Inspirator: His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj
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Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj - Suvarna Mahotsav, Bhuj

Establishment of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Bhuj

The administrative headquarters of Kutch is the city of Bhuj, which is geographically situated at the centre of the Kutch district. Bhuj was founded in 1549 AD, by Rao Shree Khingarji I. Close to the city is a mountain called Bhujiyo, from which the name Bhuj was formed. The king had a fort built around the city of Bhuj, parts of which still remain. Adjacent to the city is Lake Hamisar, in which Lord Shree Swaminarayan bathed many times, and made it a sacred place of pilgrimage.

The city of Bhuj was the heart of Kutch, and therefore, people inevitably had to go to Bhuj frequently. Due to the blessings of Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa, the loving disciples of Lord Shree Swaminarayan and Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree, had become sincere, faithful and dedicated about spreading the Karan Satsang far and wide. Consequently, they prayed to Jeevanpran Swamibapa to establish a centre of the supreme Lord Swaminarayan's sublime Karan Satsang in Bhuj.

Finding a large piece of land within the walls of Bhuj's fortress was a difficult task. Eventually, by Swamibapa's blessings, the site where the temple now stands was identified. At the heart of Bhuj is the palace of Kutch's king. Right beside the palace were the garages where he kept all his vehicles. It was this plot that was secured for building the temple. How appropriate that the supreme Lord Swaminarayan decided to preside right at the centre of Bhuj, in Darbargadh  Chowk - the 'Square of the King's Palace'.

In Samvat 2017, Fagan Vad 10, Sunday 12 March 1961, Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa laid the foundation stone of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, Bhuj. In only a short time, a magnificent Mandir was built, and in Samvat 2018, Vaishakh Sud 13, Thursday 17 May 1962, Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa performed the installation ceremony of the supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa in the Mandir.

To celebrate the opening, a grand procession was held through Bhuj during which Lord Swaminarayan and Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree, together with Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa, presided upon regal elephants and gave darshan throughout the city. Such a procession had not taken place in Bhuj since the time when Maharao ceremonially welcomed Lord Shree Swaminarayan to the city nearly 150 years earlier. Throughout the procession, an aeroplane flew above showering flower petals on everyone. This was the first time that the people of Kutch had seen such a wonderful spectacle.



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