We visited the beautiful Ramtek Mandir, near Nagpur on Nov 13, 2022 during the two day break at Nagpur on our way down South. Postcards From Nagpur. The plan to visit Ramtek during our April trip to Hyderabad didn’t materialise as the weather was super hot and humid. It was very pleasant in November.
For the trip to Ramtek, we had hired a taxi from S S Car Rental Services. They are simply the best car rental service in Nagpur. Mr. Rohan the proprietor is super responsive and had very helpful suggestions for sight seeing. Do engage them if you need a reliable taxi service in Nagpur.
The driver arrived promptly a few minutes before 9 am. We were ready with water and some food.
About Ramtek Mandir
Ramtek is a beautiful mandir on a hill top about 50 kms from Nagpur. This is the place where Bhagwan Ram, Maa Sita and Lakshmana took rest for a few days during his 14 year vanavas (exile). Agastya Muni’s ashram was nearby and the rakshasas (demons) were creating havoc during his religious rites. Agastya Muni appealed to Bhagwan Ram who took a vow to rid the Earth of all the rakshasas. Tek in Marathi means vow and that’s how the name Ramtek came to be. The hill on which the temple is built is called Ramgiri hills.
There are nearly a 100 steps to walk up to the temple from the car park, but these are easy to climb. They are wide and small steps, so even the elderly can walk up. As you walk up the steps you first get to see the Varaha temple on your right. I haven’t seen a Varaha temple in the North or the West, only in the South. This was a pleasant surprise.
Shops selling flowers, coconut, Mala etc dot the way to the temple. Usually people buy lotus flowers for Bhagwan Ram. I bought them just at the entrance to the temple from a lady who said something to me in Marathi. I couldn’t understand her. A pilgrim nearby translated her statement for me. She had said that I should put the flowers inside a bag because the monkeys that reside all along the way would try and grab the flowers.
And that’s precisely what happened !!! A monkey tried to grab the flowers from me even as I tried to put them into a bag. Thankfully two young men were nearby and they shooed the monkey away.
You can leave your footwear outside at a shoe stall and you can pay whatever you feel like when you take your footwear back. The first temple you visit inside the complex is Lakshmana’s temple. You then offer your prayers at the main temple dedicated to Bhagwan Rama. This is the second place where we have visited a temple dedicated to Lakshmana. The first one we visited is in Bharatpur.
Since photography is not allowed inside the temple, I took the following picture from the internet.
A very interesting thing about the main Ram temple is there are weapons displayed in the outer walls. Spears, shields, bow and arrows etc. Again this is something we haven’t noticed in other temples.
We got there just in time when the queues were smaller. As we got out of the main temple after a great darshan, we noticed a long queue of devotees. The weather also was warmer. We visited some of the other temples that dot the Parikrama before exiting the complex.
Just outside you have shops where you can get photographs taken and prints developed instantly. We got a few pictures taken and also asked the photographer to click a few on our phones.
The great poet Kalidasa wrote his masterpiece Meghadootum at the Ramgiri hills.
On the way down, you come across these steps that you can take to walk down the hills.
We stopped at one of the food stalls and drank excellent lemon sherbet. Also bought some “chana” for the monkeys.
Once you get down from the hill you get to see the massive Khindsi lake that looks like an ocean. It’s a lake that has resulted from the dam built on Sur river in 1923. There are resorts near the lake and several options for watersports.
Raghuji Bhonsale, Nagpur’s King built the Ramtek Mandir in the 18th century.
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Please do visit the Ramtek Mandir. It’s beautiful and you get spectacular views from the top.