Temples

At the head of the path that leads down to the lake is a perennial spring locally supposed to issue out from the Ganga. This is said to have been proved by a sage who threw a stick into the Ganga at Benaras and running all the way to Lonar arrived just in time to see it issuing from the spring. A picturesquely situated group of temples, all masonry structures held in great veneration and visited by many pilgrims, surrounds the spring which issues from a Gomukha and falls into a small tank in which pilgrims bathe. There are numerous temples round the lake itself, most of which are in ruinous condition.

As one moves towards the groups of temples that surround the spring on the east there is the temple of Narasimha. It is a masonry construction, the door jambs of which are decorated with human figures as also with the figures of an elephant. The mandapa has four open pillars decorated with carved designs. The lintel of the entrance to the inner shrine is decorated with three images of Narasimha attended by female figures, the middle one being flanked by two elephants. The shrine is small and contains a besmeared image of Narasimha.

By the side of the temple of Narasimha, is a small temple of Ganapati in nichelike structure.

There is also a temple dedicated to Renukadevi with two decorated pillars flanking the porch. The temple has four open pillars, more artistically decorated than Those of the Narasimha temple. With no inner shrine, the idol is placed on a pedestal leaning against the back wall. The front entrance to the temple is very sparsely decorated.

By its side is a small temple in which is the linga of Mahadeva. Slightly ahead is a ovari and by its side a small shrine dedicated to Vishnu, to the right of which is a linga housed under a canopy. Under this linga is the Gomukh from which the abovementioned water issues forth. It has been the source of potable water-supply to the town populace. To the right of this, there is yet another temple crowned by a shikhara. In the temple is the linga of Mahadeva with Nandi in the traditional sitting position.

Down below this group, in the vicinity of the salty lake is a temple of Kumareshvara also built in masonry. It is in Hemad-panti style of architecture.

In the centre of the town is the temple of Daityasudana built in honour of Vishnu’s victory over the demon Lonasura. The temple faces east and is 105′ in length and 84.5′ in width. Considered to be the finest specimen of early Hindu architecture in Berar, it is built in the Hemadpanti style in the form of an irregular star, the exterior walls being covered with carved figures, the profusion and inferior workmanship of which seem to point to a fairly late date of its construction. It stands on a plinth about four or five feet in height, and the unfinished roof seems intended to have been built in a pyramidal form.

Located on the western end of the village, is the temple of Maruti. From the remains of the walls it appears that there was an extensive compound wall around the temple. Of this only the gate remains in a good condition. It is a masonry structure. Within the compound, there are remains of old buildings in bricks. They are in bad repairs. The temple itself is surrounded by yet another wall. The temple is widely known because of the peculiarity of the idol contained in it being in a sleeping position. The original idol nearly eight feet in length is hardly visible due to repeated coatings of red lead. At the top are set the marble images of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita. The shrine is small and is crowned by a vaulted shikhara. It is said that after the war with Ravana, Maruti came here for rest. The idol is reported to be quite antique. The outer mandapa of the temple is constructed in bricks and is supported by wooden pillars. There are clusters on one side and a linga symbol housed under a canopy on the other. The lintel of the gate to the outer wall has a Ganapati image carved on it.

The Dasara fair is held in the honour of Shri Rangabhogvati. It is attended by about 10,000 persons.

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