The auspicious re-inauguration of the sacred pilgrim place at Ambli Vali Pol in the Shahpur suburb of Ahmedabad was performed by Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami.
Located to the east of River Sabarmati in the Old City area of Ahmedabad, Ambli Vali Pol is one of over 360 ‘pols’ — housing clusters which are accessed by a single entrance (known as ‘pratoli’ in Sanskrit) — that represent the tradition and culture of the past. Some of these ‘pols’ are over 400 years old.
The sacred texts of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya reveal that Bhagwan Swaminarayan sanctified most of these ‘pols’, as well as many other historic landmarks, during his visits to Ahmedabad.
Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj also visited Ahmedabad frequently and from 1931 stayed at Ambli Vali Pol. It was from here that he coordinated many of the BAPS Sanstha’s important activities, making it the Sanstha’s de facto headquarters. Of the many historic moments that Ambli Vali Pol has witnessed, two are of special significance: 1. Shastriji Maharaj initiated Shantilal into the parshad-fold and named him Shanti Bhagat (two months later, at the Akshar Deri in Gondal, he gave bhagvati diksha to Shanti Bhagat and named him Narayanswarupdas Swami). 2. Shastriji Maharaj appointed 28-year-old Narayanswarupdas Swami as the president of BAPS, following which he became known as ‘Pramukh Swami’.
In 1942, Shastriji Maharaj established a small hari mandir in Ambli Vali Pol. Yogiji Maharaj often referred to this place as ‘Akshar Ordi’ since Shastriji Maharaj, the manifest form of Akshar, had spent so much time there. Due to these sacred associations, Ambli Vali Pol has become an important pilgrim place for BAPS devotees.
When Shastriji Maharaj appointed Pramukh Swami as the president, he draped a chadar — a small cloth shawl — around his shoulders. In memory of this, the tradition of draping a chadar and offering prayers to the murti of Pramukh Swami Maharaj has evolved. Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj have blessed that the wishes of all who offer prayers in this way will be fulfilled.
After performing the mahapuja rituals and re-inaugurating the Yagnapurush Smruti Mandir, the room in which Shastriji Maharaj stayed and appointed Pramukh Swami as the president, Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami also inaugurated the adjacent assembly hall by performing the pujan of the murtis of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the guru parampara.
Throughout the day, over 6,000 devotees visited for darshan. Ambli Vali Pol will now remain open for darshan and prayers every day.