Kanakaditya Temple, Kasheli, Rajapur, Ratnagiri

Kanakaditya Mandir of Kasheli is at a distance of 32 kms from Rajapur and 40 kms from Ratnagiri. This Sun Temple in Ratnagiri is 4 km away from Mahakali Devi Temple Adivare of Rajapur.

The idol of Aditya in the temple must have been brought from the Sun Temple located in Prabhas Pattan area near Somnath. The story about this idol is told is as follows:

A boatman was going towards south with goods from Veraval Port near Somnath Mandir Gujarat. The idol of Aditya was in this boat. When boat arrived in Kasheli village, it was not moving forward and backward. Shree Aditya came in dream of boatman and said that he wish to stay in this village. When boatman kept idol of Aditya in cave near shore, boat moved on its way.

A Sun worshiper named Kanaka was living in Kasheli village. Shree Aditya came in her dream and said,”I have come in a cave near sea shore. Build a temple with the help of people of kasheli and establish me”. Kanaka told this to people. The idol was found in cave near shore. This cave was later called as God’s Cave.

Kanakaditya is an awakened god and his fame has spread far and wide. Devotees come from Pune, Kolhapur, Belgaum, Hubli, Dharwad, Ujjain, Gwalior, Bhopal, Indore, Amravati, Nagpur, and immerse themselves on the feet of god. Kanakaditya fulfills the wishes of the devotees.

Rath Saptami is celebrated for five days from Magh Shuddha Saptami to Magh Shuddha Ekadashi. On magh shuddha shashti, Mahakali Devi of Adivare comes to Kasheli in palanquin at around 11 o’clock in the night. People of Kasheli welcome Mahakali Devi. On the same night, the mask of the goddess is placed next to Kanakaditya. Next day, in the morning of Ratha Saptami, the festival begins with mahapuja. Mahakali Devi stays in Kanakaditya temple for four days.

Ancient Sun Temples in India and their importance:

There are very few sun temples in India which are located in Veraval, Gwalior, Kushinagar and Konark. Surya Narayan Mandir of Ambav in Sangameshwar is another Sun Temple in Maharashtra located at a distance of 100 kms from Kanakaditya Temple.

The Sun is considered as god. Along with Suryanamaskar, if worship of Sun is done in the form of Gayatri Mantra or Suryastuti, the concentration is achieved. It sharpens the intellect and brightens the memory. Understanding also improves. The main purpose of Surya Namaskar is to bow to the rising and setting sun. Because in many excavations, sculptures have been found to bow to the sun with their hands raised. The Sun is considered to be the priest of the gods and the creator of the universe.

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