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Ambaji Shakti Peeth In Gujarat: Know About The Timings, Architecture, History, And Significance

Entrenched on the Girimala of Aravalli hill ranges, at an altitude of 1600 feet above sea level, Sri Arasuri Ambaji Mata Mandir, a sacred pilgrimage site situated in the Data Taluka of Banaskantha District of Gujarat State is an immensely popular temple from the early historical period up to the present times. This legendary Shaktipeeth was where Goddess Sati's heart fell and got enshrined. This temple has a huge devotee base, as millions visit this place regularly every year.

Usually, in all shaktisthals or shakti peeths, there is an accompanying presence of a shakti devata and a Bhairav inside the temple. Constructed from white marble and gold cones, this was essentially a creation of Nagar Brahmins. The construction of a third door was forbidden by the Goddess and hence the temple is left with only two doors, one on the front and one on the side of the temple.

Replete with a historically rich past, the temple of Ambaji has been a witness to several events from the time of yore. Yashoda performed vrat for seven days on the Gabbar Mountain whereas Pandavas and Lord Rama and Lakshmana visited this place during their exile. Ambaji is believed to have given him an arrow called Ajeya that worked effectively against asuras. The temple, as per historians, dates back to 1200 years. This place was where Lord Krishna's Mundan ceremony had been celebrated. Rana Pratap, after winning one of his battles, presented his sword to Ambaji as she was behind his triumph.

Ambaji Temple: Architecture

A characteristic yet unique feature of this temple is that there is a yantra in the place of an idol or photo of Goddess Ambaji, for worship. A triangular gold-plated, marble Vishwa yantra is nailed to the wall. You can read some Vedic text along with 'Shree' written in the centre. Treated as the deity herself, this yantra is bejewelled and decked up in special attire to give it a close resemblance to Goddess Amba.

The temple is essentially a construction of marble and gold cones. To enter the temple premises, there is a main door and another small door towards the side. Close to the main shrine, you can find an open square or 'chachar chowk' where havans are performed. The sanctorum doors are silver plated and inside the chamber, you can find a niche into which the Yantra has been fixed.

The absence of the idol points to the fact that ancient India was used to worshipping God not only in the Saguna (having form) but in the nirguna ( formless) and even in a symbolic form. Yet the yantra appears like a human form from a distance due to the elaborate decking up by the priests. The gold kalash shikhar, weighing more than 3 tonnes is placed at a height of 103 feet above the temple. It is monolithic construction that is plated with gold. A flag of Ambaji and Trishul placed on the shikhar have extremely important connotations for the people of the Shakta cult.

The holy lion seated majestically before the Goddess also receives the Kanku puja from devotees. Indian married women place 'kanku' in the parting of their forehead which ensures them, long-lasting marital bliss.

Ambaji Temple: Festivals

On the eighth day of each month Nav Chandi Yaga is regularly conducted by the Temple Trustees. Near Chachar chowk, special pujas are performed during the months of Asho, Chaitra, Maha and Ashadh, to Goddess Amba and Visa Shakti yantra along with Shatachandri homa performed during the times of Navratri.

Four beautifully decorated silver chariots carrying the idol of Goddess Amba are drawn out in the procession on every Dussehra. Flowers and garlands dangle from corners of the rath. The occasions like Navratri, Navchandi yagna, Sahasra Chandi yagna, Annakut, Shreebhog, Diya darshan and Chosath khand are the other festivals that hold significance to the devout population.

Usually, on each fifteenth day of the Full Moon, Ambaji celebrates a fair called "Lok Mela, " but on fifteenth day (Full Moon Day) of the months of Asho, Kartik, Chaitra and Bhadrapad, more than 15 lakhs of devotees arrive here to worship Goddess Amba.

In Ambaji, there are four Navratri Festivals, namely, Sharad (in Ashwin Month), Vasantik (in Chaitra) Maha and Ashadh, ritually celebrated as per the Shakti Sampraday traditions. The ritual worship of Ambaji are usually performed with Sat Chandi Yagna and other kinds of rituals..

