Harsiddhi Mata Temple
At a distance of 40 km from Porbandar and 65 km from Dwarka, Harsiddhi Mata Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located atop Koylo Dungar hill at Gandhvi village near Porbandar, Gujarat. En route to Dwarka from Porbandar, it is one of the oldest temples in Gujarat, and among the popular places of sightseeing in Porbandar.
Also known as Harshal Mata Temple, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Harsiddhi, the Happy Mother. The goddess is considered one of the aspects of Amba and Kalika, the Hindu Devi. She is also known by the names like Harshal, Harshad, Harshat Shikotar, Sikotar Momai, and Vahanvati Mata. The original temple atop the hill is said to have been built by Krishna himself. Krishna wanted to defeat the demon Jarasandha, so he prayed to Amba Mata for more powers. With the blessings of the goddess, Krishna was able to defeat the Asuras. After his success in war Lord Krishna built this temple and celebrated the victory with his Yadav community, since then Yadav community worship Harsiddhi Mata as their Kuldevi. Also, she is worshiped as Kuldevi by many Kshatriya, Brahmin, Rajput, and Vaishya communities.
At present no puja is performed in the original temple while the puja is performed in a temple built in the market by a Jain merchant Jagdu Shah around 1300 AD. According to the legend, the temple of the goddess was on the hill overlooking the creek. It was believed that if the eyesight of the goddess fell on the ship, it would be burnt or wrecked in the sea. The fleet of ships of Jagdu wrecked due to it but he was saved. Jagdu Shah then prayed to the deity for his safety and his ship reached shore safely. Apprehensive of the deity's curse, Jagdu Shah went to the temple and observed fast for three days to propitiate the goddess. She was pleased with Jagdu Shah and gave him darshan. He then pleaded her to come down the hill, so that her eyes would not fall on the passing ships. He promised the goddess that he would build a new temple for her. As the legend goes, the deity agreed to his request if he would sacrifice a buffalo each on the 108 steps leading down the hill. Jagdu Shah was perplexed as being a follower of Jainism, he believed in ahimsa. However, a man of his words, he decided to give the sacrifice of buffaloes but to his surprise, 108 buffaloes he had brought fell short. So he decided to sacrifice himself and his family to fulfill his words. At this point, Goddess Harsiddhi was pleased and bestowed upon him the boon that this will be his last birth and he will get moksha after his death and his idol will also be worshiped alongside hers at Harsiddhi temple.
One needs to climb around 300 steps to reach the original temple on the Koylo Dungar hill. From the temple, one can have a beautiful view of the sea and its surrounding plains. One can also visit the serene beach nearby.
Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM