Swaminarayan Temple is the first temple of the Swaminarayan sects which was built in 1822; this multicoloured, woodcarved and glorious, temple looks like a grand haveli enclosed in a large courtyard. The land was given by the British government. The temple is carved in Burmese teak and each and every bracket and arch is painted with bright colors, there are several idols installed by Swaminarayan and also displayed some of this sculptures and personal items. In the adjoining Haveli, there are quarters for pilgrims of the sect; they also have a separate place only for women . The structure of the Ahmedabad Swaminarayan Temple is mesmerizing, their interiors and exteriors of the temple is adorned with the typical Gujarati designs that shows different aspects of the Gujarati Culture and lifestyle. The temple has beautifully decorated galleries and domes that stand majestic behind the huge gates across the Relief road.
The temple has a pleasing view by the green lush lawns. On the south side of the temple there are nine tombs known as ‘Nine Yard Saints’ or ‘Nau Gaz Pir’. The idol worshipped in Swaminarayan Temple is Lord Narnaryandev, Lord Radhakrishna, Lord HAri Krishna Maharaj, and Lord Dharmadev- Bhakti Mata. Additionally Lord Shri ji Maharaj, Lord Balswaroop Ghanshyam are also the idols workshipped. The temple is the official residency of the H.H. Acharya Maharaj of Shri Narayanadev Desh; in the interior of the temple religious gatherings are arranged by the women leaders of Swaminarayan sects. Besides this Lord Shri Ji Maharaj, Lord Balswaroop Ghanshyam Maharaj and Lord Ghanshyam Maharaj are some of the idols who are worshipped in the Swami Narayan Temple, Ahmedabad.
There are different parts of the temple that goes as follows firstly is the Central Gateway that is artistic, it blends local, British style and regional styles of architecture and sculpture. On the gateway sculptors Marathi and Rajasthani folk costumes and culture are apparent. In Corinthian order the columns are arranged in vertical lining, the ruminants of Mughal architecture on the top pavilions. Statues of women carrying their kids on the waist and wearing frilled blouses and petticoats depict the Gujarati women. Secondly, is the Nar Narayan Temple in the heart of the complex; the temple was constructed as per the scriptural norms with carvings. Thirdly is the Akshar Bhavan where the idol is in the form of a child, Ghanshyam Maharaj in white marble that has been installed on the ground floor, on the southern side of the temple is known has Shree Tejendra Bhuvan and houses of visiting pilgrims. Fourthly the Rang Mahol is the temple where Swaminarayan stayed during his visits to Ahmedabad, a wood carved life-sized idol of Swaminarayan is installed here 50 years after the construction of the temple in the standing sambhang position. The Temple for Women in the west. There is a Haveli in the north side which is a three storey mansion which was constructed by Archarya Maharjshree Keshavprasadji Maharaj in 1871. The mansion rests on square wooden pillars and octagonal on which Ardh-murt relief sculpture of creepers and flowers is engraved. The sculptures in the Haveli include a South Indian style of Lord Ganesh wearing a scarlet turban, a flying Hanuman lifting Devgiri mountain on his palm. There are also many miniatures sculptures of soldiers dressed in Marathi turbans and costumes, on the pillars there are carvings of Rani of Jhansi and other heroes.
Then we have the Haveli in the east which is a two storey mansion, bearing the sculptures of animals’ heads, creepers and flowers that are carved on the wooden pillars of the portico on the ground floor. The first and second floors houses are fro Sanskrit and music school, it is also a residence for saints. There is also a residence for brahmcahri students is at the backyard.