The Ramkrishna Ashram in Rajkot is one of the most devotional travel spots in this historic town of Gujarat as tourists and pilgrims from far and near keep flocking to the temple round the year. The ashram more popularly referred to as ‘Jagat Mandir’ is dedicated to ‘Ramkrishna Paramhansa’-one of the greatest devotional thinkers and Advaita philosophers of India. Standing in front of the temple, one is simply awestruck by the magnificence of not only the façade but also of the entire structure that has been constructed out of red sandstone.
The main temple is 168 feet in length and 60 feet wide and the loftiest point is about 100 ft. from the ground. The floor of the sanctum sanctorum is 8 feet atop the ground. A basement floor going 5 ft. below houses the auditorium and the kitchen. The central entrance resembles the façade of the Ajanta caves. The ubiquitous and familiar insignia of the Ramkrishna Mission is built into the wall just above the main entrance door. Other places to visit in the temple include the Plinth and the Main Entrance, the parapet, the foyer, gopuram (gateway), the Garbha Mandir and the exterior.
Of all the tourist places at Rajkot that must be there on a traveler’s itinerary, the Ramkrishna ashram surely is one of these because of the significance it has in the history of the city. Other tourist attractions in Rajkot include the Watson Museum & Library, Rashtriya Sala, Alfred High School, Rajkumar College, Mahadev Temples, Swaminarayan Temples, Pradyamun Park, Nyari Dam to name a few.
The original ‘math’ or ashram was built and inaugurated in 1927 and the ashram at its new premises (the universal temple of Shri Ramkrishna) was opened to the public in 1971. Everyday people of different faiths and religions throng to the temple in large numbers in quest of spiritual solace. Shri Lukhdhirji Jadega, Maharaja of Morbi offered his rest house in Rajkot for interim use as an ashram which eventually became the original Ramkrishna temple that was inaugurated on 5th March, 1927.
In the same year, a library with a collection of nearly 2,000 books was opened. The ashram started issuing devotional books in 1928 and in September of 1931, 4000 sq. yards of land was acquired in the existing premises for erecting new buildings for the ashram. Gradually, edifices housing dispensary, school, public library, and new temple were built. In 1971, foundation stone for the construction of a new temple was laid on 16th August.
Where is it located?
The ashram is situated at a distance of 3.5km and 3.1km from Rajkot railhead (junction) via Dr. Yagnik Road and Railway Station Road respectively. Rajkot is also ideally connected by road to principal cities and towns in Gujarat and neighboring states. Rajkot is also served by an airport where Jet Airways and Air India operates flights to Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore.
Ideal Visiting Time
Disciples and devotees of Sri Ramkrishna congregate every morning and evening at the Naat Mandir. Aarti is offered twice, once in the morning at 5 A.M. and again at 7.30 P.M.