Shri Dev Vetoba Devasthan Temple is Aravali’s main temple and is located on the main Shiroda-Vengurle passage. Lord Vetoba is generally worshipped in the Konkan area of Maharashtra and Goa. He is known as Agyavetal, Pralayvetal, and Iwalavetal. This idol is made up of ‘Panchadhatu’ or 5 metals. It is 9 feet and 2 inches tall which is north facing. He is usually depicted as carrying a sword in his right hand and a utensil or Agni Putra in his left hand.
Shri Dev Vetoba Temple History
Lord Vetoba or Lord Vetal is the king of demons and ghosts. The Konkan desh is ruled by Lord Vetal and his ghosts. He is worshipped for protection from ghosts because it is believed that the Konkan area is overpopulated by demons and ghosts. Lord Vetoba is not a ghost rather he is the leader of an army of ghosts. He is a very kind and generous guardian around Aravali. In the early 17th century, this statue was brought and installed from nearby hills.
Shri Dev Vetoba Temple Interesting facts
The devotees believe that Vetoba protects Aravali by walking barefoot around pathways at night. There are innumerable pairs of large Kolhapuri chappals, leather sandals that are specially crafted for Vetoba. The majority of villagers are from charmakar samaj or leather cobblers. They are gifting these sandals to Lord Vetoba for over 3 centuries. Lord Vetoba goes on feet to meet a Goddess in Belgaum, Karnataka. The most interesting story of Vetoba’s statue is that it is carved from jackfruit wood and therefore, it is reinstalled in every 100 years.
The current beautiful and black statue was installed in 1996. The nagaras and/or drums are banged every evening in praise of Lord Vetoba. Shri Dev Vetoba Devasthan is one of the most famous ‘Jagrut’ in Aravali in Vengurle taluka, Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra. Jagrut means Lord who fulfills the wishes of the devotees. Devotees worship Vetoba as a loving and benevolent God who answers their prayers, fulfills their wishes, and comes to help in times of crisis and difficulties.
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Thousands of devotees come into this village from far and come to seek Vetoba’s darshan and blessing during the 2 big annual festivals. One is Margshirya shuddha pratipada or devidipavali and the other is Vetoba’s investiture day festival on Vaishakh Shuddha Panchami. The festivals especially these 2 are celebrated with great devotion, fanfare, and enthusiasm. Generally, the temple is decorated with flowers and lights.