Marleshwar Shiva Temple & Waterfalls Of Western Ghats


We drove from Ganpatipule to Marleshwar primarily in search of some big and small waterfalls. It was monsoon time – the best time to chase waterfalls in the western ghats. We knew there is a temple next to the waterfall but that is all we knew.

Marleshwar Waterfalls
The popular and respected waterfalls

As we approached the destination, various boards started announcing its presence and directions. One of the boards had a poem saying

आकाश दर्शन पर्मेशवर, गिरी दर्शन मारलेश्वर

गिरीचे मस्तिका गंगा, मारलेश्वरी अस्ति गिरी गंगा


Just like the sky has God, the mountain has Marleshwar. And just like the Himalayas have Ganga, Marleshwar too has Giri Ganga – I assume referring to the perennial waterfalls next to the temple.

View of landscape en route to Marleshwar
View of landscape en route

As soon as I read this board I noticed that we were driving along a river. Boards started telling me that this area is known as Shri Kshetra. With my limited knowledge, I would interpret it as the region of prosperity or the region of female divine power. Finally, a temple arch in blue welcomed us and we knew the destination has arrived.

Temple Arch
Temple Arch

Climb to the temple

What I did not realize, and blame it on my lack of research, is that there are more than 530 steps to be climbed before you reach the cave temple and see the waterfalls.

Refreshments by the staircase to the temple
Refreshments by the staircase to the temple

Shops along the steps

I started climbing. There were shops at every step – mostly selling offerings for the temple but some of them had tempting food stalls. There were local drinks shops selling anything from Nimbu Pani to Kokum Sherbet to Aam Panna. Of course, there were tea and Bhajjis. Some of the Mithai or sweets were being made right there. I picked up a sweet made of coconut and jaggery, offered it to God, and distributed it to fellow travelers. Thankfully, the shopkeepers know exactly how much more steps to go from their shop. They keep encouraging the pilgrims by saying just a little ahead, so have already come so far.

Sweet shops by the Mandir
Sweet Shops by the Mandir

Halfway to the top, we met a small waterfall – more like rolling water on the bare dark rock. Many people were taking a break here and enjoying the waterfall. I enjoyed the small groups of people positioning themselves for the best picture and best selfie.

Every inch of the rugged hills around us was covered in green. Green came from tall trees, foliage, and even from the moss that filled all the gaps.

Video of Marleshwar Waterfalls

First glimpse of waterfalls

We got our first glimpse of the tall waterfalls as we moved our eyes in the direction opposite the flow of the river. Surrounded by greenery and making a loud noise as it hit the rock – the waterfall looked beautiful. A small temple at the base of it which I assumed is the temple to visit. I was wrong as I would soon discover.

Marleshwar Waterfalls
Landscape view of the lush green western ghats and the waterfalls

A little ahead when we saw the waterfall as part of a large rock we realized we are standing in front of many big and small streams of water coming down from the hilltop. In fact, a lot of them were joining to create this big waterfall that tends to hold your eye more than others.

Multiple minor waterfalls by the western ghats
Multiple minor waterfalls by the western ghats
Downstream the river creates more roaring flow of water
Downstream the river creates a more roaring flow of water

Marleshwar Temple

Marleshwar Shiva Cave Temple
Marleshwar Shiva Cave Temple

At the end of the stairs stands a huge platform, that has a small cave opening. The steel arch outside it tells you that this is Shri Marleshwar Teerthkshetra. The cave opening is smeared with red and yellow marks that the devotees put as a mark of respect.

We stepped inside the cave and saw two Shivalingas on a platform. Legend is that these Shivalingas are Swayambhu or they are not man-made. Two priests were sitting next to the left Shivalinga while the other was on its own. When I asked priests said the left one is Marleshwar while the other one is Mallikarjun.

Water was all over the cave. Standing inside the cave felt like standing in the rain, while it was not raining outside.

The temple gets lots of pilgrims during the month of Saavan or Shravan which falls roughly in August during the peak monsoon season. This month is special for Shiva Devotees and they visit all possible Shiva temples, especially on Mondays. We had visited just before the Shravan month so there were not many visitors. We were told that in Shravan, there are long queues and you have to spend many hours before you can reach the cave temple.

Nivali Waterfalls

We started looking for other waterfalls and were directed toward the Nivali waterfalls.

Lush green landscape of Konkan en route
The lush green landscape of Konkan en route

After a lovely drive that took us through lush green landscapes of western ghats interspersed by water bodies at regular intervals. Suddenly, about 20 km before Ratnagiri, we saw a massive waterfall across the valley at a distance.

Nivali Waterfalls near Ratnagiri
Nivali Waterfalls near Ratnagiri

It would need a fair bit of trekking to reach the base of the waterfall, so we decided to admire it from the distance. The advantage of watching it from a distance was that the waterfall appeared a part of the overall landscape. It was part of a large painting, adding its own color and rhythm to the environment.

Nivali Waterfalls Video

Take a glimpse of the Nivali waterfalls we managed to capture.

A half-day trip from Ganpatipule to the temple and waterfalls via Nivali Falls was tiring, remember there were 530 steps to be climbed. Was it worth it – Oh yes, it was much more than that. How often do we get to spend time with nature and nothing else to distract us?

The temple & waterfalls is a great destinations to explore during Monsoons.

Recommend you to read the following tourist attractions of Konkan, Maharashtra.

Monsoon Road Trip across Konkan Coast

Amboli Ghat – Kingdom of Waterfalls in the Western Ghats

Sawantwadi – Art Mart of Konkan coast

Scuba diving in Malvan, Konkan Maharastra – Adventure Travel

Guarding the Konkan coast – Sindhudurg Fort


  1. u have recharged our batteries.
    just last week we returned from mussoorie, landour cantt., and went to harsil stayed overnight at the army cantt., and went 2 gangotri, had a good darshan.
    har har gange

  2. This is the perfect time to visit “MARLESHWAR SHIVA TEMPLE” fill the natural beauty. Thanks Ma’am for sharing this wonderful post with us

  3. Though I loved all the pictures, but the one with “Multiple minor waterfalls by the western ghats” stood out. It was a very beautiful shot showing us so many other waterfalls in the back….. I feel refreshed looking at these pictures. Thank you for the interesting post

  4. ok , ok i am from kokan but currently from pune . i am amking to plan for tavelling this destination ,

    thank for this posting ,


    manis desai

  5. I love this article.simply superb. the beauty of water falls its amazing.Thanks for sharing the valuable information.


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