By: Annet Preethi Furtado
January 25 2024
Screenshots of the claim that a video shows Indian actor Akshay Kumar at the Ram temple in Ayodhya. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
The viral video shows Akshay Kumar offering prayers at the Neasden Temple in London during the Hindu festival of Diwali in November 2023.
What's the claim?
The inauguration of Ram temple in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya on January 22 was attended by several Indian celebrities, including actors such as Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, Ayushmann Khurrana, Kangana Ranaut, and Jackie Shroff. Numerous online videos have since emerged, capturing moments of these celebrities during the consecration event at the temple.
Meanwhile, a 14-second video featuring Akshay Kumar has been widely shared on Facebook and Instagram, claiming that the footage captures the actor's visit to the Ram temple.
In the video, Kumar is seen donning a white kurta, a traditional garment worn by men in countries such as India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The video captures several scenes, one of which shows Kumar engaging in conversation with a Hindu priest. The Hindi text overlaid on the video reads: ''बॉलीवुड स्टार अक्षय कुमार अयोध्या राम मंदिर में आ गए,'' which translates to "Bollywood star Akshay Kumar arrives at Ayodhya Ram temple." Archived versions of the posts sharing the video can be viewed here, here, and here.
Screenshots of the viral Facebook posts.(Source: X/Facebook/ Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
However, the footage is from Kumar's visit to Neasden Temple in November 2023 and is unrelated to the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
What we found
Upon conducting a reverse image search on the keyframes from the viral video, we found an extended version of the clip, on the verified X account of Neasden Temple. The Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London is commonly referred to as the Neasden Temple.
The X post, shared on November 13, 2023, carried the caption: "We were delighted to welcome back @akshaykumar at #NeasdenTemple this morning to offer his prayers on the auspicious occasion of #Diwali." The 33-second video on this verified account includes several segments seen in the viral video—from 0:01 to 0:03, 0:09 to 0:01, and 0:014 to 0:018.
The same clip was also shared on the Instagram page of the temple, providing similar information, on November 13, 2023.
Furthermore, the official website of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, in its news release on Diwali & Annakut Celebrations 2023 in London, stated that Kumar visited the temple in the morning to offer his prayers and extend his wishes on the occasion of Diwali.
The release also featured a 7-minute 35-second video showing Kumar participating in rituals wearing the same attire (from 4:18 to 4:48 timestamp), as seen in the viral video. Some segments of this video aligned with those featured in the viral footage—specifically at the 4:21 and 4:26 timestamps.
Neasden Temple in London
The Neasden Temple is a Hindu temple located in Neasden, a suburb in northwest London, the U.K. The main deity worshiped at the temple is Bhagwan Swaminarayan, born Sahajanand Swami, the founder of the Swaminarayan sect and considered a reincarnation of god by his followers.
Logically Facts contacted the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London to verify the authenticity of the video. In their response, they said, "We can confirm that is indeed Akshay Kumarji at Neasden Temple. Mr Kumar visited Neasden Temple during Diwali last year, on Monday 13 November 2023."
Did Akshay Kumar attend the Ayodhya ceremony?
Despite being invited to the inauguration ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Kumar could not attend due to his ongoing film shoot in Jordan for "Bade Miyan Chote Miyan" with Tiger Shroff, as reported by The Times of India.
On the day of the consecration, the actor shared a message on Instagram, expressing best wishes on January 22. His co-star Tiger Shroff joined him in the video. The accompanying Hindi caption translates to, "Many best wishes to all of you on the auspicious day of Shri Ram's Pran Pratishtha. 🙏 Hail Shri Ram."
The claim that the viral video depicts Akshay Kumar visiting the Ayodhya Ram temple is false. The video actually dates back to November 2023 and captures Kumar's visit to Neasden Temple in London during Diwali. Moreover, Kumar did not participate in the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.