Dakor Ranchhodraiji Temple
Sri Krishna renounced war in Mathura for the greater good of the people living in the region (and was hence known by the name Ranchodrai') and founded the city of Dwarka. Sri Krishna had previously killed Kansa (an oppressive king who ruled the city, and his maternal uncle) and made Ugrasen (Kansa's father and his maternal grandfather) the king of Mathura.
Enraged, the father-in-law of Kansa, Jarasandha (king of Magadha) with his friend Kalayavan attacked Mathura 17 times. For the safety of the people, Krishna and the Yadavas decided to move the capital from Mathura to Dvaraka.
It is believed that Ranchhodji, a name for Lord Krishna meaning "he who left the battlefield", inspired Gopal Jagannath Ambekar, a shroff of a Peshwa’s court in Poona, in a dream to build a vast and magnificent temple. The temple was built in 1772 A.D. The main Ranchhodrai idol is in black touchstone, 1m tall and 45 cm in breadth, richly adorned with gold, jewels and expensive clothes. Its throne, an ornate masterpiece of woodcarving plated in silver and gold, was presented by the Gaekwad of Baroda.
It is said and believed that the original Diety installed by Vajranabha has moved to a place called Dakor (50 km from Vadodara) where one can find a similar temple of Lord Sri Krishna called as Ranchodrai temple. As per the legend it is said that during 15th century an ardent devotee of Lord Sri Krishna, by name Badana used to come to Dwarka daily to have a glimpse of Lord Sri Krishna. Appeased with her devotion it is said that the Lord one day went along with her to Dakor and settled there. In its place a similar (replica) idol was installed at Dwarka that was found in the lake called Gomati Lake at Dakor. Only difference that we find between the two is that the eyes of the idol are fully open in the original one that is currently in Dakor while the one that is enshrined at Dwarka is with eyes half opened. It is so because, as per the directions given by the Lord to the priests of Dwarka, they were supposed to find a replica idle at Dakor on a particular day. Whereas, the priests in their anxiety and inquisitiveness, excavated the suggested site quite early and found an idol with eyes half opened.
Dakor, in its earlier phases as pilgrimage center in Gujarat, was famous for the Danknath temple, a place of shiva worship. In the later phases it developed into a Vaishnavite center with the growing fame of Ranchhodraiji temple, which was built in 1772 A.D.
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.
History Of Dakor Ranchhodraiji Temple:-
Located in Dakor, at a distance of 70 km from Vadodara is the well known Ranchhodraiji Temple. The temple has been dedicated to Lord Ranchhodraiji who is regarded as the manifestation of Lord Krishna. Ranchhodraiji Temple was built by Shri Gopalrao Jagannath Tambwekar in 1772 A.D., and is a revered place for the followers of Lord Krishna.
The story goes that Lord Krishna had flee from the battleground during a war with an ally of the legendary king, Jarasandha and since then, he came to be known as Ranchhodraiji, meaning ‘he who left the battlefield’. Hence, the temple in addition to Lord Krishna derived this name.
The main deity of Lord Ranchhodrai is in the form of Lord Vishnu, bearing the conch, lotus, discus, and mace in his four arms. The idol is made in black touchstone. The shrine has been set on a raised platform, enclosed in a massive square shaped compound. The platform is 168 feet high with 12 stone steps on all sides, surrounded by the spacious courtyard. The temple has four gates to the huge walls on the outside of the complex, placed considerably. It also has 8 domes and 24 towers, the tallest of them being 90 feet.
The main doorway of the Ranchhodraiji Temple overlooks the banks of the Gomati River. The intricately carved doors and windows which lead to the inner sanctum are covered in silver. The entrance which faces the main deity opens in front of an audience chamber. There is even a bed chamber linked with the audience chamber of the shrine. Here, the bed of the Lord is lavishly festooned with garlands, soft mattress, blankets, and gold and silver couches in soft cotton and silk. The doors to the main Ranchhodraiji shrine remain open throughout the day, except for the afternoon time. This is the time when the Lord is believed to sleep and take rest. Every day, a huge crowd of devotees swarm the temple for darshans.
Architecture Of Dakor Ranchhodraiji Temple :-
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 stones 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 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. As tradition would have it, drummers sit atop the main gate on a balcony of their own. The "Nagarkhana" resonates with music during the main darshans and at Aarti times.
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. Multi-storied and multi-tiered, this type of structure is very typical of medieval Gujarati temple architecture. 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 . Three large entrances allow devotes to enter the main audience chamber. The large open square structure of the audience chamber is surmounted by an imposing, glittering dome. Till recently, the dome was painted with Shri Krishna's rasa-lila in the classical Bundi style. Recently, this has been replaced by an intricate inlay of mirror work, depicting flowers and trellis in a classical Rajput garden.
