Swaminarayan Temple Kalupur, Ahmedabad: Home Of Nar-Narayana

 In Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Holidays, Places To Visit, Travel

India is a country of vibrant culture with vast religious communities such as Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Hindus, etc., living together in peace and harmony. Due to religiousness and spirituality, you will find  Akshardham Temple , mosque or monasteries within a few kilometres. Talking about religious places, did you know about Swaminarayan Temple Kalupur, which has held its spiritual legacy for ages? Let’s find out more about it. 

About Swaminarayan Temple Ahmedabad

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The Swaminarayan Temple is located in the Kalupur region of Ahmedabad, known as the largest city of Gujarat. The temple was built with instructions from Swaminarayan, a saint or yogi believed to be the manifestation of the Hindu God, Lord Krishna. Because of him, the Swaminarayan Community developed. The Swaminarayan Temple Kalupur is a home for the Gods Nar-Narayan and Laxmi-Narayan.

Saint Swaminarayan

As we understand, Swaminarayan is believed to be the manifestation of God. His real name was Ghanshyam Pande, and he was working under the Uddhava community led by his spiritual guru, Swami Ramanand. There he got a new name, Sahajanand Swami, in 1800. After a few years, Ramanad handed over his leadership of the Uddhava community before his death.

 He taught moral values for social and personal betterment. According to the Swaminarayan traditions, he became Swaminarayan from Sahajananda because he taught Swaminarayan Mantra to his followers. Hence, the Uddhava community later became the Swaminarayan community. According to the legends, it is believed that whoever got their Swaminarayan Mantra could see their personal gods.

History Of Swaminarayan Mandir

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If we look at the history of Swaminarayan Mandir, Swaminarayan used to maintain good relationships with every religion, including Brothers, Parsis and Muslims. Even his followers included Khoja Muslims and the region of Kathiawad. Many Muslim community members used to wear the necklace offered by Swaminarayan, and he had a perfect relationship with the government and East India Company in earlier periods. 

According to a few reports, John Andrew Dunlop, the first British collector of Ahmedabad, promised land to construct a place where he could stay. He was also known as “Eron Saheb” and communicated with his followers to construct a hall for followers, the sadhus and Swaminarayan himself. He promised ample land for Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kalupur in 1817. After a few years, Saint Swaminarayan initially built six temples for devotional practices, and the Swaminarayan Temple Kalupur was established on 24 February 1822.

Suggested Read: Calico Museum Of Textiles: A Trip To The Rich Cultural Heritage! 

Architecture Of Swaminarayan Mandir

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You will land in India’s spiritual era whenever you step into the Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kalupur. You will be awestruck by the architecture of Swaminarayan Mandir, and you will find beautiful carvings, wooden brackets, and arches everywhere in the temple.

The Swaminarayan Temple Ahmedabad has an air-conditioned multi-storey guest house and a fully functional medical clinic; this temple is blended with local regional and British styles of architecture. The whole temple was made using sandstone and marble, with carvings and sculptures on the temple walls.

The Northern Gateway Of Swaminarayan Temple Ahmedabad

If we look at the northern gateway of Ahmedabad Swaminarayan Temple, it is the central gateway that looks artistic. You will find the Marathi and Rajasthani folk cultures carved on the gateway. Looking at the columns of the temple are made with vertical lining in Corinthian order. Corinthian orders are primarily seen in British, Roman and Greek styles of architecture. When you are moving towards the pavilion, you will find that these pavilions have a Mughal touch, and you will also find a few statues of the gateway that depict Gujarati women. 

Inside Ahmedabad Swaminarayan Temple

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Source: my journey through india.wordpress

1. Nar-Narayan Temple

As we know, Saint Swaminarayan created two deities, Nar-Naryana and the Laxmi Narayana, with a hereditary leadership of religious instructors and their wives and his extended family. The Nar-Narayan Temple of  Ahmedabad Swaminarayan Temple is of primary focus. This temple was constructed as per the norms of the scriptures. You will find those eaten carvings on pure Burma teak that show the sculptures depicting the stories of deities, religious icons, and Indian culture.

