The town of Vadtal is also known as Vadtal Swaminarayan. The temple here is in the shape of a lotus, with nine domes in the inner temple. The land for this shrine was donated by Joban Pagi, a dacoit converted into a devotee by Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan. The temple was constructed under the supervision of S.G. Brahmanand Swami.
Devotees from Vadtal had gone to Shreeji Maharaj on the day of Nirjala Ekadashi to meet him in Gadhada. On the next day, the twelfth day of the bright half of Jyestha, they requested Shree Swaminarayan to construct a Shri Krishna Mandir in Vadtal.
Shreeji Maharaj commanded his disciple Brahmanand Swami to temporarily leave the construction of the Muli temple and proceed with a team of saints to plan and supervise the construction of a temple. The construction of this temple was completed within 15 months and the idols of Laxminarayan Dev were installed by Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan himself on the 3rd of November 1824, amidst chants of Vedic hymns and devotional fervour of the installation ceremony.
In the middle of the temple, he installed the idols of Laxminarayan Dev and Ranchhodji. In the north, there are the idols of Dharmdev and Bhaktimata and his own form Harikrishna Maharaj. And in the south, Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan installed the idols of Radha Krishna Dev and Harikrishna Maharaj.
Besides the Gods sitting in the central temple, in the south of the middle temple, were installed the form of Dakshinavart Shankh (Southern-sea conch) and Shaligrama (icon of Vishnu). In the inner dome, there are the stone idols of the ten incarnations of god, besides the idols of Vishnu resting on the seat of Sheshnaag (heavenly snake).
The temple is the highest seat of the Acharya and preceptor of the Dakshin Desh (Laxminarayan Dev Gadi). On the south end of the main temple, there is a place called the Akshar Bhavan.
Its first floor has standing idols of Ghanshyam Maharaj. On the second floor, there is the idol of Ghanshyam Maharaj in sitting posture. Personal objects of Swaminarayan are kept here. On the west, there is a place called the Hari Mandap where Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan wrote the Shikshapatri.
In the east of the town, there is a mango garden where Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan ignited Holi and played with colours. A canopy has been constructed at this place. On the south side of this place, Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan had swung on a swing of twelve doors. A marble seat has been constructed at that place.
The Gomati lake which was dug by Swaminarayan is in the north of the town. In the middle of the lake is a shelter and a canopy is built on the west of it. Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan used to sit there at the place of the present canopy when the lake was being excavated. Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan had preached Vachanamrit under a mango tree next to the lake.
The city of Junagadh is nestled in the lap of Mt Girnar. The temple here has five domes and sculptures. The construction of this temple was supervised by Brahmanand Swami. The land for this shrine was gifted by King Hemantsinh (Jinabhai, Darbar of Panchala), and memories of him have been maintained here.
Invocation ceremony of the Gods lasted for two full days with the festivities of the auspicious events. On May 1st, 1828 A.D., Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan himself installed Shri Ranchhodrai and Trikamrai in the seat of the principal Gods of the temple. In the eastern temple he installed RadhaRaman Dev and Harikrishna Maharaj and in the western side, he installed Siddheswar Mahadev, Parvatiji, Ganapatiji and Nandishwar.
The Mughal Subba Bahadur Khan paid a personal visit to the place and Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan. Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan blessed the provincial head of the Mughal empire and honoured the king Hemantsinh for his gift of the land for the temple.
Dholera itself is an ancient port-city, 30 k.m. away from Dhandhuka of Ahmedabad district.
The making this temple with three domes was supervised and planned by Nishkulanand Swami, Atmanand Swami, Akshardanand Swami and Dharmprasad Swami.
The land for this abode of Gods was gifted by Darbar Punjabhai. Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan, when camping in Kamiala, was requested by the devotees Shri Punjabhai and others, to go to Dholera to install the idols of God in the new temple in Dholera. Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan asked Brahmin priests to find out an auspicious time for the installation ceremony.
Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan graced Dholera on the request from Punjabhai and other devotees, and on May 19th, 1826 and installed the idols of Madan Mohan Dev and his own form Harikrishna Maharaj at the principal seat of the temple and invoked Gods amidst Vedic hymns.
Besides the Gods in the inner temple and sanctum sanctorum, Hanuman and Ganapati grace Roop Chowki near the main stairway of the temple. On the west, near the steps, there are the idols of Sheshashayi, Suryanarayan, Dharm-Bhakti and Ghanshyam Maharaj. The idols of Shankar and Parvati are on the right-hand side.
The land for constructing this temple in Gadhada was donated by the court of Dada Khachar in Gadhada. Shri Dada Khachar and his family were devotees of Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan.
The temple was made in the courtyard of his own residence. The temple work was planned and executed directly under the consultation and guidance of Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan.
Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan overviewed the construction and also helped with the manual service in the construction of the temple, by lifting stones and mortar. This shrine has two stories and three domes. It is adorned with carvings.
Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan had installed the idols in this temple on October 9, 1828, Gopinathji Maharaj and Harikrishna Maharaj in the middle, Dharmdev and Bhaktimata and Vasudevanarayan on the western side and Revti-Baldevji, Shri Krishna and Suryanarayan in the eastern temple.
Besides the idols installed by Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan himself, a temple is a place of many memories of Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan. On the path of the worship circuit of the inner temple, there is the idol of Ghanshyam Maharaj facing northward. This prasadi temple has prasadi items of Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan displayed in a museum at the temple.
On the southern side of the temple, there is a big margosa tree (neem tree) and the chamber of Lord Vasudevanarayan. Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan gave several discourses at that place. The court of Dada Khachar has been preserved in its original form.