Painted murals from Lord Krishna's life adorn the walls of the audience chamber. A small section at the front of the chamber is railed off and reserved for women. As with all classical temples, the inner sanctum of Ranchodrai is set in a straight line from the main gate of the temple. The Lord sits under a canopied pavilion in the inner sanctum. The whole structure is raised on a marble platform and the pillars of the pavilion are covered in gold. The intricately carved doors and windows to the inner sanctum are covered in silver. There are three doors leading into the inner sanctum. The door to the right of the Lord comes in from the antechamber, leading to a special bathroom where the priests must bathe before entering the inner sanctum. Corridors from here, also lead to the treasure house of the Lord - housing His in-numerable jewels and clothes. The door in front of the Lord faces the main audience chamber. At Dakor, the Lord spends as much time as possible with His devotees. The main doors to the inner sanctum are open most of the day. The doors only close when the Lord sleeps - during the afternoon and at night. The door to the left of the Lord leads to the bedchamber of the Lord - a mirrored chamber of thousand delights.
Various beds, mattresses and blankets are neatly arranged in here for the Lord's comfort. Silver and gold bedsteads are covered in soft cotton and silks. Perfumes and garlands are kept in readiness for the Lord. A small corridor leads from here to the open hall behind the bedchamber, where pilgrims perform various religious rituals to please the Lord. As at Badrinathji in the Himalayas and Tirupati Balaji in South India, at Dakor, the temple of Goddess Lakshmi, wife of the Lord, is situated outside the main temple. Lakshmiji's temple is situated in a residential part of town at a little distance from the main temple. It is believed that the Lord visits His wife on every Friday - on Fridays a courtly procession winds its way from the main temple down the lanes and bylanes of Dakor to unite the couple.
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. On the banks of the Lake Gomathi is situated the temple main gate.
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 a lotus imprinted on the hand. His right hand is used to hold the flute. During festivals, the hands of the Lord are encased in gloves of gold embellished with gems. It is one of the most ethnically significant temples of Gujarat.
In times of Mahabharata, the surrounding area of Dakor constituted the 'Hidamba' van (jungle). It was a very dense jungle, 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.
Once Lord Krishna and Bhima went to the hermitage of Dank Rishi for darshan. Dnak Rishi received them and Lord Krishna, gracious as he was to his devotees, rendered homage to Dank Rishi and being pleased with his penance asked him to demand something from Him by way of blessings. Dank Rishi requested him to stay in his hermitage permanently along with Lord Shiva. For a while Lord Krishna remained silent, pondering over the demand of Dank Rishi and finally, while consenting to his request, he promised that in Kaliyuga after staying in Dwarika for 4225 years, he would come to reside in this land permanently. Thus, Lord Krishna was invited to come to Dakor.
Lord Krishna and Bhima were once going to visit the sacred thread-ceremony of Parikshit, the grand son of Arjuna and son of Abhimanyu. On their way while passing the jungle, Bhima became thirsty and was on the look out for water. Lord Krishna pointed out a basin near the hermitage of Dank Rishi. Both of them went there and quenched their thirst. Thereafter they were resting under the shades of trees. Bhima thought that if this basin was made big it would quench the thirst of wild animals, birds and human beings. With a stroke of his club, Bhima converted the basin into a big pond spreading over an enormous area of 572 acres and this is at present is known as Gomti Tank. It is situated just opposite the Ranchhodraiji Temple. It is one of the biggest village tanks in Kaira District, with masonry walls, outlets and stone steps on the sides. Even human bones are said to melt in the water of Gomti tank.
The Story of Vijayanand Bodana:-
The present Dakor owes its raison d'être not to Dank Rishi but to Bodana, a great devotee of Lord Krishna. In his previous birth, he is supposed to have lived in Gokul and been a cowherd called Vijayanand. On one Holi day, all the cowherds except Vijyanand worshipped Lord Krishna. His wife too worshipped Lord Krishna, but Vijayanand was proud and stayed at home. Lord Krishna came to his house in the disguise of his friend and sent him to perform 'Holi' puja. Coming back, he realised that his friend was none else but Lord Krishna. Next day they fought a battle of colour. Lord Krishna lost and fell into the river. Vijyanand went after him where Lord Krishna revealed his true self. Vijyanand begged forgiveness. Lord Krishna took pity on him and solaced him with a boon that he would be born in Gujarat again in Kaliyuga after 4,200 years as Vijayanand Bodana in the house of a Krishatriya, and his present wife Sudha would again be his wife, called Gangabai, when he will give them a glimpse (darshna) and relieve them by offering them emancipation (Moksha).
