Nestled among Aravali hills and located about 50 kilometres east of Udaipur, Jagat Ambika Mandir can be reached through Debari Sakroda Kurawad road. It can also be approached via Jhamarkotda that is a bit shorter route.
According to an inscription on a pillar, it was built during the beginning of 10th century A.D. It is said that it was renovated during the reign of Allata, a king of Mewar. It was then a hub of commercial activity. According to another inscription, a minister of Maharawal Sinhgad Dev of Vagad offered a Dhwajadand and gave village Runija in charity for the maintenance of the temple. Generally, Devi temples are built at a height but strangely this one is below the level of the village. There were two temples of Shakta cult but one of them has been ruined. The temple is dedicated to goddess Mahishasura Mardini but locally it is famous as Ambika Mata Mandir. It is pentagonal in shape and is enclosed by a massive rampart that shows its importance during the reign of Allata.
Besides the main idol of Mahisasur Mardani in the sanctum the temple has a large number of sculptures of Navdurga, Veenadharini Saraswati, Ganpati, Vam, Kuber, Vayu and Indra with musicians, dancers and singers of the heavenly court. All these are elegant and show that the sculptors were very well acquainted with intrinsic knowledge of iconography. In certain sculptures, the background is also decorated with the branches of creepers and flowers and in some the sky with clouds is also shown.
The exterior of its Sabhamandap and sanctum present a vivid view of cult of Durga in various forms. The temple is famous for its Pravesh Mandap, Sabha Mandap, Garbhgrih, the pillars inside and idol of dancing Ganesh. The main idol of the Mandir is made of white marble. It is said that it is not the original one and was set up later on. Every stone, big or small, placed anywhere has beautiful carvings of Devis and Devtas.
The Mandir is famous for its erotic and voluptuous sculpture of couples who are drinking, dancing and engaged in sexual acts. No wonder, the temple is also known as mini Khajuraho of Mewar.
There used to be wells and Baoris with stairs, Talabs and garden.
Ambika Mata is the Kuldevi of film star Kangana Ranaut. Some time ago the family took the Jyot of the Devi to the place where it lives in Himachal Pradesh now and built her temple there.
The Mandir is a jewel of Mewar temple architecture
(Source: Dr. Lalit Pandey and others.)