The Akshardham temple in Delhi has made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world's largest Hindu temple complex.
A senior official of the Guinness World Records Ltd traveled to India last week to present two world record certificates to the head of Swaminarayan Sansthan, Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Michael Witty, a senior member of the Guinness World Record Main Management Committee, presented the awards to Bochasanvasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sansthan under two categories: Most Hindu temples consecrated by a single person and secondly, the world's largest comprehensive Hindu temple.
"His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, internationally revered spiritual leader and head of BAPS Swaminarayan Sansthan, has created and consecrated in accordance with the Hindu rituals, a world record of 713 mandirs (temples) in five continents between April 1971 and November 2007," the certificate said.
"Amongst these, the majestic, ornately hand-carved BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, India, stands apart as the largest Hindu temple in the world," it added.
"It took us three months of research, poring over the extensive architectural plans of the Akshardham and also those of other temples of comparable size, visiting and inspecting the site, before we were convinced that Akshardham deserved the title," Michael Whitty said.
The Akshardham temple in New Delhi is spread over expansive lawns covering an area of 86,342 square feet. It is 356 feet long, 316 feet wide and 141 feet high.
This is the first time that the Guinness Book has recognised a Hindu temple in its list of large religious structures.