It is said that Vijayanand Bodana, a rajput of Dakor, became a staunch devotee of Lord Krishna. He used to let the Tulsi plants grow in an earthen pot with him on his palm and used to go every six months to Dwarika to worship Lord Krishna with the said Tulsi leaves. He did this continuously, unfailingly and untiringly till he was 72 years. He then began to find it increasingly difficult to pursue this ritual. Seeing his plight, Lord Krishna told him that on his ensuing visit to Dwarika, he should bring a bullock-cart with him and Lord Krishna would accompany him to Dakor as he was exceedingly pleased with his devotion. Accordingly, Bodana went with bullock-cart to Dwarika. The hereditary priests of Dwarika (Gugli brahmins) asked him why he had brought a cart with him. Whereupon, Bodana replied that he had done so to take away Lord Krishna. Looking to the ramshackle cart, they did not believe him but nevertheless locked and sealed the sanctum sanctorum of Dwarika Temple for the night. At midnight, Lord Krishna broke open all the doors, awoke Bodana and told him to take him to Dakor. Shortly afterwards, Lord Krishna called upon Bodana to rest in the bullock-cart and drove the cart himself till reached the vicinity of Dakor. Here (near Bileshwar Mahadev on Dakor-Nadiad road) they rested for some time, touching and holding a branch of neem tree. He woke up Bodana and asked him to take over. Since that day, this neem tree is found to have one sweet branch though the rest of the branches are bitter and it forms the subject of a well-known Gujarati bhajan.
In Dwarika, the Gugli brahmins finding the image missing, chased Bodana and came to Dakor in pursuit. Bodana was frightened but Lord Krishna told him to hide the idol of the Deity in the Gomti tank and meet the Guglis. Accordingly, Bodana hid the idol and went to meet the Guglis with a pot of curd to pacify them. They became angry and one of them threw a spear at him. He fell down dead. While hurting Bodana with a spear it also hurt the image of the Deity hidden in Gomti tank and the water turned red with Lord Krishna's (Ranchhodraiji's) blood. It is said that even today the earth of Gomti tank where the image lay is red, while rest of the tank is of brown mud. In the midst of Gomti tank, over the place where Lord Krishna was hidden, a small temple having the Lord's footprints is constructed and this temple is linked with the bank of Gomti Tank by a bridge.
Even with the death of Bodana, the Guglis were not appeased. Requesting Lord Krishna to return to Dwarika, they sat on the bank of Gomti tank and went on a hunger strike. At last, Lord Ranchhodraiji (Krishna) directed Gangabai, wife of Bodana, to give gold equivalent of his weight and ask the Guglis to return to Dwarika. Poor lady, the widow of Bodana, was a pauper and could not afford doing so. By a miracle, the idol became as light as a golden nose-ring (1, 1/4 val i.e.1/2 gram in weight) which was all that the widow of Bodana, Gangabai, had. The Guglis were disappointed but the Lord mercifully directed that they would find after six months an exact replica of the idol in Sevaradhan Vav (a well with steps) at Dwarika. The impatient Guglis looked for the idol sometime earlier than they were told and as a result, found an idol which, though similar to the original one, was smaller.
Pilgrims to Dakor still visit the places said to have been associated with the story viz., where the branch of neem tree under which Lord rested while coming to Dankpur subsequently turned sweet and where the idol was hidden in the Gomti tank, whereon the balance was set up to weigh the original idol which Bodana had enshrined.
Origin Of Gomti Tank:-
Lord Krishna and Bhim were once going to visit the sacred thread-ceremony of Parikshit, the grand son of Arjun and son of Abhimanyu . On their way, while passing the jungle, Bhim became thirsty and was on the look out for water. Lord Krishna pointed out a basin near the hermitage of Dank Rishi. Both of them went there and quenched their thirst. Thereafter they were resting under the shades of trees. Bhim thought that if this basin was made big it would quench the thirst of wild animals, birds and human beings. With a stroke of his club, Bhim converted the basin into a big pond spreading over an enormous area of 572 acres and this is at present is known as Gomti Tank. It is situated just opposite the Ranchhodraiji Temple. It is one of the biggest village tanks in Kaira District with masonry walls, Outlets and stone steps on the sides. Even human bones are said, melt in the water of Gomti tan
Puja Timing And Bhoga Of Dakor Ranchhodraiji Temple:-
Dakor temple normally opens at about 6 A.M. in the morning and closes at 12 Noon between which there are five darshans namely, Mangalabhog, Balbhog, Srinagarbhog, Gwalbhog and Rajbhog during which Aartis are performed. In the afternoon, it reopens at about 4.00 P.M. and closes at 7.00 P.M. In between there are three darshans namely, Usthapanbhog, Shyanbhog and Shakhdibhog . At Utthapana Bhoga and Shayana bhoga Aaratis are performed. The Darshana timings on Full -Moon days are different and are declared by the temple authorities beforehand. Bhogas worth approximately rupees seven thousand per day are offered to the deity and are taken over by the sevakas (priests) who supply the prasad to the pilgrims and devotees. For the conveniece of the vaishnavas desirous to offer additional bhogs to the deity except 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 i.e. when the Pran Pratishtha was performed.
