Kalaram Temple

Kalaram Temple

News: Recently, the Prime Minister visited the Kalaram Temple of Nashik, Maharashtra.

About:
• The Kalaram temple derives its name from a black statue of the Lord — Kala Ram translates literally to “Black Ram”. The sanctum sanctorum has statues of Ram, Sita, and Lakshman, and a black idol of Hanuman at the main entrance.
• The Temple was built in 1792 by Sardar Rangarao Odheka and it is situated on the banks of Godavari in the Panchavati area of the city.

Key Features:
• The main temple has 14 steps, representing the 14 years of Ram’s exile.
• The 84 pillars in the temples represent the cycle of 84 lakh species that one has to complete to be born as a human.

What is the historical significance of the temple?
• The Kalaram temple is a site of a landmark agitation led by Babasaheb Ambedkar demanding temple entry rights for Dalits more than 90 years ago.
• Dr BR Ambedkar and social activist Pandurang Sadashiv Sane, led a satyagraha at the Kalaram temple on March 3, 1930, demanding entry for Dalits into the sacred space. During the satyagraha, Ambedkar and his 15,000 Dalit followers peacefully picketed the temple.

What is its Ramayana link?
• The Region of Panchavati is where Shri Ram, along with Sita and Lakshman, spent the first few years of their 14-year exile, and the abduction of Mata Sita by Ravana set off the Ramayana war.
• The name Panchavati comes from the existence of five banyan trees in the area. According to the epic, Lord Ram, Sita, and Lakshman set up a hut here as the presence of five banyan trees made this region auspicious.

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