Shri Swaminarayan Temple is one of the most pious and most famous Hindu temples in India and is a part of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. Swaminarayan, the founder of the Swaminarayan Sampraday, established temples, known as mandirs, as part of his philosophy of theism and deity worship.
He constructed nine temples in the following cities; Ahmedabad, Bhuj, Muli, Vadtal, Junagadh, Dholera, Dholka, Gadhpur & Jetalpur. In these temples, he installed images of various Hindu gods, such as Nar Narayan Dev, Laxmi Narayan Dev, RadhaKrishna Dev, RadhaRaman Dev, Revti-Baldevji, Madan Mohan Dev, etc. Each of these nine original temples falls either under the Nar Narayan Dev Gadi, Ahmedabad, or the Laxmi Narayan Dev Gadi, Vadtal depending on their geographical location.
Architecture of Swaminarayan Temple
One of the most prominent features of the heritage of the Swaminarayan temple is its architecture. The images in the temples built by Swaminarayan are evidence of the priority of Krishna. All of the temples constructed during his life show some form of Krishna, and all temples since have such worshipable murtis. In the temples of the dioceses of Ahmedabad and Vadtal, they are predominantly a central altar or a shrine. Human forms are predominant but for a known exception of a Hanuman temple at Sarangpur, where Hanuman is the central figure. The temples have accommodations for sadhus built next to them.
Swaminarayan temples, like other Hindu temples, have walkways around the central shrine to allow worshipers to circumambulate the shrine. These are often decorated with designs and inlaid marble. The main shrine area is divided by railings. One side of the railing is reserved for women, as Swaminarayan propagated that men and women should be separated in temples to allow full concentration on god. Men do a specified number of prostrations (as decided by themselves). In front of the men’s section, there is a small section reserved for ascetics and special guests. There is great variety in form and nature of the central images, in front of which are gold- or silver-plated doors that open during darshan.
Swaminarayan temples are not restricted to India only but have a lot of fame overseas too. There are well renowned Swaminarayan temples in the USA, Australia, Seychelles, Canada, Thailand, Fiji, Mauritius, New Zealand, Oman, UAE, and Zambia.
Festivals of Swaminarayan Temple
The festivities celebrated at the temple are Ram Navami/Swaminarayan Jayanti, Janmashtami, Vaman Jayanti, Nrisinha Jayanti, Mahashivratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, etc. Apart from these, the festival of Hindola is also celebrated as part of festivities during the month of Shravan in the Indian Calendar.
About Dev Darshan
DevDarshan is a spiritual platform launched by IIT graduates to promote the teachings of Indian culture and the Hindu way of life in India around the world. In the 21st century, where everything around is digitalized then why not temples. That’s the idea behind DevDarshan. With DevDarshan, you can now offer prayers, watch live pujas and get Prasad all via an online mode. That’s even safe for all of us, considering the present state of pandemic.