Ambaji Temple is located at Ambaji
, about 65 km from Palanpur
, in Banaskantha District
. It is situated at the foothills of the Aravalli Ranges
, near the origin of the Saraswati River, on the hills of Arasur Parvat in Ambica forest. The original seat of Ambaji Mata is on the Gabbar Hill, just 3 km from Ambaji.
Ambaji Temple is one of the 51 ancient Shaktipitha in India. It is believed to be the place where Goddess Sati’s heart fell while Lord Shiva carried away the burning body of Sati from the sacrificial fire. This temple, believed to be one of the centers of supreme cosmic energy stands out in that it has no idols. Instead in a simple cave-like niche in the inner wall, it has a sacred magical gold-plated disc or ‘Holy Shakti Visa Shree Yantra’ which is adorned like the goddess herself. This Yantra is bound by legends to other Yantras in Nepal and other parts of India. Devotees from all religions, classes and creeds worship Ambaji.
The origin of this ancient temple is lost in antiquity. It is said that Goddess Ambaji was one of the Goddesses of Pre-Aryan race, which Aryans absorbed in their temple. The foot steps and imprints of her chariots are said to be found on the hill. It is also said that the tonsure ceremony of Lord Krishna took place here.
Situated on top of the temple is a shining pot or kalash. The pot is made of special marble brought from the mines of Arasur Parvat and is plated with pure gold. A new temple, Nij Mandir, has also been constructed on its premises. Navratri and Ambaji Devasthan are the major festivals celebrated amid much pomp and splendor.
Ambaji Temple is visited by thousands of devotees from Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The nearest railhead is Abu Road Railway Station, about 20 km from Ambaji. The temple can be reached by taxi, jeeps and auto-rickshaws from Ambaji.