Deity of  Kadava Patidars – Umiya Mata Temple

Priyanshi Pareek

The Umiya Mata Temple stands as a sacred place dedicated to Goddess Umiya, revered as the clan-deity of the Kadava Patidars. According to myth, Maa Umiya was established by Lord Shankar at Unjha. The temple’s origins trace back to the year 156 BC Vikram Samvat- 212, credited to King Vrajpal Sinhji. It’s believed that fifty-one Shakipeeth emanated from Maa Umiya’s body. Shiva’s second incarnation established the temple at Unjha as her unbroken incarnation, differing from the Shakipeeth linked to body parts. Situated at the heart of Unjha in the Mehsana district of Gujarat, India, the temple draws thousands of visitors daily.

In ancient mythological accounts, it’s believed that Lord Shankar established the Maa Umiya Temple in Unjha. King Vrajpal Sinhji is credited with constructing the temple in the year 156 BC Vikram Samvat- 212. Additionally, King Avnipat conducted an extensive yagna, offering one lakh twenty-five thousand coconuts and a well filled with ghee.

During November 2009, the temple commemorated its Silver Jubilee. Renovation funds were sourced from donations by affluent industrialists and farmers. A significant gathering of Kadava Patidars participated in the pilgrimage, necessitating the establishment of tents and guesthouses to accommodate the multitude of visitors. The then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, delivered a speech at the commencement of the vegetarian sacrifice, expressing his devotion to his clan’s kuldevi.

Umiya Dham, Ahemdabad

The Kadava Patidar community in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, is constructing the Umiya Dham complex, envisaged to encompass a temple, an NRI guest house, a convention hall, boys’ and girls’ hostels, senior citizen care facilities, medical services, recreational areas, sports facilities, and career/business development spaces. By 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to lay the foundation stone. This initiative stemmed from the growing discontent of Kadava Patidars towards Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, catalyzed by Gujarati politician Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leading the Patidar reservation agitation. The BJP aimed to rekindle the Kadava Patidars’ support through this symbolic gesture by Prime Minister Modi.

Umiya Dham, US

In 2013, the Kadva Patidar Samaj commissioned an Umiya Mata temple in Macon, Georgia, followed by plans for two more temples in New Jersey and Boston, Massachusetts by 2014.

The Umiya Mataji Sanstha in Chicago Midwest observes the Holi festival in Joliet, attracting over 500 participants annually. This vibrant celebration symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and is divided into two parts: Holika Dahan and color Holi. Holika Dahan involves the burning of wood and cow dung in a symbolic pyre representing the victory of good forces. The following morning, the Rangwali Holi takes place at the temple grounds, where people joyfully apply colored powders (gulal) and colored water to each other in celebration of spring. The event in Chicago includes complimentary snacks and dinner while children and families engage in these festivities. Alongside these colorful rituals, devotees also engage in prayers, dancing, and singing devotional songs.

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