Kalkai Mandir Dapoli

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On March 26, 1990, the Maharashtra government created Dapoli Nagar Panchayat by connecting Kamp Dapoli and Joghele Gram Panchayat. The Joghele area of this Panchayat is the area near the Jog River. Presently this area is divided into ‘Kalakai Kond’, ‘Khonda’ (Patililwadi), ‘Nagabudi’ and ‘Prabhu Aali’ Lava. ‘Kalakai’ is the chief deity of the village of Joghele, and ‘Kond’ is what they used to called a small human settlement away from the main village in the old days(In Mumbai – Thane, such areas are called Pada and at Ratnagiri they are called Wadis. This beautiful temple of Goddess Kalkai is situated at Kalkai Kond which is near the State transport bus stop of Dapoli. This temple has been renovated many times but still has many traces of its ancient origin. The temple has a wide and extensive yard, which is adorned with huge trees each atleast a hundred years old. The temple has a monumental statue of goddess Kalakai made in black stone. Only one of the four hands of the Goddess has a weapon (a sword) while the rest are empty.

There is a big celebration in the temple on the days of Shimga and Navaratri. In the festival of Shimga, a temple flag is marked outside the temple, a traditional ritual called ondhal’ is performed, Replicas of the goddess is kept in the palanquin and a procession of this palanquin is taken around the entire village of Joghele. Three forms of goddesses are kept in the palanquin. One form is of the Kalkai of the Kond area, the 2nd is of goddess Kalkai of the Aagaar and the third form is of her sister Goddess Tamhankarin. Hence, the procession starts at Konda and stops at Aagar and then once the respects have been paid there, the procession moves ahead.

Many say that the Aagar is the original spot where the idol of goddess Kalkai had appeared. Some even say that the idol had appeared on its own will and not discovered or made by any one. The spot where the idol appeared is said to be in Prabhu Lane in the garden of a lady called Kanta Khot. This garden actually belongs to her niece Kaumudhini Datar. Even before her the garden belonged to the Dandekar family. The Dandekars sold it to the Potkars. From the Potkars it went to the Datars. These Datars were among the Navalakh Datars in Murud. (During the reign of the Peshwas, a marathi Sardar went hid and went underground at the Datars in Murud. To hide the identity of the Sardar, they gave him a labor’s identity and hence he would work as a herdsman or a handyman; but at night the Datars used to serve the Sardar. While returning, the sardar gave them a reward of nine lakh rupees and hence the Datars of Murud are called as Navlakh Datars). This place of the goddess’s appearance does not have a shrine or a temple. Some say that the goddess doesn’t allow building a temple at that place and some say that it is inauspicious to build two temples of the same Goddess in the same village. An important fact is that, even though this garden is a private property, it is accessible to everyone. The Tamhankar’s garden can be found at the foot of the river Jog.

‘Mr. Prakash Ganpat Salvi’ is currently the president of the temple and the priest is Mr. Jyant Salvi Patil while ‘Shri Vasant Kadam’ is the senior advisor to the temple’s association. There is no evidence about who built the Kalkai temple on the ‘Kalkai Konda’; but according to the information received from generation to generation, it is evident that the temple is atleast 400 to 500 years old. All the festivities and events that are held in this Kalkai temple are celebrated with equality. No tradition of any specific honor going to a particular person is entertained here. Everyone is given equal honor and this is what brings all the people to this temple to worship and serve the goddess.

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