Kul- Devi Mataji
Modh’s Origin and Now :
Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh created Brahmins who were master in Vedas. So that they can turn Dharmaranya in a centre of veda sanshkriti. The lords asked to Vishwakarma to build houses forts and temples reside for the Brahmins. Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh created six thousand Brahmins each. They also gave them gotras and gotrasdevi. According to historians the people created by vishnu were sober and honest nature, the people created by Brahma were of rajas nature and people created by Shiva were of angry nature.
Brahmin could consented on their work, Brahma created Kamdhenu caw and on order of Brahma Kamdhenu created 36000 people by digging earth by her nails. Those were known as Gobhuja or Gobhva. They settled in nearest Modhera so that village known by Gabhu. Adhalja, Mandaliya, Madhukara, Modh Modi, Teli Modi, Champaneri Modi, Prema Modi all were parts of Modh Vaniks and Modh famers were known Modh Patel.
Modh are the followers of Modheshwari Maa (also known as Matangi Maa), a form of Amba Maa with eighteen hands. They lived in a town called Modhera in Patan District in the northern part of Gujarat. The name of the town Modhera was adopted by the community living around the temple of Modheshwari Mata. The residents of Modhera were from the four caste systems, the Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (warriors), Vaishyas (merchants), and the Shudras (services providers). Later on, after 10th century onwards, the predominant community of Modhera consisted of the Brahmins and the Banias. The residents of Modhera migrated to other parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra states to towns such as Surat, Bulsar, Navsari, Mandvi, Bharuch, Ankaleshwar, Bardoli, Billimora, Chikhli, Gandevi, Dharampur, Bombay, Varanasi etc. Hence, the descendants who originated from the township of Modhera whether they are Brahmins, Vanias, Kshatriyas or Harijans are all referred to as Modhs.
It is believed that the Modhs are further divided into Dasha and Visha like any other Gujarati nyat (community). The residents of satellite townships of Modhera like Mandal,adalaj,Gobha also prefixes their town name like Mandaliya Modh, Adalja Modh, Gobhva Modh. The residents who lived on right (dakshin bhag) of townships are called Dasha and those living on left flank (vaam bhag)are called visha. While Dasa Modhs are essentially in business. a subsect of Visha Modhs are called as “GOWBHUJA”. Reference is made in Ramayan that during fight between Viswamitra and Vashisht muni – On Order of Vashisth muni Sabala cow created an army from her arms to defend herself & ashram of Vashist muni and the descendents of these soldiers are also referred to as ‘Gowbhuja’. Visha Modhs are in Land & Jewellary Business.
In the past century, many folks from the Modh community have migrated to countries such as East Africa, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Fiji and the gulf countries.
Map of Goddess Temple: Family goddess of all modhs, vaishya caste.
This original & the only temple of Mata Modheshwari situated anywhere in India.
Google Map Link:
Temples Pictures found on Flicker:
Modheswari Ma’s Pragatya
The devil by the name of Karnat was erecting havoc in the area of Dharmaranya. The people of the area were fode-up because of Karnat terrorism, particularly. The Brahmin as he used to harass them in their praying. All the Brahmins got together and went to goddess Shri Mata for help and protection from the devil. After listening to problems of Brahmin the goddess got very very angry. She started throwing out fire from her mouth due to her anger from the fire a powerful goddess by name of Matangi (Modheswari) was created by Shree Mata. Matangi had eighteen arms each having a weapon like trident, Kamandal, Shell, club, Pash, dagger etc. Goddess Matangi killed devil Karnat (In another version Shyamala sister of Matangi killed Karnat) It was mahadev trij the day Karnat was killed. Brahmins of Modhera celebrated that day with a feast and accepted modheswari as their Kuldevi. Every year on the thirteen day of Maha Month Modh Brahmins celebrate as Kuldevi’s day.
