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
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
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
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. Jyesti Malls Brahmins used to lead in
the army. Brahmins and Baniyas were brave under the leadership of
Vithaleshwar all the Brahmins 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.
Rao was crowned as king. He made railway traveling easier by laying the
railway lines. This emoted Modhs o go to Modhera and offer their prayer at
Dharma Vav (The wall) in which they believed that the idol was immersed.
The temple was destroyed. So Modhs thought of reconstruction of temple.
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 pagadi. 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 by Shashtri Hathibhai Harishankar of Jamnagar and Shashtri
Ramkrishna Harshjee of Ahmedabad. A dharmashala, Fort, was built. Shri
Purshottamdas Thakurdas supported late.Nathubhai very strongly. But
unfortunately after their death no good administrative was found. Due to
that Late.Bhogilal Saraiya requested the industrialist Shri Ramnlal
Lallubhai to take over the administration. He agreed and appointed a new
committee with the help of his brother Late.Shri Ratanlal. He generated
some fund to construct new rooms for Dharmasala and temple was repaired.
Later under the leadership of Shri Chandrakantbhai Jagabhai and
Dayashankar Vishvanath Trivedi other jobs for the development of temple
were taken up. For the people who visit Modherswari temple 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.