According to legends, the Swaminarayan Temple of Ahmedabad is the best example of Gujarat’s socio-religious history and heritage. The Garbha Griha of this temple has the statue of Nar-Narayan Dev in the centre; you will also find Lord Krishna and Devi Radha on the right side and Lord Dharmadeva, Goddess Bhaktimata and Lord Harishkrishna on the left side of the central hall. 

These statues were made in Dungarpur of Rajasthan, and the stones of these statues were imported from the Himmatnagar and Dhrangadhra regions of Gujarat. The Nar-Narayan temple inside the Swaminarayan temple is also famous for its elegant dresses draped in minute detail. The dresses of Nar-Naryana and Radha-Krishna are changed seven times within a single day.

2. The Akshar Bhuvan Area

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Source: Krazy Butterfly

Let’s move toward Akshar Bhuvan; in the Akshar Bhuvan area of the temple, you will find an idol in the form of a child. It is a statue of  Ghanshyam Maharaj made of white marble. Apart from that, the Akshar Bhuvan also works as a museum that displays the objects used by Shree Swaminarayan on the ground floor and on the first floor. Then, there is Tejendra Bhuvan and various pilgrim houses in the southern region of the building. 

3. The Rang Mahol

The Rang Mahol is an area of the temple where Shree Swaminarayan Stayed whenever he visited Ahmedabad. Here, you can observe a carved statue of Shree Swaminarayan made of wood in a standing position. It is said that the statue was installed more than fifty years ago, and it is one of the best specimens of wooden carving in Gujarat, India. 

4. Temple For Sankhya Yogi Women

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Source: Mani Mansion

The Mansion area on the west side of the temple was the official residence of the spiritual leader of Narnarayan temple. Still, the first floor of this mansion has been converted into a residency area for Sankhya Yogi women. This lady has devoted her life to the temple and took celibacy as a vow.  In the inner temple, Acharya’s wife and the spiritual leaders of women hold a religious assembly for the betterment of women. Even in this area, you will find an idol, Ghanashyam Maharaj, whom the women devotees serve. 

Looking at the inner space of the Sankhya Yogi women’s temple, the whole mansion is decorated with delicate and elegant chandeliers, lamps and huge mirrors. The arches and the pillars are intricately carved and have the shape of flowers and motifs.

5. The Haveli Of The North

After observing the temple for women, you will step into the three-storey mansion in the northern region of Swaminarayan Temple. This mansion was established in 1871 by Acharya Keshavprasad Maharaj. 

An interesting fact about this mansion is that it is said to be resting on octagonal and square wooden pillars and has beautiful carvings of Ardha-must sculpture and flowers engraved. Apart from other areas, this mansion has accessible hand-designed carvings. It has a central hall named Sabha Mandapam, constructed only on sixty pillars.

These pillars have beautiful carvings and catch anyone’s eye. These carved sculptures include Lord Hanuman lifting the Devgiri Mountain; then there is a carving of Lord Ganesha, who is wearing a turban in a South-Indian style; you will also find the carvings of several soldiers dressed with Maratha turbans. Some sculptures show the uprising of the Queen of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai and heroes narrated on the pillars. 

Twelve Pillars depicts the story of Maratha warriors fighting under Rani Lakshmibai in the guise of Durga. Then there are carvings of Indian leader Tatya Tope in the guise of Lord Narasimha, an incarnation of the Hindu God Lord Vishnu.

Suggested Read: Adalaj Stepwell: A Marvel Of Architecture And History

6. The Eastern Area Of Haveli

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Soure: GIPS-Guwahati

In the eastern mansions region, you’ll find sculptures of flowers and creepers carved on wooden pillars. On the mansion’s ground floor, you will observe the objects related to Nar-Narayan, and the first and second floors are dedicated to Sanskrit and music schools and residential areas for saints. If we move towards the backyards, it holds a space for a residential area for the Bramhachari students and a well where Shree Swaminarayan used to bathe. 

