Chapter 1

The temple is located on a pinnacle called Kothalya in the Shambhu Mahadeo mountainous range in the Man Taluka of Satara District. This region has been inhabited for several centuries predominantly by pastoral dhangar-gavali (shepherd-cowherd) communities. Even today, presence of these ethnic-social groups may be seen over an area stretching hundreds of miles from Shinganapur in all directions, as is more than evident from the prevalence of folk deities  and their periodical fairs and observances in profusion.

There exist just two classical sources for the history of the place – Skandapuran and Padmapuran. But Dr.Dhere has come across a reference only in the Skandapuran.

Some fleeting references do exist in saint literature, as Dr.Dhere has observed. He indicates the possibility of a vast body of information that may be found in oral folk traditions, but regrets his own inability to undertake research in that direction owing to the limitations of advancing age.

Oral sources may be divided into two groups:

  1. Traditions, fables and symbolisms of the dhangar-gavali communities which are not just of individual or familial interest but represent the faith of the entire community
  2. Songs and other traditional rendering popular among womenfolk. Work by Dr.N.G.Nandapurkar (‘Maherche Marathi’, 1953), Dr.Sarojini Babar (‘Janalokancha Samaved’, 1965; ‘Kuladaivat’, 1974)) and Dr.Tara Paranjpe (‘Seemapradeshatil Bhavaganga’, 1985) is pertinent in this regard.
Dr.Dhere then describes and comments upon some of these folk songs that have been preserved as a living tradition among womenfolk.



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