- 265 Kms
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Location: In Ratnagiri District
Situated near Sangameshwar, Marleshwar is a pilgrimage place known for its Shiva Temple and the spectacular Dhareshwar Waterfall located near this cave temple.
Marleshwar is in Sangameshwar village in Ratnagiri district. Tourists visit this important temple for devotion and natural beauty. Marleshwar Temple is a cave temple surrounded by the scenic Sahyadri mountain ranges. It is located at Maral village near Sangameshwar in Ratnagiri district. This temple perched atop a hill is dedicated to Lord Shiva and one has to climb some 400 steps to reach the summit. Local belief is that Lord Parshuram laid the foundation of the temple
A visit to this temple along with family will be a gratifying experience although the climb may prove to be a bit difficult for children and elders. One can see Sahyadri’s huge precipice and river from the temple.
Marleshwar with its pleasant atmosphere can pleasantly surprise you. At the right side there is the entrance of the cave and near the entrance of the cave, there is a ‘Kund’ of cold water. When we enter the caves one can see the idol of Marleshwar. Many snakes and cobras are found everywhere in and around the premises of the caves but an interesting thing to note is that not a single person ever been hurt or died because of snakes. This has resulted in the increased faith of the devotees. Travellers are advised against coming here in the monsoon time as the pathways get very muddy and slippery during this time. Moreover the temple may be closed if the waterfall reaches the cave premises making it very difficult to approach the temple site.
We get to hear many stories about Marleshwar from local people. Makar Sankranti and Mahashivratri are celebrated with great fanfare here. On the day of ‘Makarsankranti’ marriage of Marleshwar and Girijadevi takes place. Local villagers celebrate the marriage ceremony with great enthusiasm. Besides on ‘Mahashivratri’ and ‘Tripuri Poornima’ there is fair. At the beginning of 18th century, this ‘Shivling’ was in Muradpur, which was brought here in the cave after tyrant Muradkhan started vexing people of Muradpur.
This temple is known as ‘Trambakeshwar’ of Konkan.
A little further ahead from the temple are the ‘Dhareshwar’ waterfalls. The waterfall is indeed very beautiful. They are one of the highest waterfalls. If you go beyond ‘Karambeli Doh’ , you can get a fair idea of the height of the falls. Adventure lovers and trekkers will love this area. The site of the waterfalls is very pleasing to the eyes. Many small waterfalls come together to form the Dhareshwar water falls. Monsoon is the best season to enjoy the picturesque waterfalls.
- There are state transport buses from nearby major towns to Maral village and hired rickshaws or taxis will also take you to the temple base.
Things to do
- Parshuram temple, Koyna Dam, Jaygad fort, Malgund and Pawas are nearby places which should be visited.
- Prachitgad is an ancient fort in the Sahyadri mountain range. It spreads over an area of 5 acres. The place is accessible only by foot from Shringarpur near Sangmeshwar which is a 5 to 8 hour climb and trek through treacherous terrain or from Chandoli dam which is a 14-15 hour walk through the forest. Within the fort there is a well, a temple and five guns. Prachitgad is studded with beautiful spots. Two main spots are Sada and Kandhar Doh. Sada is a formation made up of frozen lava. Kandhar Doh is the water fall on the river Warana.
- Vishalgad (a.k.a. Khelna or Khilna) was one of the important forts of the Maratha Empire. The name ‘Vishalgad’ meaning grand fortwas given by Shivaji after annexing it for the Maratha Empire in 1659. There are Samadhis built in the memory of Baji Prabhu Deshpande and Phulaji Prabhu Deshpande, who laid down their lives to protect Chhatrapati Shivaji from the clutches of Siddhi Johar while escaping from fort Panhala to Vishalgad.
- Chandoli National Park is situated in Sangli District. It covers an area of 317.67km2 and is well connected to Kolhapur, Satara and Ratnagiri. It was initially declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1985 and later as a national park in 2004. Some animals that are found in the forest are gaurs, deer, leopard cats, sloth bears,tigers, barking deer, mouse deer, panthers and so on. Bird watching trips are organised in the spring season when the birds can be commonly sighted. The Chandoli National Park is well accessible. There are wildlife resorts and lodges where one can stay. There are places like Vasant Sagar Reservoir, Kandhar doh falls and Tanali falls which enhance the beauty of this National Park. Being in Maharashtra, the temperature here is quite good throughout the year. Camping is one of the major adventures done by the tourists where people camps in the core of the forest.