Chhapaiya or Chappiya (or often spelt as Chapaiya) is a village in Gonda District in the state of Uttar Pradesh about 50 km from district headquarter Gonda and 40 kilometers from the major city of Ayodhya.
Its singular claim to fame is as the birthplace of Lord Swaminarayan. Swaminarayan (1781 – 1830 CE) was incarnated here on 2nd April 1781 as Ghanshyam, making this village a pilgrim place for his followers world wide. Akshardham temples in Ahmedabad & Delhi (New Delhi) are dedicated to Swaminarayan. Gujratis are the main followers of this sect and regard Chappiya as a very sacred place to visit.
There are places where Swaminarayan played with other kids, climbed a tree that is part of the faith’s folklore, the lake where he is said to have revived fish from a fisherman’s catch.
The following are the holy places in Chhapaiya…
- Ghanshyam Bhavan : the beautiful monument on the birthplace of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. A temple on this place was erected by Acharya Shree Ayodhyaprasadji Maharaj in 1863, after passing away of Swminarayan in 1830. Later, after 47 years another big temple was built by Acharya Shree Purushottamprasadji Maharaj in 1910. This is being reconstructed in marble, a project started in 2004 by Acharya Shree Tejendraprasadji Maharaj.
- This marble decorated room is on the ground floor of Ghanshyam Bhavan. This is the exact location of Dharmadev’s house where Ghanshyam was born.
- Shri Swaminarayan Mandir : This mandir is near Ghanshyam Bhavan.
- Narayan Sarovar : This is the sacred water pool where Ghanshyam often bathed. It is just outside the temple complex.
- Trikonyu Khetar (Triangular Farm): Where Ghanshyam sent birds into samadhi.
- Meen Sarovar : This is a small lake (dry during the summer) where Ghanshyam brought dead fish back to life and instructed the fisherman not to kill fish for a living.
- This shrine is at the place where he defeated the demon Kalidutt, who came to kill Him