The Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor is at Dakor, Gujarat. Famous for its Daknath Temple in the earlier times, Dakor is one of the foremost pilgrimage centres of India. This place is famous for worship of Lord Shiva. Later it developed into a centre for Vaishnavites when Ranchodraiji, another avatar of Lord Krishna surfaced.
The Gujarat Government has recently included Dakor as one of the six pilgrimage places under “Yatradham Vikas Board”. Dakor is visited by hundreds and thousands of pilgrims every year and the number keeps on increasing due to its well-organised pilgrimage facilities.
The city of Dakor located in Kheda district of Gujarat is well known for its grand temple of Shri Ranchodraiji. Gopalrao Jagannath Tambwekar constructed this temple in 1772 A.D.
History of Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor
Bodana was a worshipper of Lord Krishna in his previous life. He 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.
Then Bodana and the Lord engaged in a holy battle of colours. But the Lord fell into a river and Vijayanand went after him. Then 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. At this 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 and Lord Krishna told him to hide the idol of the deity in the Gomati tank. They got angry and threw spears at him 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 theGuglis looked for it earlier and found a smaller idol of the Lord.
Significance of Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor
The temple has a beautiful structure that bespeaks of traditionalism. It has an enlarged square complex. Its height is raised by 168 feet by 151 feet with 12 stone steps on each side. Surrounding it there is a serene spacious courtyard. The temple main gate is on the banks of the Lake Gomathi.
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 is used to hold the flute. During festivals, the hands of the Lord in gloves of gold full of gems. It is one of the most ethnically significant temples of Gujarat.
Ranchodraiji Temple Timings – Rituals and Poojas
The temple opens around 6 a.m. in the morning and closes around 12 in the afternoon.
There are in between this time 5 darshans- Mangalabhog, Balbhog, Srinagarbhog, Gwalbhog and Rajbhog. Artis take place at regular intervals during these.
The temple reopens around 4 p.m. in the afternoon and closes at 7 p.m.
During this time there are again 3 bhogs- the Usthapanbhog, Shyanbhog and Shakhdibhog.
During full-moon days the darshan timings are different which are told beforehand by the temple authorities.
The Bhog or Prasad after being offered to the Lord is distributed by the priests among the pilgrims and the devotees.
Festivals Celebrated at Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor
Approximately 35 festivals are celebrated at Dakor temple. Main ones being the Kartik, Falgun, Chaitra and Ashwin Purnimas. Over 1 lakh devotees visit the shrine.
Annakoot is on the first day of the year. At this festival, the largest amount of sweets and food perparation are offered to Shri Ranchhodraiji.
Vaishnava festivals celebrated are the Holi, Amalaka Ekadashi, Janmashtami, Nand Mahotsav, Rathyatra and Dashera. During these festivals the idol of Krishna is taken in procession on an elephant. Ardent devotees play music along the rhythm.
How to Reach Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor
By air: several domestic airplanes connecting Ahmedabad to Delhi, Bombay, Daman, Pune are available.
By rail: It is on the Anand Godhra broad-gauge railway line and so is connected to Nadiad and Godhra by a state highway. So if you are aviling trains they are easily available.
By road: if you take the road then the State Transport Bus services connecting Dakor with Nadiad, Ahmedabad, Kapadwanj, Baroda, Bombay and other major cities are available on a regular basis.
Hotels near Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor
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 3rd floor, Hariba vyapar bhuvan, GPO road is another place that you may find nice to check in.
Places to Visit near Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor
Once you are on your journey as a pilgrim, you might as well visit the Dwarkadhish temple at Dwarka. It 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 other Gods and Goddesses. It shows architecture made up of Western influences.