Location: Ambaji (Banaskantha district), Gujarat
Altitude: 400 meters above the sea level
Gabbar hill is located close to the Gujarat-Rajasthan border, near the origin of the Vedic river Saraswati. Climbing the Gabbar hill is an important pilgrimage and attracts lakhs of pilgrims from Gujarat and the neighbouring state of Rajasthan. The small temple on the hilltop is very ancient and is believed to be the original abode of Goddess Ambaji. A holy lamp is constantly burning on the top of the hill temple, facing exactly in front of the Shree Yantra at the famous Nij Mandir or the temple of Mata Arasuri Ambica in Ambaji town. (3km from Gabbar hill) It is believed that the footsteps and chariot imprints seen on the hill are that of the Goddess and her chariot.
Legends and Mythology
According to Hindu scriptures, the Ambaji temple is one of the 52 Shakti peethas in India. It is believed to be the place where Goddess Sati’s heart fell while Lord Shiva was carrying her burning body from the sacrificial fire of Daksha’s yagna.
The place also finds mention in the Hindu epic, Ramayana. As per legend, Lord Rama and Lakshmana came to the Ashram of Shrungi Rishi during their search for Sita. The Rishi adviced them to worship Ambaji at Gabbar. The Goddess blessed them and gave a divine arrow called ‘Ajay’, which Lord Rama used in his war against Ravana.
The place is associated with the birth of the Garba – the popular folk dance of Gujarat. The word Garba is derived from the word ‘Garbha deep’, meaning a lamp inside a perforated earthen pot. Since, this dance was performed at the hill at Ambaji, the hill was called Garbhar hill and subsequently as Gabbar.