An unkempt and rather ignored pilgrimage site of immense importance for the Hindu devotees came into the limelight recently for all the good reasons when prime Minister Modi performed the Dhwajarohan ceremony recently.
We are talking about Pavagadh in the Panchmahal district of Gujarat. Across the world heritage site Champaner, the hillock of Pavagadh houses the shrine of Goddess Mahakali at the top. Pavagadh is one of the most important places of worship in the Shakt tradition of Hinduism. As per Hindu mythology, it is one of the 51 places where the body parts of ‘Sati” – the divine consort of Shiva – fell.
It may be argued that the visit of PM Modi was driven by political motives as Gujarat is going to the polls in the coming months. Mahakali of Pavagadh is the clan deity ( Kuldevi) of lacs of people in the area surrounding the place, generally speaking from the lower strata of society. At the same time, the credit must go to the charisma of the Prime Minister which helped the complete transformation of a pilgrimage destination in a single visit.
People who have visited Pavagadh might recall the place as one dotted with small shops on the step. One would also see the litter. The final steps to reach the shrine were also quite uneven and a safety hazard in the event of a heavy rush.
Now, things have changed for the better. Very uncharacteristically for BJP and in a clearly pleasant development, the renovation and beautification of the Pavagadh was done without making any noise. No credit were taken, at least publicly except on the day PM visited the temple. The drone videos of the shrine see the complex with enlarged compound and evenly put up steps.
The event of Dhwajarohan ceremny by narendra Modi coincided with the birth anniversary of his mother. Narendra Modi has never shied away from flaunting his devotion to “Ma” – the Mother Godess venerated in different forms in Hindusim. The personal and politics were seen to be merging here and a subtle but strong message was not lost on the observers.
Aired on national televison through innumerable channels, the event put spotlight on Pavagadh. Long queues of devotees is seen from early morning even amidst rainy and quite hill station-like weather. Crowds are flocking to visit the place on the holidays.
On Sunday approximately more than two lakh devotees visited Mahakali temple. Pilgrims from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh visited to seek the blessings of Mahakali.The atmosphere was pleasant thanks to the fog on the Pavagadh hill.
Seeing the influx of devotees, the administration was in alert. The district police had also set up tight security for the safety of the devotees.
The trustees of the temple say that the number of devotees coming here has increased significantly after the renovation of the Pavagadh temple.