About Ashapura Mata

This shrine or Ashapura is steeped in antiquity as far as its origin is concerned. There are references to this goddess in the Puranas, Rudrayamal Tantra and so on which are all said to point to this shrine in Kutch.

Be that as it may, today there is no trace of any ancient records or writings which give any indications of the beginning of worship at this shrine amongst the existing records in the possession of the trust.
One fact firmly stands out that this deity was very much there in 9th century AD when the Samma clan of Rajputs from Sindh first entered western, or more correctly, north-western Kutch. They were followed in the later centuries by more families or this clan which eventually established them in the region and one of their line got control of the whole state of Kutch in the beginning of the 16th century. This was Khegarji I, the son of Jam Hamirji who was murdered by Jam Rawal earlier. Both the Jams (in Sindh a Raja or Chieftain was called ‘Jam’) were profound devotees of Ma Ashapuraji.

There are a couple of legends connected with this deity. The most well known and popular version is that about 1500 years ago Karad Vania from Marwar (a term loosely used in olden times for the present – day Rajasthan) was touring this area to sell his wares, and stopped in the spot where the present temple of the goddess stands to spend the nine days of ‘navratri’ as he was a devotee of the Goddess Amba. He did not have any issue, so he always prayed to her to give him a child. While sleeping in the night he saw the deity in his dream who asked him to build a temple on the spot where he stopped. As a token of the veracity of this dream, She is said to have added, on waking up he would find a coconut and a ‘chundri’ (a piece of red-coloured  cloth with tie and dye work on it). But the Goddess had given specific injunction that after the temple was built its doors should be shut and were not to opened for six months by which time she would establish herself therein.

However a couple of months before the expiry of six months Devchand (the name of the Vania) started hearing the sounds of celestial music after sunset and during the night. He could not contain himself after some time and opened the doors of the temple and so found the deity on her knees in the pose in the midst of her attempts to stand up as She appears today.

The concept of female divinity is not confined to the Hindu religion alone, for glimpses of this are to be seen in the devotional practices of ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome etc. and of course in Christianity where Mother Mary has a definite special place, particularly in the form of worship practiced by the Roman Catholics. Certain tribal peoples also worship some forms of goddesses in their own way. Thus this worship of the mother or a divinity representing ‘power’ (‘shakti’) or as the giver of bounties in the form of money or wealth (Lakshmi) as also good crops and food (Annapurna) is widely preformed.
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