Swaminarayan Mandir (BAPS)
Gadhada, Dt. Bhavnagar,
Tel: (02847) 252 001, 252 002, 99989 94400
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
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.
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
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.
Swaminarayan's original desire to build a mandir on the hilltop
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.
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.