Kheda District is one of the thirty-three districts of Gujarat state in western India. Nadiad city is the administrative headquarters of the district. Long ago Kheda was known as “Hidimba Van” because its believed that Bhimsen of Mahabharata had killed a demon to marry Hidimba at this place.
Kheda was initially ruled by the Babi Dynasty but later taken over by the Marathas and successively by the British. Kheda is historically important as Gandhiji started his Satyagraha from here. Kheda was famine stricken, and the British was not exempting the taxes of the villagers.
In such a situation Gandhiji initiated the first Satyagraha which ultimately made the British bow down to the pressure of the villagers and taxes for two consecutive years were suspended and interest amount decreased. Kheda is also famous for 150 years old traditional murals of Gujarat that can be found on some temple walls and residential houses.
Let’s take a look at the top 7 tourist destinations of this beautiful place.
1. Ranchhod Rai Temple
Ranchhod Rai temple was constructed by Shri Gopal Rao Jagannath Tambwekar in 1772 AD at the cost of Rs. 100000. It was built with brick walls and stones pillars. It has eight domes and twenty four turrets, the highest of them being 27 metres, making it the tallest temple in the district. The hall of the temple has put on display, a variety of paintings portraying different incidents of Lord Krishna’s life. The idol in the sanctum is extremely attractive, made of black touchstone and lavishly adorned with gold and silver ornaments and vibrant clothes. The lord’s richly etched wooden thorn was gifted by the Gaekwad of Baroda. It is situated on the bank of the holy lake Gomti in midst of the main baazar of Dakor. On the upper floor of the gate there is a Tokorkhana where music is played on Shehnai and drums daily at intervals of three hours and listening to the devotional songs sung by Champavati Ben Tambekar is a very special experience.
2. Gomti Lake
This lake is in the village of Vadtal and is a tourist attraction in Kheda. Legends have it that during his journey with Krishna, Bhimsen dug open a small pool of water into a huge lake, for the welfare of the forest animals and dwellers in the area. This lake is situated opposite the Dakora temple and gets its name from River Gomti at Dwarka. Spread over an area of 230 hectares, present on the banks of the Gomti lake, is a variety of lodging facilities for pilgrims. The lake has four important mounds called Makhani Aro, Kaleshwar Mahadev, Bhattji Maharaj and Danknath Mahadev. The lake is quite famous among locals and the best time to visit it is in the evenings. The main attraction of the lake is the small temple in the middle of the lake.
Raska Jain Tirth is situated at Raska village in Mahemdabad, Kheda district. The Jain temple is just 25 km away from Ahmedabad. The main idol of the temple is Lord Shankheshwar Prashwanath. The architecture of the temple is beautiful and it covers a very big area. This is also the Jain Tirth Yatra Dham of Lord Prashwanath. The temple has facilities of dharamshala and bhojanshala for the devotees who come here for darshan.
A pleasant ashram in Bilorda near Dakor, the Hari Om Ashram is always brimming with serenity. Surrounded by tall beautiful trees, set up at this ashram are ‘Moun Mandirs’ (silent temples) which are small rooms that people in quest of peace voluntarily occupy and rest in silence. One can do so by paying a donation of Rs 5 following which the ashram provides food and laundry facilities to those in the rooms through a window. Hari Om Ashram was established by the famous Gujarati saint Pujya Shree Mota and lies at a kilometer’s distance from the state transport bus stop.
5. BAPS Swaminarayan Temple
Culture and heritage are distinct parts of our identity as an individual and as a community. The BAPS Sanstha hosts a variety of invites to help India stay connected with their culture & roots. The Archarya Shrees of Swaminarayan temple are responsible for the initiating followers into the organization with a samanya diksha by giving guru mantra and perform murti-pratishtha by installing deities in the temple, acting as a guru and leader of the whole Sampraday. The Archaryas wear a red turban and carry an golden staff and umbrella as the symbols of their authority. This temple is famous for the Swaminarayan idol donning beautiful dresses and its marvellous architecture. The atmosphere of any Swaminarayan temple, for that matter, is peaceful and pleasant.
6. Lashundra Hot Water Springs
Lashundra is a village in Kathlal Taluka in Kheda district of Gujarat. Here the people bathe in the hot water springs to earn blessings of the Almighty. The water is rich in sulphur and hence good for the health as well as it has a lot of benefits for our skin and body. Moreover, it is believed that people specially come here from all over the country to bathe in this water and be blessed with health and wealth. Lasundra is a hot water spring famous all over Gujarat and India.
7. Other Temples
Kheda houses so many temples within it that it can be rather called a town of temples. Some of the interesting shrines that one can visit include; The Santaram Mandir, a huge and beautiful shrine dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi. The Satyanarayan Temple well recognized for the uniqueness of its shikhar/peak. The Punitashram is known for its social services to its pilgrims which include the Ashaktashram – an ashram for the disabled and Vriddhi Nivas – an old age home. The newly constructed Gayatri temple and The Mahaprabhuji ni Bethak – one of the 84 established seats of Mahaprubhu in the country that is frequented by Vaishnavs.
So as you can see, Kheda is not just any district in Gujarat, rather it is one which is perfect for a weekend getaway or 1-2 days vacation. Especially if you’re a devotee or a pilgrim, this place should be in your top 10 destinations. So plan a trip, pack your bags and visit this place soon, to experience the peace and tranquillity it has to offer.