In the history of Swaminarayan Sampraday, first temple was constructed in Ahmedabad. This ancient temple is very important from a historical point of view. As per the Pauranic story Dharmdev has performed Tapa on the bank of the river Sabarmati during Satyug and Murtidevi had rendered her services to him. Narnarayandev born to this divine couple. If one looks at the history minutely then one finds that British collector Andrew Dunlop had after obtaining the permission of Queen Victoria, offered a huge piece of land to the Lord Swaminarayan for the purpose of construction of a temple and had also executed a sale deed for the same.
Shriji Maharaj had entrusted the construction work of this temple to two chief sculptors Ambaram and Kuberji under the supervision of Anandanand Swami. Shriji Maharaj was very much pleased to see the temple on completion of the construction work and had garlanded Anandanand Swami and blessed the chief sculptors of the temple by offering them each Pagh, Dupatta and two golden necklaces.
Shriji Maharaj celebrated the invocation ceremony of Lord Shri Narnarayandev on Sunday 24-02-1822, Vikram Samvat 1878, Phalgun Sud-3. Shri Hari said, “Shri Narnarayandev is our Swaroop. Those who perform service to Lord Shri Narnarayandev with devotion and faith in their hearts and have Darshan of Him, the Lord will fulfill all their desires and wishes and will certainly get Moksha (emancipation) in the end.” Shri Hari himself established the idol images of Shri Narnarayandev, Shri Dharm-Bhakti and Shri Harikrishna Maharaj and Shri Radha-Krishnadev, Shriji Maharaj made Sarvgnanand Swami the first Mahant Swami of Ahmedabad temple. While creating two division of the Swaminarayand sect geographically Shriji Maharaj has established one Gadi at Ahmedabad for the northern region and another at Vadtal for the southern region.
The temple of Ahmedabad is sanctified with holy touch of the feet of Lord Swaminarayan. On entering the main gate one finds an umbrella carved out in marble on the place where there was earlier a neem tree. Shriji Maharaj had stated noble Vachanmrit sitting under the same neem tree and had also many stories of noble character. In the centre of the open space there is another umbrella carved out in marble on the place where the Lord has played water-game with saints and the devotees in Phuldolotsav. There is a well beside Akshar-Bhuvan and in Akshar-Bhuvan idol-image of Balswaroop Ghanshyam Maharaj is established and clothes, ornaments, musical organs, Chakhadis etc. of Lord Swaminarayan are displayed for Darshan of the devotees. In the present Rang-mahol, Shriji Maharaj used to stay during his visit to Ahmedabad and in the upper storey of the Rang-mahol objects of Prasadi of Shriji Maharaj are preserved.
An educational institution from K.G. to college is being run by Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Ahmedabad. The needy people are provided with food, clothes, grains etc. free of cost by the Ahmedabad temple. Many other Gurukul institutions and Pathshalas are also being run under the direct control and supervision of H.H. Shri Acharya Maharaj. One finds thousands of visitors and devotees visiting the Ahmedabad temple everyday.