Ranchhodraiji Temple Dakor is in Gujarat. Earlier famous for Worship of shiva, it developed into a center for Vaishnavites when Ranchhodraiji, another avatar of Krishna surfaced. It is one of the most ethnically significant temples of Gujarat. State Government recently included Dakor in the pilgrimages under “Yatradham Vikas Board”.
Ranchhodraiji Temple Dakor Facts –
|Significance||Pancha Dwarka of Lord Krishna|
|Best Time to Visit||November to February|
|Darshan timings||06:45 AM to 12:00 PM || 4:00 PM to 07:30 PM|
|Bhog and Prasad||Laddu and Rasmalai|
|Festivals||Sharad Purnima, Janmasthami, Holi and Rathyatra, etc|
What are the timings of Ranchhodraiji Temple Dakor?
Here are the Temple timings of Ranchhodraiji Temple:
|Mangla Darshan||06:45 AM||8:30 AM|
|Afternoon Closing||12:00 PM||4:00 PM|
|Evening Darshan||04:00 PM||07:30 PM|
|Temple Closing||07:30 PM||06:00 AM|
Puja and Rituals at Ranchhodraiji Temple Dakor
|Mangalabhog, Balbhog, Srinagarbhog, Gwalbhog Darshan||09:00 AM||10:30 AM|
|Rajbhog Darshan||11:30 AM||12:00 PM|
|Uthapan Bhog And Darshan|
|Shyan bhog Darshan||05:25 PM||06:00 PM|
|Shakhdibhog Darshan||07:00 PM||07:30 PM|
Significance of Rituals and Darshan’s of Ranchhodraiji Temple Dakor
The significance of Ranchhodraiji Temple Dakor among its devotees is very high. The temple authorities help the devotees keeping in mind to their facilities –
- Darshana timings on Full -Moon days are different and are declared by the temple authorities beforehand.
- For the convenience of the Vaishnavas desirous to offer additional bhogs to the deity except for the scheduled ones, there is a provision in the Dakor Temple Scheme and accordingly, Mahabhog, Rajbhog, and additional bhogs are offered to the deity.
- For all such extra Bhogs, the devotees can receive prasad except Rajbhog, through Dakor Sansthan Trust which is the oldest Bhog of the time when the Deity Shree Ranchhodraiji was installed in this temple.
The significance of each Bhog and ritual with Darshans is very important for the temple. Each of it implies a different tradition in the temple-
- Mangla Darshan – Mangala Darshan is the first darshan of the day at dawn. The emotion of waking Lord Ranchhodraiji with the same affection and love of his mother Yashoda, when at Gokula is represented in this Darshan. The name Mangala underlines the auspiciousness of beginning the day with a glimpse of the Lord.
- Kesar Snan, Bal Bhog, Shringar Darshan – Shringar Darshan is usually 45 minutes after the Mangala Darshan. His attire depends on the day and the month according to the Lunar Calendar. Ranchhodraiji is adorned with a garland of flowers around his neck. He is offered dry fruits and sweets after which the flute is placed over his shoulder.
- Gwal Bhog Darshan – After the Shringar Darshan, is a Gwal Darshan during which the Lord takes his mid-morning snack, Curds and light food is offered to him during this darshan. Gwal darshan depicts the time when Lord Ranchhodraiji takes his cows to the pasture and plays with his friends.
- Rajbhog Darshan – The main meal of the day is offered to Ranchodraiji during this darshan. He is adorned with lotuses, a flower garland, and his flute. Perfume of the season is sprinkled. After this, he retires for three hours representing the siesta he enjoyed in the meadows.
- Utthapan Darshan – In the Utthapan darshan which is at mid-afternoon, Lord Ranchodraiji is lovingly awakened from his afternoon nap.
- Shayan Darshan – The Shayan Darshan is the last Darshan of the day when Lord Ranchodraiji finishes a light meal. A fan-made of peacock feathers is waved to avoid the effects of any evil eye cast while he is in full view of the people.
