Photographs By: Poncho
In praise of Shiva
On the day Shravan comes to an end, we re-visit Kankeshwar, the famous Shiv temple just 90 km from Mumbai and 13 km northwest of Alibag. On a 1,200 foot hill, the climb is a gradual stairway and road that takes you along a scenic route. On display against the verdant green is Mohangiri, Balgiri, Nagoba rest, the Jambhli Plateau, God’s Stair and Gaymandi. It’s a bit of a slog uphill, then you enter the precincts of the temple and all fatigue vanishes. Go first to the ancient sweet water tank enclosed in red stone. The locals call it Pushkarni and it has water practically throughout the year.Take in the now-ruined nagaar-khana where the ancient drums used to beat. Now you must make do with a recording on amplifiers. Sit for a moment in the bheem-kunda, a garden for flowers to be offered to the deity. Then turn to face the temple. It was built by Raja Ramdeorai Yadav, with a height of 54 ft. The front gate has a Lion sculpture on both sides and the 4 ft. long 'Pindi' of Lord Shiv is silver-plated. Kanakeshwar is very beautiful and peaceful, built in the Hoysala style in 1764. Go now, if you can. Kankeshwar is, like all of us, enjoying the beneficence of the monsoon. So you get both, the blessing of the rains, and of the gods.