Harsidhima (Harshadma) is the Kuldevi to most Bardai Brahmins with the surname "Bhogaita or Bhogayta"
Harsidhi Mataji is said to be the sister of Ambaji and is depicted almost identical to Ambe maa in form. Harsidhi Mataji is shown as a beautiful woman dressed in red, holding a sword and a trident whilst blessing her devotees. She is usually shown seated on a lion, or a swing.
This ancient temple is situated on the top of the Koyala Mountain at the height of around 3000 feet from mean sea level. Devotees need to climb around 500 steep steps to reach up to this temple. Our religious books state that this temple was built by Lord Krishna in the remembrance of Shri Shakti Ma who was created by Lord Krishna himself to demolish all the evil elements present in this region during Mahabharata times. After killing all the demons, Mata decided to remain here forever in the form of a "Shakti". That is why her gold plated statue was installed here by the Yadav community into which Lord Krishna was born.
There is a daily Aarti performed at the mandir at 6.00am and 6.00pm. Mata's swing ("hindolo") automatically moves itself when the Aarti is performed at this miraculous temple.
Harsidhi Mata's mandir can be reached easily from either Porbandar or Dwarka. It is located almost in the middle of these two cities of Gujarat and is very well connected by roads from all the major cities of Gujarat State.
Later, Sheth Jagdushah carried out the renovation of this ancient temple in the sixteenth century. He was a well known businessman and is famous for carrying out renovations of many such ancient temples. At the time of work, he also constructed an exact replica of the temple on the base of Koyala Mountain so as to facilitate old and sick people to visit this temple and perform the darshanas. The statue of Mataji is also exactly identical to the one placed in the temple on the Mountain.
Pictures of Harsidhima mandir, including wall carvings on mandir wall. Location: Miyani, between Porbandar and Dwarka.
There are several historically related stories:
There once lived a man (Birju) in a village where the temple of the Goddess Harshad stands now. He was a regular devotee of the Goddess and worshipped her every day. He had a family, consisting of himself, his wife and his two children. The family had achieved prestigious honour in the village for their devotion and godliness.
One morning when Birju was in Mata’s Mandir, he thought, "why is my village suffering?" It had not rained in their village for months now. Animals, plants and people were dying of dehydration. He looked up at the murti of the Mataji and prayed to her.
To his astonishment, the Mataji spoke out loud to him. She said that she could rid his village of all the impurities however; she needed a sacrifice on each step of her temple (in other words 2000 sacrifices). Birju was left troubled. He was caught thinking how he could sacrifice 2000 animals. The following day, he began to sacrifice his animals. He sacrificed lambs, sheep and donkeys but fell 4 steps short of reaching the bottom. To make up the shortfall, he sacrificed his wife’s head, then both his children’s and finally his too. That completed the 2000 steps for Mata and Briju to honour his oath.
Maa Harshad came down to the bottom from her temple on the top of the mountain. As she took each step, whatever animal lay there was restored back to life. She blessed the village and gave them plenty of rain, water, vegetables and nourishment. Birju and his famaily became blessed and subsequently declared Harshad mataji as their Kuldevi.
About 2000 years ago, the capital of the Chavda Kingdom was Minalpur. There the Raja was Prabhat sen Chavda. Minalpur was a main port and trading used to be done with foreign shores.
Once during the holy festival of Navratri, the 7 wives of Prabhatsen were playing garba. So Jagdamba Mataji from the Koyal hill wearing fine ornaments and fine clothes took the appearance of a beautiful lady and came down to play the Raas.
Raja Prabhatsen was watching the festivities from the palace windows and got attracted to the beautiful form of Mataji. Flames of passion ignited within him. Late at night, when Mataji began to return up the hill, he started to follow her. Seeing this, Mataji became angry and cursed Raja Prabhatsen that every night he would have to come to her temple to be eaten alive!
Every night, Prabhatsen had to go to the temple to be roasted alive in the fire pit and then be eaten. The next day she would bring him back to life and send him back to his palace. Over time, this daily curse had taken its toll on Raja Prabhatsens health and he became very weak and thin.
During that time, the maternal cousin of Prabhatsen, the Great Raja, Vir Vikramaditya arrived from a pilgrimage of Dwarka and became guest of the palace. On seeing the condition of his cousin, Raja Vikrama enquired about the reason for Prabhatsens ill health and was told the tale of his daily torture.
Onhearing this, Raja Vikram decided to take the appearance of Prabhatsen and went for fulfilling the curse of his cousin. Raja Vikram was a great devotee of Mataji. Seeing the show of love and courage her devotee had taken, Mataji became pleased and granted him a boon. Raja Vikram asked for 2 wishes:
1. To relieve his cousin, Prabhatsen of his curse.
2. For Mataji to become his guest at the capital city Ujjain, Malvan.
She granted his first wish without hesitation, but the second was only on the condition that she would follow his caravan on foot and forbidding Raja Vikram from looking back along the whole journey. Raja Vikram agreed, but on reaching the outskirts of his capital city of Ujjain, on the banks of river Shipra, he could no longer hear Mata’s footsteps. Out of curiosity he looked back to check if she was still there and it is at this point that Harshidhi Mataji stopped and instructed that this is where her mandir would be constructed.
Even today the Temple of Harshidhi Mataji is still there and it is said that since then, Harsidhi Ma goes daily there for night stay (Ujjain) and returns to Koyla hill during the day time.
"Bolo Shri Harsidhi Mata Ki Jai"