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Goddess Ambejogai Worship In Maharashtra – Story

Goddess Ambejogai is worshipped as a kumari (virgin) and her greatness is described in Yogeshwari Mahatmya, which is unpublished. According to a legend in Maharashtra, the goddess originally belonged to Konkan, the coastal region of Maharashtra, but came to Marathwada because of her marriage with Shiva (Vaijanath), whose shrine is at Parali. As per the story, the Goddess left for Parali and on the way camped near Jayanti River, not far from Ambe Jogai in Beed district, Maharashtra. Uninterested in the marriage, she refused to proceed further, and stayed there. Hence her shrine came to be known as Ambejogai.

Goddess Ambejogai is depicted with three eyes and four arms. Her vahana or vehicle or mount is a bull. She is worshipped as a Matrika or Mother Goddess.

The most popular shrine of Goddess Ambejogai is located at Ambe Jogai in Beed district of Maharashtra. The shrine was built by Kholeshwara, a commander-in-chief of the Yadava army. The temple is built, in the usual Hemadpanthi style, without any bonding material such as mortar, and can be dated back to the 12th century CE. The temple is also known as Khleshvara Mandir.

Chakradhara, the founder of the Mahanubhava sect, frequently visited this place. Sri Ramadasa, the great saint poet who was a contemporary of Shivaji Maharaj, in the 17th century CE, experienced the vision of Dattatreya at the temple.

At Ambejogai temple, the Goddess is offered elaborate worship three times a day (trikala puja), and there are two major festivals in her honor – once during Navratri and Vijayadashami and the other during Margashirsha Purnima.