Shri Kalaram Temple
Situated in the Panchvati area of Nashik near the banks of Godavari River, the Kalaram temple is dedicated to Lord Ram and is among one of the largest, prominent and the most captivating temples in the city. Spread in a sprawling campus, the most amazing feature of the temple is that it is totally black.
[ Entrance to the Kalaram Temple in Nashik ]
[ Magnificient Kalaram Temple made from black stones ]
[ Beautifully carved Kalaram Temple in Nashik ]
Built in 1790 by Sardar Odhekar of Peshwa, the entire temple is constructed in black stones which were especially brought from the Ramshej Mountains. It took 12 years, 23 lakhs of rupees and 2000 workers to build this beautiful temple. The only hint of any other color is provided by the gleaming spire of the temple which is capped with 32 tonnes of gold. The main sanctum houses black stoned idols of Lord Rama, His wife Sita and His brother Laxman. Since the image of the Lord is in black color, the temple has come to be known as ‘Kala Ram’ meaning ‘black Ram’.
Right across the sanctum is the idol of Lord Hanuman which is similarly black in color and enshrined in such a way that He faces His beloved Master, Lord Rama.
The porch of the temple is decorated with pillars and arches. Idols of Lord Vithala and Lord Ganesha can be spotted in the surrounding courtyard.
[ The large Kalaram Temple courtyard ]
[ Lord Ganesha idol in the courtyard ]
The festivals of Ram Navami, Dusshera and Gudi Padwa are celebrated here.
This temple is situated in the Kalaram temple lane. Unlike Kalaram, Goraram is a much smaller temple and has idols of Lord Ram, Laxman and Sita in fair hue; which is how the temple gets its name.
[ The Goraram Temple in Panchvati ]
[ Idols of Lord Ram, Laxman and Sita in the Goraram Temple ]
Adjoining the Goraram temple is the Sita Gumpha. The cave is approximately 4 ft in height and is believed to be the place from where Ravana had abducted Sita during the 14 year exile. The cave complex has figures depicting the account of the incident.
[ The entrance to the Sita Gumpha in Panchvati ]
[ The entrance to the Sitaharan and Marichivadh cave ]
Outside the cave is a large grove of 5 very old Banyan trees, after which the area is named, Panchvati.
[ One of the five vat trees after which the area is called Panchvati ]