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Jivdanai Mata Temple

The ancient famous Maa Jivdani temple is located on the Jivdani hill in Virar, a suburb of Bombay. In 17th century there was a fort by the name of Jivdhan on this hill. Within the fortifications there are some ancient looking caves and water cisterns, most of which have now practically dried up. They are believed to be the work of Pandavas.
The hill is famous for the invisible Jivdani Goddess who is believed to have fled from the niche in one of the caves. Since then a temple of Maa Jivdani has come into being. Lakhs of women devotees, especially barren women, from the surrounding cities go to the caves to make offerings and invoke the blessings of the Goddess. Offerings of beetle-nuts are dropped into a hole in the niche in which the deity is believed to reside. The goddess Jivdani Mata is an avatar of Adi Shakti Devi. Jivdani Mata’s temple is situated on a hill that has around 1375 steps.The 150-year-old Jivdani Temple at Virar, which attracts thousands of devotees on Sundays and during festivals, is getting a facelift. And the man entrusted with the job is the Mumbai-based traditional temple architect, Hariprasad H. Sompura.This hill also offers a very picturesque view of Virar and its vicinity. During the nine days of the Navratri festival many followers visit the shrine, and devotees also tend to visit on Tuesdays and Sundays. The goddess is worshipped for providing relief to the suffering and new life to the dying hence the name of the goddess - Jivdani. Many people of Vasai especially - Mangayle, Koli and Bhandhari treat Jivdani as their family goddess.
The devotees return the "Navas" or blessing / favor by sacrificing goats and chickens. They also offer gold ornaments.Devotees believe that to return to have "Navas" granted they must climb the mountain and worship the goddess but not return the same way as they climbed the mountain. So all are blessed by maa as they return from mountain.
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