Temple Information

 

 

 
 

Over the years, much has changed at Dakor. From a small village of Dankapur, it has now transformed itself into a major center of religious and commercial activity in the region. The small shrine of the original temple is now encased in a large temple complex, which has grown up around it. The current temple complex is set in a large square setting. Four gates pierce the outer walls at the cardinal points. Various offices and storerooms are set around the outer perimeter of the temple. The actual temple is set on a high platform in a complex, set in the style of medieval temples from the region. The form of Lord Ranchhodrai is that of the Lord Vishnu with four arms. As is usual with Lord Vishnu, he bears the conch, lotus, discus and the mace in his hands. The lower right arm is held up in the abhaya mudra - giving protection to all those who come to Him. There may be a lotus imprinted on the hand, but it is impossible to confirm that without getting really close to the Lord. As the Lord here is worshipped more as Krishna than Dwarkadhish, i.e. younger and freer than the mature Lord of Dwaraka, His right hand is often shown to hold a flute - a favorite instrument of the Lord in His younger days. The upper right hand holds the mace, the upper left hand holds the discus and the lower left hand holds the conch. Ordinarily, it is difficult to see these "ayudhas" of the Lord in His hands. During festivals, the hands encased in gloves of gold studded with gems.

 

Temple Architecture

 

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 (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. As tradition would have it, drummers sit atop the main gate in 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 (by the beauty of the Lord). 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. 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 cottons 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 it's way from the main temple down the lanes and bylanes of Dakor to unite the couple.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Tuesday, 9th September 2014