Osmanabad is a district dripped in history- be it the Nizam’s antiquity or the British earnestness of discovering newer and prettier hill stations each time. If you are in and around Hyderabad or Pune, a quick whirlwind tour to this place can only satiate your wander lust with flavor.
The Ramaling Rest House
Perched on a hill top, you will chance upon a quaint Railway Rest House completed during the British time called the Ramlinga Rest House. Yes! It is as old as 1907 AD. Carved well in wood and erected sturdy in stone, the Rest House is a symbol of human triumph and spirit of discovery.
Apparently, the Rest House was built by one Mr. Alexander, a European enthusiast who was posted here as an Agent General Manager by the Directors of Barsi Light Railway in 1906-07. As the legend goes, Alexander was not able to convince his commanding officer’s of building a rest house on his discovered hill. He then took up the challenge to build it up on his own and out of his pocket. But a lucrative man of ambitions and connections, Alexander got it approved by the Board of Directors in England, who allowed him to erect it up at a trade off of 50% capital investment. So, even today the Rest House is famed to be constructed from the out of the pocket expenses of Alexander and his grandeur, tact and earnestness to have it built!
Staircase leading to heaven
The Rest House fetches you a bird view of Osmanabad taluka of the district and is nestled in a wildlife Sanctuary. You can either drive up to this quaint location from Osmanabad or trek it up from the Gurukul Ashram near NH 211 (Sholapur- Dhule Highway). The latter is a rather enticing option, of course.
Located 1km away is the famous Ramling temple from where the Rest House receives it’s name. Ramling temple has a history of it’s own. Anyone aware of one of the greatest mythological epic of India called Ramayana (other’s can wiki it) will know of the story of Sita’s abduction by the demon Ravana. Lord Ram, her consort, traversed various forests including this Abhyaaranya (aranya meaning forest), in search of his abducted wife. Being a great devotee of Lord Shiva, he set up an exotic and exclusive Shiv temple with a Shiva linga (the symbol of Shiva). It was thus that the name came to be given to it as Ramlinga. It was from here, that he carried on his onwards journey to search and rescue his abducted wife with renewed vigour and went on to Tuljapur (the place deserves a separate article on it) and ahead. Every name appears to have a million folklores attached to it, in Osmanabad ; and like Greeks we have to believe in the legend to feel the pulse of the people and understand their behavior in a particular social milieu .
A helpful board explains the history
Anyways, the Ramling Rest House still stays as an exotically done rest house nestled in dry forest and is a total must visit if you have an eye for details and taste for history. Otherwise too it’s a great hang-out with it’s exclusive breeze and chirps of birds.
One can’t stop narrating these folklores. For more on Osmanabad, keep watching this space!!
Nearest Airport : Pune, Aurangabad
Nearest Railhead: Osmanabad, Solapur
*Ms. Suman Rawat, a very perceptive traveler & a highly gifted writer is a senior bureaucrat presently stationed in Osmanabad.
Photos, text & copyright: Suman Rawat.
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