DHARNIDHAR MANDIR, DHEEMA
The temple of Dheema Dharnidhar, in the Dheema village of Vaav Taluka, is a place of pilgrimage for millions of people. It is 90 kms from the town of Palanpur and has acquired its name from an idol named Dheeman.
Within Dheema lies the majestic temple of Bhagwan Dheema Dharnidhar which is very famous because of its miraculous idol of Dharnidhar Bhagwan. It was originally found in the Aravalli mountains of Rajasthan. It is widely believed that a kanbi from the Ked community dreamt about the idol, and took the villagers to the place. The villagers informed the priests and the idol was installed on the throne amidst great celebration.
There are a number of religious stories associated with this temple. It is believed that the King of Jetpur had a temple constructed for this idol and tried to move the idol there. A loyal devotee, Gadhadharji, refused and as a result was imprisoned. God appeared to the king in a dream and ordered the king not to harass the devotee. Following this, Gadadharji was allowed to return safely to his village with the idol.
Another story that is commonly associated with this temple is that of Queen Rangabai, wife of the Ranaji of Vaav. When her character was questioned, the Queen used the temple to prove her innocence. After six days of prayers, the idol in the temple shook and it is said that streams of water were seen flowing from both the idol's and the Queen's toes. Following this, the Ranaji apologized to the Queen.
It is also believed that on his way to Dwarka after killing Kansa, Shri Krishna came to Dheema. On reaching the village, he expressed his desire that Nand, who was accompanying him, stay here for a while. Thus, this place was honoured by the presence of Bhagwan Srikrishna.
It is said that when Allauddin Khalji came to Gujarat, he once visited this village. Driven by religious fanaticism, he tried to destroy this idol. At that time, a strange thing happened. Honey bees started flying in huge numbers all around the idol, protecting it from destruction. Due to this, Allauddin was unsuccessful.
Every year on the days of Dhuleti, Kartaki Poonam and Nirjala Ekadashi, a fair is held here and people bathe at the Madela lake and worship the idol.