The very ancient Shri Ekmukhi Datta temple at Kolhapur

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The very ancient Shri Ekmukhi Datta temple at Kolhapur


1. The Idol

The Idol of Deity Datta in the Ekmukhi Datta Temple in Kolhapur city was constructed in 18th century and this Idol has been worshipped by Nrusinha Saraswati Maharaj of Gangapur; Shripad Shrivallabh Maharaj and then by Swami Samarth. The original Idol was from North India but details on who installed it are unavailable. H. H. Mauni Maharaj (Patgaon, Kolhapur District) renovated this temple. In the year 1886, Shri. Pandurang Govindrao Bhosale and in the year 1997-98 Shri. Amol Jadhav have renovated the temple once again.


2. Description of the Idol

The entire Idol has been sculpted from a single marble like the linga of Mahadev and is 5 feet tall. The Idol faces the East and on the right side, one hand holds a japamala, the second a kamandalu (Pot with Holy water) and the third a damru (Hourglass shaped small drum). The first hand on the left side holds a trident, the second a conch and the third a yogadand. The head of the idol adorns a Shivapindi. The Idol is installed on a stone deck. On the opposite side of the temple, there is a temple of Mahadev along with Nandi.


3. The Gurupeeth and the temple panchayatan

The family of temples (temples of Shrivishnu, Nrusinha, Omkareshwar, Vitthal and Shriram) is called as temple panchayatan. The Ekmukhi Shri Datta temple is a complete Gurupeeth (Seat of the Spiritual Master) and is of the nature of Avadhut (An Ascetic).
Adjoining the temple, towards the South direction, there is a peepal (Bo tree) tree which is more than thousand years old. Banyan, Umbar (Cluster fig) and two other trees have sprung from its trunk. The banyan tree is bent towards the Datta temple while the peepal tree is bent over the Hanuman temple, present in the South direction, but has no descending shoots. The peepal tree bears fruits like the cluster fig tree.


4. The stone inscriptions

There is a stone inscription on a pillar behind the Deity Datta’s Idol in the Datta temple which at present has been wiped out. This group of five temples have 6 stone inscriptions in all – one in the Omkareshwar temple, one in Shriram temple on its steps, two in the ground below the Nrusinha temple, one in the Vishnu temple on its roof and the sixth one in the Datta temple.


5. 700-year-old Yajnakunda found in the excavation done near the site of Dattayag

On 15th December 2014, at around 4 a.m., Deity Datta Maharaj instructed me in a dream to make ‘His flame eternal’. At that momemt I could not comprehend what He said. After indepth contemplation, on 17th December 2014 we started digging at the spot where Dattayag (Ritual of sacrificial fires) was performed from 16th November to 6th December 2014. On digging upto 2.5 feet at 11.45 a.m. we spotted a yajnakund (Pit where Yajna is performed). As the excavation continued we felt the heat from beneath which went on increasing. Therefore, we were sure that there was a burning torch at that spot. The yajnakund must have been there for over 700 years. Sage Durvas had performed spiritual practice at this place and this flame must have been existing there since then.

-Shri. Santosh Gosavi, priest of the Ekmukhi Datta temple, Kolhapur

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