This shrine or Ashapura is steeped in antiquity as far as its origin is concerned. There are references to this goddess in the Puranas, Rudrayamal Tantra and so on which are all said to point to this shrine in Kutch. Apart from the main temple or Goddess Ashapura at Mata-no-Madh there are temples dedicated to Hinglaj Mata, Chachra Bhawani, Kh....
This shrine or Ashapura is steeped in antiquity as far as its origin is concerned. There are references to this goddess in the Puranas, Rudrayamal Tantra and so on which are all said to point to this shrine in Kutch. Apart from the main temple or Goddess Ashapura at Mata-no-Madh there are temples dedicated to Hinglaj Mata, Chachra Bhawani, Khatla Bhawani (on a hill to the north-west of the main temple) and Jagora Bhawani in a cave in one the hills nearby. Then there are temples dedicated to lord Shiva and other deities too.
During the year special ceremonies are performed at the shrine of the Ashapura Mataji during the ‘Chaitri’ (April/May) and ‘ashvin’ (September/October) Navratris. Out of the two the latter has greater importance as is the case elsewhere in the country. The ‘Mahant’ or Raja fasts during the nine days and performs the ‘Havan’ ceremony at midnight of the seventh (‘Saptami’) day. On the next day (‘Ashtami’) the main puja is performed by the Maharao or any other member of the former ruling family of Kutch. Formerly he-buffaloes used to be sacrificed at the shrine along with a goat before the image of Bhairav on this morning. Perhaps in ancient times it is likely that even human sacrifice may have taken place there. During the puja and on the previous day liquor used to be poured (‘Abhishek’) on the Goddess.
The main ‘ashtami’ puja which has been performed by the house of Kutch traditionally for the last (at least 450 years) few centuries. At the end of this ceremony a bunch of the local vegetation called ‘patri’ is placed on the right shoulder of the deity and the person performing the puja ceremony stands in front of the Goddess with one end of his ‘angvashtra’ (called selo in Kutchi) spread out in both his hands and the bells are rung and Jagarias again playing the drums, sing the prayers of the deity. After some time a few strands, rarely the whole bunch, falls into the cloth. This is taken to be the blessings of the goddess.
Not only the house of Kutch, but persons from various communities very much revere this deity and come for her ‘darshan’ all the year round, particularly during the ‘chaitra’, and in greater numbers during the ‘ashvin’ Navratri. The numbers of pilgrims is increasing year by year, and according to our estimate 2 or 2 ½ lacs of people came to Mata-na-madh in 1994. Even some Muslim families have faith in Ashapuraji. Jains also worship at the shrine, and some sects from amongst them have the needs of young married ladies shaved at the Chachra Kund. Substantial donations also are being given to the trust (Shri. Mata Na Madh Jagir Trust) as also to Shri. Ashapura Bhandar & Atithigraha trust for further development of the temple complex. The Goddess fulfils the hopes, aspirations and wants of those who have faith in her, and hence her name. Some persons have also had experience of miracles at her shrine. There is no doubt about one fact, and that is, when stands in the temple facing the image of Ashapuraji and the sanctum sanctorum more often than not, one would feel, or be aware of, a definite pure divine aura that leaves a lasting impression on one’s mind. Of course a prerequisite is the pureness of mind and the genuineness of one’s faith.
Mangla Darshan: 05:00 AM
Dhoop Aarti: 09:00 AM
Sandhya Aarti: At Sunset
Note: There may be change in timings on special days/ Festivals, kindly verify with the Website/other Sources.
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