Mata no Madh

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Mata no Madh is name of the place, where the famous temple of Ashapura Mata, the head deity of Kutch and kuldevi of Jadeja rulers stands. It is located about 80 km from Bhuj, the capital of erstwhile Princely State of Cutch and now headquarters of Kutch District.[1][2][3] in Gujarat State of India.

Ashapura Mata Temple[edit]

The temple was built in the 14th century by two Karad Vanias, Ajo and Anagor. They were the ministers in the court of the father of Lakho Fulani. The earthquake in 1819 damaged the temple. Within 5 years Sundarji Shivji and Vallabhaji, two Brahmakshatriya persons repaired it.[1][3] The Mistris of Kutch were the artisans and architects, who did the renovation.[4][5] This ancient temple is now 58 ft. long, 32 ft. wide and 52 ft. tall. Once again the earthquake of 2001 AD shook it and its dome tumbled down. However, very soon it was repaired once again and now it stands with a new grandeur.[1][3]

There are two temples, the original old temple above the hill, which lies abandoned as after the earthquake of 1819, a new temple below the hill was built, which now houses the deity and is in use ever since.[4]

It is also said that this temple was set up by Mir Gulamsha Kalora of Sindh. In 1762 A.D., when his army attacked this temple, his soldiers became blind by the curse of the goddess Ashapura. Then, Gulamshah took a swear to set up a huge bell in the temple. Finally, his soldiers regained their sight and Gulamshah kept his words. The huge bell still stands there in temple.[3]

Jamadar Fateh Muhammad, considered as the Cromwell of Kutch, had presented this temple with a 'deepmala' weighing 2 kg silver, and with 41 lamps carved in it.[1]

The head priest of temple belongs to Kapadi community, who holds lot of respect and called Raja. There are also subordinates priests of Chauhan, who also do pooja of Devi.[6][3]

The festivals are held during Chaitra Navaratri and Ashvin Navaratri of which the later hold more significance.[6] Lakhs of devotees come to pay a visit to temple at Mata no Madh, walking on foot from various places in Gujarat. Camps and relief facilities are set up around the road leading to Mata no Madh, every year for this pilgrimage.[7] The pilgrims begin their travel on foot from not just Kutch, Surashtra and Gujarat, but also from as far as Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karanataka States. Those coming from Mumbai begin to walk from a month earlier. Some come on bicycles, some come rolling the coconut all the way, some walk without shoes.[1]

During the times of regency, buffaloes were offered as sacrifice on special occasions. The practice of animal sacrifice, however, has been stopped.[8]

Minerals[edit]

Three of the coals, Gypsum, Kutch Bauxite and Lignite were found here and they are still available in Madh na Madh.[3] and mining is done by Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Ltd, a Government of Gujarat Undertaking.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ a b c d e f [3]
  4. ^ a b Shree Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj : A brief History & Glory of our fore-fathers : by Raja Pawan Jethwa. (2007) Calcutta.
  5. ^ Nanji Bapa ni Nondh-pothi published in Gujarati in year 1999 from Vadodara. It is a diary of Railway Contracts done by KGK community noted by Nanji Govindji Tank. This book was given Aank Sidhhi award by Kutch Shakti at Mumbai in year 2000.(They book has year wise details of Railway lines built by Mistris of Kutch. The book also has a section with photos on Historical Monuments & Architects built by Mistris of Kutch.
  6. ^ a b [4]
  7. ^ People turn up in lakhs at Mata no Madh in Kutch
  8. ^ [5] Kutch in festival and custom By K. S. Dilipsinh
  9. ^ GMDC -Lignite Mines Mata no Madh