Sea Cliffs of the Arabian and the Sun Temple…

Legends float all across the world. Legends make the world alive. Similarly, the legend of the Sun Temple in Ratnagiri made me want to write about it.

Outside the Kanakaditya Temple in Ratnagiri

Ratnagiri is one of the most beautiful place that the state of Maharashtra can flaunt. The untouched beaches, the swaying palms, creeks and rivers makes this place perfect to relax and rejuvenate though relaxing is not so much for me. Being here, I wanted to see everything that made this place and everything that this place was full off. While talking to the locals, we noticed they mentioned the Kanakaditya temple several times. They told us to visit this place if we enjoyed historical structures and liked legends. The thought rang in our heads..why not?

Kanakaditya or the Sun God Temple

Amidst the village of Kasheli, almost along the cliffs of the Arabian sea lies this simple temple of the Sun called Kanakadtiya. Even the road to this temple was small and narrow hemmed with coconut palms and velvet greens of the forest. It was windy and passed through many small houses on either sides. When we got there, from outside, this temple looked like any ordinary temple. It made us think if we took all the effort to see a temple which didn’t seem architecturally historic. Since we were there, we decided to peep in. While we walked through the courtyard of the temple,we noticed how simple and serene this place was. It had a stone carved statue of Lord Aditya (Sun God) and had bright paintings of some of his legends. Even though it was colourful it was very pleasing to the eye.

The court of the Kanakaditya Temple

The Colourful Entrance of the Kanakaditya Temple

While walking around, an old man who owned a mango orchard close to the temple narrated the story of this temple. He said that a long time back a boatman decided to travel south from Gujarat. Since he worshiped Lord Aditya, he decided to carry an idol along with him. When he reached Kasheli, the boat halted without a reason. He knew he was not stuck due to a rock but could not reason out its cause. He thought that perhaps the lord wanted him to leave him behind hence placed the idol in a rock cut cave along the cliff of Kasheli village and sailed on further. Simultaneously  a local woman called Kanak, an ardent devotee of the Lord Aditya dreamt of this idol being placed in the cave. With the help of the villagers, she resurrected this beautiful temple which is called Kanakaditya Temple.

Ceiling of the temple

This temple is known to be 1100 years old. It is one of the rarest temple in India. According to statistics, only 4 have been recorded  Konark in Orisa, one in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and this simple one in Ratnagiri. We further hiked to look over the cliffs to see if we could see the cave but lost our way and returned back to the temple only to sit there and breathe in the calm of this place.

Posed on a cliff to search for the cave where the idol of Aditya was found.


7 thoughts on “Sea Cliffs of the Arabian and the Sun Temple…

    • Hello Sabyasachi…yes..Ratnagiri is very pretty. I have not seen the Konark temple and I am sure it is a wonder…unfortunately, India hasn’t put in too much effort in restoration..

  1. Hi, I am an Architect from Mumbai and Kasheli is my native place… Thanks a lot for the photo feature on this beautiful temple..The Idol statue is from the Somnath temple, Gujrat. When the rich temple was invaded by Alladin Khilji, the Sun God’s Idol was removed and shipped for safety.. The cave where it was found is called “Devachi Kholi”.. where a smaller dummy Idol is taken with procession every year on the festive day of Rath Saptami. I have fabulous photos of the cave..

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