Dakor is one of the small towns in Kheda district of Gujarat, India.
As per the legend, this place was a dense jungle with lakes and water bodies during Maha Bharatha time. Due to the serenity of the place, Rishis and Munis had chosen this place for their penance. One of the Rishis named Dank had his ashram here. He had prayed to Bhagwan Shiv to stay here.
Bhagwan Shiv was pleased with the Rishi’s devotion and agreed to stay there in the form of a Shiv Ling. The Shiv Ling was called as Danknath Mahadev. Due to the name of this Shiv Mandir, Dakor was earlier called as Dankpur / Dankapur.
Dakor is famous for the cluster of temples surrounding the Gomathi lake.
The prominent amongst the temples is Sri Ranchhodraiji Mandir which is ascribed for the worship of Bhagwan Krishna. As per the legend, the Murthi of Sri Krishna is said to come from Dwaraka.
There was a Krishna Devotee named Bodana Vijayanand at Dakor. In his earlier birth, he was one of the cowherd friends of Sri Krishna. As blessed by Sri Krishna, he was re-born as a Krishna bhakth. Bodana used to grow Tulsi plant and visit Dwaraka often with the Thulasi to meet Sri Krishna.
Bodana was getting aged and could not travel to Dwaraka. When he visited Dwaraka for the last time, Bhagwan Krishna accompanied him in the bullock cart. When they were nearing Dakor, they took rest near a neem tree at Bileshwar Mahadev Mandir. The branch which was touched by Bhagwan Krishna had turned sweet while the rest of the tree was sour.
The priests at Dwaraka had found that the idol of Sri Krishna was missing and they suspected Bodana. They came to Dakor in search of the vigraha. As advised by Sri Krishna, Bodana had hidden the idol in the Gomti lake. When the priests chased and attacked him, the weapons fell on the hidden idol as well. The lake water had become red. Bodana had also expired. Bhagwan’s foot prints still exist in the small temple in the midst of the lake.
The priests demanded that the idol should come back to Dwaraka. Then Sri Krishna had told the priests not to disturb the idol and that they would get another one for puja at Savithri Vav at Dwaraka.
Earlier, this was a small temple and later expanded into a bigger temple. The main sanctum is on the elevated mandapam with stairs of 12 steps in all four sides.
It is believed that this temple was built in 1772 A.D by Sri Gopalnath Jagannath Tambwaker. The temple has eight domes and twenty turrets. The tallest of the turrets is of 90 feet height. It has golden Kalash and the white silken flag.
This temple is considered as the tallest temple in the town. The main sanctum has silver gates and they have the depictions of Sun, Moon and Bhagwan Ganesh.
Before the mandapam, there are deepa sthambams on which lamps are lit. The walls of the mandapam and main sanctum are full of murals depicting life events of Bhagwan Sri Krishna.
At the main sanctum, Bhagwan Krishna is in standing position with four arms. He is worshipped as Sri Ranchhodraiji Maharaj. The lower right hand is in abhaya mudra, the protecting hand. At times, He holds flute, His favorite musical instrument. The Sri Murthy is said to be a meter tall.
It is believed that lotus is imprinted in this palm. His upper right hand holds the mace. His upper left hand holds the Sri Chakra and the lower left hand holds the Shank. During festival times, Bhagwan’s arms are encased in gem studded gold kavach.
During darshan and aarthi times, drummers play “Nagarkhana” music which is resonating and reverberating.
Sri Ranchhodraiji Mandir is opened at 06.45 A.M. Aarthi is performed during five darshans namely Mangla, Bal Bhog, Shringar Bhog, Gwal Bhog and Raj Bhog. Then the temple is closed at 12.00 Noon. The temple is re-opened at 04.15 P.M. There are three darshans with Aarthi namely Uthapan Bhog, Shakthi Bhog and Shayan Bhog. Puja times differ on Pournami and festival days.
Sharad Purnima, Krishna Janmotsav, Nand Mahotsav, Holi, Deepavali, Hindu New Year (Bestu Varsh), Annakut Mahotsav, Amali Ekadashi, Tulsi Vivah, Dusshera, Hindoda and Nav Ka Vihar are some of the major festivals celebrated at the temple. Besides these, all Ekadashi, Purnima and Fridays are considered more auspicious and special pujas are done on those days.
The temple for Sri Maha Lakshmi is away at a nearby street. It is believed that Bhagwan Krishna visits His wife every Friday. A small procession is done to mark this.
Dakor has a railway station and GSRTC bus stands. It is in the midst of Anand-Godhra. Buses are available from Ahmedabad and Vadodara. Taxis can also be booked.