Mangala Darshan is the first darshan of the day at dawn. The Bhavana (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 Managla 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. The lord is shown a mirror to see himself. He is offered dry fruits and sweets after which the flute is placed over his shoulder to imply that the Lord can now go out to play with his friends
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. Neither garland nor flute is placed on his shoulder as he is playing with his cowherd friends
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. The sounds of drums and devotional music fill the air and the excitement mounts as the Aarti is performed. After this, he retires for three hours representing the siesta he enjoyed in the meadows.
In the Utthapan darshan which is at mid afternoon, Lord Ranchodraiji is lovingly awakened from his afternoon nap.
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.
Interesting things to Visit:-
Famous temple of Goddess Mahakali is located on the top of hill. Rope-way facility is available from Machi to reach Mahakali Mata's temple at the top. About 250 steps have to be climbed from there to reach the temple. On the roof of the temple is a adanshah Pir Dargah, visited by Muslim devotees.
Narmada River is one of the major sacred rivers in India. Legends say that it descended from the sky by the order of Lord Shiva. It is said that the Narmada forgives a man of all his sins, and makes him pure, by her mere divine sight.Gujarat before draining into the Gulf of Cambay, 50 km west of Bharuch.
Dandi a historical place located about 16 km from the district of Navsari is where the Saifee Villa Museum has been established to commemorate the Dandi Salt March. Built in 1961, the museum attracts attention to the pictures and artifacts of Gandhi's life and contribution to the independence of India.
Dastur Meherji-Rana Library:-
Dastur Meherji-Rana Library is rich in literature of the earliest Parsi or Zoroastrian settlements in Navsari and has many pictures of the old town. It is located at the Tarota bazar. Another important library is the Sayaji Vaibhav Library. Ubhrat a sandy white beach 20 km away is a perfect picnic spot. The Vansda National park has a variety of flora and fauna to see.
Nearest Visiting places:-
Maharshi Aurobindo Ghosh who one of the eminent freedom fighters and also a renouned philosopher resided in Vadodara from 1894 to 1906 as a private secretary to Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad. He also worked as vice principal and professor of English in Baroda college. His residence popularly known as Aurobindo Society is situated in Dandia Bazar area is the only national memorial. Yoga and meditation are taught here regularly. Surrounded by a nicely maincured garden this magnificent building provides an opportunity to pass a few minutes in solace. Various useful articles prepared at Pondichery are sold in an emporium on the ground floor. A nicely displayed small museum on the life of Shri Aurobindo's contribution can also be visited here.
Constructed in the memory of Kutub-ud-din the general of Akbar's army, it is the only existing Mughal monument of the city. There is also a step well in its vicinity.
Situated in the cantonment near Fatehgunj is the beautiful Shiva temple. Managed and maintained by the "Jawans" of E.M.E., this temple is made of alluminium and some alloys. Unlike all other temples, this beautiful Shiva temple is made of alluminium and it is a place of religious armony. A cultural centre has also been developed by the E.M.E. around the temple here good sculptures of Gujarat, pavilions etc. are nicely preserved. Idols of Gods and Godesses are beautifully placed on both the side walkways and they look very attractive when illuminated at night everyday. Visit to this temple is a must for everyone who visit Vadodara.
Nazar Baug Palace:-
Located in Gujarat, India, is of immense importance as the Nazar Bagh Palace happens to be very stylistically constructed. It happens to be a much sought after tourist destination in the expanse of Gujarat, India. Nazar Bagh Palace was constructed in the year 1721 A.D. and it is a privately owned royal property. Nazar Bagh Palace is home to exotic royal heirlooms which are a much sought after attraction of the Baroda province as the Nazar Bagh Palace is located in the city and the province of Baroda. Nazar Bagh Palace also houses in its middle, the exotic and much visited Sheesh Mahal.