The symbolism of the deity in Ranchhodraiji Temple Dakor –
- Lord Ranchhodrai’s form is of Lord Vishnu with four arms.
- Lord Vishnu bears the conch, the lotus, the discus and the mace in his hands.
- The lower right arm is the posture of Abhaya mudra which gives protection to all those who come to him.
- There is an imprint of a lotus on the hand.
- His right-hand hold the flute.
- During festivals, the hands of the Lord are in gloves of gold full of gems.
Legends of Ranchhodraiji Temple Dakor –
The legends of the Ranchhodraiji Temple relates to a story. Bodana was a worshipper of Lord Krishna in his previous life. The story related to the legend believed by devotees follows as-
- Bodana lived in Gokulam as a cowherd Vijayanand. One day when all cowherds worshipped Lord Krishna, Vijayanand did not and the Lord came to him asking to perform the puja.
- Bodana and the Lord engaged in a holy battle of colours. But the Lord fell into a river and Vijayanand went after him.
- The Lord revealed himself and Vijayanand asked forgiveness. Lord Krishna then granted him a boon that after 4200 years he will appear at Gujarat with his present wife Sudha.
- Vijayanand would go to Dwarka to worship Lord Krishna once every six months and also took a basil plant (Tulsi) with him until he was 72 years old.
- Lord Krishna pleased, asked him to bring a bullock-cart with him so that he would accompany him to Dakor.
- The priest of Dwarka asked why he had brought a bullock-cart. Bodana replied that he had come to take away Lord Krishna. Hence, they closed the Dwarka temple.
- That night Lord Krishna broke the wall of the Garbha Griha and asked Bodana to take him away.
- Seeing the missing image of Lord Krishna the priests came to Dakor. Bodana was anxious, so Lord Krishna told him to hide the idol of the deity in the Gomati tank.
- The Priests got angry and threw spears at him and he died falling down. While hurting Bodana with a spear it also hurt the image of the deity hidden in the Gomti tank and the water turned red with Lord Krishna’s (Ranchhodraiji’s) blood.
- However, the Lord mercifully directed the Ghulis that they would find, after six months an exact replica of the idol in Sevaradhan Vav at Dwarka.
- But the Guglis looked for it earlier and found a smaller idol of the Lord.
History of Ranchhodraiji Temple Dakor-
- In times of Mahabharata, the surrounding area of Dakor constituted the ‘Hidamba‘ van (jungle). It was a very dense jungle. It was pleasant and rich with streams and lakes. It had become an attraction for the sages to establish their hermitage for penance.
- Likewise, Dank Rishi had his hermitage (ashram) in this area. During penance Lord Shiva was pleased with him and asked him to demand something. Thereupon, Dank Rishi requested Lord Shiva to remain permanently in his hermitage.
- Lord Shiva agreed to his request. He disappeared and left behind him His replica in the form of Ban (Ling), which is known as Danknath Mahadev. Thus in ancient times, Dakor was known as ‘Dankor‘ after the name of Dankanth Mahadev.
- It was also known as Khakhariya because of many khakhra (Palash) trees in the vicinity.
The architecture of Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor –
- The present temple was constructed by Shri Gopalrao Jagannath Tambwekar in 1772 A.D. at the cost of rupees one lakh. It was built with brick walls and stone pillars.
- It is raised on a high plinth of 168 feet by 151 feet with twelve stone steps on each side and surrounded by a spacious courtyard.
- It has eight domes and twenty-four turrets, the highest of them being 90 feet making it the tallest temple in the district.
- The main gate of the temple overlooks the (now crowded) banks of the lake Gomati.
- Silver gates are protected by the Vedic Gods – Lord Ganesha, Sun, Moon, etc beautifully carved in high relief. The gate leads into the main courtyard.
- On entering the courtyard, one sees two tall structures, used to house the thousands of lamps that are lit during the festive season, on either side.
- Back at the front gate, marble stairs lead to the main audience chamber of the temple – the Jagmohan – literally the place where the world is charmed by the beauty of the Lord.
