Sarangpur

 

Once, Bhagwan Swaminarayan rode his horse around a quiet, ordinary village tucked away among the rolling landscapes of Gujarat. But what he proclaimed when he completed encircling the village was not quite ordinary: “Today I have just performed the groundbreaking ceremony for a magnificent mandir!”

The year was 1813, and the village he was taking about was Sarangpur.  Now, 193 years later, Sarangpur is nothing short of extraordinary. Sarangpur today is abuzz with the pulsating energy of devotees and sadhus, a beautiful mandir, and colourful festivals.

It is important for us to look back in time to understand the true significance of Sarangpur, since our spiritual history has its roots here.  It was here in Sarangpur that Bhagwan Swaminarayan came as often as He could to celebrate the joyous spring festival of Fuldol. Even today, Swamishri continues this tradition. Thousands of enthusiastic devotees descend here every year to enjoy and experience the celebrations.

Sarangpur is also a place of great spiritual enlightenment: in 1820, Bhagwan Swaminarayan delivered 18 Vachanamruts here. The legacy of this is that Sarangpur today is home to the educational centre where sadhus gain their skills and knowledge.

Finally, Sarangpur is the place where Bhagwan Swaminarayan had promised one of his adoring devotees, Jiva Khachar, that there would one day be a huge shikharbadh mandir in Sarangpur. In May of 1916, Shastriji Maharaj fulfilled this promise when he oversaw the completion of not only the largest mandir of the Swaminarayan Sampraday, but also the second highest in Gujarat, standing at 108 feet. (That’s like piling six adult giraffes on top of each other!) Completing this task had been no easy feat though since there was a shortage of many resources.

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