Every year, the birth of Lord Hanuman is celebrated with great joy at the svayambhu (one that appeared / made himself) Hanuman Temple situated in the main market place of Dapoli. This svayambhu mandir/temple on the banks of the river Jog is almost 250 years old. The idol in the temple is Panchmukhi (5 headed). The people of Dapoli have complete faith in the deity of this temple; so the festival that celebrates his birth day is the center of Dapoli’s pride and honor.
Before the day of Ram Navmi (birth day of Lord Ram), the roof of the temple if decorated with colorful and decorative flags; the idol of Lord Hanuman is dressed and decorated beautifully and the complete temple and its surrounding is decorated in stunning electrical lighting. On the day of Chaitra Shudha Pournima (as per Hindu calendar) i.e., the day of Hanuman Jayanti, the idol of Lord Hanuman is worshiped with melodious hymns.
As per tradition, the Kirtans (songs with spiritual or religious teachings/message) of Hanuman Jayanti is commenced at 5 AM. Many gather in numbers from the village of Dapoli to listen to these Kirtans. At the break of dawn, the birth of Lord Hanuman is celebrated which includes a bathing ritual followed by putting the Lord in a cradle. After offering gifts and singing Aarti, the Lord’s idol is placed in a chariot, which takes a round around the temple and sets off for a procession in the village. There are many attractions in the procession like Khalu Baja, Dhavjicha Baja, Dhol Tashe & Bhajans. Lord Hanuman’s chariot procession takes its first stop at Prabhu Aali at the temple of Lord Ram. Then hymns are sung dedicated to Lord Ram as he is worshiped. The people in the procession are provided refreshments like tea, coffee at the temple of Lord Ram. After leaving Lord Ram’s temple, the procession goes on in the village and returns back to the Hanuman temple by midnight followed by a concluding Aarti early in the morning.
The people of Dapoli celebrate this occasion of Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated like any other major festival in pomp and show. This two day celebration of Hanuman Jayanti is a marvel to the eye of the beholder.