Shree Ranchhodraiji Maharaj Temple, Dakor, Gujarat

About

About Lord Ranchhodraiji

Lord Krishna is the one of the most revered deity in Hinduism. Krishna is believed to be an eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who is considered as the one who governs the aspects of preservation and sustenance of the universe, hence is called “Preserver of the universe”.

Teachings of the lord Krishna as mentioned in Bhagwad Gita, are relevant even today.

In Gujarat, lord Krishna is addressed as “Dwarkadhish” and “Raja Ranchhodrai” with great love and respect. It is a popular belief that having glimpse of Lord Ranchhodrai is as equal as visiting Char Dham.

Ranchhodrai is one of the numerous alternative names applied to Lord Krishna in Vishnu Sahasranama.

About Shree Ranchhodraiji Maharaj Temple

Dakor is well-known for its grand Ranchhodraiji Maharaj temple which has a historical significance. The main idol of Lord Ranchhodrai is in the form of Lord Vishnu, bearing the conch, lotus, discus, and mace in his four arms. The idol is incredibly attractive, made of black stone and lavishly decorated with gold and silver ornaments.

The main entrance of Ranchhodraiji temple overlooks the banks of Gomati River. The temple is made of eight domes of which the central dome is 27m high, ornamented with a golden Kalash and a white silk flag.  The gate leads into the main courtyard.

On entering the courtyard, you can see two tall structures, used to house the thousands of lamps.

Three large entrances allow devotees to enter the main audience chamber.  A small section at the front of the chamber is railed off and reserved for women. The hall has put on display, a variety of paintings portraying different incidents of Lord Krishna’s life. As with all classic temples, the inner sanctum of Ranchhodrai is set in a straight line from the main gate of the temple. Its throne is a masterpiece of woodcarving plated in silver and gold, was presented by the Gaekwads of Baroda.

At Dakor, the temple of Goddess Lakshmi is situated outside the main temple in a residential part of town at a little distance from the main temple.

Prasad

Prasad offering at Shree Ranchhodraiji Maharaj Temple

As per lord Krishna’s likings, varieties of Prasad such as Makhan Bhog, Kesar Jal, , Mewa Bhog, Raj bhog, etc. offered on different occasions.

The main Prasad at Dakor is Laddoo.

  • You can avail this through a shop owned by Dakor Sansthan Trust located at the left side of main hall in the courtyard itself.
  • It comes in proper packing of  one ladoo per packet and cost  Rs 10.

The temple trust also arranges special counters for Kesar milk and Maakhan.

  • You will find these counters while doing Parikrama.
  • These are temporary counters run for a limited period of time after mangala aarti and Gwala bhog so be little fast.

History

History & Kathas of Shree Ranchhodraiji Maharaj Temple

The Temple was constructed by Gopal Jagannath Ambekar in the year 1772 AD. Since 1905, the management of the Mandir been with the Mandir Committee. In 1952, it was registered as a Public Religious Trust.

Legend Katha 1: It is said that Lord Krishna had flee from the battleground during a war with supporters of Jarasandha. So he is known as Ranchhodrai, meaning ‘one who ran away from the battlefield’. Hence, the temple has derived this name.

Legend Katha 2: In times of Mahabharata, Dakor constituted the ‘Hidamba’ van (jungle). Dank Rishi had his ashram in this area. Once Lord Krishna and Bhim visited Rishi’s ashram. During penance Lord was pleased with him and asked him to demand something. Rishi requested him to stay in his ashram permanently along with Lord Shiva. Accepting the request, he promised that in kaliyug 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.

Legend Katha 3: In olden times, a Krishna devotee named Bholanath used to walk all the way to Dwarka from Dakor on every full moon night to worship his beloved Krishna. Lord krsna noticed Bholanath’s difficulties and told him that he need not walk all the way to far-away Dwarka as he had decided to stay at Dakor (Dhankpuri of olden times). So God accompanied him to Dakor.

Aarati

Most Popular Dhunn for Lord krishna at Dakor (Gujarati)

Dakor ma kaun chhe…
Raja Ranchhod chhe…
Raja Ranchhod chhe a to makhan no chor chhe…

Shree Ranchhodraiji Maharaj – Mangala aarati  (Gujarati)

HARI MUKH JOYU ME AAJ KE AAJE MARE DIWALI
AAJ DIWALI KAL DIWALI HARI JOYA ME NIHALI RE AMAR MUKH PR VARI VITTHALA AANKHLDI THAI
TAJI KE AAJE MARE DIWALI……………………………
HRUDAY KMAL MA JUO NIHALI VASE KNIYA LAL RE
CHARNE NAMU MARA RAY RANCHOD NE
PRBHAT NE PHOR KE AAJE MARE DIWALI……………
JAJE PHULDE SEJ BHICHAVU NE BESE RAYRANCHOD RE
UBHI RHI VAVLIYA DHOLU KE MARE HAIYE HARKH NA MAY KE AAJE MARE DIWALI……………………………..
SONA THALI ME AJVALI MHI BHARIYO KPUR RE
AARTI UTARO MARA ALBELA NI RAVI UGAM KE SUD
KE AAJE MARE DIWALI…………………………………….
SAV SONA SURAJ UGYO DHUDH RE VRSHIYA MEGH RE
RAAM KRISHNA PRBHU ETLU MAGU SEVA NE ARHE DEH KE AAJE MARE DIWALI
MARE DIWALI THAI AAJ KE HARI MUKH JOVANE AAJ DIWALI KAL DIWALI MARE ROJ DIWALI RE …………..