All the Nine days and nights of Chaitra Navratri, an Akhand Dhun (continuous japa or chant) of "Jai Ambe Ma jai Ambe" is arranged by sanghas for Pilgrims from Mehsana district, since last 60 years.

During every Diwali, more than 12 to 15 lakhs of devotees of Ambaji use to come to Nij Mandir of Ambaji during first five days of every new year, to ask for a grass of Mata Ambaji for their business progress.

The other festivals are Bhadarvi Poornima, Poshi Poornima, and Diwali. Here usually Mata Ambaji is worshiped with Arti Puja and Naivedya everyday in the morning and evening during Sandya Kal, except in summertime when Mataji is worshiped with three arti pujas and Naivedya every day.

Ambaji Temple: Temple Aarti Timings

Aarti Timings

  • Morning - 07:00 am to 07:30 am Evening - 07:00 pm to 07:30 pm

Darshan Timings

  • Morning - 07:30 am to 11:30 am
  • Afternoon - 12:30 pm to 04:30 pm
  • Evening - 07:30 pm to 09:00 pm

During Summer:

  • In Morning from 07:00 am to 10.45 am
  • In Noon from 12.30 pm to 04.30 pm
  • In Evening from 07:30 pm to 09:15 pm

During Monsoon

  • In Morning from 07:00 am to 11.30 am
  • In Noon from 12.30 pm to 04.30 pm
  • In Evening from 07:00 pm to 09.00 pm

During Winter

  • In Morning from 07:00 am to 11.30 am
  • In Noon from 12:30 pm to 04:00 pm
  • In Evening from 06:00 pm to 08:30 pm

Ambaji Temple: Significance

In the Arasuri Ambaji temple, no one is allowed to view the vishwa yantra eye to eye. Usually, for those pilgrims with specific wishes, there is a special queue called Mannat wherein the devotee must wait unduly long to get a darshan which is actually delayed due to the large crowd that gathers here at this line. Since the queue for the General visitors is fairly thin, they are granted immediate access to the darshan.

The basic privilege that those in the Mannat line enjoy is that they get to touch the feet of the Goddess whereas others are allowed a short glimpse of the Goddess from afar. As per a local legend, Maharaj Shivaji had submitted his prayers to Goddess Amba after he won one of his battles. Shri Arasuri Ambaji Mata Devsthan Trust has developed a parikrama way around the Gabbar hill which they call "Gabbar Parikrama Path".

Guinness World Record

This temple is known for a huge incense stick that is about 64 feet long, and hence it has entered Guinness book of records. Also, it won another Guinness entry when 25000 devotees lit 25000 mud lamps using 500 kg of ghee for 7 minutes on October 2015. Each lamp measures about 3x3 inches.

Ambaji Temple: Tourist Facilities

The temple trust has come up with some breakthrough ideas to provide more and more amenities to visitors and pilgrims. Dharmasala in Ambaji, Shri Arasuri Ambaji Mata Devasthan Trust at present provides lodging and boarding facilities, with all modern amenities including Gujarati cuisine. Carry mobiles and other gadgets are not allowed in the temple premises. Senior citizens can utilize wheelchair arrangements.

Ambaji Temple: When To Visit

Set aside your holidays from October to May to avail of them for this tour. Darshan, all in all, takes 30 minutes of your time for the darshan.

Ambaji Temple: How To Reach

The nearest International Airport is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad which is about 179 km far from Ambaji Temple. There is no railway station nearby and hence the nearest option would be Abu Road, which is 22 kilometres away from Ambaji temple. Ambaji is at a distance of 18 km from Maval in Rajasthan and at a motorable distance of about 179 km by road from Ahmedabad.

Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any inputs or information related to the article and our only purpose is to deliver information. Kindly consult the concerned expert before practising or implementing any information and assumption.

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