Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan
The land for construction of this first shrine of Swaminarayan Sampraday, was gifted by the British Imperial Government. The task of constructing this pilgrimage place was entrusted personally by Lord Swaminarayan to Ananandand Swami.
This was the first temple of the Swaminarayan Sampraday constructed as per scriptural norms with intricate carving in pure Burma-teak and constructed with sculptural art by depicting deities’ episodes, auspicious symbols and religious icons representing axiomatic religion and Indian culture. The temple is believed to be a valuable cultural heritage in the socio-religious history of Gujarat and India.
The installation ceremony of the murti forms in the temple was celebrated in the presence of thousands of pilgrims representing many parts of India.
Besides the Gods in the main temple, an idol in the form of a child, Ghanshyam Maharaj has been installed in a place called Akshar Bhavan, where personal items of Swaminarayan have been displayed for viewing by the visitors and devotees. An idol of Ghanshyam Maharaj has been installed in a place called the Rang Mahol in the temple where Swaminarayan stayed during his Ahmedabad visits. Besides the worshipable deities of the main temple, it is also housing the sculptures of Swaminarayan.
The Haveli (Mansion) to the west of the temple used to be the official residence of Acharya of the Uttar Desh.
The ground floor of the front side, houses the offices and the inner portion accommodates the residency of the Samkhya Yogi women. In the inner temple, the Gadiwalla (the Acharya Maharajshri’s wife & spiritual leader of the females in the Swaminarayan Sampraday) holds religious assemblies solely for the benefit of the females. An idol of Ghanshyam Maharaj has been installed in this temple and is served by the Sankhya Yogi female devotees.
Mahima of Lord Shree Swaminarayan and the devotees of Kutch
Lord Shree Swaminarayan was always attracted by the divine attributes of the devotees of Kutch. After his appointment as the spiritual leader of the whole Sampraday, He visited Kutch in the month of Maha Sud 7 Samvat 1860. He spent 30 years of His total lifespan in Gujarat and visited Kutch more than 20 times (His total time spent in Kutch was 7 years). As a result of His frequent visits, a series of inspirational devotees realised that He was none other than the Supreme Purshottam Narayan Himself.
Such Bhaktos of Kutch included Ladhiba, Sundarji Suthaar, Gangaram Mall from Bhuj, Khaiyo Khatri of Mandvi, Sadaba of Kera, Adabhai, Mulji and Krishnaji all of Manukva, Karniba of Dhamadka, Saamat Sarvaiya of Rapar, Vaghasha of Bhachau and many more.
Bhuj is one of the six places where Lord Shree Swaminarayan constructed the temple Himself. This divine thought of Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan alone signifies the vast amount of spirituality the land of Kutch offered not only in the past but even today.