Modhera’s old name was Moherkpur. In Tretayug it was known as Satyamandir , in Dwaparyug it was known as Vedbhuvan , in Kaliyug it was Moherkpur and Dharmaranya , & in Madhyayug it was known as Modhera…
As said earlier Modhera was known by various names in different time such as Moherakpur, Dharmaranya, Satya Mandir, Ved Bhuvan. The local people of Modhera are known as Modhera. This is the motherland of Modh Brahmin and Modh Baniyas. It was here only goddess Matangi emerged. Yudhisthir and Lord Ram also visited this town. The famous sun temple also built here. It is at this place Brahmas daughter and wife of Sun Sangnya and king Manu their prayer under the tree of Bakul. Lord shiva also resided here by name of Dharmeswar. It is believed that all th gods used to stay here. Court dancer of Indra, Lokpals and dikpals also stayed here to do the social work. All gods established this place as a pilgrimage. Here there are places known as Shivkup, Dharmavanpi, Bhutnath Mahadev, Mukteswar Mahadev, Dhara tirth, Nag tirth, Indreswar Mahadev, Ganga kup and Suvarna river is coincident very pious.
At this place Yamraj (Dharamraj) started his prayers for one thousand years. Indraraj got scared for his thrown Indrasan and asked one of his apsara to disturb Yamraj in his prayers. She did not succeed. Dharmaraj told Indra that he does not want his Indrasan. But would like to see Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was pleased with Yamraj and blessed him with a boon. Yamraj ask to Join his name with the place was he began hi his prayers and also asked Lord Shiva to resided there permanently. Lord Shiva named the place as Darmaranya at he himself stayed there as swayambhu by the name of Dharmeshwar.
Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh created Brahmins who were master in Vedas. So that they can turn Dharmaranya in a centre of veda sanshkriti. The lords asked to Vishwakarma to build houses forts and temples reside for the Brahmins. Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh created six thousand Brahmins each. They also gave them gotras and gotrasdevi. Brahmin could consented on their work, Brahma created kamdhenu caw and on order of Brahma kamdhenu created 36000 people by digging earth by her nails. Those were known as gobhuja or gobhva. They settled in nearest Modhera so that village known by Gabhu. Brahma gave the responsibility of protection of Dharmaranya to his daughter Shreemata.
The devil by the name of Karnat was erecting havoc in the area of Dharmaranya. The people of the area were fade-up because of Karnat terrorism, particularly. The Brahmin as he used to harass them in their praying. All the Brahmins got together and went to goddess shri Mata for help and protection from the devil. After listening to problems of Brahmin the goddess got very very angry. She started throwing out fire from her mouth due to her anger from the fire a powerful goddess by name of Matangi (Modheswari) was created by Shree Mata. Matangi had eighteen arms each having a weapon like trident, Kamandal, Shell club, Pash dagger etc. Goddess Matangi killed devil Karnat (In another version Shyamala sister of Matangi killed Karnat) It was Mahadev Trij the day Karnat was killed. Brahmins of Modhera celebrated that day with a feast and accepted Modheswari as their Kuldevi. Every year on the thirteen day of Maha Month Modh Brahmins celebrate as Kuldevi’s day.
In the third yuga the reinsertion of Vishnu Lord Ram his wife sita and his brothers came here to offer. Their repentance as Ram had killed devil the raven who was also a Brahmin. When they entered Dharmaranya the speed of their chariots and music went dawn. Even their elephants and horses speed lessened. Ram was surprised to see all these and asked his guru Vashistha the reason. Vashistha said that they have to walk down to this pilgrimage instead of riding a vehicle or animal. Ram agreed to this and all of them started walking. After offering his Prayers to Matangi Ram stayed at the bank of river Suvarna and prayed Rameswar and Kameswar. Ram saw the people of Dharmaranya have migrated to other places and the Brahmins also had left the town.
One day Ram heard a sound of woman’s crying. He sent his people to find out who she is. The lady refused to say anything except for Ram. So Ram went to her, consoled her and asked her problem. She said though you have come here, this town will remain as it is without people. The well were people used to have a holy deep, today pigs are swims are messing up the place. So please reestablish this town and oblige me. Ram agreed to do so and called back all the Brahmins who had left the town. He got houses and temples reconstructed. Ram wanted to donate something more, but the Brahmins said that they cannot accept any donation without permission of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Ram worshiped Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh they allowed Brahmins to accept the donation. Ram gave fifty five villages. (According to other legend four hundred) as a donation.
Hanuman also went around and asked Baniyas to resettle in Dharmaranya. Ram constructed many temples there and a beautiful fort surrounding the city. About 1, 25, 000 Baniya settled in the town with blessing of Ram. Ram also asked hanuman to protect the town. So that nobody can disturb by prayers of Brahmins. When Ram revisited the place he performed a Havan there. He created Sitapur and gifted it to Brahmins.
