Complete set of 2 nos of commemorative postage stamp on Swaminarayan Akshardham, New Delhi and Pramukh Swami Maharaj :
Issued by India
Issued on Dec 7, 2016
Issued for : Department of Posts is pleased to release a se–tenant Commemorative Postage Stamps on “Akshardham Temple, New Delhi and Pramukh Swami Maharaj”.
Stamp/FDC/Brochure/Cancellation Cachet : Smt. Alka Sharma
Type : Se–tenant set of 2 Stamps, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500 & 1500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 350230
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
Name : Shantilal Patel (birth name), Shastri Narayanswarupdas (ordained name)
Born on 7 Dec, 1921 at Chansad, Baroda State, British India [now Gujarat, India]
Died on 13 Aug, 2016 at Salangpur, Botad district, Gujarat, India
- The Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi is a breathtaking Cultural Complex capturing the Indian culture and heritage of India in all its grander and beauty. Inaugurated in November 2005, it has been visited by millions of visitors from across the globe. The complex is situated on the banks of the Yamuna River in the heart of the Indian Capital. It is a place of education, entertainment and enlightenment. It is a Unique Complex of Indian Art, Culture and Values, appealing to young and old, students and scholars, tourists and travelers, but most importantly to our people from both cities and villages, creating a deeper awareness, attraction and appreciation of art, culture and values. Akshardham experiences an enlightening journey through India’s glorious art, values and contribution for the progress, happiness and harmony of mankind. It is dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and houses the Akshardham Mandir; three exhibition halls; a colorful water and laser spectacular show; a garden dedicated to the agrarian beauty of India.
- Akshardham Mandir is 141’ high, 316’ wide and 356’ long – is a marvel in marble and pink sandstone. It is profusely carved with ornate pillars, delicate statues and statuettes, filigreed arches and layers of sculpted Indian flora and fauna like elephants, swans, lotuses and leaves. The Exhibition buildings reflect the design and mood of the Monument with an elegant parikrama of hundreds of stone pillars. The exhibitions comprise of thematic settings, 3-D and walk-through dioramas, panoramic arenas, audio-visual areas, light and sound effects, laser media, multi-screen projections, audio-animatronic figures and surround experiences.
- In the Hall of Values, light leads the visitors and sounds guide them from one display to another, from one value to another. Through a set of interesting incidents and events the eternal Vedic values of love, non-violence, perseverance, faith and tolerance are displayed. The hall i.e. “Feel – Thru Spiritual India” takes viewers onto a visual journey through India, through all her breathtaking sceneries from the icy peaks of the Himalayas, through the vast waters of the Ganga to the shores of Kanyakumari. Apart from the thrills, it generates atmospheres of the famous pilgrim places of India in all their rhythms, rites and rituals. In the hall i.e. “Sail – Thru Time” visitors sit in boats and sail through time, first to the cradle of world civilization – the Vedic era, and are able to encounter and experience re-creations of sound and surroundings that display moving figures, sceneries and incidents. The Sahaj Anand Water Show is a breathtaking 24-minute presentation which unites a variety of intriguing media to bring to life a story from the Kena Upanishad which depicts the cycle of birth life and death. The Gardens of Akshardham are meditative and contemplative, with cultural spots, bronze sculptures and peaceful pockets.
- The Organisation behind the creation and construction of Akshardham is BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and Pramukh Swami Maharaj who steered the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha as its President over the last seven decades.
- H.D.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a peaceful, humble, simple and spiritual personality who always lived for others and had dedicated his life to selfless service for the spiritual and social upliftment of society. He was an advocate of world peace, and revered as one of the most influential spiritual leaders of the world.
- Pramukh Swami Maharaj or Shantilal Patel was born on December 7, 1921, to a farmer’s family in Chansad near Vadodara in Gujarat. His parents, Motibhai Patel and Diwaliben were both spiritually inclined and were followers of the Akshar Purushottam faith.
- As a young child, Shantilal was regarded honest, reliable, mature and kindhearted boy. In 1939 he became a renunciate and received initiation from his guru, Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj, and was named Sadhu Narayanswarupdas. As a young ascetic Pramukh Swami Maharaj, or Sadhu Narayanswarupdas studied Sanskrit and Hindi Scriptures at Bhadaran and Khambhat, eventually earning the title “Shastri”.
- Pramukh Swami Maharaj was instrumental in the creation of about thousand temples and cultural centres such as Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi and Gandhinagar and others around the world such as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, UAE, Bahrain, Portugal, Belgium, UK, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore etc. The Complexes have become hallmarks in preserving culture and performing social services. The complexes are expressions of purity, love, sacrifice, faith, effort, dedication and other values. Pramukh Swami Maharaj interacted with many heads of States and spiritual leaders.
- BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha has an international network of over 5,100 centres, a million members and 50,000 volunteers performing 160 humanitarian activities. As a non-governmental organization in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, BAPS provides its voluntary services in areas as diverse as educational, environmental, medical, social, cultural and spiritual.
- He passed away on 13th August, 2016 in Sarangpur, Botad District Gujarat.
- Text : Based on the material received from proponent.