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Procession At Ambaji Bhadra Purnima Festival


A Garasia girl immersed in the festive spirit


Sculpture of Kumbhairia Temple - Ambaji


Auspicious red flags atop Ambaji  temple

          
Festivals of Gujarat > Bhadra Purnima

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The shrine of the Goddess Ambaji located in the village bearing her name, lies at the foothills of the Aravalli mountain range. It is the principal shrine of the goddess in Gujarat and its origins are lost in the mists of time. There is a reference to this location as far back as A.D. 746.The deity is represented by a triangular VISHWA yantra, inscribed with figures and the syllable 'Shree' in the centre. There is no idol. This is a fact testifying to the temple's antiquity since worship of images of deities became popular much later. The temple of Ambaji is recognised as one of the original Shakti pithas whe  according the ancient scriptures written about the goddess, the heart of the Goddess Ambaji fell to earth, when her body was dismembered. It is said that the tonsorial ceremony of Shri Krishna was performed at Ambaji! 

On full moon days there is a virtual festival at Ambaji, but the full moon of Bhadrapad is one of the four most important festival days of the year, when agriculturists go to the temple in their thousands, along with members of the general public. There is a large fair on this occasion, while in the evening performances of Bhavai are held, and garba programmes are organised. The devout attend readings of the Saptashati, the seven hundred verses in praise of the goddess, and visit the temple for an auspicous view, darshan, of her.


Excursion :
There are other holy places around Ambaji which pilgrims usually visit on such occasions. One such place is Gabbargadh, a small hill two miles west of Ambaji. There is a pipal tree at the top, which pilgrims circumambulate.

Kumbhariya, although a small village, is famous because it holds five Jain temples dedicated to different Jain Tirthankaras. Koteshwar, three miles away is famous because the hill near the temple of Koteshwar Mahadev, is the source of the Saraswati river. Pilgrims usually bathe in the kund into which water from the Saraswati flows.

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