Things To Do

1. Heritage Walk

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The Shree Swaminarayan Temple is a cultural and heritage place; here, you can take a guided tour, like a heritage walk, to learn about the whole history and the significance of the community. 

2. Participating In Rituals:

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You can immerse yourself in the daily rituals of the temple, such as Aarti, Archana and Abhishekam. 

3. Exploring The Cultural Centre

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At Swaminarayan Temple, you can also visit the cultural centre, which hosts various events, shows, and narrations of the Swaminarayan community. 

Suggested Read: 15 Best Things To Do In Gujarat

4. Souvenir Shopping

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Source: So Many Travel Tales

Suppose you are looking for something to shop near the temple area. In that case, you can visit souvenir shops nearby and buy traditional handicrafts and other religious objects such as books followed by the community, chanting malas, bamboo-less incense sticks, and much more. 

5. Canteen

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Source: Ahmedabad Mirror

Shree Swaminarayan Temple Kalupur also has a canteen where you can fill your stomach with their lovely sattvic vegetarian food at an affordable price. 

Swaminarayan Temple timings

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If we look at the Swaminarayan Temple timings, it is open from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm during the day and 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the evening. However, the Aarti and Abhishek times may differ, so it is suggested that the ritual timing be ensured accordingly. 

Places To Visit Near Swaminarayan Temple

You have explored every corner of the Swaminarayan Temple of Ahmedabad. You are now looking forward to visiting other places nearby. Here are some of them

1. Jhulta Minara, Ahmedabad

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The Jhulta Minara is one of the best places to visit near Swaminarayan Temple. It is a part of Sidi Bashir Mosque, which was established under the reign of Sultan Ahmed Shah. These minarets are more than 500 years old. An interesting fact about the Jhulta Minara is that if one of the minarets is shaken, another one starts vibrating within a few seconds, although the passage remains.

2. Sarkhej Roza Ahmedabad

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If you want another heritage place, visit Sarkhej Roza in Ahmedabad. It is a complex consisting of mosques, tombs and a palace; hence, it is also called Sarkhej Roza Mosque in Ahmedabad. According to the reports, this place was built to honour the spiritual advisor of Ahmed Khattu Bakhs, Ahmed Shah. One of the best attractions of this place is the tombs of Mehmud Begada and Ganj Baksh. 

3. Hathee Singh Jain Temple

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Suppose you want to visit another pilgrim place after Shree Swaminarayan Temple. You can visit Hutheesing Jain Temple, also known as Hathee Singh Jain Temple, in Ahmedabad. This place was established in 1848 by the Hutheesing family. You will be amazed by the beautiful blend of Rajput and Marwadi style of architecture of the Jain temple. Here, you will find the 12 ornate pillars and 52 small shrines dedicated to the Tirthankaras of the Jain community. 

4. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial

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You can also visit the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial in Ahmedabad’s Shahibaug area. Earlier, it was a palace built by Shah Jahan in 1623. It now holds a memorial of Sardar Patel in Ahmedabad, a museum and exhibition centre dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. 

Whether you are a spiritual seeker, a heritage enthusiast, a member of Swaminarayan Sampraday or a typical tourist, the Swaminarayan Temple has everything for everyone, and it holds a testament to heritage and Indian culture. So, whenever you are in Ahmedabad, remember the Swaminarayan Temple in Kalupur to seek the blessings of Nar-Naryana and Laksmi-Narayana.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the history of Swaminarayan Temple in Kalupur?

According to history, the Swaminarayan Temple in Kalupur was established in 1822, and the land was promised by John Andrew Dunlop, a British collector. 

Which is the oldest temple of Swaminarayan?

Shree Swaminarayan Temple Kalupur is the oldest temple of Swaminarayan. 

Which is the biggest Swaminarayan Temple?

The Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, located in Delhi, is said to be the biggest Swaminarayan Temple.

What is the story of Swaminarayan Temple?

According to the stories, the temple was built on instructions given by Shree Swaminarayan, who placed the idols Nar-Narayan and Laxmi-Narayan in the garbha griha of the temple.

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