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Shree BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Gadhada
Gadhada Mandir

Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami and Shri Gopalanand Swami
Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami and Shri Gopalanand Swami

Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj
Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj

Shri Harikrishna Maharaj and Radhakrishna Dev
Shri Harikrishna Maharaj and Radhakrishna Dev

Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj
Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj

More Photos

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (BAPS)
On Tekra,
Dt. Bhavnagar,
Gujarat, INDIA - 364750
Tel: (02847) 252 001, 252 002
, 99989 94400
Fax: (02847) 252 051, 253 351

Gadhada is a town in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat.

By Yogiji Maharaj in May 1951

1st shrine - Harikrishna Maharaj, Gopinathji, Radha
2nd shrine - Dham, Dhami, Mukta (Central)
3rd shrine - Sukh Shayya/Guru Parampara

The mandir is visible from over 10 km. away.

Regarded as one of the most important places of pilgrimage for followers of the Swaminarayan Faith, Lord Swaminarayan stayed here for over 25 years of His active ministry.

Using the darbar of Dada Khachar as his base, Lord Swaminarayan conducted preaching tours from here. Gadhada was a witness to countless lilas of the Lord and it was here that most of the Vachanamrits were narrated.

To fulfil the wish of Dada Khachar and his family, Lord Swaminarayan planned to build His sixth and final mandir in Gadhada itself. Lord Swaminaayan Himselef selected the location for the mandir - the hillock on the banks of the River Ghela where the Lord, saints and devotees bathed daily. Lord Swaminarayan inspected the site and personally drew up detailed plans for the proposed mandir. The piece of land in question belonged jointly to Dada Khachar and his uncle Jiva Khachar. But unfortunately, Jiva Khachar refused to part with his share of the land.

Lord Swaminarayan became despondent and left Gadhada to visit neighbouring villages. When He reached Sarangpur, He prepared to build a mandir there at the request of Jiva Khachar of Sarangpur.

Meanwhile Dada Khachar and his sisters came running to Lord Swaminarayan and appealed to Him: You are Gadhada's and Gadhada is yours. Why go elsewhere, we are ready to offer you our darbar, our everything and ourselves.

Touched by their spirit of sacrifice, Lord Swaminarayan returned to Gadhada and shortly afterwards, the southern rooms of the darbar were knocked down and a huge mandir, dedicated toGopinathji Maharaj, was completed in 1829.

Nonethless, Lord Swaminarayan's original desire to build a mandir on the hilltop remained unfulfilled.

Whilst bathing in the holy waters of the River Ghela, Shastriji Maharaj often used to turn in the direction of the hillock and say: "I see a huge 3-spired mandir here."

To fulfil Lord Swaminarayan's wish, Shastriji Maharaj had one firm desire - to build a magnificent monument in honour of Lord Swaminarayan at Gadhada. This idea was conceived in 1923. Shastriji Maharaj made serious attempts to procure the land on the hill-top but it seemed as if all the odds were against him. Due to instigation by opponents, Bhavnagar State issued a decree barring Shastriji Maharaj from acquiring any land in Gadhada. Undeterred, Shastriji Maharaj continued his efforts and prayers, remarking: "if it is Lord Swaminarayan's wish to sit here with His devotee, Gunatitanand Swami, then He will surely exercise His extraordinary spiritual powers to get this land for us to build a mandir."

And sure enough, in 1947, India gained independence and the state kings lost their kingdoms. Now Bhavnagar State affairs came under the jurisdiction of the Central Government. Govindsinh Chudasama, an ardent admirer of Shatriji Maharaj, was appointed as Collector of Bhavnagar and with his help, the land on the hillock soon became the property of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha.

The foundation stone was laid and the mammoth task of constructing a mandir totally out of white marble was commenced. As in Atladra, young Narayanswarupdas was again involved in the construction work.

The date for the image installation was fixed for 16th May 1951. For many months prior to this, Shastriji Maharaj was ill in Sarangpur, but content with the news that the mandir construction was going according to schedule. A few days prior to the installation, Shastriji Maharaj paid a visit to Gadhada. He inspected the construction work, bathed the images with the holy water of the River Ghela, adorned them with the sacred thread, offered arti and then said: "My work is now over. Yogiji Maharaj will perform the installation arti." Two days later, on 10th May 1951, Shastriji Maharaj passed away in Sarangpur. Six days later, as planned, Yogiji Maharaj pereformed the image installation ceremony in the beautiful all-marble mandir. Lord Swaminarayan's wish to see a mandir on the hill-top was finally fulfiled - after a span of 120 years.

In 1961, the Kalash ceremony was performed here during the historic 70th birthday celebrations of Yogiji Maharaj. On this occasion, Yogiji Maharaj initiated 51 youths into the Monastic Order.


© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith