In a significant gesture of diplomacy and cultural exchange, a prominent United States Congressional
Delegation led by Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17) and Congressman Michael Waltz (FL-06), co-
chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, visited the famed BAPS
Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, India on August 15, 2023. Upon their arrival, the leaders,
including Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-2) and Congresswoman Kat Cammack (FL-3), were
extended a traditional welcome.

The delegation paid their respects at the central shrine of the Swaminarayan Akshardham and
admired its art and architecture. They gained insights into the significance of the mandir’s design
elements and spiritual philosophy. The US congressional delegation showed their appreciation for
Indian customs and traditions by joining a Hindu ritual called ‘abhishek,’ performed by gently pouring
water over the murti as an expression of reverence and a prayer for spiritual progress, peace, and
fulfillment of wishes. They also took a memorable journey through India’s vast history via the cultural
boat ride, which showcased India’s rich legacy.

Expressing his appreciation, Congressman Ro Khanna remarked, “We are honored to have been
graciously welcomed by the Akshardham community. This visit has strengthened our nations’
friendship bonds and highlighted the significance of cultural exchange.”

Echoing his sentiments, Congressman Michael Waltz said, “Our visit to Swaminarayan Akshardham
has been an incredible experience that deepened our understanding of India’s cultural and spiritual
roots. The warm reception and the opportunity to partake in sacred rituals have left a lasting
impression on our delegation.”

Inaugurated in 2005, BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi is a masterpiece of India’s
ancient architecture and spiritual heritage. Managed by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, the Hindu
place of worship showcases intricate carvings and educative exhibitions, attracting millions globally. It
stands not only as a worship site but also as a window into India’s spiritual and cultural richness.
The United States Congressional Delegation visit underscores the importance of fostering cross-
cultural ties and mutual understanding between the United States and India.

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BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, New Delhi


BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, New Delhi

US congressional delegation offering abhishek, a sacred tradition of pouring sanctified water as a call for peace and best wishes, acknowledging their respect for Indian customs and traditions.