Temples play a key role in the mind of every Indian. For some it is a scared place of worship and for some it is a place where our prayers heard and yet for others it is a place where desires are fulfilled. Whatever kind of person you are or whatever definition of spirituality you have in mind, one thing is common temple is a place where the connection between God and human is restored. People come from all walks of life come to understand this superior creature and its creativity, but no one can fully understand this. In India you will find temple every nook but there are some temples that stand apart and give you the moments to rejoice and one among them is Swaminarayan Mandir located in Gondal, Gujarat.
A brief look at its history
Gunatitanand Swami, the revered saint in the Mandir was regarded as the successor of Swaminarayan by the members of Bochsanwasi Shri Akshar Puroshottam Swaminarayan Sanstha and his last funeral rites were performed on the shores of river Gondal, at Gondal in Gujarat. The shrine is constructed on the place where his body was cremated.
As per the legend, it is believed that on Devpodhi Ekdashi, Gunatitanand Swami appeared in the dreams of senior devotee by the name of Narayanji Maharaj of Virsad and he instructed him to construct a three tapered shikharbaddha mandir in Gondal at the site of Deri. Following the dream, Narayanji Maharaj along with his devotees Shankarbhai Amin, Bhikhabhai Shukla and Haribhai Amin went to Gondal and requested the royal king of Gondal, for the land around Akshar Deri. The Maharaj imposed 3 conditions on him during the construction: first the temple should be completed within 3 years of construction, Akshar Deri should be kept intact and third a strict budget needs to be followed to complete the project.
Sightseeing at Akshar Deri
The temple is frequented by thousands of devotees from all around the world. Devotees come here to offer Prasad to perform circumambulation to attain mokhsa, for the fulfillment of desires and to get relief from daily stress. It is a divine and holy place of worship. What makes this temple look apart is a huge gate constructed by BAPS at the entrance of Gondal. A gate is erected half a km to welcome the devotees to this temple built by BAPS. The main entrance of the temple looks similar to a palace of Jaipur or Udaipur. The temple construction is done from high quality marble. An exclusive facility of free lunch and dinner is provided here. The building is new and is well maintained. A special emphasis is laid on cleanliness and washrooms are also available for refreshment. Even good parking arrangements are available here.
The best time to do darshan is from 6.00 AM-12.00 and then from 3.30 pm-7.30 pm. A visit to this temple would be filled with its own charm and excitement. It is a must visit temple.