On the backside, there is the Akshar Oradi temple and Gangajalio well. Lakshmiwadi (place of cremation of Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan) is situated a little away from the town. At Lakshmiwadi, a single dome temple has been constructed at the place of the funeral rituals of Shri Hari’s mortal remains.
Slightly away, there is one canopy where Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan used to sit and deliver the discourses, and just a little ahead, there is the room of Nishkulanand Swami, where he placed the palanquin prepared by him for Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan’s last journey. A neem tree faces this place, and on its western side, there is one more canopy where Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan celebrated ‘Sharadotsava.’
Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan and his saints used to take a bath in the River Ghelo. This river flows in the south side of the temple. There are prasadi river-beds – Narayan Dharo and Sahasra Dharo which Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan visited frequently. There are small temples of Neelkanth Mahadev and Lord Hanuman on the bank of the river.
Both these places are prasadi places of Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan.
The Original Temple
Senior devotees Gangarambhai, Sundarjibhai and others from the Bhuj went to Gadhada where Lord Shree Swaminarayan was attending the famous fuldol festival. During the festival devotees from Bhuj met Lord Swaminarayan and requested him to construct a temple in Bhuj.
The Lord was pleased and more than happy to fulfil the wishes of His devotees. So Lord Shree Swaminarayan asked Vaishnavananand Swami to proceed with a team of saints to Bhuj and construct a temple. Vaishnavananand Swami and the accompanying saints went to Bhuj in 1822 and drew up plans for the original Bhuj temple. They executed the plans with every minute detail taken into account and within a short span of one year, on 15th May 1823, the Murti’s were installed by Lord Shree Swaminarayan.
Lord Shree Swaminarayan had graced this temple in the western belt of India and had Himself installed the idols of Narnarayan Dev on 15 May 1823 (VS 1879 Vaisakh sud 5) and later Acharya Shree Ayodhyaprasadji Maharaj installed Hari-Krishna Maharaj on 06 March 1867 (VS 1923 Fagan sud 2).
Besides these, manifestations of the Lord at the central dome, under the eastern dome were seated Radha-Krishna Dev, Hari-Krishna Maharaj and under the western dome Ghanshyam Maharaj. Roop Chowki, the main square of the inner temple housed the images of Ganapati Bapa and Hanumanji.
Bhuj Earthquake – The Divine Vision
The Gujarat Earthquake of January 2001 destroyed much of the city of Bhuj, including the side of the temple facing north which was built by Lord Shree Swaminarayan. Miraculously the divine idols remained as they were, without any damage whatsoever.
However, after a mutual agreement between Acharya Maharajshree, Saints and the devotees from all corners of the globe and given the circumstances of the irreparable damage to the original temple building, it was decided that the idols would be housed inside a new grand temple. It was collaboratively resolved to construct this new temple a short distance away from the original site.
The New Temple
The Uniqueness of the Swaminarayan Fellowship
Through the inspiration of Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan and the power of Bhuj Saints and Bhaktas from all over the world, a magnificent temple has been constructed using traditional Vedic architectural methods, on the banks of Hamirsar Lake. Since its first brick installation ceremony on 7 May 2003, it has taken 7 years for its completion. Based on a grand podium, the new temple faces East and is constructed mainly with pure high-quality marble.
Expanding a 35,000 sq. feet area, this Temple has 7 sky touching pinnacles. It consists of one central dome, 25 minor domes and 258 pillars. The peripheries, which are beautifully carved into the icy marble of Makrana and Ambaji, give it heavenly beauty, serenity and the divine approach to the temple.
Facts & Figures
Total duration for completion: 7 years
Total time devoted: 600 sculptors and thousands of devotees spending in total over 15 million hours
Total stone: 1,26,000 cubic feet marble in which: 82,000 c.f – Makrana Marble 44,000 c.f. – Ambaji Marble
Total weight: 12,600 tons
Dimensions: Total area: 35,000 sq. ft. Length: 223 ft. Width: 158 ft. Height: 80 ft.
Total Pillars: 218, of which 156 are carved
Total Ceiling (carved): 108
Total Beams: 360, Carved: 156
Total Steps: 26, three-side entry staircases
Garbh Gruh (Inner Temple): 11
Total Pinnacles (shikhara): 7, Height of the main Shikhar: 58 ft.
Total Domes: 1 Central and 24 others
Total Samaran: 4
Total Arches: 223
Total idols: 64 consisting of – 10 avatar, 12 digpal, 19 devi-devta, 9 grah, 14 vyaal.
Parikrama length: 500 ft.
Golden Kalash: 25, the biggest: 8 ft. – the smallest: 6 inch.
Main Dhvaj Dand (flagstick): 12.5 ft. long.
Concrete used at base:
Pink stone: 1,06,455 c.f.
Sand: 1,01,450 c.f.
Concrete-gravel: 35,100 c.f.
Fireproof bricks: 1,61,000 pieces
Aside from the primary temple focal point, BhujDham encompasses a number of accessory buildings:
Situated adjacent to the main temple, this newly constructed grand temple, with its own altar and assembly hall, allows up to a 1,000 female devotees to sit and pray.
Measuring 120 x 60 foot, the mandap allows 1,500 devotees to sit comfortably and listen to religious discourses daily.
Shree NarNarayan Dev Kothar
The main office situated next to the Sabha Mandap.
Residence for approximately 200+ saints & bhagats, providing them with the facilities to meditate, read scriptures and perform bhajan.
Accommodation facilities for travellers, both domestic and international alike. The building encompasses 4 family rooms, 24 double bedrooms, 18 triple bedrooms, 1 female general hall, 1 male general hall and dining hall facilities
Capacity to seat 300 VIPs and 2000 general people together.