Vivekanand History Conservation and Research wing recently hosted the Rudreshwar parikrama, giving insight into the social, historical and environmental aspects of the village of Harvale, in North Goa.
The trail was led by environmentalist and author, Rajendra Kerkar, who spoke about the caves, waterfall, temple and various other aspects.
Participants got a glimpse of the famous Pandava caves, or Pandvachayo hovryo, which are said to date back to the 6th century. Legend has it that the five Pandava brothers, of the Mahabharata, lived here during their time in exile.
During the trail, Kerkar spoke about the footprints of a Telegu saint which are carved on a laterite rock. The saint, Shree Valabhcharya, was a devotee of Lord Krishna, and stayed in the village for a while.
Kerkar also spoke about the Rudreshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and situated close to the famous Harvalem waterfall. Devotees consider it to be a sacred place, and it is the tirtha where last rites are performed.
The village gets its name 'Harvale' from the words, Har which means Shiva, and valli which means 'village', or vale which means 'a river'.
A painting of Lord Krishna in a Rajasthani folk art style, called Pichwai , is present in the temple, and so many devotees from Rajasthan and Gujarat also visit the place.
The famous Harvalem waterfall was also one of the spots which was included in the walk. There is a tank, situated below the waterfall, which is called Bhimkund, and is believed to have been carved by one of the Pandavas, called Bhima.
Participants also got to learn about the importance of the Cudnem river, which is said to be an important tributary of River Mhadei.