RANCHOD RAYJI MHARAJ NI MNGLA AARTI MA GVAY CHE
JAY RANCHOD

More aarati lyrics can be found at –

Mangala aarti

Important festivals

Important festivals of Ranchhodrai Temple

Lakhs of people visit Dakor especially on every full-moon day (Purnima). So you can witness the devotionally ecstatic atmosphere, immersed in a total festive mood.

On the New Year day i.e. first day of the bright half of the month of Kartik, Annakoot is celebrated, when the largest assortment of sweets and food preparation, offered to Shri Ranchhodraiji.

Beside Purnima, other Vaishnavite festivals are celebrated with great devotion here. In procession, the idol of Raja Ranchoodraiji is taken on an elephant along with rhymes and rhythms of chants and bhajans.

The festivals celebrated here are;

  • Janmashtami
  • Tulsi Vivah
  •  Nand Mahotsav
  • Hindola
  • Rathyatra
  • Amalaka Ekadashi
  • Holi
  • Navkavihar
  • Dashera

The Darshan timings on Purnima i.e. Full -Moon days are different and are declared by the temple authorities beforehand.

How to reach

Where is Ranchhodrai temple?

Ranchhodrai temple is located in Dakor, (near Vadodara) Gujarat. Vadodara is very easily accessible by air, train and road.

By train

Nadiad and Anand are the nearest major Railway stations.

By air

The nearest airport is in Vadodara- 78 km south, while the Ahmedabad airport- 90 km to the northwest is not much further and has more accessibility.

By Road

The State Transport Bus services connect Dakor with Nadiad, Ahmedabad, Kapadwanj, Baroda, Anand, Sevalia, Godhra, Indore, Dwarika, Rajkot, Junagadh, Surenderanagar, Ujjain, Ambaji, Shamlaji, Bombay etc.

Temple timings

The Temple remains open between 6: 45 am to 12pm and from 4: 15pm to 7:30pm. Before 12 Noon there are five darshan during which Aartis are performed. In between 4:15 to 7:30 pm there are three darshan.

Normal days

Darshan

Meaning

Normal day
Mangla Early morning darshan with emotion of waking up Lord 06:45 am
Bal Bhog Glimpse of childhood days 08:30 am
Shringar Bhog Adorned with flower garland and shown a mirror to see himself, offered dry fruits and sweets 09:30 am
Gwal Bhog Depicts the time spent with cows and friends, light snack and curd is offered to Lord 10:15 am
RajBhog Adorned with lotuses, flute, garlands, perfume and offered main meal of the day. 11:30 am
Utthapan Lord is lovingly awakened from his afternoon nap 04:15pm
Shayan Peacock feathers fan is waved as Lord finishes a light meal 05:25pm
Sakhdi Bhog Last prayer before bedtime 07:00pm

 Special Instruction:

The Darshan timings on Purnima i.e. Full -Moon days are different and are declared by the temple authorities beforehand.

Rituals

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 Dham.

Although Ranchhodrai temple is visited by thousands of devotees everyday but on every Purnima i.e. full moon day the ecstasy of devotion spreads all over Dakor. And as soon as you enter the temple, you will find yourself engrossed in chanting the Popular Raja Ranchhodrai Dhunn.

Things to note

  • As per the aarti and darshan timings whenever curtains are raised people will rush in to have a glimpse of their beloved deity and in a matter of few seconds, the temple room gets filled with hordes of devotees.
  • The front portion of the main hall is then railed off for women.
  •  You will find two men carrying Hundis (metal pots) standing on the railing and moving it to and fro, so that people could put their donations and offerings in them. (strange but true)
  • Photography is not allowed inside the temple.
  • Shoe stands are available inside the courtyard to deposit shoes for free.
  • You may come across some people who would insist you to make special tulsi offerings, personal Pujas. The temple authority does not conduct any personalized pujas so avoid being fooled.

In and around

  • There are many hotels and dharamshala for a comfortable stay.
  • This place is very well known for Dakor na Gota (a kind of pakora) which are easily available at shops right in front of the temple.

It is also admired as one of the best trading centre for articles related to puja, and other rituals.

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