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162-acre Hindu temple by 2017 in New Jersey, estimated cost over $150 million.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Robbinsville (New Jersey, USA), currently under construction, will reportedly be spread over 162 acres and be ready in 2017 with an estimated cost of over $150 million. "Mandir Mahotsav", a series of celebrations and ceremonies to inaugurate this intricate hand-carved temple, also known as Akshardham Mahamandir, will be held on August 10 in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Mahant Swami, Sadguru Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami and Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami.

About 2,000 artisans are said to be working in Rajasthan (India) crafting various parts of the temple, which will finally be assembled by master craftsmen in Robbinsville. Besides marble from Rajasthan, Italian marble is also being used. A team of about 5,000 people is looking after the project in Robbinsville, reports suggest. 

Its main building will reportedly consist of four floors and will include an exhibit on India's culture and history; an activity center for youth; ornate pillars/panels showing images from Mahabharata, Ramayana, etc. 

Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of BAPS, temple leaders and volunteers, and area community to realize this magnificent Hindu temple complex.

Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this temple complex would focus in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.

Arti is held twice daily in this temple; while assemblies of children, adolescents, youth and women; Satsang Sabha; and Gujarati classes are held on Sundays. It has planned to hold Janmashtami, Sharad Purnima and Diwali celebrations in the coming months. 

Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), which envisions "a society whose joy lies in the joy of others", is a socio-spiritual Hindu organization with its roots in the Vedas and headquartered in Ahmedabad (India). Founded by Bhagwan Swaminarayan (born 1781), it claims to have over 3,850 centers, over a million followers and over 880 sadhus spread worldwide. Pramukh Swami Maharaj, 92, is its current spiritual guru. 

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