Karanja Datta Mandir | Karanja Nrusimha Saraswati Temple is one of the famous temples of Sri Dattatreya and Nrusimha Saraswati Maharaj. It is the birthplace of Shri Nrusimha Saraswati Swami Maharaj, believed to be the 2nd incarnation of Lord Dattatreya.
Karanja is a municipal council in Washim district of Maharashtra.
Importance of Karanja
Karanja is a very ancient town. The town is mentioned in ‘Patalkhand’ of the ‘Skand-Purana’. In ancient times, the north-south pilgrim route passed through Karanja. Saints, hermits, pilgrims, and other travelers used to halt here to refresh themselves before continuing their journey.
Legend of Karanja
Goddess Shakti made Karanja a permanent abode through her various avatars such as Kamakshi, Ekviraa, Chandravati (Gauri), and Yakshini. It is also stated in the ‘Skand-Purana’ that ‘Chandra’ (Moon) was asked to perform penance in Karanja to be relieved of the curse for his evil conduct with his ‘Guru-patni’, Tara. During his penance, Chandra built a temple for Lord Shiva and a water tank – named as the Chandreshwar temple and Chandra Talaav, respectively. Legend has it that due to the blessings of Sage Karanj, all species of snakes are full protected from their traditional enemies such as eagles and vulttures. In gratitude, the snakes blessed the residents of Karanja with full immunity from snake bites.
Other Temples in Karanja
The town boasts of several temples, some more than a 1,000 years old. Some of the more prominent ones are Shri Siddheshwar, Shri Chanreshwar, Shri Nageshwar, Shri Kamakshi Devi, Ekvira Devi, Yakshini Devi, those of Shri Ram (built by the famous Kannav Family of Karanja), Shri Vitthal, Shani Maharaj, Maruti and Shri Dattatreya. There are also a few old ‘mathas’.