| | Om Namah Paraay Shivatmane Vetalaya Namah | |

Devasthan History

Aravali’s Shri Dev Vetoba Devasthan has a fascinating history.

During Vijaynagar’s Hindu reign, what is today known as Aravali was called ‘Haarvalli’ – meaning Shiva’s (Haar) residence (valli). This was because, at that time, there were 4 temples of Lord Shiva outside the village: Shri Konkaneshwar, Shri Dev Siddheshwar, Shri Dev Paramnath and Shri Dev Lingeshwar.

Later, during Portuguese rule in the 17th century, some Saraswat families migrated from Goa to the Aravali region to escape forcible conversions. Among them was a Nath Panthi saint named Shri Bhummaiyya. The idols of Vetal and Devi Sateri had existed in the region’s dense hills from times immemorial.
God of Aravali Village
During the first half of 17th century, Shri Bhummaiyya brought the 2 idols from their hilly abode and installed them with his ‘shabri’ vidya at their present location. He installed Vetoba as the manifestation of Lord Shiva. Since then, Vetoba and Devi Sateri have been worshipped in Aravali as the village God and Goddess respectively. This was the beginning of what today is famous as Shri Dev Vetoba Devasthan. And other temples were included under its fold.

After the defeat of Vijaynagar’s Hindu reign, the region came under Bijapur’s Bahamani rule. Later, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj launched his battles to establish independent Hindu nation. During this time, to deter Sawantwadi’s Raje Srimant Lakham Sawant from joining Shivaji’s side, Bijapur’s Adilshah gifted Raje Srimant 8 villages in 1664. Aravali was one of them. (According to history of Sawantwadi published by Vitthal Purushottam Pingulkar in 1911). From that time, Sawantwadi’s Royal family began worshipping Vetoba.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Portuguese in Goa clashed with Sawantwadi in many battles. Sawantwadi had won a decided victory in the battle of Ibrampur because, prior to the battle, Raje Srimant had made a vow (nawas) to Vetoba. Elated by the victory, Raje Srimant presented certain lands to the Devesthan. Later, as per the treaty of 1838, Sawantwadi government handed over certain villages near the seashore to the British. Aravali, thus, came under British rule.
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