AMBAJI – GUJARAT
Ambaji is an important temple town with millions of devotees visiting the Ambaji temple every year. It is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths. The full moon of Bhadrapad is one of the four most important festival days of the year, when farmers and agriculturists come to Ambaji.
The Ambaji shrine is the principal shrine of the goddess in Gujarat and its origins are still unknown. The original seat of Ambaji mata is on gabbar hilltop in the town. The Temple of Ambaji is recognized as one of the original Shakti Pithas (religious texts) where, according to the ancient Scriptures, the heart of the goddess Ambaji fell to earth when her body was dismembered. A triangular Vishwa Yantra, inscribed with figures and the syllable ‘Shree’ in the centre, represents the deity. There is no idol, which in fact testifies the temple’s antiquity. Idol worship became popular much later.
During Bhadarvi Poonam (in September), a big Religious Fair is organized at Ambaji by Shri. Arasuri Ambaji Mata Devasthan Trust, with the help of the whole District Administration. More than 17 to 20 lakhs of pedesterian pilgrims and tourists attend this Bhadarvi Fair of Ambaji every year.
Pilgrims from all regions in Gujarat visit Ambaji chanting their way ‘Bol mari Ambe, jai jai Ambe.’ The ll-km-long Trishulia Ghat route towards Ambaji town is decorated with festoons, flags and colorful lights. On the way, all the roads leading to Ambaji from different regions are found with walking pilgrims, singing and dancing with chants of Amba mata. On the way are refreshment stalls and rest houses set up by donators.
All roads leading to Ambaji are choc-a-bloc with singing and dancing devotees. Many devotees are on way to Ambaji to invite the Goddess to play Garba with them in the coming Navratri. There is a strong belief amongst the believers that the Goddess visits her devouts during Navratris.
It is said, that the Ambaji shrine does not have an idol, instead they take a darshan of a copper plate. The slot covered with the colorful costumes is actually Jantra’s plate carved with sacred figures. Godess Amba is worshipped here in the form of Jantra, which represents the omni presence of the Goddess.
In the evening, performances of Bhavai, the folk drama of the state is held and Garba programmes are organized. The devout attend readings of the Saptashati, the seven hundred verses in praise of the goddess and visit the temple for a darshan (worship) of her
HOTELS IN GUJARAT