Jeen mata, the Kuldevi of Meena, Yadavas, and Shekhavati Rajputs, was the daughter of the nymph or Apsara. ‘Jeenmata’ is also the name of a village in Rajasthan, having great religious importance. Situated at a distance of 29kms from Sikar, the overall population of the place is 4359. Jeen Mata is the Goddess of Power, and there is a temple dedicated to the Goddess in the village. The shrine of Jeenmata is thousand years old. Millions of devotees may be seen assembling for the colourful festival held in the months of Ashvin and Chaitra during Navratri.
You can find a lot many ‘dharamshalas’ that are meant to accommodate the visitors. Just close by the temple, Harsh Bharav Nath Temple is also located. It is the place of worship or pilgrimage from ancient times and was restored or rebuilt several times. Located in the Aravalli Hills, the temple is 115 km from Jaipur.
The popular legends about Jeen Mata
There is a popular belief coming down to people of all ages that in the village of Ghanghu of Churu, King Ghangh loved a nymph, and hence, married Apsara only on the promise that he would not visit her palace prior to giving information on the same. King Ghangh had a son named Harsha and a daughter Jeen. Afterwards, the Apsara was again conceiving but King Ghangh broke the promise and went to her palace without prior information.
This, in turn, violated the vow he made to the nymph. Initially, the Apsara left King Ghangh and fled away with the daughter and the son. Finally, she abandoned Jeen and Harsha at the place where we find the temple of Jeenmata. The two children practiced asceticism, and later, the Chauhan ruler constructed a temple at that place.
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The followers of Jeen Mata
The main followers of Jeen Mata include the Brahmins, Rajputs, Yadavas, Meenas and Jeengars. For the great Yadavas, Jeenmata is the Kuldevi. The Kuldevi of Meena, the Shekhawats and Jeengars is also Jeen Mata. You can find the followers of Jeen Mata in Kolkata in large numbers. Kolkatans keep visiting the temple of Jeen Mata. In fact, the first haircut of the kid is offered to Jeen Mata at the temple premises. Followers of Mataji also offer 50 kg of sweets called sawa mani in the temple.
The popular belief
Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb wished to raze the temple of Jeen Kata to the grounds, but Jeen Mata was invoked by the priests for help. The angry Mata let out her entire army of Bhairons, the species of a fly family that brought both Emperor and his soldiers to the knees of the Bhairons. Aurangzeb sought forgiveness and Mataji finally excused him. Aurangzeb, later on, donated the Ever-Glow oil lamp or akhand oil lamp from the Delhi Palace. This lamp may still be found glowing in the sanctorum of Mataji.
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The divine Jeen Mata Temple
Jeena Mata is the very incarnation of Goddess Durga. The place of Jeen Mata is known as Shakti Peeth whose actual name was Jayantimala. Her sacred shrine is around thousand years old and situated at Ralawata, Sikar, Rajasthan. The actual date is not known, and it is believed that Pandavas, when exiled from Hastinapur, built the temple in the current style. Jeen Mata Temple is the real place of pilgrimage since the age old times and got rebuilt and repaired several times.
Lush green surrounding allots a natural grace and serenity to the place. Around the temple, one can find flora and fauna. The temple architecture is very good. Its main hall has pillars and is covered from top to bottom by engraved flora and fauna. Engravings of singers and dancers can also be found. After practicing extreme asceticism, Jeen, the daughter of Aphsara, became the incarnation of Goddess Durga. Harsha, the brother of Jeen, became the ‘avatar’ of Bhairon. Jeen Mata is also known by Mahishasura Mardini Durga, having eight arms.
The facilities available at Jeen Mata Temple
There are a number of ‘Dharamshalas’ in Jeen Mata Mandir to accommodate a large number of visiting devotees. Close to the temple is the very famous Harsh Bhairavnath Temple, her brother. This temple is there on top of the hill and devotees from all across the globe visit the place. All the devotees offer prayer and get her darshan throughout the year. Special pujas are performed during Durga Puja. It is mainly those belonging to Kolkata who visit the temple.
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The chief specialties of Jeen Mata Temple
Jeen Mata Temple is dedicated to Jeen Mata, who is a Goddess and the reincarnation of Goddess Durga. She is the embodiment of a divine and cosmic power. She is the very Goddess, who killed the demon Mahisasuri and has eight arms. The deity fulfills all the wishes of those, who visit the Jeen Mata Temple. The ones who act in an unholy manner in the temple are given the severest punishment. It is Goddess Durga, who killed Mahisha, the demon taking the form of a buffalo.
The demonic powers of Durga are being described beautifully in the Shri Durga Saptashati, third chapter. Durga riding the lion with eight arms pressed Mahisha with her foot and stuck the neck with the lance. The beautiful temple constructed to honour Jeen Mata is in the style of the architecture adopted by the Chauhans and Pratihar clans. Here, in the temple, you can find 24 pillars having panels of figures carved on them.
The main temple is the high temple touching the shikhar or pinnacle in the middle of the hills. From every point of view, the temple is really unique and amazing. The Sanctum Sanctorum is built with the high-quality marble. You can see that the shutters are comprised of silver, and it also features beautifully carved pillars.
For the priests, residences are available at Jeen Mata Temple. Visitors to the temple must see the carved pillars and Bramari Devi temple. An open chowk forms an important part of the temple. People in the large numbers may be seen coming to the temple during Navratras. The peak time for visiting the temple is Shard Poornima. Infants are brought to the temple for hair shearing, which is customary. It is believed that Pandavas came to this very spot where the temple is constructed when they were in exile.