The great sage Markandeya tells Yudhisthira to go to the Kalhori tirtha which destroys all the sins. The Kalhori tirtha presently known as Gangnath Mahadev Ashram is situated on the Northern bank of the Holy river Narmada, 2 Km from Chandod in district of Baroda, state of Gujarat. Gangnath is famous from ancient times being the seat of the immaculate Swayambhu Linga known as Gangnath Mahadev. Most of it’s recent fame could be traced to the time Sri Brahmanandji settled here. After attaining spiritual enlightnment he developed this holy place by constructing Gangnath Temple, Saraswati Gufha, Dharmshala, Goushala, Stairs to Narmada etc.
Sayajirao Gaekwad, the Maharaja of Baroda and his five ancestors were the followers of Shri Brahmanandji and used to visit him frequently. Shri Aurobindo after returning from U.K joined as a personal secretary to the Maharaja and during his long stay in Baroda he paid two or three visits to yogi Shri Brahmanandji. Describing his visit to Brahmanandji Shri Aurobindo says “He had the most remarkable eyes ,usually his eyes were either closed or half shut.when I went to see him and about to leave, he opened his eyes full and looked at me. It seemed as if he could penetrate and see everything within clearly”.
Yogi Shri Brahmanandji was of very simple nature, compassionate at heart both for saints and familymen, rich and poor. He used to give shelter to the pilgrims & parikramavasis and offer them meals, clothes, Medical treatment, nursing and other services. There are many stories of his acts of Yogvibhuties. It is believed that he lived atleast 240 years. His main disciples were Shri Balanandji, Keshavanandji, Nityanandji, Prithvanandji & others. On Magh Purnima 1906 he took mahasamadhi under deep meditation.
At Gangnath Shri Kailashanandji was succeded by Shri Ganeshanandji who managed the Ashram for last 40 years. He appointed Shri Pavitrananda Brahmachariji who is the disciple of Shri Mohanananda Brahmachariji of Shri Balanand Ashram Deoghar. Shri Ganeshanandji departed in 2008 on Ashwin Amavashya(Deepawali) and since then Shri Pavitranandaji is the Mahant and Chairman of Shree Gangnath Sansthan Ashram Trust .Under his efficient and able guidance the organization is running smoothly.
Shri Markandeya ubach
Tato gachhetu rajendra kalhodi tirthmuttamam
Revayashchottare kule sarvapapa vinasanam
Hitartham sarva bhutanam rishibhi sthapitapura
Tapsa tu samuddhritya narmadyam mahambhasi
The great sage markandeya tells yudhistira to go to the kahlodi tirtha(pilgrimage site)which destroys all the sins. The kahlodi tirtha which in pregently known as gangnath in situated on the northen bank of the flow river narmada. In ancient times the rishis(hermits) for the welfare of the humanity performed tapasya( practiced austerity) and installed kahlodinath or gangnath after recovering it from deep water of river narmada.It is believed that shri gangaji being engulfed by the sin of sinners abluted at narmada in the form of a bat to wash away all sins. The hidden flow of gangaji and its sangam (confluence) with narmada is still seen as a small channel at gangnath known to local people as ganga khadi where mela (fair) takes place every year in Vaishakh shukla saptami.
Ganganath is situated 2 km from chandod in district baroda (state of gujarat) chandod is verywell known as pitru thirth where lacks of people gather every year to perform shradha and vidhi of their forefather
Gangnath, presently known as shri gangnath mahadev ashram is famous from ancient times being the seat of the immaculate svayambhu linga known as gangnath mahadev. Most of it recent fame could be traced to the time shri Brahmanandji settled here, after completing his extensive wandering(narmada parikrama) he setlled in gangnath and lived here for last 80 years of his life. Even since this great soul attained enlightnment. He developed this holy place by constructing here the gangnath temple, saraswati gufha(where he used to meditate),dharmashalas for the parikramavasi and pilgrims,the stairs from the bank of the narmada reaching to the temple, goushala (cow sheds) and other project.
Sayajirao Gaekwad ,the maharaja of baroda and his wife Yamunabai were the followers of shri Brahmanandji and used tovisit him frequently.
Shri Aurobindo after returning from U.K joined as a personal secretary to the maharaja and during his long stay in baroda he paid two or three visits to yogi shri Brahmanandji. Describing his visit to Brahmanandji shri Aurobindo says “He had the most remankable eyes ,usually his eyes were either closed or half shut.when I went to see him and about to leave, he opened his eyes full and looked at me. It seemed as if he could panetrate and see everything within clearly”.
Yogi shri Brahmanandji used to have a seat near the small space with a verandah and tin roof that lay infront of shri gangnath mahadev. he used.he used to have in its front a small fire (akhanda dhuni that burns always) and a lamp (akhanda deep burning day and night ).
Yogi shri Brahmanandji maharaj was of very simple nature, compassionate at heart both for saints ( sadhus) and the family men, for the rich and poor. He attained liberation and his soul was identified with the supreme soul in meditation for enjoying perfect bliss and happiness . The natural beauty of the place charmed everybody indeed .The temple is situated about two to three stories high bluff along side the river Narmada which flows just below. From the top if one looks to the right he would see the high and wide vindhyas. A variety of trees cover this area of the narmada. Residential are not any where near this site as the ashram is spread over about 22 acres of land .For those who wander around the naramada this is the area of rest and rejuvenation .
Shri Brahmanandji used to give shelter to the pilgrims and parikramavasis and offer them meals,clothes, treatment , nursing and other services.Generally every month he used to arrange two bhandaras(ceremonial feeding), two to three yagnas (ritualistic secrifices) ,like Rudrayagna and Visnuyagna, every year.
