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