The Shrine Of Ambaji
The full moon of Bhadrapad is one of the four most important festival days of the year, when farmers and agriculturists come to Ambaji, a place that derives its name from Goddess Ambaji whose shrine is located here. On this occasion, a large fair is organized on full moon days. In the evening, performances of Bhavai, the folk drama of the state is held and Garba programmes are organized. The devout attend readings of the Saptashati, the seven hundred verses in praise of the goddess and visit the temple for a darshan (worship) of her.
The Ambaji shrine is the principal shrine of the goddess in Gujarat and its origins
are still unknown. The Temple of Ambaji is recognized as one of the original Shakti Pithas (religious texts) where, according to the ancient Scriptures, the heart of the goddess Ambaji fell to earth when her body was dismembered.
A triangular Vishwa Yantra, inscribed with figures and the syllable 'Shree'
in the centre, represents
the deity. There is no idol, which in fact testifies the temple's
antiquity. Idol worship became popular much later.
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