Ambaji TempleThe Ambaji temple in Ambaji, Gujarat is flocked by thousands of pilgrims every year. This temple is regarded as one among the fifty one Shakti Peethas of India. The location of this temple is 45 kms form Mount Abu, 65 kms from Palanpur, 185 kms from Ahmedabad, 20 kms from the Abu road and 50 kms from Kadiyadra in the vicinity of Rajasthan-Gujarat border. The main deity of the shrine is also known as “Arasuri Amba” which has been derived from the temple’s location which is the Arasur Hill of the Aravali mountain range.
There is no idol of the deity inside the shrine; however there is a triangular shaped “Visa Yantra” inside the temple which is venerated by the people. Visitors are not allowed to take the pictures of the “Yantra”.
Ambe Maata’s original seat is believed to be positioned on the Gabbar Hill. Tourists can visit the Gabbar Hill which lies nearby the Ambaji temple by means of rope way. The entire shrine of Ambaji is illuminated with lights during the festival of Diwali.
History of Ambaji TempleShaktism (Vaishnavism+Shaivism) is a very popular form of Hinduism in which the Goddess Shakti is worshipped. The believers of the Shakti sect believe that Goddess Sati’s heart fell at this place where the Ambaji temple has been built. The Shakti Peetha’s origin lies in the “Mythology of the Daksha Yagya and Goddess Sati’s Self Immolation”. As per the legends when Shiva carried her wife Sati’s corpse in distress after her demise, her various body parts fell into various places. These places are regarded as Shakti Peethas. These temples are highly regarded by the Shaivism sect of Hinduism. Tantra practitioners are the main believers of Shakti Peethas. There is a “Kalbhairava” linked with every Shakti Peetha. Ambaji temple’s Kalbhairava is “Batuk Bhairava”.
Ambaji temple is considered to be one of the major Shakti Peethas in India among the 12 main Shakti Peethas for worshipping Shakti. Besides Ambaji temple the following are the other 11 major Shakti Peethas of India:
- Maa Bramaramba in Srisailam
- Lalita Devi in Prayag
- Bhagwati Mahakaali Maha Shakti of Ujjain
- Kolhapur’s Mata Maha Lakshmi Devi
- Vishalakshi in Varanasi
- Kamakshi Maata in Kanchipuram
- Sri Kumarika in Kanyakumari
- Gaya’s Mangalwati
- Vindhya Vasini in Vindhya
- Nepal’s Guhayeshvari Temple
- Sundari Maa in Bengal
Architecture of the Ambaji Temple
Tourists can witness a red flag fluttering in wind quite graciously above the temple. The temple is composed of white marble stone and has golden cones. Initially the temple was constructed by the Nagar Brahmins. The main entrance is at the front and there is a lone side door which is quite small because the locals believe that Ambe Maata has banned the incorporation of any other door in the temple. The Ambaji temple is encircled by Chachar Chowk which is an open square where “Havans” are performed. Ambaji temple’s interior sanctum has silver plated doors.
Description of the Worshiping Place Inside Ambaji TempleTourists can witness a “Gokh” which is like a simple cave in the interior wall of the temple. The temple is quite old and belongs to the period when idol-worship didn’t exist hence it does not possess any idol of the deity; however a “Sree Visa Yantra” with gold plating can be seen here. The Yantra is fixed on the Gokh. This is basically a Vedic text and is the prime focal point of worship. The Visa Yantra has fifty one Bij letters on it and it has a kurma back curved shape. The priests of the temple adorn the upper part of the Gokh in a way so that it gives an appearance of a Goddess.
Photography is strictly prohibited inside the temple. The Visa Yantra is not allowed to see with the naked eye; however devotees can worship it after blindfolding themselves.
Festivals held at the Ambaji TempleThere is a myriad of festivals that take place in the Ambaji temple. The description of each festival is as follows:
Bhadarvi PoornimaThe Bhadrapadi fair is held at the Ambaji temple for 4 days every year in the month of September. It generally takes place on the Poornima (or full moon day) in the September month. Not only on Bhadarvi Poornima, but throughout the year every month on Poornima days the Ambaji temple is thronged by roughly 2 lakhs of devotees.
