Subscribe to never miss an important update!
- Context (IE): PM visited the Kalaram Mandir on the banks of Godavari river in the Panchavati area.
- The temple is the site of agitation led by B.R Ambedkar, who demanded temple entry rights for Dalits in 1930.
- Kalaram Temple is a Hindu temple in Nashik city’s Panchavati area in Maharashtra.
- The temple derives its name from a black statue of Lord Kala Ram translates literally to “Black Ram”.
Kalaram Temple History and Architecture
- The original temple dedicated to an unknown deity was ancient, estimated to be of the Rashtrakuta Period from the 7th –11th centuries.
- During the early Turkish invasions, the idol of the deity was thrown in the Godavari River by the Temple Brahmins to save it.
- The New temple was built in 1792 with the efforts of one Sardar Rangarao Odhekar.
- Sardar Odhekar dreamt of a black-coloured statue of Lord Ram in the Godavari, recovered the statues from the river, and built the temple.
- The place where statues were found was named Ramkund.
Architecture and the Temple Complex
- The sanctum sanctorum houses the statues of Lord Ram, the goddess Sita and Lakshmana.
- The main entrance has a Hanuman deity, which is black.
- The Temple is designed so that Rama’s idol can be visible from Hanuman’s idol.
- The main temple has 14 steps, representing the 14 years of Ram’s exile.
- 84 temple pillars signify a cycle of 84 lakh species, the completion of which leads to birth as a human.
- There is also an ancient tree with Dattatreya’s footprint impressions marked on a stone.
- Dattatreya is a paradigmatic Sannyasi (monk) and one of the lords of yoga.
- There is a statue of Sardar Odhekar in the temple.
- The architectural design of this temple is similar to the temple of Trimbakeshwar.
- The temple has been constructed of black stones and four entrance doors in all four directions.
- Several smaller temples surround the temple, such as the Vithal, Ganapathi, and Maruti.
- Several significant events described in the Ramayana occurred in the Panchvati area.
- Ram, Sita and Lakshman spent the first few years of their 14-year exile in Dandakaranya, the dense forest in central India of which Panchavati was a part.
- Panchavati derives its name from five sacred banyan trees in the vicinity, symbolising the auspiciousness of the area where Lord Ram, Sita, and Lakshman chose to establish their hut.
- Ravan, the demon king of Lanka, abducted Sita from the forest, Dandkaranya.
Kalaram Temple Entry Movement
- In 1930, B R Ambedkar and the Marathi teacher and social activist Pandurang Sadashiv Sane, known as Sane Guruji, led an agitation to demand access to Hindu temples for Dalits.
- It is also known as Kalaram Mandir Satyagraha.
- Many Dalit protesters arrived in the town by trucks; they surrounded the temple and sat around it.
- Mode of Protest: They sang songs and often raised war cries, demanding to enter the temple.
- Reaction of Locals: The people of Nashik boycotted the protesters.