Vachara Dada / Vachhra Dada /Vasra Dada also known as Bhatiji Maharaj / Bhathiji Maharaj is a folk deity of Gujarat state in India. He is an eminent warrior-hero of the region. Hindus and Muslims alike honor him.
According to folk tales, Vachhara was son of a Solanki Rajput ruler named Chachak in Kathiawar. On the day he was getting married, when he was taking the feras, he heard the news that some dacoits were looting and taking the cows of village. He left the marriage ceremony to fight the plunderers, in which he attained martyrdom. According to the legend, it is believed that Vachara's head was severed in the fight by sword of an enemy but even after that his body fought against the people and killed them all. A temple was built in his memory.
The location of his death was Phagvel in Kheda district, which is today a pilgrimage centre and houses the main temple of Vachra Dada. Other major temples are located in Narigam, Nari, Devada, Porbandar, Patan, Godhana, Bhanvad, Khambhalia, Dwarka, Mandvi, Anjar, Rangpur, Jamnagar to name a few.
It is said that Vachara's wife Umade wanted to become a sati but was stopped by saint, who asked her to go to her in-laws house. Vachara was blessed by God and was asked to consummate the marriage in vayu form. Thus, twenty two sons were born to him, Solanki descendants of whom all worship him as kuldevta.Mers also worship Vachra Dada and is one of main deity of their caste.
It is said that he was reborn seven times and every time he would do Pheras (walking around fire to symbolise marriage) he would be interrupted by dacoits taking away the cows. In his seventh life he successfully killed the dacoits. Thus he became a Shurveer in seven cycle of birth as per Hindu myths and became a demi-god after that.
Vachhada Dada is shown sitting on a white Kathiawari horse with a snake at his feet and a flaming sword in his hands. He is worshiped by Khedus (Gujarati word for a farmer) to protect their cattle and keep their crops thriving. Many temples andderas can be found throughout Gujarat devoted to him.
Vachara Dada is worshiped by Hindus to cure ill livestock and family members. Bhuva, the priest of Vachhara Dada is approached for diagnosis and curing of disease among men and animals. When a family member, a cow, a buffalo etc. falls ill or dies, it is believed that the spirit of an ancestor had been annoyed because of neglect of timely worship, lack of offering ritual food and respect. When someone is harassed by an evil spirit, a medium man of Vachhada Dada is consulted. If the evil spirit tries to evade the commands of Vachhada Dada, the medium man threatens to punish the spirit by inciting against it the wrath of this powerful deity.
In Devada village of Kheda district of Gujarat, hundreds of worshippers of Bacchus, Hindus as well as Muslims, line up there every Friday to seek the blessings of the deity and the priest, and take a vow to renounce liquor.
A film about him was directed by Shantilal Soni and released in 1980 named Bhaatetheejee na Mandire in 1980 and Bhaateejee Mahaaraaj in 1990, both in Gujarati. Also there are musical albums of bhajans and songs in his reverence available sung by local as well as known artists like Alka Yagnik.
- Vachra Dada
- Vachara Dada or Bhatiji Maharaj is also known as Vachra/Vachara/Vasra Dada.
- Shree Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj: A brief history and glory of our fore-fathers: Section : History of Rajput and Kshatriya Surnames, their origin and myths : Sub section : History of Solanki : by Raja Pawan Jethwa, Calcutta (2007).Page 83.
- Vachra dada
- Vachra Dada Temple Porbandar
- DAVDA, GUJARAT Holy Spirit For people wishing to spurn Bacchus, this village has the answer.
- Shantilal Soni: Movies :