- Multi-storied and multi-tiered, this type of structure is very typical of medieval Gujarati temple architecture. Till recently, the dome was painted with Shri Krishna’s rasa-Lila in the classical Bundi style. It has been replaced by an intricate inlay of mirror work, depicting flowers and trellis in a classical Rajput garden.
Which festivals are celebrated at Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor?
Approximately 35 festivals are celebrated at Dakor temple. The main ones being the
- Chaitra and
- Ashwin Purnima.
Over 1 lakh devotees visit the shrine. Annakoot is on the first day of the year. At this festival, there are largest amounts of sweets and food preparation offerings to Shri Ranchhodraiji.
Vaishnava festivals celebrated are the
During these festivals, devotees take the idol of Krishna in procession on an elephant. Ardent devotees also play music along with the rhythm. The festivals of Hindola and Palna are also celebrated.
How to reach Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor?
Here’s how to reach Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor:
- Air: several domestic airplanes connecting Ahmedabad to Delhi, Bombay, Daman, Pune are available.
- Rail: It is on the Anand Godhra broad-gauge railway line and so is connected to Nadiad and Godhra by a state highway.
- Road: State Transport Bus services connect Dakor with Nadiad, Ahmedabad, Kapadwanj, Baroda, Bombay, and others.
Where to stay near Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor?
Here’s where one can stay near Ranchodraiji Temple:
- Hotel Arizona Inn on AnandS road, Opp-S.R.Park, is famous for its luxurious rooms and good accommodation. It is a pure vegetarian hotel.
- Hotel Relax on the 3rd floor, Haribo Vyapar Bhuvan, GPO road is another place that you may find nice to check-in.
What are some places to visit near Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor?
You could also visit:
- DWARKADHISH TEMPLE – Situated at Dwarka is one of the four major pilgrimages for Hindus in India. The Bhidbhanjan temple is a popular place to visit. It is a divine place to pay your visit to Lord Shiva and also other Gods and Goddesses. It shows architecture made up of Western influences.
- MAHALAKSHMI TEMPLE – The temple of Mahalakshmi is situated a kilometer far away from the temple in the northern direction of the temple. One has to walk to reach this temple.
- HOUSE OF BODANA – Opposite to the temple of Mahalakshmi is the house of Bodana and Ganga Bai. Lord Ranchhodraiji was worshiped in this house before the Deity was moved to the current temple. Inside the house is a place where the Deity was hidden and was worshiped by Bodana’s wife.
- GOMTI KUNDA – This sacred pond is situated right opposite to the entrance of Sri Ranchhodraiji temple. The Deity was hidden in this pond by Bodana. It is a very beautiful pond surrounded by twelve ghats. The place where the Deity of Ranchora Rai was hidden is in the middle called Padmachinha.
- DANKANATH MAHADEV TEMPLE – This temple which was made by Dankamuni is very old and is near the Eshwar Ovara. The shiva-linga is installed below the Earth.
Frequently Asked Questions about Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor –
Yes, the temple provides the bhog prasad where you can have delicious Laddo and Rasmalai.
Knowing the Bhog schedule and taking permission from the temple authority, you can request to offer Bhog of your desire to Ranchhodraiji. Later, you will be given prasad by Dakor Sansthan Trust.
The temple has a unique culture, where only women are allowed to offer food (Prasad) and flowers to the Lord.
Ranchor is the name given to Lord Krishna when he fled from the battlefield in Mathura while fighting against Jarasandha.
Vehicles are not allowed in the temple vicinity. Devotees have to park the vehicle a kilometer away from Dakor and enter the city by walk or the local autos.
Dakor can be reached from Ahmedabad by road easily. There are regular government buses from the city bus stand. One can also book a taxi or cab or an auto to reach the temple.
Every year lakhs of people from all over India and Gujarat visit Dakor and especially on every full-moon day (Purnima).
The virtues or Punya gained by Visiting Ranchhodraiji temple at Dakor and having a glimpse of Lord Ranchhodrai is considered to be as equal as visiting Char Dhams.