It would be ludicrous to say that I’m a religious traveller. But I’m definitely partial to the ancient temples of India. A few years ago, although, I was nervous to take on authoring a guidebook for Lonely Planet on the Temples of South India, it made me look at them with a new gaze – not with a religious tenor, but a historical one. The trip was an eye-opener encompassing legends, architectural brilliance and witness unparalleled devotion. Having traversed all the states in the southern part of the country, I’m looking to move northwards and hit Maharashtra next. The profusion of blogs and brochures tell me that it is a treasure trove of temples. I’ve narrowed down on these four near Ganpatipule for now.
This temple is a noted landmark in the small town of Ganeshgule near the more popular, Ganpatipule. While this 400-year-old temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the usual Ganesh idols are not found here. Instead, a huge piece of rock masquerades at the main idol. According to legend, water used to flow out from the naval point of this rock. The legend goes, that it only stopped when Lord Ganesha left Ganeshgule for Ganpatipule.
Shri Laxmi Keshav Temple
Among all the religious places to see in Maharashtra, this temple has the most enviable location. Dedicated to the Goddess Laxmi and Lord Keshav, the temple is surrounded by majestic mountains, dense forests, deep valleys, and a crystal-clear brook. The temple’s idol itself showcases the finest skill of ancient sculpting. Made up of the reddish-black shaligram stone from Nepal, this beautiful idol towers inside everything else in the sanctum with its five-foot height.
Shri Uma—Maheshwar Mandir
The location of this 18th-century temple makes it an essential on the list to see in Maharashtra. Many tourists visit this temple when they are on their way to the pristine Hedvi seashore, spurring the footfall of family vacationers more than devotees. But still the Ganesha Temple has a serene vibe.
The Shrikshetra Parashuram temple is dedicated to Lord Parshuram, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is hard to find temples dedicated to this avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is said that he formed the Konkan region after causing the sea to recede. The Shrikshetra Parashuram should not be missed by architecture buffs because it has vestiges of Hindu, Muslim, and Western architectural styles.
Vitals: Green Leaf The Resort & Spa offers great access to these temples. The Club Mahindra property is located in Ganpatipule. It is a perfect place for a weekend getaway as it is 28km from Ratnagiri, 280km from Goa, and 333km from Mumbai. The resort offers an experience that is perfect for family vacations. Sandy beaches, outdoor sports and indoor board games for the children keep them occupied, while you can head out to visit the temples. The resort also has a well-equipped spa, play area for kids and Wi-Fi. Club Mahindra’s Green Leaf The Resort & Spa stay consistently ranks high on the list of Maharashtra resorts. Plan a vacation with Club Mahindra today & have a memorable stay at Club Mahindra Ganpatipule resort in Maharashtra.
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NB: Hi Readers, this is a sponsored post but the research and thoughts are personal.