August 6, 2014

Chaturshringi Temple - The Presiding Deity of Pune

Site Name: Chaturshringi Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Pune, Maharashtra state, India
Highlights: The presiding deity of Pune; one of the most popular temples of the city
Nearest Railway Station: Pune
Nearest Airport: Pune
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: A lot of options across the entire Pune city
Restaurants: Varieties of options especially delicious Maharashtrian food across the entire city

Pune is the second largest city of Maharashtra state of India. The city which exists since the 9th century CE was the first capital of the great Maratha Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji. Pune is also considered as the cultural capital of Maharashtra. The city has many attractions and most of them are religious sites. Let us explore the temple of Chaturshringi, the presiding deity of Pune, in this article.

Highlights:

  •  Goddess – Chaturshringi
  • The presiding deity of Pune city
  • The most popular temple of Pune city
  • Believed to be built during the reign of Peshwas in the 18th century CE

Legend:

There was a rich and prosperous money lender named Durlabhsheth Pitambardas Mahajan during the reign of Peshwas. He was an ardent devotee of Devi Saptashringee. Every year on the full moon day of Chaitra month, he used to travel around 300 kms from Pune to the hills of Vani near Nasik to visit the temple of Saptashringee. As he grew older, he could not travel. One night, the Goddess appeared in his dream and ordered him to go to a hill situated in the north-west of Pune and dig there. As he did that, he discovered the natural statue (Swayambhu) of the goddess. He constructed the temple at that place which is the current Chaturshringi temple.

Temple Layout:

The Chaturshringi temple is located on the slope of a hill in Senapati Road in Pune city. It is considered as one of the most important temples of the city. Devi Chaturshringi is considered as the presiding deity of the city. As this hill has four peaks, it is called as Chaturshringi (Chatur means four). 

The 90 feet high and 125 feet wide temple is built as per the medieval Maratha temple architectural style. One has to climb more than 100 steps to reach the temple. The staircase starts from a huge arched umbrella doorway.


Chaturshringi:

Chaturshringi is the main deity of the temple. The main shrine is located on top of the hill and faces the east direction. As the idol is swayambhu (which was formed on its own), it is shapeless. Two eyes and nosering alone can be found in the idol.

There are three metal idols of the Goddess located in the main shrine. Two of them are coated with silver plates whereas the middle one is coated with gold plates.

Ganeshji:

There is a separate shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesh in this temple. It is located in the mid was on the hill. It is a red stone idol with beautiful features. The wall surrounding the shrine of Ganesh has eight bas relief images of Ganesh found in eight different temples of Maharashtra.

Lakshmi:

There is another shrine dedicated to Lakshmi found in this temple. The idol is very small.

Other Deities:

There are five small idols located near the Prasad stall.
  • Saptashringi with 18 arms; various weapons in all her arms
  • Tulja - ferocious form with eight arms; seated on a lion with a demon under her feet
  • Kharchayi Mata - black colored marble idol
  • Kharchayi and Sheetla - two stone idols without proper structures
All over the temple there are few shapeless stone images and red colored bas relief images are found.

A very peaceful temple...don't miss.

Happy travelling.


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