Updated: Apr 3, 2020
Ramling Temple near Hatkanangale town of Kolhapur is an ancient and beautiful cave temple from the Ramayana period and is famous for the myth that Lord Rama resided here during his fourteen-year exile. The temple is located on a hill on the Sangli-Kolhapur road, next to Aalte village at a distance of 23km and can be reached after a half hour drive.
LEGENDS HAVE IT
The structure of the temple is quite old and the main idol is a ‘Shivling’ inside the cave. Mahadev Gurav, priest of the Ramling temple, said, “It is believed that this Shivling is placed here by Lord Rama during his exile in the forests for 14 years. The cave was first discovered in 1906 by a saint travelling through this region.”
ABOUT THE TEMPLE
The cave temple of Ramling is carved out of a rocky hill.
Mahadev Nalavade, famous as ‘Maharaj’ in the temple area, said the main cave was around 12 ft square, but almost three-fourth part of it has been turned into a kind of water tank now. After entering the temple, a beautiful rock-carved ling and idols of Ganpati, Parvati devi and Veerbhadra can be seen. Outside the cave, a massive Hemadpanti structure of 13ft rests on stone pillars. By the side of the main cave is a row of seven small cells dedicated to the seven Puranic sages or Sapta rishis. The temple also has two 'Nandi' in its sanctum, which is very rare sight in Indian temples.’
The caves are always wet because of the water flowing over the walls all the time. The quantity of water coming into the cave increases during rainy season, but the source of water has not been identified. The structures around this temple are ancient.
ROUND & ABOUT
Ramling temple is a classic combination of natural beauty and architectural excellence. Hritik Kumthekar, visitor at the temple, said, “A memorizing temple carved entirely in the hill stones within the dark woods offers extremely enchanting atmosphere to the visitors. The place stays crowded with monkeys all the time and people offer them food imagining them as form of Lord Hanuman.”