Porbandar of Gujarat being the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi is familiar to most of the Bharatvasi. Perhaps many also know this city since it is the birth place of Sudama, the friend of Lord Krishna during his Balyam [youth]. Porbandar is a popular tourist destination which is considered the birth place of these two pious people. . Kirti Mandir is the memorial temple built in memory of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Sudama Mandir is built in the palace where Sudama was born in Porbandar.
The city which is located in the coast of Gujarat is very old and ancient. Explorations in and around this place has revealed that this place had played a vital part during Harappan period dating back to the 16th - 14th Century BC. The other place which has this distinction is Bet Dwarka, Gujarat.
Porbandar, the sea-side city was founded on Rakshabandhan day (a holy day of Hindu religion) in 1193 and named as Pauravelakul. But after that it is called as Sudamapuri after "Sudama", a companion of the Lord Krishna. This city was finally named as as Porbandar in the year 1785. It is located on Saurashtra's western coast and was an important trading harbor during Jethwas rule.
Porbandar was formerly the seat of the eponymous princely state in British India. The ruling family of the state belonged to the Jethwa clan of Rajput who were established in this city during the mid 16th century. The state was subordinate to the Mughal governor of Gujarat until being overrun by the Marathas in the latter half of the 18th century. Subsequently, the authority of the Gaekwad court at Baroda followed by Peshwa took over before coming under the ambit of British Rule.
Although Sri Krishna is worshiped widely in Gujarat, Sri Hanuman was also in worship this region. Sri Hanuman and His son Makardhwaja were worshiped in Gujarat together here. The worship of these two deities was prominent during the rule of Jethwa clan. Jethwa’s are descendents of Makardhwaja therefore of Sri Hanuman also.
The Jethwa clan of Kshatriyas are descendants of Makardhwaja. As per the legend Makardhwaja had a son named Mod-dhwaja and his grandson was named Jethi-dhwaja. Clan of Jethwas starts from Jethi-dhwaja and had Sri Hanuman as their main deity of worship. The Jethwa dynasty of Gujarat, who once ruled major part of Kathiawar and later the princely state of Porbandar, therefore, had the image of Hanuman on their Royal flag.
Therefore it is no wonder that one finds Sri Hanuman worship in Porbandar. In Sudama Mandir also we find Sri Hanuman deity in standing posture.
There were saints and sadhus who were practicing worship of Sri Hanuman in Gujarat and one such saint was living in Porbandar. He was living on the other side of the creek that is flowing inland in the city. He was worshiping a small stone [pind in Hindi] by installing Sri Hanuman in that small stone. It is said that the saint had lived for more than two hundred years here. He offered solution to problems faced by the devotees of Sri Hanuman.
With time, more people started pouring in for finding solution to their problem. As the saint had nothing to ask from Sri Hanuman for himself, his prayers to help others were answered quickly.
Today this place where the saint had lived has a huge temple complex in the name of “Rokadia Hanuman Mandir”. Sri Hanuman of this place got this name since he answers to the prayers quickly [in Gujarati ‘Rokadia’ means immediately]. Nearly twenty five years back a new huge deity of Sri Hanuman was installed. But even today the first prayers are offered to the deity of Sri Hanuman in ‘pint’, which was worshiped by the saint-unknown.
The north facing Rokadia Hanuman temple is situated at the junction of Tulsishyam and Bhavnagar road.
The temple is housed in huge complex. There is a vast open space in the front of the main temple with lot of trees. . This gives coolness to devotees the moment they enter this complex. A very big hall and the garbhagraham are the two things that constitute the temple. This big hall has a high ceiling making this structure tall and spacious with cool temperature. This creates a perfect ambience for the devotees to relax in mind and pray peacefully.
The deity of Sri Hanumanji is about eight feet tall made of stone in standing posture. Under slightly raised left lotus foot of the Lord, the head of Sanischara is held. Sanischara’s feet are locked under Lord Hanumanji’s right lotus foot. Nupuram is adorning both the feet of Lord. Both the hands of Lord is seen adorning ‘keyuram’ [an ornament for upper arms] and bracelet in ankle. Lords raised left hand is holding Sanjivi Mountain and right hand is holding a mace. He is wearing ornaments which adore His bosom. The tail of the Lord is raised above His head. Lord is wearing ear-studs. Beautiful crown adorns His head. His eyes are very pleasant and thus bestowing santhi to the devotees. An assurance that glows in the eyes of the Lord gives the devotees all the comfort required.
With peace of mind when devotee prays to the Lord Rokadia Hanuman, in this pleasing atmosphere, Lord is sure to bestow the blessing to the devotee quickly.
Ed [November 2016]
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SRI HANUMAN THINKS DIFFERENTLY, THINKS FAST, THINKS AHEAD AND ACTS FOR SURE.
Our salutations to this Hanuman who always brings subham - everything that is good - for His devotees and eliminates the bad and the evil. He removes even the traces of bad thoughts and deeds from His devotees. i.e He makes them pure in words, thought and deed.