Swaminarayan Mandir (BAPS)
Yogiji Maharaj Road,
Gujarat, INDIA -
Tel: (02825) 220 788, 220 255, 99989 93300
(02825) 220 201
Fax: (02825) 229 037
Gondal is a town in the Rajkot District of Gujarat.
By Shastriji Maharaj in May 1934.
1st shrine - Dham, Dhami, Mukta
2nd shrine - Guru Parampara
3rd shrine - Purushottam, Akshar (Central)
4th shrine - Sukh Shayya
5th shrine - Ghanshyam Maharaj
Gallary Of Gondal's Ghanshyam Maharaj
Lord Swaminarayan and His paramhansas
often came to Gondal and bathed in the waters of the River
Gondal is in
the Junagadh region and as Mahant of the Junagadh mandir,
Gunatitanand Swami often came here for preaching. The royal
family of Gondal at that time revered Gunatitanand Swami as
their family Guru.
In 1867, whilst
meditating, leaning against a pillar in the assembly hall
of the old Swaminarayan mandir in the city, Gunatitand Swami
took leave of his material body. His body was taken to the
outskirts of the town and his last rites performed on the
banks of the River Gondali. His ashes were collected and kept
in a copper urn. Within two months, Sangramsinhji, the King
of Gondal, had a beautiful shrine erected at the exact spot
where Swami's body had been cremated. Since that day, the
shrine has been known in the fellowship as Akshar Deri.
The sacred memorial
soon became an important pilgrimage site for the saints of
the Junagadh region and in time, earned fame as a place where
one's prayers could be fulfiled.
During his last visit to the Akshar Deri, Bhagatji Maharaj
predicted: "At this place, an arti of a thousand lamps will
be lit and a grand mandir will be built."
For 65 years,
the land around the Akshar Deri remained under the administration
of the old school. They remained undecided as to whether a
mandir should be built here. Meanwhile, Gunatitanand Swami
gave darshan in a dream to a devout devotee, Narayanji
Maharaj, inspiring him to build a 3-spired mandir here. He,
in turn, inspired Haribhai Amin to procure the land around
the Akshar Deri. Despite overwhelming odds, Haribhai purchased
the land and handed it over to Shastriji Maharaj for the purposes
of building a mandir.
Within two and
a half years, Shastriji Maharaj constructed a magnificent
mandir over the cremation shrine of Gunatitanand Swami and
the images of Akshar Purushottam were installed. Yogiji Maharaj
was appointed as the first Mahant of Akshar Mandir.
Many miracles have occured in the Akshar Deri. The most famous
involving Yogiji Maharaj, who was bitten by a deadly cobra
during the construction of Akshar Mandir. Shastriji Maharaj
instructed the saints and devotees to chant the Swaminarayan
mantra and offer prayers in the Akshar Deri. The effect of
the poison soon subsided and Yogiji Maharaj's life was saved.
Today, the mandir
is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year,
praying for deliverance from pain, illness and sorrow.
Gondal was very
dear to Yogiji Maharaj. After passing away in January 1971
in Bombay, his material body was transported to Gondal and
his last rites performed here. At this spot, a marble shrine
with a marle image of Yogiji Maharaj has been erected. Known
as Yogi Smruti Mandir, a museum has also been set up,
wherein the life of Yogiji Maharaj is depicted through an
exhibition and his personal belongings preserved.
The festivals of Yogi Jayanti (May/June), Sharad Poonam (October)
and Diwali (October/November) are celebrated here annually
in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.