The legends and temples of Ambaji

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Ambaji is a temple town located in the Aravalli ranges of North Gujarat, just 10-15 km from the Rajasthan State border. The town gets its name from the Arasuri Ambaji Mata Temple or the Ambaji Temple, one of the 51 (or 52 or 64, depending on which list you follow) Shakti Peeths located in the sub-continent. The name ‘Arasur’ itself is derived from ‘aaras’, the local name for marble which is available in plenty. In fact, the ancient name for Ambaji was Arasan Nagar.

When I first put together a plan to visit North Gujarat in December 2014, Ambaji didn’t figure in the list of places I wanted to visit. I discovered that Ambaji was just 125 km from Mehsana, my base for the trip, while checking road distances and connectivity between the various destinations that I intended to visit. Considering Gujarat’s excellent quality of roads, I knew that Ambaji…

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