Ekvira Devi Temple Lonavala
About Ekvira Devi Temple
The Ekvira Aai Mandir is a Hindu temple located near the Karla Caves near Lonavala in Maharashtra, India. Here, the worship of the goddess Ekvira is carried on right next to the caves, once a center of Buddhism. The temple is a prime spot of worship for the Aagri-Koli People. But along with the Koli folk, Ekvira is worshipped by many some high caste, people especially those belonging to the CKP & Daivadnya Brahmins & somewhat kunbi caste as their presiding family deity, Kuldaivat.
The temple complex has three similar sanctums which are built in a row facing in the west direction. The middle and southern sanctum are protected in full and rest of the structures are protected only in part. Hamandapa, varshamandapa, and gopura are situated in front of these three sanctums and these three sanctums are enclosed by sixteen sanctums. Maha mandapa, Varsha mandapa, and gopura are situated in front of these three shrines. Animal sacrifices are also offered in this temple, including the sacrifice of goat or hen. It is believed that the goddess has great powers.
According to the legend, this temple was constructed by the Pandavas during their exile in the forest (araṇyavāsam). Once when Pandavas visited this holy place, Ekvīrā Mātā appeared before them. She instructed them to build a temple for her. To test the kārya 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 of the Pandavas, the Goddess blessed them and granted the boon that they will not be discovered by anybody during their ajñātavāsa. The Goddess is an avatār of Renuka Devi.
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 are now protected by the Archeological department. While the main deity is Ekvīrā Mātā, to her left is Jogeśvarī Devi.
Ekvira Temple is situated on old Mumbai Pune highway. From Mumbai, one can take Mumbai Pune Expressway to reach Lonavala or can reach Lonavala from old Mumbai Pune highway which is parallel to Expressway. From Lonavala take an old Mumbai Pune way and drive towards Pune around 10km. On the left side, you will see a big gate to head towards Ekvira Aai Temple.
Form Pune head towards Mumbai and take the right turn before Lonavala to reach Ekvira temple. As it is situated on Highway and a prime destination for devotes from Mumbai and Pune, many private and State Transport (ST) busses are available to reach Ekvira temple. From Lonavala, one can hire a cab or auto to reach Ekvira Aai Temple.
Lonavala is nearest railway station to reach Ekvira temple. From Lonavala tourist can take ST bus or hire Cab or auto to reach Ekvira. All Mumbai Pune trains stop at Lonavala railway station and tourists can find many options to reach Ekvira outside station premises. Daily express trains that cross Lonavala are-
Mumbai- Pune Deccan Queen
Mumbai- Pune Deccan Express
Mumbai- Pune Pragati Express
Mumbai- Pune Sihangad Express
Mumbai- Pune Indrayani Express
Mumbai and Pune airports are the closest airports to reach Ekvira Temple, Lonavala. From Mumbai or Pune, one can reach Lonavala by, train or bus and hire a cab to reach Ekvira temple.
- Lonavala-7.7 km
- Lohagad Fort-8.4 km
- Rajmachi Fort-6.7 km
- Tiger's Leap-8.1 km
Opening timings for ekvira devi temple-
All days of the week
5:00 AM - 12:00 PM
4:00 PM - 9:00 PM