Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Vadtal
Location: The Hindu pilgrimage namely Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is dispersing the message of being reverend and have faith in divinity while glorifying the province of Vadtal located in Gujarat.
- Lakshminarayan Dev
- Shri Ranchodraiji
- Harikrishna Maharaj
- Radhakrishna Dev
- Shri Dharmadev
Dates of its inauguration: 3rd November, 1824.
Creator of the shrine: Shri Swaminarayan
Supervisor during the construction of the shrine: S.G. Brahmanand Swami
Historical significance: The sacred structure of this Shrine came into shape on the land donated by a dacoit called Joban Pagi whose makeover as a virtuous individual was the consequence of Shri Swaminarayan’s influence. Afterward, a squad of Swamiji’s devotee from Vadtal thronged his place in Gadhada on the day of Nirjala Ekadashi with a plea of laying foundation of Shri Krishna Mandir in Vadtal. On hearing the request of that squad of devotees, Shri Swaminarayan ordained his ardent disciple ‘Brahmanand Swami’ to move ahead with those devotees and let the construction of the temple be begun on behalf of him. While complying with the command of his guru, Brahmanand discharged his duty with sincere honesty. Within 15 months, the entire structure of this pilgrimage came into spectacular shape.
Description of the temple:
- Shape: This holy abode of Shri Swaminarayan is designed in the enchanting and winsome shape of a ‘Lotus’.
- Number of shrines & domes: The whole structure of this shrine is further sub-divided into smaller shrines which are dedicated to the respective deities Lakshmi Narayan in the central shrine, Radha Krishna with Swaminarayan in the shrine at right & Vasudev, Dharma and Bhakti in the shrine at left.
- Pillars: The premise of this holy shrine has wooden piers which have beautifully carved designs on them that appear awesome and splendid.
- Dharamsala: A place to rest & revivify for the serpentine queue of devotees is Dharamsala that is situated inside the temple’s premise.
- Gnanbaug garden: The charismatic view of Gnanbaug garden located at the gate of northwest easily sways the heart of onlookers with astonishment as it has four memorials in the memory of Swaminarayan.
- Enshrined Idols along with ‘Dakshinavart Shankh’ (southern sea conch) & Shaligrama (lord Vishnu’s icon) direction-wise: The enshrinement ceremony of the figurine of Lakshminarayan Dev was established by the pure hearted Shri Swaminarayan ji on 3rd November, 1824 & the entire surrounding had the echo of Vedic hymns & devotional fervor in the air. There are idols of various deities which have been housed at specific place as:
- In the middle: Lakshminarayan Dev & Ranchhodraiji
- In the North: Dharmadev, Bhaktimala & Harikrishna Dev.
- In the South: Radhakrishna Dev & Harikrishna Maharaj ji
- Inner dome: The inner dome of the shrine has sculpture portraying 10 incarnations of god apart from the figurine of lord Vishnu resting on the bed of coiled Sheshnaag (celestial serpent).
- First floor of Akshar Bhavan: The south end of the main shrine has another pious place called Akshar Bhavan & the first floor of it has been assigned to admirable Ghanshyam Maharaj ji.
- Second floor: The sitting posture acquiring idol of Ghanshyam Maharaj is decked on the second floor of Akshar Bhavan.
- Hari Mandap: The western part is known as ‘Hari Mandap’ where Shri Swaminarayan penned down ‘Shikshapatri’.