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“A Temple to Mammon”
Review of Akshardham Temple

Akshardham Temple
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Private Tour: Full-Day City Tour in Ahmedabad with Akshardham
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Private Half-Day Sightseeing Tour of Ahmedabad
Ranked #2 of 130 things to do in Ahmedabad
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Bengaluru, India
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“A Temple to Mammon”
Reviewed November 27, 2012

If you like visiting Hindi film sets, then this is the place for you. You wait in long queues to get in, you give up your mobile and bag (but you get to keep your wallet) and then you hang around near the entrance waiting for the others in your group. While you are doing this, many many people with brightly coloured plastic whistles blow them shrilly at you and push you to stand somewhere else, or just for kicks.

Finally, when everyone is together, you move onwards, marvelling at the manicured lawns, the fairyland fountains, the marble expanse of steps, the imposing "temple" far ahead. You soon realise why they have taken away everything from you. If it's photos you want, the "temple" takes them for you. You just pose and smile and pay, through your nose.

Then you go and leave your footwear at the "footwear house". Then you climb up to the "temple", where a saffron-clad administrator drones into a microphone about the history of the sect, pointing you to three large statues of the men who started it all in the 19th century. If you've been to Buddhist shrines in Calcutta or the Tibetan temple at Bylekuppe you will understand how the inside of this "temple" looks. Only, much much grander, like the foyer of an enormous five-star hotel, with acres of real flowers covering the floor. The person jostling along beside you whispers in awed tones that all the statues are actual gold.

As you complete a circle around this place, the saffron-clad person completes his lecture exhorting you to go see the Vedic Fountains. More money to be spent if you want to do that, of course.

If you feel hungry, they have a restaurant, supposed to be really first-rate. I don't doubt that.

My main problem was that all the small business that a temple can usually generate, providing livelihoods to ordinary people, have been completely taken over. The poor are kept out of the complex entirely. So, it doesn't work for me as a place of worship.

Neither do I like it as a place where to spend an evening, even though it has food and Vedic fountains, whatever they may be. This is because I hate being pushed and shoved by whistle-blowing keepers of gold statues that are barely twenty years old. If I visit a place that is just two decades old, I expect to see a different architectural style, not a copy of centuries old temples. A very prudish copy at that, with none of the joie-de-vivre that the old sculptures have.

Visited November 2012
3 Thank factorM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Jaipur, India
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“exquisite idols in temple, dirty outside”
Reviewed November 26, 2012

the idols are very beautiful and inspiring spiritually. The place is serene and quiet but in the morning was littered with the previous nights garbage and used plates etc

Visited November 2012
Thank drrakeshbhargava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Tells you more about Hindu Philosophy”
Reviewed November 26, 2012

All the exhibits, audio/visuals and way Hindu Philosophy is expalined is unique.

Please keep about 2/3 hours to really experience the complex

Thank GauravMashruwala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great laser show”
Reviewed November 25, 2012

The laser show was great, but otherwise an average place (unless you are the religious type). Security bugs you, don't even let you take in water inside.
What we liked: the concept in the first exhibit which shows how a human being can use his physical and mental strength to shape his life (as an analogy to using physical strength and tools to shape a rock)!

Visited October 2012
Thank gopa_kumar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Must - see”
Reviewed November 21, 2012

I have been to this place way before the attacks, this time it was very different. They have added extra security and I completely understand it. But the counters and everything are very confusing. There is one counter to keep your cameras and cell phones and another separate counter for all your bags/ purses. By the time you get done with the queues here, you are ready to get in another queue to get into the temple. The temple is very well maintained. The gardens and the topiary are very interesting.The have added lots of other things like rides and food stalls for the visitors. Its another must -see in Ahmedabad

Visited November 2012
Thank SimantiniM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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