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Cave Temple - Dandoba (Bhose)

Cave Temple.

Bhose, (pop. 4,288) is a village in Miraj taluka about 14.48 km (nine miles) south−east of Tasganv, and remarkable for a curious cave temple of Dandoba Mahadev. The temple is situated in the hills to the south−east of the village about 17.67 meters (fifty−eight feet) from the summit of a point rising about 365.76 metres (1200 feet) above the level of the spur. The spur on which the hill stands branches due south from the Khanapur plateau, and the cave temple on it faces east. The ascent from Bhose is easy by " the elephant path", a track cleared by the Patvardhans for their elephants. There is now a road from Kharsing village. A flat platform leads, to the temple doorway which is cut rectangularly out of the rock 1.21 metres (four feet) high by 0.914 meters (three feet) broad. There is no door or any frame−work for one. Immediately inside is a hole made in the rock above, which lets light in the whole cave except the image−chamber which is artificially walled off from the rest. The whole excavation is 17.67 metres (58 ft.) long east to west and 10.97 meters (36 ft.) broad north to south and was originally apparently nothing but an oblong cave. A great deal of building has since been done by modern hands. An inscription noticed below shows that a king named Sringan was intimately connected with it. His place of residence is called Kausalyapur. A legendary account gives Kaundanyapur as the place of residence of a Raja known as Hingandev, a name a trace of which also remains in the Hingankhadi at Mhasurne and perhaps in the name Singnapur, where he is said to have performed much devotion. The date in the inscription is said to read Shake 611 (A. D. 689), but this seems wrong and the king is probably the Devagiri Yadav king Singhan who flourished in the thirteenth century [Fleet’s Kanarese Dynasties, pp. 72−74,]. It seems possible that he built this temple, more especially as the temples of Kundal and Malkegvar are referred by Dr. Burgess to a period between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. The chamber roof is quite flat and there are no benches at the sides. Inside the door a space 8.53 meters (28 ft.) wide and 9.14 meters (30 ft.) long has been walled up, leaving recesses between the wall and sides of the cave. At right angles to this is a wall right across the cave, with a door about 1.52 x 1.21 meters (five feet by four) which leads to a hall or mandap.Immediately in front of this door two stone figures of a man and woman called Bahulewith Marathi inscriptions below them are, it is believed, door−keepers or satellites of the gods. One contains the date Shake 1695 (A.D, 1773). The rest is not legible. The other contains the names Sinapa and Balapa Tatavte bin (son of Jayapa Tatavte, residence Sanik Savemane Rajaji., These letters are modern. Inside the mandap extends the whole width of the cave Above the centre of the mandap is a masonry structure (4.26x3.04 meters) forming the image−chamber. A door (1.52 x 1.21 meters) leads into the chamber which contains a stone ling on: pedestal about 1.21 meters (four feet) high railed off by a cross bar to prevent worshippers coming too close and overcrowding. A 1.52 meters (five feet) wide passage is left round the chamber. This is ordinarily used for the holy circuit or pradaksina which is necessary to qualify a worshipper to enter into the image−chamber. The rest of the mandap is taken up with masonry arches made to give a nave and side aisles. The pillars are about 0.304 metres (a foot) in diameter with plain and square shafts and round arches. In front of the door of the image−chamber is a small stone nandi, and to its right is an eight handed image of Bhavani about 0.914 meters (three feet) high and 0.609 meters (two feet) in diameter, and close by it is a slab in the middle west pillar which is carved in front with Kanarese inscription, mentioned above. Next the north−west pillar is another stone image of Virbhadra, a little smaller in size than the Devi. Upon the summit of the hill and supposed to be directly over the ling is a spire 2.78 m2. (30 sq. ft.) at the base and of the same height, formed of four concentric square courses each about 0.914 meters (three feet) less in diameter than the other and surmounted by an urn−shaped pinnacle. The lower courses arc of stone and the upper ones and the pinnacle are of brick. The stone courses arc of considerable age but who built them is not known. The brick courses were added by Cintaman−rav Appa Patvardhan at the beginning of the 19th century. The god is called Dandoba after the priest mentioned in the inscription. About 200 to 300 people gather on each Monday of Shravana or July−August to worship the deity. The attendance on the last Monday goes well over 3,000. The worshippers are chit fly Lingayat Varus and Jains.

The hillock on which the temple is situated is known as Dandobaca Dongar after the name of that deity and is well wooded. Plans are afoot to convert it into a health resort.

The village is largely agricultural, the principal crops taken being jowar, groundnut, sugarcane, betel−leaves and tobacco. On a smaller scale bananas are also grown. Over 364 hectares (900 acres} of land is under well irrigation. Besides a multipurpose co−operative society, Bhose has a service co−operative, a diary society, a branch post office, a dispensary, two primary schools one each for boys and girls and a high school. There are also a Mahila Mandal,Tarun Mandal, Natya Mandal, and a Farmer’s Club.

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