SHRI SWAMINARAYAN TEMPLE, New Jersey (Under Construction)
World’s Largest Hindu Temple in terms of acreage
By World News Report Bureau
When completed, the Swaminarayan temple being constructed under the supervision of Pramukh Swami Maharaj will be much larger than the present Akshardham temple complexes in Delhi and Gandhinagar.
Its area of 162 acres overshadows the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam in Tamil Nadu, covering an area of 156 acres– making it the largest Hindu temple in the world in terms of acreage.
The construction for the 162-acre temple (Height: 42 feet, Width: 87 feet, Length: 133 feet) at Robbinsville, New Jersey, started in 2009 and is expected to be complete by 2017. Already, it is one of the largest Hindu temples in USA.
It is made out of Italian marble — which was quarried in Europe and sent to India through sea cargos. It was then sent by truck to Rajasthan where hundreds of artisans carved the stones by hand. All the pieces were numbered and packed so that they fit accurately and without any confusion. The marble pieces were shipped to America, where the master craftsmen assembled the pieces to complete the Mandir. In the process, from the stone queries in Europe to India and USA, each stone travelled a distance of 21,500 miles.
Unlike other stone mandirs made of limestone, the Robbinsville Mandir is being built out of marble that can withstand such conditions. The entire structure is going to be located indoors to prevent damage due to weather conditions.
Although BAPS today has more than 1,100 temples worldwide, the Robbinsville temple is just the sixth built entirely of stone according to an ancient Hindu Shilpa Shastra architectural traditions.
In a shikharbaddh temple, the arati must be performed five times a day. Only one arati is performed in Hari mandirs — one in the morning and one in the evening.
The final Mandir will have a Mandap 55 feet tall and 135 feet wide, with a Mayur Dwar, or main gate adorned with 236 carved peacocks, elephants, devotees and paramhansas. The intricately carved temple features 98 pillars and two large domes made from Italian marble. Nearly every foot of the temple from the stone mosaic floors to a ceiling carved with lotus flowers. There are 44 representations of Lord Ganesh and 236 peacocks in the building.
Some of the other highlights include: 40 small Fasnakar style shikhars (spires), 2 large and 8 small ghummats (domes), 98 sthambhas (carved pillars), 66 intricately carved peacock style arches, 144 carved sacred figures, 58 decorative ceiling designs, 34 decorative grills, 91 elephants with various musical instruments and flowers, 44 Ganesh Murtis portrayed offering devotion to Bhagwan and 13,499 individual carved stone pieces.