Continuing the photo journey of the Tarkarli/Malvan area (to read the first post click here), join me at the Bhagavati Temple and Dhamapur Lake.
Enroute from Kudal to Tarkarli, I was told about this temple by the auto driver. Falling conveniently midway between Kudal and Malvan, the temple dedicated to the local goddess or Bhagavati is revered by villagers near and far. The legend of the Dhamapur Lake, on the banks of which it is nestled, only adds to its popularity.
It is believed that in the olden days, with a marriage approaching, the bride’s family members used to dip a basket of flowers in the lake water and the floral offering would turn into gold ornaments. Once the wedding ceremony was completed, these ornaments were to be immersed in the lake. Those who know about the dowry system in India and our love for the yellow metal can very well imagine what a blessing this was indeed!
As things are, the temple seems quite deserted when I go in. An enormous peepal (ficus religiosa) tree stands guard like a wizened, bearded sentinel. Considered holy, this species is also the one under which Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment.
Entering the sanctum, I spy an exasperated mother chasing a toddler who has decided to give her a free workout. Running around the stout, rather brightly colored cement pillars, he keeps just a step ahead of her.
I notice that the old wooden framework supporting the tiled roof has also been given a go over with bright paint. What a pity! It takes away from the antique look of the temple. (I realised too late that I didn’t get a decent picture of the deity 😦 )
Managing to mumble a few prayers, I take the steps leading down to a lake. This is the legendary Dhamapur lake, but all I can chance upon today are a few women feeding fish.
The anchored pedal and speed boats add color to the otherwise dull water.
I wonder how deep the water would be and want to dip my feet, but the thought of having squishy fish nibbling at them stops me. Having spent some time watching kids play on the steps, I return to the waiting rickshaw and tell him to carry on to Tarkarli.