PLACES OF INTEREST

GULSUNDE.

Gulsunde, about ten miles south of Panvel, has a temple of Siddheshvar on the west bank of the Vegavati river. The temple is said to have been built by Ramaji Mahadev one of the Peshwa's governors. The original stone dome and roof are said to have been too heavy and to have been replaced with a cement roof by Bajirav Peshwa. Every year on the great Shivratri, in January-February (Magh vadya 13th), about 1000 persons visit the shrine and from 100 to 120 (Rs. 1000-Rs. 1200) worth of goods are sold. The shrine enjoys a yearly Government grant of 5 10s. (Rs. 55). About fifteen years ago large numbers of Hindus flocked to Gulsunde, as the story got abroad that the idol had uttered sounds like the roaring of a lion. Round the temple is a rest-house with the inscription ' At the feet of Siddheshvar (the offering of) Mahadev sut Baji Karmarkar,' Close by is a mean brick and wood temple of Lakshmi-Narayan, built by Anand Kashinath Joshi in A.D. 1867 (Shak 1789). On the east bank of the Vegavati, in Karare village, is a stone temple of Rameshvar with broad stone steps leading to the water's edge. It was built by Sadashiv Mankeshvar in 1836 (Shak 1758) and has a rest-house attached. A few hundred yards inland stands a remarkably fine house built by Ragho Malhar Kulkarni, Diwan of Sadashiv Mankeshvar. It is said to have cost 20,000 (Rs. 2,00,000). Huge stone buttresses support the four corners of the building, but the upper story is of brick and mortar. The whole is in bad repair. Between the villages of Chavne and Ladivli, a mile below Gulsunde, a stone dam crosses the Vegavati, bearing date A.D. 1804 (Shak 1726). It is from six to eight feet broad and was built by Mahadev sut Baji Karmarkar. Above the dam the river forms a beautiful reach two miles long, a mile above and a mile below Gulsunde. Fine mango, jack, and other fruit trees give thick shade and make this an excellent camping ground.