- 8 KM from Lonavala.
- 5 KM from Central Point Lonavala (Shivnari Bus stop).
- 49 KM from Pune (Maharastra).
- 97 KM from Mumbai (Maharashtra).
It’s a temple for the Koli (Fishermen) community and is located on the Mumbai-Pune highway. It’s also known as Karla caves. The goddess is also called ‘Ekvira Aai’ in Marathi.
During festivals (Navarathri and Chaitra), the Koli people climb the tall mountain, which has man-made 350 steps, to reach the temple and worship Aai Ekvira.
Koli tribes offer animal sacrifices in the temple to Aai Ekvira. They offer goats and chickens.
According to the legend, this temple was constructed by the Pandavas during their exile in the forest. Once when Pandavas visited this holy place, Ekvira Mata appeared before them.
She instructed them to build a temple for her. To test the Karya Diksha (work ethic) of the Pandavas, the Goddess laid a condition that the construction must be done overnight. The Pandavas then indeed built this beautiful temple in one night.
Impressed by the bhakti (devotion) of the Pandavas, the Goddess blessed them and granted the boon that nobody will discover them during their secret exile.
The temple is located on a hill. One needs to ascend around 500 steps to reach the temple. It is surrounded by Karla caves, which the Archeological Department now protects.
While the main deity is Ekvira Mata, to her left is Jogeswari Devi. One gets an excellent view of the surrounding from the hilltop. Halfway down the hill, there is a temple for the holy feet of the Goddess.
Best time of the year to visit the temple
This temple can be visit anything during the year. Due to its proximity to Lonavala, it has a delightful climate. You can certainly appreciate the beauty of nature as you walk up the steps towards the temple.
You can consider visiting during the rainy season as you can find waterfalls and the entire Ghat is covered with greenery. This makes the landscapes even more glorified.
During monsoon season, the mountain is covered with greenery with spurts of water fountains. This place is a popular tourist attraction, especially during the monsoon season.