I and my family had an unique opportunity to visit the famous and ancient temple of Harshad Mata during our recent visit to India during last winter. This historical temple is situated at the distance of around 36 miles from the city of Porbandar in the State of Gujarat in India. This holy temple attracts thousands of pilgrims every year from all over the country and abroad. This temple has been renovated recently and it has now become one of the most important places of the pilgrimage for Hindus. Almost all the Hindus wish to visit this holy temple at least once during their life.
We started from our hotel at Porbandar at around 9 am in the morning after taking full breakfast in a hired car. Such hired cars are easily available at the rate of around Rs.1000 ($22) for to and fro trip to this temple of Harshad Mata. The entire route to this holy temple is full of scenic beauty as it is the coastal highway going to Dwarka from Porbandar. The cars can now reach up to the gate of the temple, which was not possible earlier, due to non availability of the bridge on the sea. At that time, it was required to travel by a boat to reach up to the temple. There are many shops that sell Prasad items, flowers etc. for performing the religious ritual at the temple. As soon as you enter the temple, the most attractive and hypnotic statue of Harshad Mata draws your attention. Your eyes get riveted to the eyes of the Harshad Mata. The statue of Mataji is decorated with the attractive and colorful clothes and the gold and diamond ornaments. The main temple is now at the ground level only and that is why it has become very easy to visit this temple for old and physically handicapped people. Earlier this temple was used to be on the top of the small mountain. There is also an ancient Lord Ganesh temple in the same premises, which is situated in the underground cave. The view of the open Arabian Sea from the temple is simply breathtaking and it will be worth sitting here for around half an hour to enjoy this scenic beauty around the temple. If any pilgrims would like to visit the old temple on the mountain, they can certainly visit it, but it would involve steep climb for about 20 minutes. There is a belief in Hindu religion that Harshad Mata stays at the temple in the city of Ujjain in the State of Madhya Pradesh during night time and comes to this temple near Porbandar everyday morning.
There is also a facility for boating in the Sea in case you are interested in it. The half an hour motor boat rides are available at the rate of Rs.25 (half dollar) per person. This ride can certainly be enjoyable, particularly during early morning and evening hours. There are many restaurants available near the temple which serve traditional Gujarati food delicacies at very nominal rates of around Rs.50 ($1) per person. There are no good hotels available near the temple as most of the pilgrims do not stay here for the night. It would be better to stay either at Porbandar or Dwarka and visit this place from there by hired car or State Transport buses. We had traditional Gujarati lunch in one of the restaurants near the temple and started our return journey by around 3 pm and reached our hotel in Porbandar by 5 pm in the evening.
We really enjoyed this one day family outing very much and hence, would suggest all my AC friends and readers to enjoy it during their next visit to Gujarat State in India. If any of my readers have any doubts, all are free to contact me.