Kunakeshwar is a coastal village famous for the temple of God Kunakeshwar, believed to be ever-awakened deity Lord Shankar. The temple is situated on high costal hill.
The mountainous background on one side and a long racky stretch of sand on the other make the sight of the temple much pleasant. Besides there are small temple such as SAMADHI (SHRINE) Mandir, Mandalik Mandir etc.
A legendary folk-story about this temple runs as follows
A Mohammedan merchant was sailing aboard his boat at night. Suddenly the tempest broke and the boat lost its course and got upset. The merchant lost hopes of life. Presently he saw light of a flame at the distant coast. He prayed to the flame that if his boat safely reached the shore, he would build a temple of God there. And what a surprise ! His boat reached safe ashore. To evoke the blessings of divine power that had saved his life, he then built there a temple of God Shankar. But soon he was aware that his act of building a temple was against Islamic tradition. So he committed suicide by jumping down from the pinnacle of the temple. Later on his grave-tomb was erected on the very sport of his suicide. Today even this grave is intact. Kunkeshwar is believed to be the Kashi of Southern Konkan. A grand fair is held annually on the day of Mahashivratri, when thousands of devotees visit the temple, evoke the blessings of God Shankar and participate in the holy rituals with devotion. The Shri Kunkeshwar Temple Trust has built holy resort named ‘BhaktaNiwas’ for devotees. MIDC has also proposed to build its holy resort. (Distance from Devgad 14km, Distance from Nandgaon 42km BHAKTNIWAS Ph. 02364-248650)
OF PANDAVA’S TO,ES, VELGIVE
This temple believed to be built during the period of Pandava’s exile. In fact paved into a staunch rock, it has six stone pillars. There is the symbolic image (Shivalinga) of God Shankar in the sanctum of the temple. The constructional design resembles an under ground tunnel. According to the folk-legand, as the Pandavas were in exile on condition of not being seen by anybody, they had to complete the work of paving the temple in a single night, but it was not completed as per schedule and they left the place. However the temple is in good position to this day.
The invisible and invulnerable sea-fort Vijaydurg stands majestically facing heat of the sun, showers of rain, speedy winds and surging sea-waves for the last 800 years. It was a significant Naval centre of the Maratha kingdom during the period from regime of CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ to that of Kanhoji Angre, the undefeated Master of Arabian Sea. King Bhoj of Shilahar Dynasty, who had established power over Konkan, built this fort during sometimes between 1193 to 1206. By that time it was called ‘Gheria’. Then it was in charge of Adilshah of Bijapur from 1524 upto 1653, when Shivaji captured it and restored its dignity by expanding its area (Previously just 5 acres ) to 17 acres, got it renovated, strengthened the bastions and extended rampart walls.
Formerly these was a ditch full of water at the eastern side, with a wooden bridge that could be lifted at bight. Afterwards the ditch refilled with earth, was replaced by an approach road. The year when shivaji completed the renovations was called “ Vijay Samwatsar” (as per Marathi Chronology the year of victory) So Shivaji Changed its old name ‘Gheria’ into “Vijaydurg” (Victory-Fort.) The construction of the main entrance is as peculiar as other forts of Shivaji’s times. The defence walls are curved so as the main entrance not to be visible for enemy. At the outer gate there is Hanuman Temple as a symbol of strength. Facing to entrance there are Police head quarters and offices of the Dept. of archeology. There are other buildings too. But some of them have collapsed. One of them is called, ‘Khalbat Khana’ where secret meetings were held formerly. There are historical things such as a underground tunnel way, cannon –shells, huge bastions, granary, godown, flag-hill, lime-kneading yard, dias of sacred basil plant (Tulsi-Vrindavan) Kanhoba temple, a well and so on. The rampart walls with 20 bastions are yet intact. Flag-hoisting ceremony is performed at the flag-pole in the fort on 15th August and 25th January, the distinctive feature of this fort is the underground tunnel type subway from the fort to Dhulap’s house at the distance of 2km but you cannot enter it, as it is closed at both the ends.
Thus the Fort of Vijaydurg is the witness of inspiring history of proud Maharashtra. Number of tourists and historians visit it. Distance-Bombay to Vijayadurg 500km Kolhapur to Vijayadurg 145km, nearest railway station Vaibavwadi Road.
THE TEMPLE OF RAMESHWAR, GIRYE
Just 3km from Vijaydurg, the Rameshwar temple, is the place of devotional faith. Like Vijaydurg fort, this temple also has historical background. The temple was built by Gangadhar Pant Bhanu the brother of Nana Phadanvis during Peshwa period. There is the sacred symbol of God Shankar and silver idol. The temple has tiled roof and the whole construction is worth seeing. The deep entrance path way has been paved out of rocky plateau ahead, so the temple is not visible from the distance. The wooden and stone art-work inside the temple is characteristic of ancient culture. Spacious architecture and colourful decoration of pictures add to the grandness of the temple. Annual grand fair is held on the day of Maha Shivratri (in the Marathi month of Magha) as well as on Mondays of the Month of Shravana when a large number of devotees visit this temple to evoke the blessings of God Rameshwar. Besides other tourists on the way to Vijaydurg also visit this significant temple.
BHAGAVATI TEMPLE, KOTKAMATE
The main deity of village Kotkamate (30km from devgad) is the temple of Goddess Bhagavati. According to rock-inscription, fixed in the wall, this temple was built before 250 years by Sarkhel Kanhoji Angre, the invincible hero of the Konkan coast. As a witness of history, stand evergreen two shady, old Bunyan and people trees. The carvings of the stone idol Goddess of Bhagavati as well as art-work on the wooden pillars of the main hall look very fine. The three old cannons nearby remind viewers of the past history. The name KOT KAMATE refers to the Fort (Kot) existent here in olden days.
