The cow houses (GAUSHALA) of Shri Jagannathji Temple (Ahmedabad):
Nearly 250 years ago Shri Sarangdasji, the disciple of Mahant Shri Hanumandasji had taken the initiatory step to introduce a cow house (Gaushala) with 25 cows and it has now become an ideal cow house not only in Gujarat but has been renowned in the whole of India also. All the heirs to the throne of Mahant Shri have looked after the well being of the cows very skillfully. The cow house continuously kept on evolving and expanding under the management of all the Mahants respectively. It has been awarded the first prize in the All India Milk Yielding Competition as well as in the Health and Breed competition. The Gaushala was honoured by His Highness Governor of Gujarat, as ‘Adarsh Gaushala’ at the All India Cattle Exhibition.
Shri Jagannath Temple has started a new cow house named Mahant Shri Narsinhdasji Gauseva Trust with all modern facilities at Naklang Mahadev in the village Paldi-Kankaj, in Dascroi Taluka of Ahmedabad district. It is 13 kms away from the Shri Jagannathji Mandir. It has nearly 850 Kankrej-breed cows. The location of this cow house holds a very important status in Indian culture. The holy epic of Mahabharat narrates that after completing the forest dwelling of 12 years, Pandavas lived clandestinely with King Virat in 13th year. When Nakul, the younger brother among Pandavas was dwelling in the dress of an ascetic in the surrounding village in the Virat region a ‘Shivalinga’ was found in the outskirts of the village : Palki-Kankrej, Taluka, Dascroi, Ahmedabad. The Pandavas installed it and worshipped it till 13th year ended. The Pandavas came out in the public and in the presence of the King Virat, Dharmaraja, Yudhishthir performed the rite of investing idol with life. Inspired by Nakul, that Mahadev temple was named Naklang Mahdev. The Pandavas dwelt here for some period of time, Purna Purshottam Bhagwan Shri Krishna had come here in his chariot to meet them and to bid them farewell with pomp and clutter of music of Hastinapur. He stayed on the land of Naklang for one night and two days. In this very place, the King of Viratnagari came every Monday to worship Lord Shiva. This led to the increase in the glory and significance of visiting the Naklang Mahadev with devotion. It became a pilgrim place for people in the surrounding area. Many years passed after this event. Thereafter Maha Mandaleshwar Narsinhdasji, the heir to the throne of Shri Jagannathji temple, created Shri Ranchhodji temple there. He introduced a cow house (Gaushala) on a small scale and ran a free buttermilk distribution centre. A fair was held there on every Janmashtami day. The tradition of holding a fair on every Janmashtami continues even now. The cow house introduced by the cow lover Maha Mandleshwar Mahant Shri Narsinhdasji is now transformed in to a large and extensive cow house fully equipped with all modern facilities. The old Shri Naklang Mahadev temple has been renovated. New Shri Ranchhodji temple has been constructed due to the fact that Lord Krishna stayed here. This small place has expanded like a banyan tree and has become a Gokuldham. It is difficult to give its description in words. You can have a real experience of that sacred place only when you have a personal vision of it.
Nandanvan (Nand Baba) had millions of cows (symbols of spiritual light). The sight of the well-nourished cows and the calves playing, galloping and running here and there at their will inspire one to the realization of the experience. The mother cow always has the potential to create a world of Nandanvan. One can always realize this at the sight of cow house of Naklang. The organization of the cow house is quite updated and modern. The cows move here at their sweet will and graze in the pastures. Cows, calves and bull live in a clean and pollution free atmosphere and all of them therefore are well-nourished.