Laxmi Vilas Palace:-
Laxmi Vilas Palace is an architectural marvel, designed in Indo-Saracenic style and built by Maharaja Sayajirao III in 1890. It still serves as the residence of the Royal family. The palace contains several splendid chambers, which are examples of skilled craftsmanship. The Darbar Hall is embellished with Italian mosaic floor and walls with mosaic decorations. The palace even houses a remarkable collection of old armory and sculptures in bronze, marble & terracotta. The Royal Family's residence is an extravagant building in Indo- Saracenic style.
Sayaji Baug (the famous park) is situated on river Vishwamitri and was built by Sayajirao III in 1879. Sprawling over 113 acres, it also includes an excellent zoo, the Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery, the Museum of Health and Hygiene and the Sardar Patel Planetarium.A major attraction for children is the 3.5 kms joy ride through the park on the toy train.
Fateh Singh Museum:-
Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum houses a remarkably huge number of art works of the royal family. Maharaja Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad III during his several visits abroad collected pieces of art and stored them here. The most fascinating collection of this museum however comprises of host of paintings by European and Indian artists. In this collection, paintings of Raja Ravi Varma who was specially deployed by the then Maharaja of Baroda catches the limelight. His collections essentially comprises of the portraits of the Royal family and paintings based on Hindu mythology. Hindu mythology was the forte of Raja Ravi Varma.
This apart, at Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum in Vadodara you will also get to see the striking collection of sculptures in marble and bronze. This collection comprises of the representation of great masters in bronze specially made to order by the Maharaja and also originals by famous artists. Besides, you will also come across works of an Italian artist called Fellicci who not only decorated the museum with his fine works but also the Lakshmi Vilas Palace.
This temple is the hub of regular festivities. Some of the prominent festivals celebrated in this temple are:
This is a very important and the grand festival because Ranchora Raya was brought from Dwarka to Dakor on this day in the year 1212. On this day, the Deity is given panchamrita abhisheka and thereby adorned with clothes with white jari and a big precious stones studded crown. After dressing, tilaka is applied on Lord’s forehead and then the food offering is made. Devotees can have darshana of this shringar only till shayana-arati. Many devotees throng the temple on this day to have darshana of the Lord.
This festival is celebrated from Ekadashi till Dhuleti. Lakhs of devotees from all over Gujarat throng the temple to have darshan of Sri Ranchora Raya. Devotees even come by walk from various places. Devotees dance on the tunes of bhajans accompanied by mridanga, table, kartala, bugle, harmonium, etc. The whole hall resonates with ‘Jay Ranchor, Makhan Chor’. Close to 1 ton of gulal is aired on devotees. The twelve colored water; water mixed with saffron from the shringar bhoga of the Lord, is sprinkled on the devotees using pichkari. Dhani and khajur are used in the bhoga of the Lord.
On this day, after the rajbhog, Lord is anointed with sandal wood pulp mixed with saffron and other herbs. This goes on till the purnima. A Jal-yatra is celebrated on the purnima. Lord Ranchor takes bath with saffron mixed water and other fragrant herbs. Ripened mangoes are one of the offerings of Lord Ranchor.
Sri Krishna Janmashtami:-
The birthday of Lord Sri Krishna is celebrated with great pomp. Lord is given panchamrita abhisheka throughout the day. In the night Lord is given bath with sandal paste and amla. For thirteen days the Lord is kept in the swing. Throughout the festival, Lord is adorned with the clothes of different colors and also the weapons.
This festival is celebrated for five days. On the day of Ekadashi Lord wears black clothes, Dwadashi – yellow jari clothes, Trayodashi – green clothes, Chaturdashi – red clothes and finally on Diwali – white clothes. Lord receives the grandest shringar with 250 jewelries and a crown worth rupees fifty lakh. Eight hundred lamps are lit in the temple. Annakuta is also celebrated in a grand way.
Other festivals are Rama-navami, Chaitra-punam, Ratha-yatra, Shravani-purnima, Dusshera, Sharad-purnima, Tulsi-shaligrama vivaha, vasanta Panchami
Temples TimingsLord Ranchhodraiji gives eight darshan during the day:
Mangala Darshan – 06:45 AM
Bal Bhog Darshan – 08:30 AM
Shringar Bhog Darshan – 09:30 AM
Gwal Bhog Darshan – 10:15 AM
Rajbhog Darshan – 11:30 AM
Utthapan Darshan – 04:15 PM
Shayan Darshan – 05:25 PM
Sakdi Bhog Darshan – 07:00 PM
Other places to visit in Dakor:-
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.
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. The place where the Deity was weighed is known as Tula Ovara (ghat).
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.
How to Reach Ranchodraiji Temple Dakor:-
several domestic airplanes connecting Ahmedabad to Delhi, Bombay, Daman, Pune are available.
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.
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.