Bhagwan Swaminarayan had performed the ground-breaking ceremony of Sarangpur mandir in a unique manner 200 years ago as he rode his rozo horse around the lands. It is on that sanctified land that Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj built a three-spired mandir reaching far into the sky, fulfilling the inner wish of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Shastriji Maharaj performed the murti-pratishtha of the central murtis of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Aksharbrahman Gunatitanand Swami and Shri Gopalanand Swami and the other murtis of Shri Harikrishna Maharaj and Shri Mukund Brahmachari and Shri Gopinath Dev, Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj and Shri Dharmakul on Vaishak Sud 6, VS 1972 (8 May 1916).
The centenary of this BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Sarangpur was celebrated on a grand scale over the past year. Special occasions such as a drive for cleanliness, world peace mahayagna, akhand dhun, women’s empowerment programme, blood donation camp, medical camp, tree-planting, cultural tours, and many other devotional and humanitarian programmes were organized.
The year-long celebrations culminated into a crescendo of dedication, devotion and joyful celebration spread over ten days with the highlight of the ‘Shatabdi Sabha’ on the final day, 13th May 2016. Devotees from all over the world congregated to participate on the final day of the festivities.
Over 80,000 devotees from India and abroad flocked to Sarangpur to experience the grand and divine celebration marking the 100th anniversary of Sarangpur mandir. The beautifully decorated stage was crowned with a realistic model of the Sarangpur mandir, set against the backdrop of an enormous LED screen covering over 2500 square feet.
The audience enjoyed a unique, inspiring and moving three-hour stage program, under the theme “The History of Sarangpur Mandir,” which included various distinct mediums such as dances, dramas, videos, animations, and speeches. Over 450 children and youths from BAPS Mandirs in Sarangpur, Tithal, Bharuch, Mahesana, Botad, Navsari, Himmatnagar, and Amdavad were involved in the cultural program. Senior and scholarly sadhus delivered inspiring and heartwarming speeches.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s welcome into the grand assembly marked the climax of the event, creating joy and happiness amongst the thousands who had gathered. The children and youths welcomed Swamishri with a dance performance. Swamishri blessed all the sadhus and devotees in return. For all the thousands of devotees, Swamishri’s darshan was the high point of the event.