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Ramtek (Nagpur)

Ramtek is a fine confluence of devotion, literature and history. Shri Ram, Seeta maai and Laxman who were living in self-imposed exile in the forest, had halted at Ramtek for a while for rest. Ramtek has an air of devotion. In 'Meghadoota', the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa's play, the protagonist of the play – the Angel or the Yaksha was living a lonely life away from his dear wife here. The Yaksha invited a cloud as his messenger – a 'meghadoot' – to convey his sad state of mind to his estranged wife. That great epic play is said to have taken place in this Marathi region of Varhad. Kalidasa's 'Meghadoota' occupied a prominent place in Sanskrit literature. The region then witnessed the glorious dynasty of the Vakatakas, the remarkable tenure of Rajamata Prabhavati Gupta, and later, the historic dynasty of Nagpurkar Bhosale. The region of Ramtek, which is around 57 kilometers from Nagpur, the central city of India, is replete with ancient tradition and exploits of bravery. The Ramgiri hill is of just moderate height (113 m) perhaps in its attempt to compete a little with the ranges of the Satpudas. The temple of Shri Ram, Laxman and Seeta which is located on the hill-top is a pride of perch of the entire Vidarbha. 

Historical evidences from the 4th century CE are found at Ramtek and the surrounding regions. After the Mauryas, Shungas, Satavahanas and Kushanas, the Vakatakas ruled over the region. The Vakataka king. Rudrasen II married Prabhavati Gupta, the daughter of Vikrmaditya Chandragupta, a king from the Gupta dynasty. After the untimely demise of Rudrasen, Prabhavati coroneted her young son as the king and ably handled the reigns of the kingdom. She constructed a Rudra templs in memory of Rudrasen. This dynasty was certainly influenced by the Vaishnav faith. Here, you see an image of a boar – the Varaha - which stands on its four legs and has been sculpted out of a single rock. It was believed that a sinful person could never walk across beneath the stomach of this boar. Additionally, the Trivikram, Bhogram and Kapatram temples which stand there prove the influence of the Vaishnav sect in the region. In addition to these, Prabhavati Gupta also built a temple of Dhoomreshwar – Lord Shiva – who was a family deity of the Gupta dynasty. Architectural remains of the Vakataka period from 4th to  6th century CE can be seen here.

The Yadavas who came here thereafter, constructed edifices such as the Ram-Laxman temple and Kapur Bawli. All these temples are of Hemadpanthi type. Nagpurkar Bhosales renovated all these temples which were lying in ruins over the years. Hence, they are believed to have been constructed by Nagpurkar Bhosale. In fact, they built a few temples at the foot of the hill near the lake Ambala. These temples, built in 18th and 19th centuries, clearly exhibit a combined influence of the Hindu, Muslim and Orissan architecture. On Chaitra Shuddha Pratipada, Shri Ram's Navaratra festival and on Ashwin Shuddha Pratipada the Navaratra festival of the goddess' is celebrated in the hill-top temple. The temple looks dazzling - decorated with thousands of lamps on all five days of Diwali – the festival of lights. On the Tripuri Pournima that follows, a yellow holy cloth – peetambar – sent by Nagpurkar Bhosales – is wrapped around the dome – kalash of the temple, and it is lit up as 'Tripur'. Thousands of devotees throng the place every year to experience the festival of Trpuri Pournima. Their attention is captivated by the natural lake of Ambala which is distinctly visible at the foot of Ramgiri, while climbing up and down the hill. The red and white lotuses blooming on its surface enhance the beauty of the spot. As it is believed that Shri Ram had preformed the ritual of Tarpan here, devotees also perform post-death rituals of their relatives here.

The attractive edifice of the great poet Kalidasa's memorial looks charming due to the series of paintings based on Kalidasa's play Meghadoot, which adorn the walls. The memorial is simplistic, proportionate and fascinating. The memorial and Kavikulaguru Kalidasa Sanskrit University – famous for being a seat of learning and research – serve as a strong bond between the ancient past and the modern times.

In addition to this, the natural lake of Khindsi, its charming surroundings and flora and fauna enhance the beauty of Ramtek. Tourists can enjoy boat-rides in various types of boats here. The specially created tourist spots nearby are beautiful. They house pleasant gardens, games and sports for kids, and restaurants which serve special Nagpuri cuisine.

Deolapar is a place near Ramtek, famous for its Cow Research Institute which is dedicated to the conservation, preservation and growth of the cow race through nurturing and research of cows. The ancient cow-breeding science has been given a modern touch here. It is a 'must-see' institution. Researchers have developed various medicinal products, cosmetics,etc. through their research on cows.

Ramtek is an important and popular tourist centre as the tiger sanctuary nearby, places of worship and pilgrimage, flora and fauna and forests, water-sports, environmental research and recreation enhance its importance as a tourist spot.

Distance from Mumbai  : 889 km
Distance from Nagpur  : 568 km