Whenever there would be famine, Shri Brahmanandji’s generous treasures would be opened for all. How in these busy and hectic occasions he would be conducting these yagna which could be sustained only with donations nobody would know. For this reason he was widely believed to be the favourite son of mother Annapurna. At meal time khichri (a very delicate mixture of rice and lentil) in the from of a rounded heap or lump would be customarily served . It was his standing instruction to his disciples that this whole lump should be givan to anybody who come there. There have been many cases of his acts of yogabihuti At times of bhandara , if there was any shortageof grains,he would just cast his glance at the depleted stocks and it is said that there would be an abundance of grains . Ones there was a shortage of ghee(clarified butter).As soon as his attention was drawn to it ,the depleted can of ghee he put on the sacred fire by saying, “ there is plenty of ghee now” an indeed it became full.
Difrent opinions vibrate in the air about the age of this great yogi. According to some he lived for about 240 years. It has been gathered that he was born in a Brahmin family at a village near kurukshetra in haryana state at a distance of 158 km from New Delhi. He narrated many incidents of his earlier days which give a clear evidence of his age being not less than 200 years .These stories are narrated in his life sketch given here.
Shri Balanandji Bramchari, who later established ashram in deoghar, Baidyanath dham jharkhand, was his first disciple.
Prithvanandji or Nepali baba became the last disciple of Shri Brahmanandji.
In the year 1905 vaishakh month, being invited by Shri Balanandji he went to Baidynath dham to inaugarate the great temple of Narmadeshwar at Karanibad Deoghar. He returned to Gangnath after stopping at Puri and other pilgrim centres. The next winter after his arrival he decided to conduct the great Rudrayagna, and then he embarked upon another yagna Maha Mritunjay . He was observing these festivals with great keenness. By the time end approached it was almost the evening of the 13th day of the full moon, every body observed a certain change in his mood the same evening and he himself took to what in technically known as Yogasana and all the disciples and devotees took their seat surrounding the Maharaj . And the ritualistic recitation from Shree mad Bhagvat Gita, the Saptsatichandi and Vedas started simultaneously. The great yogi was in deep meditation ,and so the 14th day of the full moon itself ,after the sun rose, great soul ,still conscious laughing and in his yogashana lelf his earthly mortal body and attained his appointed place in paradise that the Hindus call kailash dham (the abode of Shiva).As soon as he passed away a huge congregation of people filled the place .And this vast concourse of people followed by his body ,bedecked with flowers and on a pedestral ,that was carried to the banks of Narmada for his last rites. Shri Balanandji was the paramount disciple of Shri Brahmanandji maharaj. He along with his gurubhai Keshvanandji ,Prithvanandji and Nityanandji.took prominent role in arranging for the obsequies. His lifelees body kept in a wooden casket was placed on a boat from which it was consigned to the bottom of the Mata Narmada ,while the vast assembled mass of grief. stricken people chanted “Jay Narmada Maiki Jai” ,“Jai Gangnathmahadev ki Jai” ,“JaiBrahmanand Maharaj ki Jai”.
Shri Balananda Brahmachari who was the very first disciple of the Brahmanandji and to whom he had assigned its management now decided to go back to Baidynath dham and appointed his brother disciple (gurubhai)Shri Keshavanandji as the Mahant of the Gangnath Ashram and other gurubhai Nityanandaji and Prithvanandji as his aides in its management. He went back to Baidyanath dham and arranged a yearly amount of Rs 360 to be sent to the Gangnath Ashram for arranging bhandara on Magh Purnima .
Shri Keshavanandji was in chair for 13-14 years and departed in 1919-20.Shri Keshavanandji was succeded by Shri Kailashanandji,The marble idol of Brahmanandji, Visnumurti, Gangamurti, Narmadamurti, Suryanarayanmurti was installed in the year1928 on phalgun shukla tryodashi. Kailashanandji specially invited Shri Balanandji to be present on the occasion but due to ill health he sent Purnanandji his chief disciple to attend the occasion. Five idols were installed and a sabhamandap was built .A Visnuyagna was also arranged.
At Baidyanath Dham Shri Balanandji during his life time appointed Shri Mohnanandji and after his demise in 1937 on Jaistha shukla pratipada Shri Mohnanandji look the change and in his able guidance the organization flourished and his spiritual excellency attracted thousands of followers thoughout the world and he established many other Ashrams and many educational institutions and hospitals throughout India which are counted as his great contribution to the welfare of the humanity .He took Maha Samadhi in 1999 and presently Shri Darshananandji Is the Mahant (Sebaiet) of Shri Balananda Ashram Baidyanath dham (district Deoghar state of Jharkhand).
At Gangnath Shri Kailashanandji was succeded by Shri Ganeshanandji who managed the Ashram for last 40 years. He appointed Shri Pavitrananda Brahmachariji who is the disciple of Shri Mohnananda brahmachariji of Shri Balanand Ashram Deoghar. Shri Ganeshanandji departed in 2008 on Ashwin amavashya(deepawali)and since then Shri Pavitranandaji is the Mahant and Chairman of Shree Gangnath Sansthan Ashram Trust .Under his efficient and able guidance the organization is running smoothly.
Shree Gangnath Mahadev Ashtram
Shree Gangnath Sanshtan Ashram Trust
P.O.: Chandod, Taluka - Dabhoi,
Dist.: Vadodara (Baroda) State: Gujarat,
Country: India. PIN/Zip code: 391105.
Tel: +91-2663-233241 Landline (office)
Cell: 09687806363 Manager Harish Bhai
Email - email@example.com