Friday, June 17, 2011

Ambaji - The Biggest Shakti Tirth

Ambaji - The Biggest Shakti Tirth



Way :
Ahmedabad - 200 KM
Ambaji - The Biggest Shakti Tirth Ambaji - The Biggest Shakti Tirth
Ambaji - The Biggest Shakti Tirth Ambaji - The Biggest Shakti Tirth
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At the northern borders of Gujarat, the highest peak of the Aravalli Hill Range is Arbud Gili where Abu is situated. The Hill next to it is the Mount Arasur. Here is the Seat of the most revered goddess Ambaji. Among the most powerful of the seats of Mother Goddess within India Ambaji has a place of pride.

Arasuri Amba Goddess is the Mother Goddess to all the communities in Gujarat. Just as Mahakali rules in the East, Ambaji rules the West. Brahmans, Banias, Patels and many other communities worship Ambaji and even the Jains offer Her worship. All keep vows, make pilgrimages and offer devotion to Ambaji. That is why there are several Dharamshalas and all of them are full round the year.

The center of the site is indeed the temple of Ambaji, which is very ancient, though renovated recently. Here the Goddess is dressed and given 'chundadi' and jewelry by the devotees. Mansarovar Kund, i.e. a public bath is situated next to the temple where the devotees would bathe and complete their vow. At the front of the temple is an open area called 'Chachar Chowk'. Here the devotees would gather and play 'rasgarba', and often hold native form of drama called Bhavai. During the festival of 'Navratri', one wouldn't be able to get an inch of a place to move, it turns so full of devotees. The air would be filled with deep shouts of 'Jai Ambe' every now and then the kumkum would turn it red. Nowadays there are many comfortable places for the visitors to stay here. The temple trust also conducts meal services for the devotees.

The temple is very ancient. There is a recess-like niche in the sanctum sanctorum and it does not have an image of the Goddess. Then comes the huge Hall, Sabha Khand', in the front, where devotees gather. If we take 'darshan' here we do not get to see the image, though we have the illusion of having seen it due to the wellananged clothes and jewelry there. The door shows the date 'V.S. 1601'.

Now this temple has been fully renovated. Leaving the ancient 'seat' and the recessed 'gokh' untouched, the rest of the temple has been reconstructed and a grand center of worship has come up. It looks great sunounded as it is by lively mountain peaks on all sides. The great devotion it commands seem to have found real expression in the construction now. Just like the Ranchhodrai's temple at Dakor, Gadadhar temple at Shamlaji, and Shiva temple at Somnath, yet another grand center of people's devotion has been re-created on the land of Gujarat.

Situated about 50 km away from Palanpur the Ambaji temple is within the mountains, and has a small village sunounding it. The devotees that gather for worship here can choose from the neatly lined up small shops all the material they may need to offer the deity in their worship. The 'Gabbar' is another important site for offering worship for this is where the actual image of the Mother Goddess is said to have its seat. To reach it the devotees need to climb the steep slope on foot as a part of the pilgrimage. However, now a Ropeway has been installed for the convenience of the devotees.

As we come down to the plains, we take a turn towards south-west first, we come to Sabarkatha District.In this region we find yet more popular places of worship of Lord Vishnu, i.e. Shamlaji. And next let us visit the Goddess at Khedbrahma.

AMBAJI

Ambaji is the biggest seat of Shakti for Gujarat. All the commllllities of Gujarat come to worship here. There is no image of the Goddess, but just a fa({ade that gives an illusi01l of the Mataji with a sari and jewelry etc. The Stha1lak of Mataji is at the 'Gabbar' in a hill1learby. Also nearby is a lain sacred place called Kumbhariya.

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