NavratriThere are mainly 4 Navratri festivals that are celebrated in Ambaji which are- Vasantik(during Chaitra), Ashadh, Sharad(in the Ashwin month) and Magha. The customary worships in the Ambaji temple are done with the Sat Chandi Yagna, whereas the other kinds of worships are performed in the Yagnashaala of Chachar Chowk. These worship places are illuminated with vibrant lights throughout the Navratri period.
During the Sharad Navratri, devotees relish the Garba dances, Hom hawan and Devi darshan. Garba dances accompanied by Garba songs of Ambe Maata are performed by the devotees on all the nine days of Navratri. On the 8th day of Navratri the Adham Mahayagna is carried out by the Danta Darbaar in the Ambaji temple.
During Chaitra Navratri a constant chant of “Jai Ambe Maa Jai Ambe” is sung by the devotees for all the 9 days.
Poshi PoonamAccording to the Hindu calendar’s Vikram Samvat year Ambe Maata’s birthday falls on the 15th day of poornima in the Posh month. This day is known as the Posh Sud Poornima and is commemorated with ecstasy by the “Sri Arasuri Ambaji Devasthan Trust”. The Ambaji temple trust performs a “Satchandi Yagna” on this religious event of Poshi Poonam. This Yagna is carried out in a conventional way with the entire Vedic rituals. Ambe Maata is revered with Annakoot and Om Havan and a variety of Pakvan, fruits and foods are offered to her which are later distributed among the needy crowd and devotees. The entire complex of the Ambaji temple as well as the Chachar Chowk area is enlivened with vivid lightings. Devotees perform Garba dance in the Chachar Chowk during this festival. On this very day of Poornima, in the morning hours a lively procession with Ambe Maata’s disciples along with the Silver Cart of Arasuri Maata Ambaji instigates from the Northern Gate of Ambaji temple and proceeds towards the main temple. All the devotees liven up the procession by singing and dancing all through the way from the Northern Gate to the main temple of Ambaji.
The most fortunate are those who can witness the Ambaji temple during Diwali. During this “festival of lights”, each and every corner of the Chachar Chowk and Nij Mandir are brightened with colorful lights.
New Year DayThe Ambaji Devasthan Trust organizes a big Annakoot on the New Year Day. During this time period i.e. from Kartik Sud ekam to Kartik Sud Pancham (1st five days of the New Year) above twelve to fifteen lakh pilgrims flock the Ambaji temple. This is an old tradition to mark the commencement of the New Year with Ambe Maata’s blessings. On this occasion the temple is adorned with flowers and beautiful illuminations.
Apart from these festivals the Arasuri Ambaji Trust also encourages the other festivals like Dusshera, Janmashtami and the Rath Yatra of Ashadh Sud Bij (the second day of Ashadh month) which are also celebrated at Ambaji temple with great fervor. The temple trust also organizes a Mahamela in the Sravan month in the Mahadev Temple at Kailash Tekari which also belongs to the temple trust.
Ambaji Temple TimingsThe Ambaji temple remains open for all the 7 days of the week.
Temple Darshan Timings
In Morning- 7:30 AM to 11.30 AM
In Afternoon- 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM
In Evening- 7:30 PM to 9 PM
Temple Aarti Timings
In Morning- 7 AM to 7:30 AM
In Evening- 7 PM to 7:30 PM
Contact Details of Ambaji TempleSAAMDT or Sri Arasuri Ambaji Maata Devasthan Trust
Address: Ambaji Temple Complex,
Trust Registration Number A-497 (B. K.),
Ambaji, Banaskantha, Pin code- 385110
Phone Numbers: 02749-262136, 262636, 264536 and 262930
Website address: www.ambajitemple.in
Email id: firstname.lastname@example.org
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