Historic Kalash Pujan Marks Pinnacle Moment for BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ: The cool morning of August 30, 2023, witnessed a historic milestone in the making of the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey. The momentous occasion of Kalash Pujan of the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham took place in the presence of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha on the auspicious day of Rakshabandhan.

Emotional volunteers, their eyes misty with tears, witnessed the fruit of their years-long hard work, dedication, and prayers come to life. The entire campus vibrated with anticipation and joy, celebrating a pivotal moment in the Akshardham journey: the sanctification of the kalash, destined to grace the apex of the Swaminarayan Akshardham.

To the volunteers who collectively contributed millions of hours in the making of Akshardham over 12 years, this event signified the fulfillment of their late spiritual leader, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s wish to create a place where one and all can feel at peace and find inspiration to lead a virtuous life. Upon completion, the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham will stand as a landmark of Hindu art, architecture, and culture in the Western hemisphere.

A Kalash is an essential element of traditional Hindu mandirs. It is a metaphorical sacred pot of nectar that holds great religious significance. The ‘Nidhi Kalash,’ which is at the base of Akshardham, was ceremoniously consecrated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 2011. Today, the largest ‘Amrut Kalash,’ representing the pinnacle point, was sanctified by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, who performed pujan on the steps of Akshardham. The kalash is the peak of the shikhar, or spire, which signifies blessings and the pursuit of spiritual immortality. Each kalash stands as a symbol of the amrut-filled kalash. Acting as a divine antenna, the kalash captures the surrounding divinity, enriching the sacred atmosphere of the mandir. Amid Vedic chanting in a spiritually charged atmosphere, a total of 18 kalashes were consecrated.

In his address, Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami stated, “The kalash is considered significant because upon its placement, the shikhar becomes complete. When it adorns the shikhar, its inherent beauty flourishes, and it fills us with profound joy.” He continued to emphasize the selfless service of the volunteers, stating, “Devotees from across North America came together in voluntary service day and night, with devotion and faith.”

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj shared with profound wisdom, “The divine culmination of all efforts is symbolized by the kalash atop Akshardham. Today, as we embrace the significance of Rakshabandhan, the day of protection, remember that Bhagwan Swaminarayan himself stands as our shield.”

Once completed, BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham will serve as a beacon of peace, unity, and selfless service. Regardless of one’s belief and background, Akshardham will inspire all to connect with each other and with the Divine. Acharya Ishan Shivanand, during a recent visit, shared, “Like planets revolve around a sun, we need a focal point in our lives. Akshardham is such a center point representing our faith, our people, our culture. I can see people from all denominations, all faiths centering in this place of spiritual grace.”

  • For more information and photos of the event, please click the following link.


About BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham
BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham is a landmark of Hindu architecture and culture. It stands as a symbol of unity, harmony, and selfless service and bridges the heritage of ancient India with modern America.  Created by BAPS, under the inspiration of its spiritual leaders Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj, this spiritual sanctuary embodies their visionary guidance and unwavering commitment to humanity and is open to all.

Akshardham came to life through the dedication of thousands of volunteers from different walks of life and from across the globe, making it a unique expression of love. Over a span of fifteen years, this effort meticulously embraced the Hindu architectural traditions and resulted in the creation of a masterpiece that will withstand the test of time. Built to last a thousand years, Akshardham stands strong, imparting timeless messages of peace, hope, and harmony to future generations.

About BAPS
BAPS is a spiritual, volunteer-driven fellowship dedicated to improving society through individual growth, by fostering values of faith, service, and global harmony. BAPS runs on the dedication and commitment of tens of thousands of full-time and part-time volunteers from diverse professional and social backgrounds who contribute millions of volunteer hours annually. In more than 100 communities in North America and 3,500 communities worldwide, BAPS plays a pivotal role in preserving and nurturing Indian traditions and values of Hindu culture while addressing the spiritual, moral, and social challenges in the world. Under the guidance of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS’ current spiritual leader, the organization works to promote spiritual equality, advocate for social reform, and empower marginalized voices regardless of their class, race, gender, or religion.

About Mahant Swami Maharaj
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj is the sixth and current spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was ordained a swami by Yogiji Maharaj in 1961 and named Sadhu Keshavjivandas. As he was appointed the head (Mahant) of the Mandir in Mumbai, he became known as Mahant Swami. His devout, humble, and service-focused life earned him the innermost blessings of Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Mahant Swami Maharaj travels throughout the world inspiring people through his insightful spiritual discourses and disciplined conduct. His virtuous lifestyle and profound devotion to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and gurus are ideals toward which devotees strive. Mahant Swami Maharaj became the guru and President of BAPS upon Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s passing in 2016.