Shri Dev Rameshwar Temple

Shri Dev Rameshwar (Hindu Deity Lord Shiva) is the Clan God of the Pujare Clan. A temple dedicated to Shri Dev Rameshwar  is located within the boundary of Rameshwar Wadi, Taluka Devgad, District Sindhudurg, Maharashtra, India. The exact date of origin of the idol is not known. However, this place is being considered sacred since ancient times. The settlement around the temple has been dated back to 15th century.

Shri Dev Rameshwar Idol

Shri Dev Rameshwar – Idol

According to the available records, the first priest of the temple was Gond Pujara. Shri Dev Rameshwar ic the Clan God of all the Pujare in Rameshwar as well as the surrounding area.

The entire Pujare Clan is dedicated to the worship of Shri Dev Rameshwar. The daily rituals of the temple are carried out by priests of the Pujare Clan only. They are responsible for Puja and Aarti, as well as the daily cleaning of Murtis and the temple.

§  Architecture  §

The architectural patterns of the temple building shows that it has been expanded at least three times from its establishment until now. In the early 18th century, Sarkhel Kanhoji Angre built a quadrangular inner shrine made up of finely hewn stones, also called as the Gabhara around the original place of Lord Shiva’s Pindi. This is the main room of the temple which contains a shivling or pindi at its centre. Later, in the mid 18th century, Sardar Sambhaji Angre and Sankhoji Angre built a Mandap in front of the Gabhara. This mandap consisted of four huge wooden pillars bearing beautiful carvings all over them. They also built a Pradakshina Marg around the Gabhara. The entire area was enclosed with walls to form a small temple consisting of the Gabhara, the Mandap and Pradakshina Marg. The entire temple building covers an area of 4,025 sq ft. Stone tiles were placed in the area outside the main temple building covering an area of about 15,000 sq ft. It was in this era that the temple was provided with two new gates on the western and southern side.

Shri Dev Rameshwar Temple - Building (Rear View)

Shri Dev Rameshwar Temple – Building (Rear View)

In 1763, Shrimant Madhavrao Peshwe appointed Anandrao Dhulap as the chief of the Maratha Navy. Anandrao was also appointed as the governor of Vijaydurg Fort. In 1775, Madhavrao Peshwe appointed Gangadhar Bhanu as the Subhedar of Vijaydurg region. In 1780, Subhedar Gangadhar Bhanu built a huge Sabha Mandap with 20 carved wooden pillars. Early 18th century showed lots of changes and developments in the structures, architectures and the surrounding area of the temple. The eastern gate was built by making a way or Ghati by cutting a small hill adjoining the temple on the eastern side. The main entrance or the Mukhya Pravesh Dwar for the temple. was also built. A huge bell hangs on the eastern gate which has year 1791 engraved on it. This bell was the one that was brought from the Portuguese Ship which was captured by the Maratha Navy. The main wooden mast of this ship has been installed in front of the Main entrance of the temple at the beginning of the Temple Ghati.

§  Wall Paintings  §

The walls of the temple show drawings depicting incidences from Ramayana and Mahabharata. These drawings were drawn by artists appointed by Sardar Sambhaji Angre. These drawings are unique in the sense that although they depict stories from the ancient vedic culture, the characters’ clothes, weapons, ornaments and other equipments and instruments are similar to those found in the 18th century.

§  Administration  §

The temple and its welfare is looked after by Shri Dev Rameshwar Devasthan Vishwasta Mandal and Rameshwar Vikas Mandal, Mumbai.

§  Gallery  §

Further Reading:

* Rameshwar Wadi
* Kanhoji Angre
* Vijaydurg Fort
* Vijaydurg (city)
* Alphonso (mango)
* Pujare (clan)

Advertisements

Pujare of Rameshwar

The Pujare also known as Pujar, Pujara or Pujari, traditionally belong to the priestly class in the Kshatriya community of the Maratha society. They are the original inhabitants of Rameshwar in Devgad Taluka of Sindhudurg District in Maharashtra, India.

Their oldest settlement is in Rameshwar also known as Rameshwar Wadi which is a small town located in Sindhudurg District of Maharashtra on the west coast of India. This settlement has been dated back to the 15th century or even before. Initially, the only house in the region was that of Gond Pujara, the ancestor or today’s Pujare Clan of Rameshwar. He is also known as the “First Pujara” and the house as the “First House”. Most of the Pujare in today’s Rameshwar Wadi are descendents of the First Pujara and share a common ancient place of worship located on the premises of the First House.

Pujare Clan - Ancestry 15th century to present

Pujare Clan – Ancestry
15th century to present

About 200 meters from the ‘First House’ is located a 15th century temple devoted to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva. It is known as Shri Dev Rameshwar Temple. The daily rituals of Shri Dev Rameshwar Temple are performed by the Pujare of Rameshwar. This temple was handed over to the Pujare Clan in 17th century by Shrimant Madhavrao Peshwe. They are responsible for performing all the rituals that take place in the temple. This includes Puja, Aarti and taking care of the shivling and murtis. The Pujare act as counselors during Shri Dev Rameshwar festivities and festivals. They have a reputation for being learned and conduct prayer services for Lord Shiva. Every Monday a palkhi ceremony is carried out in the temple premises. The priests carry out Lord Rameshwar’s idol in a Wooden Palkhi and move around the main temple building 3 times. During this they play various musical instruments like Taal, Dhol and Tasha while calling out to Lord Shiva and praising Him. This ceremony had been officially accepted by then Maratha Peshwa Sawai Madhavrao. Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa officially appointed Pujare as the owner of the temple as well as the surrounding area. The total area covered is 96 ares and includes the temple premises and huge mango trees. Since then the land has been under the ownership of the Pujare.

The proof of ownership of the temple and the surrounding devasthan land is given below:

Inamat Utara given by Peshwe Sawai Madhavrao

Inamat Utara - Page 1 Inamat Utara - Page 2

 

Rameshwar is also known for its Alphonso mangoes. Apart from being the priests of the temple, Pujare also own Alphonso mango plantations in and around the region. These are few of the age-old plantations in the Konkan region that are being passed on from generations since the 16th century. As per historical records, as far as 8 generations have been known to be recorded in the region. Apart from Mangoes, the major crop grown in this area is Rice. Other fruits include Jackfruit, Chiku, Guava and Coconut.

Further Reading: