Lord Sri Rama, Goddess Sita and Lakshmanji
One of the most significant religious centers of the Nashik city is ancient Shri Kalaram Mandir. The temple derives its name from the statue of Lord Rama that is black in colour. The literal translation of Kalaram means black Rama. The sanctum sanctorum also houses the statues of Goddess Sita and Lakshmanji.
The largest and simplest of the temples is Kalaram Mandir, built in 1790 by Sardar Odhekar of Peshwa. It houses a black stone image of Rama, hence the name. The temple is made by complete black stones, which has four doors facing East, West, South and North and the apex made up of gold. In 1930, Dr. Ambedkar performed Satyagraha, to allow the entry of Harijans into the temple.
The building stands in the middle of a walled enclosure with 96 pillars and entered on the east through an arched portal. The temple got the name Kalaram Mandir as the idol of lord Ram is of black colour and the ‘Kalash’ is made of 32 tons of gold. The stones were brought from Ramshej about 200 years ago and it took Rs. 23 lakhs and 2000 workers to build the temple in 12 years. This 70 feet high structure was built with black stone extracted from the mine of Ramshej Hill. The copper peak of the temple is gold-plated and looks ravishing by day and night as well.
The devotees worship idols of Lord Ram, Lakshmana and Sita here, which are sandy black decked with ornaments. Nearby is the ‘Sita gumpha’ where Devi Sita is said to have stayed during her exile. There is a grove of large Banyan trees near the cave. Various small temples dedicated to Lord Vithala, Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman surround Kalaram temple.
There are great processions and Utsav on festivals like Ramnavami, Dasara and Chaitra Padwa (Hindu new year day). A festival called Janmotsava is celebrated at Sansthan Shri Kalaram Mandir, Panchavati, Nashik every year. The festival, which spans 15 days begin from the first day of Chaitra till Chaitra Purnima. The Janmotsava, which is witnessed by thousands of pilgrims takes place exactly at 12 noon.
The main attraction of the festival is the rathyatra that takes place on the second day, in which Shri Ram rath and Garuda rath moves through the Nashik city. The Rathyatra starts at about 4.30 p.m. The Rathyatra is made up of 5 links, 1st is the bullock cart of Sanai / Choughada, followed by the Palkhi of Shri Ramachandra, Pujadhikari, Garudarath (the rath of Lord Hanuman) and finally the Ramrath (the rath of Lord Rama).
Having many temples and pilgrimage sites, Nashik is known to be a holy city for Hindus in India. Nashik city has the best Budget, Luxury and Star hotels for the visitor's accommodation.
Nashik city is well connected with famous places like Pune, Shirdi, Aurangabad apart from Mumbai. As the buses run daily from morning till night, visitors can easily board a bus to Nashik. Nashik main bus stand is just 2 km from the temple.
Nashik has its own railway station which is 9.2 kms from the Shri Kalaram Mandir. Numerous trains run between Nashik and Mumbai everyday at frequent gaps. Trains ply here from all the major cities of the country.
The domestic Ozar Airport is 19 km from the temple. Mumbai International Airport is just 174 km from the temple. Mumbai, roughly three and a half hour drive from Nashik. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is well connected to a spectrum of cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Kochi.
Buses, cars and auto-rickshaws can be availed outside the station.
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