Although Dakor is recognized primarily for the Ranchhodrai Temple, but there are other places too that just can’t be missed while you are here. Be it the Gaushala, the scenic Gomti lake or even the lively markets – all of these add to the appeal and charm of the place. While I was headed towards the main temple, I got a feel of these places which I am describing below.
Life of the people here mostly revolves around serving the Lord in some way or the other. The bazaars of Dakor are flanked with colorful shops selling sringar items of Lord Krishna like dresses, flutes, etc.
[ A beautifully decorated idol of
Lord Krishna in one of the shops ]
In addition, you will also find a number of sweetmeat shops selling a variety of Gujarati snacks and the local speciality - ‘Gota’ (a variation of the stuffed pakoras).
[ Entrance to the Dakor Gaushala ]
In His childhood, Lord Krishna was a gwal (cowherd boy). He loved cows and would take them for grazing to the jungles everyday. In the evenings, the sound of His flute was enough indication to the cows that it was time to go back home and they would all come rushing back to Him. Such was the eternal loving bond that Lord Krishna shared with the cows! What better way then, to worship Lord Ranchhodraiji than to visit the Gaushala of Dakor!
[ Cows in the Gaushala ]
Maintained by the temple committee, the Gaushala here is spread in a vast area. Proper care is provided to the resident cows, bulls and calves throughout their lifetime. The dairy produce (ghee, curd, buttermilk) from the cows besides the milk is used in the preparation of various food items, as bhog (offerings) made to the deity.
I fed these loving cows with some jaggery and experienced a unique sense of joy and satisfaction.
Near the main temple is the Gomti lake, a place of natural scenery surrounded by picturesque trees. Since boating facility is available here, it also serves as a picnic spot.
[ Picturesque Gomti Lake ]
On the banks, is a small yet ancient temple said to contain the foot impressions of Lord Ranchhodji. Besides, there is also a very interesting place known as ‘Tula ka Sthan’ (a large weighing scale). It is believed that the idol of Lord Ranchhodji was weighed here against a golden nose-ring of a great devotee of Lord Ranchhodji, Gangabai (It is a very interesting story which I will describe in detail in my next post). The essence of the story, however, is that it was her pure devotion towards the Lord which made it possible for the nose-ring (which was actually much lighter than the idol) to balance the weighing scale. Hence, even today, it is said weighing oneself here against an equal quantity of items (food-grains, clothes, or literally anything of general use as per one’s capacity) and distributing it to the brahmins and the needy brings good luck and prosperity to one’s family.
A little distance away, from the banks of the Gomti lake, I could see the magnificient spire of the main temple…And I eagerly waited for a glimpse of Lord Ranchhodraiji…