Just 3 km from famous temple of Kunkeshwar, the beach at village Tambaldeg delights you, due to the lovely groves of cypress, coconut and areca palm trees and white shining sandy strip. The beach not yet so famous is far from being over crowded. There is a renowned temple of Goddess Gajabadevi at the sea-shore nearby from where you can enjoy the beauteous sight of the blue sea.
This thrilling fall at village Saitavade (27km from Devgad) flows throughout the year so forcefully and rapidly that a high rocky cliff is divided into broad cracks through which water rushes down to a scenic pool at the base. During Monsoon its force and beauty are more increased. The river-bed facing the fall is broad enough to enjoy bathing and swimming in it.
So to say, the beach at village Padavane near Devgad is untouched so far, but it is very clean, vast, alluring and inviting. The Sindhudrug –tourists should make it a point to visit it and enjoy the stroll on the untrodden sandy stretch and the calm and quiet atmosphere of this beach that will soon be transformed as a rare view point.
BRAHMDEO TEMPLE, KORLE
Korle is one of the beautiful villages in Devgad Taluka, located on Kharepatan Korle-Mutat road. There is an ancient temple of God Brahmadeo, amidst the shady wild trees. A pathway of stone-steps is constructed on a downhill slope. The chirping sound of various birds hidden amidst thick trees is really enjoyable. There is no idol as such in the temple, but a self emergent rock, is believed to be God, Brahmadeo. This temple is unique one in Maharashtra. Presently as it is included in Govt. Survey of Development of Religious Centres, it will soon be famous as a worth- visiting Spiritual Place.
VIMALESHWAR TEMPLE, WADA
(5km from Deogad)
This temple, carved into a laterite rock, is a fine model of ancient sculpture. It is believed to be built by Pandavas, the mythical heroes. At the entrance are three huge sculptures of two elephants as well as five (naked) idols. In the 12ft deep sanctum, there is a holy phallic image of Vimaleshwar (i.e. Shivalingam) There is also a small Ganesh temple nearby. There are hot-water-springs (geysers) that flow throughout the year. A wonder to note is that the flowers, milk and water used for daily worship ritual are being soaked into a peculiar pond nearby, but neither the pit overflows nor a bit of wetness comes out or spreads around. The Annual fair Day is celebrated on the occasion of Mahashivaratri (as per Marathi Almanac in the month of Magha) with faith and zeal.
THE FORT OF DEOGAD
This fort was built by Kanhoji Angre, the brave warrior of Knkan coast, in 1705 AD on a highland of the sea port of Devgad. It was used as a surveillance centre. It was once attacked by the British Naval Battalion in charge of commander Walter Brown, but remained invincible. So far the fort is in fair position, with features such as Ganesh Temple, three old cannons and especially a Lighthouse. The fort offers a pleasant panoramic view of the harbor and the Arabian Sea.
VIJAYDURG AS A HARBOUR
Vijaydurga is a significant and safe harbour from where different types of goods and cargo were transported on a large scale before 25 to 30 years. But at present only scum from sugar factories is transported from this port. In future, thjis sea-port will surely be developed and improvised by the auspices of Govt. in collaboration with Hindustan Infra structural Project and Engineering Pvt.Ltd. The amount worth Rs. 1000 crores has been invested in it and 75 million Cargo will be transported every year.
CLEAN AND ENCHANTING PURAL KOTHAR BEACH
The calm and quiet beach at the coastal village Pural Kothar (8km from vijaydurg) is indeed a dreamland for the tourists. It however, is not yet so famous as other popular beaches in South Konkan. The thick grove of tall cypress trees on the shore add to the serene feel of the beach. Tourists on the way to Vijaydurg must make it a point to visit this untouched view-point.
Variety of wonders of nature enrich Konkan from Tourism-point of view. Manache Fall is such a unique and rare sight. The forceful and speedy water stream, full of shining surf and rushing down from a cliff as high as 300ft is surely an impressive view. The thick foliage and greenery beside the torrent and the temple of Vyaghreshwar nearby are no doubt worth visiting. Another Interesting thing to note is that many a water pool are naturally created upon the rocky-portion ahead of the fall, where you may enjoy bathing or swim to your heart’s content. Thus anache fall is an attraction for adventurous visitors as well as observers. (Distance-Talere-Vijaydurg Rd. Manache Fall (Tittha)20km.from Manacha fata to the fall proper 5km = 25km. )
SHRI GAJABADEVI TEMPLE
The Gajabadevi Temple, on a hill top facing the Tambaldeg Beach at Mithbav, is a worth-visiting religious and cultural place. The first restoration of the temple was performed on 18th Feb. 1921 (on 11th day i.e.Ekadashi of the months of Magha in the Samvatsar named Roudra, as per Marathi chronological Almanac) by villagers named Phatak-Mirashi. There is an attractive holy pillar of Lamps (Deep Mal) with a saffron-flag on the top, Another small temple of Shri Dandagadevi-Goddess, with a grand decorative arch ahead, and Godly old Umbar-tree. Every year Shri SatyanNarayan Mahapooja (worship ritual) is performed on 18th May and the specific Navaratra Festival in the month of Ashwin is also celebrated in a traditional way. You will surely like the beautiful view of the Tambaldeg Beach with cypress trees with alluring foliage as well as the colourful sun-set in the dark-blue sea here.