Located in Maharashtra is a “cave temple” dedicated to Lord Shiva known as Marleshwar. This temple is situated in close proximity to a waterfall called “Dhareshwar” in the Ratnagiri district. It is said that the unique feature or the USP (i.e. Unique Selling Point) of this temple is that it is surrounded by a number snakes. In addition, this temple attracts a large number of Lord Shiva devotees annually during festival such as Nag Panchami. In addition, an event called “Marleshwar Yatra” that is organized at this temple annually during Makar Sankranti is extremely popular.
a. Best time to visit Marleshwar Temple
The ideal time to visit this “Shiva” temple is during the winter season which begins in December and ends in February with the mercury dropping to as low as 15 degree Celsius.
b. How to reach Marleshwar Temple
Marleshwar Temple Map
1. By train:
The nearest railway station to this temple is located in Khed at a distance of 29 km. The Khed Railway Station is well connected to major cities in the country such as Mumbai and Pune as well as most of the cities/towns in the state.
2. By road:
If you intend to drive to this temple then the ideal starting points would be Kolhapur, Mumbai, Pune, and Ratnagiri.
- Via Kolhapur:
There are two routes from Kolhapur to this temple, and they are via NH166 and via NH48.
- Via Mumbai:
There are three routes from Mumbai to this temple, and they are via NH66, via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway/Mumbai-Pune Highway and NH48, and via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway/Mumbai-Pune Highway.
- Via Pune:
There are three routes from Pune to this temple, and they are via NH48, via NH66, and via Phule Nagar-Akluj Road and Khanapur Road.
- Via Ratnagiri:
There are two routes from Ratnagiri to this temple, and they are via Devrukh-Arnbhav Road and via MH SH 107.
3. By air:
The closest major airport to this temple is located in Mumbai. The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is well connected to major cities in the country as well as international destinations.
c. Religious significance of the Marleshwar Temple
There is no major religious significance attached to this temple apart from the fact that it was Lord Parshuram, the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu that laid the foundation stone for this temple. In addition, this temple is known to be surrounded by snakes that apparently do not bite devotees who come to worship Lord Shiva.
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