One of the most important Hindu shrines of the city, Kalaram Temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. The idol of the lord is made in black stone and hence the name Kalarama, which means black Rama in Hindi. The temple is situated within the Panchvati area and it is believed that it has been constructed on the same spot where Lord Rama lived during his exile.


Following the theme of black, the temple also has an idol of Lord Hanuman in the same colour at the entrance, as well as two-ft-high black stone statues of Lord Lakshmana and Goddess Sita. The large temple complex is bordered by 17-ft-high walls, with the main shrine in the middle. The sabhamandap is separated from the temple, and is a huge open space where devotees can rest and meditate.


Given that Lord Rama is so highly revered here, the best time to visit Kalaram Mandir is during the festival of Ram Navami, celebrated with great pomp and show during Chaitra (the months of March and April).


The temple was constructed by Sardar Rangarao Odhekar in 1792, who had a dream that a black colour statue of Lord Rama was submerged in River Godavari. He acted upon the path his dreams laid out and took the statue from the river, after which he built the now renowned temple in the same place a wooden temple was originally located. Around 2,000 workers took over 12 years to create this unusual yet incredible architectural masterpiece.

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