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.
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 realized too late that I didn’t get a decent picture of the deity 🙁 )
I take the steps leading down to the lake but there are no ornaments popping out for me, just a few women feeding fish. Swimming and boating are allowed in the lake and several colourful boats anchored on the water are testimony to it . Sadly, I don’t have the time for either since this is meant to be a quick stop.
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 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.
If you want to spend some time in Dhampur, you could stay at the state-run MTDC’s Lishan Lake Resort, though the reviews don’t seem encouraging – Tripadvisor reviews here
The phone numbers to contact the hotel are –
Landline: + 91-02365-255911
Mobile: +91- 9422044381/ 9545788465