Ambika Mata Temple , Jagat (Rajasthan) – Ancient Abode of Shakti
Ambika Mata or Ambe Maa is just one of the names of Adi Shakti, the original power that created the world. Shakti is the female form and is always one with Shiva. Shiva and Shakti are inseparable. Adi Shakti has countless names and forms. She is the Mother of the Creation. She is the Mother of Autumn and Harvest of crops.
Who is Ambika Mata?
Ambika Mata is the Parashakti that is joined with Shivshakti. Though one, they are referred to as two. Some of Her names are – Sati, Parvati, Gauri, Uma, Bhadrakali, Durga, Minakshi, Kamakshi, Lalita and Annapurna. These are just some, Ambika Mata has names which are uncountable. The goddess is the slayer of demons and protector of the righteous. She is depicted in various ways. Most often, She is seen with two, four or eight arms seated on a lion holding various weapons. Like Her names – Her forms are also countless.
The ten Mahavidyas are all a form of Shakti. The 51 Shaktipeeths across India are storehouses of Divine Energy and Power. The 64 (Chausath) Yoginis are also Her forms. She is also the eight Matrikas who fought Raktabeej, the powerful demon. She is the most loving Mother for devotees and the righteous and also the most ferocious slayer of evil forces.
For Jains She is revered as ‘Yakshi’, also known as Ambai and Kushmandi. She has a golden complexion and is a protector. She is also the mother of two sons – Priyankara and Shubhankara.
Ambika Mata Mandir – Jagat (Rajasthan)
Ambika Mata Mandir is located in Jagat, about 40 km from Udaipur. The temple is within a cleft in a huge rock. This ancient temple’s exact origins are not known but is said to have been renovated in 961 CE. This is confirmed from a number of inscriptions found on rocks. The temple is built in what is known as the Maru – Gurjara style of architecture. It was probably built in the 7th or the 8th century CE. The temple is under the supervision and care of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), but puja is still done. The temple was dedicated to Ambika Mata as the Goddess of Shakti (Power). In the sanctum is a remarkably well preserved Murti of the Goddess beautifully adorned with silk garments and jewellery.
The five cornered temple is by any definition, a work of art and a labour of love. The best part is that the sculptures, carvings and other decorations are in good shape after all these centuries. The temple is enclosed by a fort-like wall which has 16 turrets (Small towers) and a conical roof. The walls are adorned with exquisite carvings of Devis – Devtas, heavenly musicians (Gandharvas), dancers (Apsaras) and much more. It has been designed to look like the celestial abode of God, but on Earth. Most of the sculptures here are of Devi Brahmani, Lakshmi Mata and Ambika Mata (Durga). The prayer Hall (Sabha Mandapa) has sculptures of Lord Ganesh in panels.
Khajuraho of Rajasthan
Jagat Ambika Mata Mandir is known as the Khajuraho of Rajasthan, but is in a much better preserved condition as compared to Khajuraho. Though it is not as well known as Khajuraho, it is still the destination of a large number of devotees and tourists.
How to reach Ambika Mata Mandir, Jagat
- Udaipur is the nearest railway station, about 39 km from the temple.
- Udaipur Airport is the nearest airport, about 60 km from the temple.