Khodiyar Maa Mandir, Rajpara, Bhavnagar
Khodiyar Maa has a special place in the hearts of devotees, particularly in Gujarat. Khodiyar Maa is a form of Adi Shakti Devi. There are many temples dedicated to Khodiyar Maa in Gujarat, mainly in the Saurashtra region. Of these, there are five temples that are considered the most important. They are in Matel, Khodaldham (Kagvad), Galdhara, and two near Bhavnagar including Khodiyar Maa Temple in Rajpara.
Khodiyar Maa appears to bless Her Devotees
Khodiyar Mata appeared as a daughter of a Charan warrior called Mamadiya Gadhvi of Roishala in about 700 CE. One of seven sisters and a brother, She was named Janbai. Mamiya Gadhvi was on very good terms with the then Maharaja of Bhavnagar – Shilbhadra. Due to enmity and jealousy in the royal court, Mamadiya Gadhvi was banished from the court because he had no children. Sad and dejected, Mamadiya prayed to Lord Shiva and decided to perform Kamal Puja by sacrificing his life. Lord Shiva appeared before him and took Mamadiya Gadhvi to Nag Loka for a solution. Nag Devta had seven daughters and a son. They asked Mamadiya Gadhvi to go home and prepare eight cradles. Soon after that Mamadiya Gadvi’s wife was blessed with seven daughters and a son even though she was not pregnant. These eight children grew up to be fierce warriors and the pride of Mamadiya Gadhvi whose place in the royal court was restored by the Maharaja. Janai was one of the sisters. One day Her brother was bitten by a poisonous snake. She saved Her brother’s life by journeying underwater to Nag Loka and bringing the nectar needed to save him. While returning Janbai injured Her leg and rode on a crocodile to get back home. She walked with a limp (Khodi), given the name Khodiyar Mata. In later years Janbai came to be deified and a temple dedicated to Khodiyar Mata was built. Ever since then Khodiyar Mata temples have come up in various places where Mataji continues to bless devotees.
Mataji comes to Bhavnagar but stops short
Maharaja Wakht Sinhji of Bhavnagar (ruled from 1748 to 1816) was an ardent devotee of Khodiyar Mata. He would often go to the Khodiyar Mata temple in Galadhra for prayer and darshan. On one of his regular visits, he prayed to Mataji in earnest and asked Her to come to Bhavnagar. Mataji agreed but on one condition. She asked the Maharaja to proceed to Bhavnagar and She would follow him. She told him not to turn around to look. If he did, Mataji would stop at that very place and go no further. Takht Sinhji agreed and started his journey to Bhavnagar. He could hear the jingling of Mataji’s anklets as he kept moving forward. When they were about 15 km short of Bhavnagar, Mataji decided to test the Maharaja and the sound of Her footsteps and anklets ceased. Maharaja Takht Sinhji instantly turned around and looked. Mataji was right there and She would go no further as per Her condition. A temple was then built where Mataji stopped and the place is now known to us as Rajpara. The temple as we see it today was built in 1911 by the Maharaja of Bhavnagar.
Khodiyar Mata Temple – Destination of Faith
The Khodiyar Mandir in Rajpara near Bhavnagar is situated in verdant surroundings on the edge of Tataniya Wali lake. Devotees enter through a huge gate and walk to the temple a short distance away. The sides are lined with shops offering puja items, coconuts, and prasad to offer. Many devotees walk long distances to reach here. For them, it is a matter of faith. Khodiyar Mata is also the Kuldevi of the Royal Family of Bhavnagar.
Shrine on the Hillock
Behind the temple is a small hillock with another shrine on the top of it. This shrine can be reached either by climbing steps or by riding a ropeway. Sculptures and Murtis of Mata and Her sisters can also be seen under trees on the way to the shrine. A beautiful view of the temple below and its surroundings can be seen from the top.
05:00 AM to 09:00 PM
05:30 AM Morning Aarti (Monday to Saturday)
05:00 AM Morning Aarti (Sundays and Purnima)
07:00 PM Evening Aarti (All Days)
11:00 AM to 3:00 PM Lunch
07:00 PM to 09:00 PM Dinner
How to reach Khodiyar Mata Temple
Sihor Railway Station is about 6 km from the temple.
Bhavnagar Railway Station is about 17 km from the temple.
Bhavnagar Airport is about 22 km from the temple.
Buses, Taxis, and Autos are easily available from Sihor and Bhavnagar.