The happiness of Dharmaranya was not long lived. The people of Modhera were in trouble again. King of Kanyakubj Kanoj Aamraj started bothering them. The king had given up his religion and accepted Buddhism. Because of his order even people were forced to change their religion. Aamraj got his daughter Ratnaganga Married to the King of Vallbhi and gave away Dharmaranya as a wedding gift to her. She used to believe in Jain religion. She took away all the rights of Brahmin, though Brahmins tried to prove that the land was gifted by Ram, but nobody was prepared to listen to them. The Brahmins went to king, he insulted them and said if Hanuman is suppose to protect you and your land go out get him here to protect you.
The Brahmins came back to Dharmaranya and decide to go to Rameswar were Hanuman is residing and seek for his help. Few were in two minds they argued that after going there is Hanuman doesn’t meet us then what to do. About fifteen thousand Brahmins were in favor of such smart argument so they were by caste as Chaturvedi. At last they also agreed to go there. Though their twenty and Trivedh’s eleven representatives total thirty one started for Rameswar to meet Hanuman.
They had to suffer a lot during their journey. They had to face cold wave, heat and rain. The arrangement for food and water was inadequate, oven the rest house were not proper, many a days they had to go without food. Because of this twenty representatives were fed up and started walking back. But the Remain representatives with a strong will reached to Rameswar and prayed Hanuman. Hanuman was pleased and met them as a Brahmin. He heard the story of Brahmins and as boon he gave them hair of armpit in two packets and said that when Aamraj will touch this racket everything around him will catch fire, at that time Brahmins should stay away. Aamraj will come to you people asking for forgiveness and when he promises to give dharmaranya back to you, you will give him this second packet, if you sprinkle these hair all around the fire will go off.
Brahmins went to kanyakubj and gave the first packet to the king. Seeing hair in it the king got angry and threw the packet away. Then all there the palace caught fire. King got scared and went to Brahmins for forgiveness and promised to give them back the town. Brahmins gave him the second packet containing the hair of right armpit by which the fire was distinguished. The king made new documents of town and handed over to Brahmins.
The last Rajput king of Gujarat Karndev Vaghela was defeated by the general Afzalkhan of sultan Alaudin Khilji in savant 1356. The Muslims started ruling Gujarat. They started destroying temples and merchant towards Modhera to enquire it. The Modh Brahmins were not only educated but they were brave worriers also. Brahmins used to lead in the army. Brahmins and Baniyas were brave. All the Modhs got together and fought with Muslims bravely for about six months. The Muslims who had defeated Gujarat were about to face a defeat by Modhs. They agreed to sign a treaty. The Treats said that if people of Modhera give them 5000 gold coins the Muslims will retreat.
On the day of Holi the treaty was signed. The doors of Modhera were opened. Muslims did not abide by the treaty and attacked the town and looted the temple of Modhera and also destroyed the sun temple. The Brahmins immersed the idol of goddess in Dharma Vav so that Muslims can not damage it and people of Modhera migrated to different Places.
After centuries Gayakwad started ruling Baroda. They protected temples from further destructions. But Brahmins and Baniyas of Modhera had already migrated to other places and due to that Modhera did not prosper again.
Sayaji Rao was crowned as king. He made railway traveling easier by laying the railway lines. This emoted Modhs to go to Modhera and offer their prayer at Dharma Vav (The well) in which they believed that the idol was immersed. The temple was destroyed. So all Modhs thought of reconstruction of temple.
In Last half century:
The lead was taken by advocate Shri Nathubhai Girdharlal basically hailed from Viramgam, but settled in Patan. He gave up his profession and took a vow that till the temple is reconstruction he will not ware shoes and will not tie a paghadi. A committee far such noble cause was appointed. They went to all the surrounding villages and collected the funds with great labors. Finally in 1962 the reconstruction work started and on the thirteenth day of Maha 1966 it was completed. The idol was place in the temple.
A dharmashala Fort, was built for the people who visit Modherswari temple. Now there are furnished rooms to stay, there are facility of bathrooms and toilets, a lodge for food and a hall to perform religious rites. There is also adequate facility to store water and one gaushala is also built.
Some Interesting Historical places in Modhera (as our origin belongs) and as Part of the earlier centuries of civilization and puzzles the construction frontiers of 10th centuries.
Sun Temple Of Modhera http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Temple,_Modhera