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History

Whilst bathing in the holy waters of the River Ghela, Shastriji Maharaj often used to turn in the direction of the hillock and say: "I see a huge 3-spired mandir here."

To fulfil Lord Swaminarayan's wish, Shastriji Maharaj had one firm desire - to build a magnificent monument in honour of Lord Swaminarayan at Gadhada. This idea was conceived in 1923. Shastriji Maharaj made serious attempts to procure the land on the hill-top but it seemed as if all the odds were against him. Due to instigation by opponents, Bhavnagar State issued a decree barring Shastriji Maharaj from acquiring any land in Gadhada. Undeterred, Shastriji Maharaj continued his efforts and prayers, remarking: "if it is Lord Swaminarayan's wish to sit here with His devotee, Gunatitanand Swami, then He will surely exercise His extraordinary spiritual powers to get this land for us to build a mandir."

And sure enough, in 1947, India gained independence and the state kings lost their kingdoms. Now Bhavnagar State affairs came under the jurisdiction of the Central Government. Govindsinh Chudasama, an ardent admirer of Shatriji Maharaj, was appointed as Collector of Bhavnagar and with his help, the land on the hillock soon became the property of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha.

The foundation stone was laid and the mammoth task of constructing a mandir totally out of white marble was commenced. As in Atladra, young Narayanswarupdas was again involved in the construction work.

The date for the image installation was fixed for 16th May 1951. For many months prior to this, Shastriji Maharaj was ill in Sarangpur, but content with the news that the mandir construction was going according to schedule. A few days prior to the installation, Shastriji Maharaj paid a visit to Gadhada. He inspected the construction work, bathed the images with the holy water of the River Ghela, adorned them with the sacred thread, offered arti and then said: "My work is now over. Yogiji Maharaj will perform the installation arti." Two days later, on 10th May 1951, Shastriji Maharaj passed away in Sarangpur. Six days later, as planned, Yogiji Maharaj pereformed the image installation ceremony in the beautiful all-marble mandir. Lord Swaminarayan's wish to see a mandir on the hill-top was finally fulfiled - after a span of 120 years.

In 1961, the Kalash ceremony was performed here during the historic 70th birthday celebrations of Yogiji Maharaj. On this occasion, Yogiji Maharaj initiated 51 youths into the Monastic Order. 

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