Friday, 10 February 2012

Delhi Days - 3 - Akshardham

   Delhi days were going to end and leave us with good memories about this extraordinary city. The city of "modern and old"...Remember? And how would you like "modern and old" unified in one construction? I'm talking about Akshardham, a unique hindu architectural complex built by 2005 year, which was our destination on the last day in Delhi.
  My husband made a research in the Internet about Akshardham, and we were amazed with it's beauty and greatness in the pictures. Inspired yet only by virtual scenes of this sight seeing we understood how much  greater it was in real! 
  We went to the place by metro, alighted on the "Akshardham" metro station and then took rikshaw for 10 rupees till the entry of the complex.  We had to walk for a while to reach the main gates. To our surprise there were very strict rules for visitors: no camera, mobile or any other electronic devices were allowed in the complex. We had to give all our "equipment" to the special window and get a token instead which we had to return afterwards to get our stuff back. 
   There was also a very good security, which checked almost all your clothes in order to find/not to find any undesirable article.
  Ended up with all these security arrangements we continued our way. We entered a beautiful arch and appeared to be in a wonderful garden with big palm trees and many flowers growing on the flower beds. My D. said :"I feel like I'm in ancient times!". It felt so because besides all the plants over there, the architecture itself, all those tiny details on the walls of the garden: small elephants and petals and flowers.. Ah... difficult to describe it!
   The wisest amongst all the managerial  inventions in Akshardham is that you can't take a single photo of the complex! Why is it so good? Very simple: in order to imbued with the atmosphere of the complex and it's surroundings, you have to concentrate on them and not on your looks in the picture!
  Akshardham in Delhi is a mixed creation of human mind, deeply sophisticated, as the main idea, transfusing the entire complex, is devotion to Hindu philosophy and religion in the figure of Swaminarayan, who's entity seems to be alive in the walls of the complex. In many ways Swami ji is indeed present there! This effect is being created by numerous small and big images of him situated in the main temple, in the cinema and theatre area.
   Yes, I have to say a couple of words about theatre and cinema, located in a separate building. As I had said,  whatever you see and listen in Akshardham, all these will lead you towards the description of Swaminarayan's life. The theatre where you will go along with many other tourists, won't have any actors!...Live actors... because all the actors there will be human-looking dolls, controlled by computer. You will have a great opportunity to see Swami ji himself, starting from his childhood and further in the ages of him becoming a spiritual and social leader! You will hear conversations between him and people of that far time, all visibly articulated by the movements of dolls's lips... I was getting weird feelings while watching this "acting".
   You will be shown a unique movie about Swaminarayans' life in the cinema, explaining the ways that lead him on the way of holy existence.
   One of the most beautiful activities in Akshardham is a boat ride along the river, when on the both shores  of it you can see life of Indians many centuries back: "people" are talking, trading, doing house work, stitching something, harvesting, plowing, performing medical treatments, carrying water, teaching. You are able to see ancient Indian scientists surrounded by their pupils and performance of bharatanatyam!
 In the end of excursion you visit Swaminarayan temple of Akshardham. As it's known, the architecture of the whole complex and the temple is reproduced in the ancient style. Even untutored person will understand the beauty of tiny details curved on the walls of the temple!
  We spent almost  four hours in Akshardham that day and were very satisfied with our tour. To our pleasure, Akshradham had a lovely canteen with loads of food in it and at reasonable prices. Our day went very happily and we still had strength for the way back home in the evening.
   However, the toughest was to get to bus stand as we had few bags with us and were struggling to carry them till metro station from our hotel at Karol Bagh. But it was also a part of a journey, of our 3 day adventure, so we were enjoying each minute spent together!

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