Akshayavat Temple Prayagraj

"A Celestial Destination for Hindu Devotees"
CVJH+428, fort, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh 211005
12 Madhav Temple
Akshayavat Tree
Primary Idol
Monday-Sunday, 07:00 to 18:00Hrs
Opening Hours
7 Kms from Prayagraj Junction
Railway Station
The Akshayavat Temple is an ancient and prominent Hindu temple situated in Prayagraj, India. It derives its name from the immortal Akshaya Vata tree within its premises, which is revered by devotees as a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. Hindu scriptures states that Lord Rama visited this site during his exile. The temple is located on the banks of river Yamuna in the spiritually significant Sangam area. Its architecture houses shrines of various deities including the Navgrahas. The Akshayavat Temple holds great theological importance in Hinduism as it finds mention in ancient scriptures, is associated with legends, facilitates sacred rituals and houses icons of key gods. Its enduring existence and sacred location make it a vital pilgrimage destination. In essence, the Akshayavat Temple encapsulates the soul of Hindu dharma and will continue to be an integral part of the faith due to its ancient significance and role in worship.

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Akshayavat Temple of Prayagraj -Significance and History

The Akshayavat Temple, also known as Shri Adi Vat Madhav, is an important Hindu temple situated in the holy city of Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India. This ancient temple holds great religious significance and is deeply revered by Hindus across the world.

Introduction to Prayagraj

Prayagraj, earlier known as Allahabad, is one of the oldest living cities in the world. It is situated at the confluence of three holy rivers – Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. This confluence of rivers is called ‘Sangam’ and is considered extremely sacred by Hindus. Prayagraj finds mention in many ancient Hindu scriptures and is site of the legendary Kumbh Mela which is held here every 12 years. The city is home to numerous temples, among which Akshayavat Temple is one of the most prominent.

History and Significance of Akshayavat Temple

Akshayavat Temple derives its name from the ‘Akshaya Vata’ or eternal Banyan tree that grows in its premises. According to mythology, the tree is immortal and can never be destroyed. It is believed to be over 3000 years old.

The temple finds mention in several ancient Hindu texts. As per religious beliefs, Lord Rama visited this site along with Laxman and Sita during his exile. He is said to have performed a religious ceremony under the sacred Akshaya Vata to ensure success in the war against Ravana. Even today, the Akshaya Vata is worshipped by devotees and is believed to fulfill wishes.

Another significance of the Akshayavat Temple is its location. It is situated right on the banks of the river Yamuna in the Sangam area along with temples dedicated to Lord Narasimha and other deities. The Saraswati Kup, an invisible holy well which demonstrates the presence of the mythical Saraswati river is also located nearby. Devotees believe taking a dip at Sangam and praying at Akshayavat Temple will rid them of sins and cycle of rebirth.

The renowned Chinese traveler, Hwensang, once graced this site during his Indian sojourn. Back then, it resembled a mound. However, the temple and the legendary Akshvat tree were submerged when Emperor Akbar constructed the fort.

Architecture and Structures inside Akshayavat Temple

Descend the steps to be greeted by Dharmaraja’s idol, and as you ascend, the deity of death, Yamaraja, watches over. The narrow corridor symbolizes our life’s deeds. The temple complex also houses exquisite sixth-century sculptures and walls from the Devangan era, concealed by Akbar. Notably, this sacred space witnessed Mata Sita’s bracelet donation during the Treta era. Devotees can also find the deity in his Ardhanarishwar form and a statue symbolizing Prayag, the pilgrimage’s crown jewel. A perpetual flame dedicated to Lord Shani burns throughout the year, symbolizing unwavering faith.

The Akshayavat Temple complex houses a number of shrines dedicated to various deities. The main shrine is the ancient Akshaya Vata itself, under which an idol of Lord Vishnu has been placed inside a small cave-like structure. The interior of this cave has carvings depicting events from Hindu scriptures.

Another important shrine is dedicated to the Navgrahas, the nine planetary deities of Hindu astrology. This temple has an idol placement in sync with the Navgrahas to remove negative planetary influences.

There are also separate temples for Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Nav Durga. The walls of the temple depict scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata through murals and carvings. The sprawling courtyard has ample space for devotees and priests to perform rituals and prayers.

Adjacent to it lies the Saraswati Coup or Kamyakupa, a well once believed to grant salvation to those who leapt into its depths. Emperor Akbar later sealed this well, leaving only its covered section visible. A red-marked circular spot indicates the original Saraswati Coup, a testament to Akbar’s reign.

Overall, the architecture of Akshayavat Temple is simple yet majestic, with its proximity to the holy Sangam adding to its divine significance.

Importance of the Akshayavat Temple in Hinduism

The Akshayavat Temple holds great importance in Hinduism for multiple reasons:

  • The immortal Akshaya Vata tree is worshipped as a manifestation of Lord Vishnu himself and fulfills wishes of devotees.
  • It is believed that Lord Rama visited this site, giving it historical and religious significance.
  • The temple’s location on the banks of Sangam makes it spiritually significant for Hindus who believe bathing here leads to moksha.
  • Architecture and idols of major Hindu deities make it an important pilgrimage destination.
  • Myths related to Akshaya Vata also find mention in Mahabharata, adding to its legendary status.
  • The observance of rituals under the Akshaya Vata is believed to be highly auspicious.
  • Its existence from ancient times makes it a living symbol of Hindu dharma.

Thus, with its central place in scriptures, ritualistic role, sacred location and branches of worship, the Akshayavat Temple forms a vital part of Hindu ethos and identity. It will continue to be a significant theological and cultural center for the Sanatan Dharma.

In summary, the Akshayavat Temple of Prayagraj is an ancient and sacred site of immense religious significance for Hindus. Its legendary Akshaya Vata tree, presence of key deities, location at Sangam and role in scriptures make it a popular pilgrimage center. The temple provides spiritual solace and connects devotees to the ancient Indian heritage. It will continue to be an integral part of the Hindu religious ethos in the years to come.

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