwan Swaminarayan). With a cast of over 45,000 people and shot in 108 locations in India, the film takes the viewers on an exciting pilgrimage of India. Ever imagined how large Mount Kailash looks from Mansarovar. No? Come here and have a look in this theater. In fact I was more interested in the hall than the movie! Seating capacity approx. 432 people and many were sitting on the stairs. After the 40-minute movie, we moved to the next hall.

Hall 3: Sanskruti Vihar (Boat Ride)(pic above) – A spectacular boat ride through 10,000 years of Indian culture, which flourished on the banks of river Sarasvati. A swan shaped 15 sitter boat standing on tracks. We sat on it. And it was like a merry-go-round. As the boat started moving, it slowly dived into the water and then we were floating with no one paddling. I think there were automatic wheels running below the boat and I don’t think the water was more than 2-3 feet deep. We were floating in a narrow tunnel with the boat hitting the banks every now and then. We sailed through the world’s oldest Vedic village and bazaar, through Takshashila- the world’s first university, the caves of Ajanta, and much much more. At the end of the 14-minute ride, I was and am still confused about this: how did the boat get hold of the track again when it was time to rise from the water? I don’t think any of my concepts (written above) is wrong, but then questions do arise: Were the tracks always there and they were so constructed that it would appear that we were floating or was it something else? I have no idea! If you can, please solve this mystery!

OK, back to the story. We moved out of the Hall. This was the last one. It was already 8 PM by then and very cold outside. The fog was setting on. We still waited to see the Musical Fountain show (pic above) at 8.15. It started off quite boring (I actually asked uncle why they couldn’t put some rocking music from some movie instead of this boring classic melody! I think I forgot it was a temple!) but then it was very very entertaining. We actually enjoyed it and said ticket ka paisa wasul ho gaya. We then moved to Premvati again and had some nice masala dosas for dinner. The Souvenir Shop (no less than a mini-palace) was our last destination and we got the New Year calendar, a few book labels and a DVD for remembrance of our memorable trip. At 9.10, we moved out, with the Prasad, got our things from the cloak room and drove home (after losing our way once). At 10.20PM, we were at home, completely exhausted and ready for a good night’s sleep. The Delhi Darshan Day 1 was successfully completed.

The Akshardham visit is one in millions. One has to undertake it to fully appreciate the beauty of everything there. The reason is quite clear why they don’t allow cameras. Even if they do, you are not going to get a camera with such a high memory capacity. Everything you see, you want to capture. But still, you miss many things. Even after the 8-hour visit, which could have been extended at the cost of our legs, we missed a few things. May be, another visit for that…
I don’t see any reason as to why Akshardham is not included among the 7 Wonders of the World!!!

The Delhi Darshan posts (1,2 &3) were quite boring, isn’t it?? The grander the place, the lengthy the description!
[Please note: All the images in this entry were found from Google Image Search]


  1. Best review man.
    the info of movie screen was wonderful.i was searching for its size since months.


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