Approximately 7 km away from Dapoli is a village named Aasud. This village is blessed with abundance of natural beauty. If we set off on the Dapoli – Harne roadway, after 6 km we will come across a beautiful place called Aasud Baug. Turn right from here and after a 15 – 20 walk, you will come across this extremely beautiful place called Keshavraj Mandir (Vishnu temple).
While walking towards the temple, you will come across a small bridge. This is the very bridge that gained immortality by being mentioned in one of the most famous Marathi novels, ‘Garambicha Baapu’ by Hon. N. Pendse. Across the river bridge, lies a small road that ascends to the Keshavraj Temple. You will find the walk along this narrow road unforgettable. A walk along this road that goes through a thick growth of Coconut trees, Betel nut trees, Mangos, Cashew nuts, etc., becomes even more fascinating with sweet songs of beautiful birds, which is bound to give ones heart the peaceful retreat it deserves. Surprisingly, you won’t feel tired at all, even if the road is ascending. It is nothing but a warm pleasant feeling that leaves the heart peaceful.
Situated amidst dense trees, this temple is atleast thousand years old. It is a stone structure and is beautiful as it is. The temple has a small pool in its yard, which has a stone fountain head in the shape of a cow’s head. Water flows through the cow head structure, all round the year. This water comes from the mountains through a natural stream. This stream has been brought to the temple through a beautiful stone corrugated structure. At the entrance of the temple, you will see a statue of Ganpati (the elephant headed god of wisdom). On the left side of the entrance, you will see a statue of Hanuman (the monkey god of strength), while on the right side; there is a statue of Garuda (Lord Vishnu’s ride). The statue of Lord Vishnu, to whom the temple is dedicated to, is very beautiful. The statue has 4 arms, each holding a Shankha (Conch), Chakra, Gada (Mace) & Padma (Lotus flower). Folklore says that, this temple was built in just one night’s time by the Pandavas. This temple is situated away from human civilization. It is quite unusual, as normally, temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, are built amidst human settlements, while temples of Lord Shiva are built in secluded places away from human settlements. Hence, this particular Vishnu temple is an exception.
The celebration of festivals start at this temple from the first Ekadashi (11th day of the first lunar phase) of the month of Kartik (Hindu calendar month) and continue for 5 more days. On the day of the full moon, they make Prasad (a devotional offering made to a god, typically consisting of food that is later shared among devotees). The festival resumes from the 2nd Ekasdashi and 3 days later they make Prasad again. This deity is the principle god of many clans like Devghar, Dikshit, Dhamdhere, Datar, Dandekar, Agarkar, Gangal, etc.
This temple and its surroundings are special for one more reason. These are the very surroundings that inspired the great Marathi writer Hon. N.Pendse to write his famous work ‘Garambicha bapu’. He has written about the beauty of this place in this novel. Later a feature film was made based on this novel. Right from the bridge to the dense garden of coconut and betel nut trees were shown in this film. Any tourist, who visits Dapoli, always makes a point to visit this temple.
- Samagra Konkan Darshan – Shreenivas Ghaisas
- Parichit Aparichit Dapoli – Prof. Dr. Vijay Toro