Baroda Devotees Hold Three-day Walk To Dakor Dhama
GBC meeting at ISKCON Ujjain in October 2017, I had the opportunity to converse
with Lokanath Maharaja about Baroda’s inaugural ox cart padayatra held earlier
in the year. Maharaja then asked about our next walk and suggested we arrange a
padayatra from Baroda to the Sri Ranchhodrai temple in Dakor. After consulting
with our Baroda temple authorities, it was decided to convey padayatra’s Sri
Sri Gaura-Nitai on an ox cart to Dakor on December 7-9, 2018.
padayatris attended Rupa Raghunath Maharaja’s early morning arati to Sri Sri
Gaura-Nitai, but as soon as the padayatra departed at 6.30am more devotees joined
for the first leg of the walk, almost doubling the number of participants. Dakor
is about 60km from Baroda and as we had only three days, we arranged to travel
much of that on the first day and thus passed through eight villages
distributing Srila Prabhupada’s literature and performing harinama sankirtan.
stop was at Undera at 8.30am for breakfast prasadam and by midday we had walked
on to Koyali, where we performed Guru puja before heading for Fajalpur on the
banks of the River Mahi. From there we hired a tractor to transport the
padayatris to Sarsa where our night halt was scheduled, arriving there at 3pm for
a piping hot prasadam feast prepared by our cooking team. Having welcomed the devotees
from ISKCON Vallabha Vidyanagar we then spent the evening in Sarsa on nagar
sankirtan and book distribution.
ranks swelled again by several devotees from the Baroda temple, we set off at
6am for our first halt at Maruti farm in Khambhaloj village where we performed
Guru puja and heard a Srimad-Bhagavatam class by Rupa Raghunath Maharaja. Soon
after class we headed for our overnight halt at Ode village. That evening we did
book distribution in Ode as even more devotees, this time from Moramba, joined
us for the final push to Dakor the next day.
On the last
day of padayatra more than 170 devotees were now in the party and everyone was anticipating
darsana of Sri Ranchhodrai in Dakor. Soon after the morning programme the
padayatris departed for the first stop of the day at Santram mandir in Umreth
village. Following breakfast prasadam we performed nagar sankirtan and book distribution
for two hours in Umreth, devotees doing door-to-door book distribution to ensure
everyone received a Bhagavad-gita.
Leaving Umreth at noon, just over an hour later we reached Dakor dhama. In the afternoon Adi Guru dasa gave a lecture on Dakor-lila including the history of the Ranchhodrai temple, which was originally a Shiva place of worship and developed into a Vaishnava centre with the increasing fame of the temple built in the late-eighteenth century. After the devotees had darsana of Sri Ranchhodrai, our youth preaching director, Vamshidhari dasa, gave the farewell to all. We travelled to almost 12 villages and distributed 1220 Bhagavad-gita as it is.
This was ISKCON Baroda’s second annual padayatra and we are now determined to organize such padayatras every year.