Icon of Shri Ranchodji at
The image of the Lord is around 5 feet tall and made from a very hard black stone. The form of Ranchodrai is that of the Lord Vishnu with four arms. As is usual with Lord Vishnu, He bears the conch, lotus, discus and the mace in His hands. His right arm is held up in the abhaya mudra - offering protection to all those who come to Him. There may be a lotus imprinted on the this hand, but it is impossible to confirm that without getting really close to the Lord. At Dakor, flute is often placed on this hand instead of the lotus. The upper right hand holds the mace, the upper left hand holds the discus and the lower left hand holds the conch. Ordinarily, it is difficult to see these "ayudhas" of the Lord in His hands. During festivals, the hands encased in specially made gloves of gold, studded with gems. This helps highlight the ayudhas in detail. Please see the photo taken at Divali as a reference.
There are various holes in the stele behind the icon to allow clothes and necklaces to be worn by Ranchodrai. Strings are passed through these apertures and tied at the back so everything looks well fitted and sits perfectly on the Lord. Turban is tied to his rectangular crown at a jaunty angle and various 'mugats' are added on top. Every morning and evening, clothes and jewels are changed. At Dakor, these rituals are carried out in public. Thanks to internet and enlightened views of the Trustees, we can have live darshan of Ranchodrai at their website - http://ranchhodraiji.org/LiveDarshan.html
Some great videos of Kesar Snan, Shringar and artis of the Lord :-
Kesar snana of Lord Ranchodrai of Dakor - darshan of the Lord being bathed in saffron water every morning.
Mangala Arti of Lord Ranchodrai
Artis through the day from Shringar to Shayan - note how children of the priests trained from young age in details of rituals.
Here is a wonderful mpg file with a Mangala darshan of the Lord Ranchodraiji.
© Bhagwat Shah
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