Site Name: Pataleshwar Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location: Pune, Maharashtra state, India
Highlights: One of the oldest temples of Pune; a rock cut temple by Rashtrakuptas
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 oldest temple of the city, Pataleshwar temple, in this article.
It is hard to believe that such an ancient temple exists on the busy Jangli Maharaj Road in Pune. Although there are no clear historical records, from its architectural style, it is evident that it was constructed by Rashtrakutas.
Lord Shiva aka Pataleshwar is the main deity of this temple entirely carved out of hard rock. The temple occupies very large area. The entire rock cut temple is supported by huge pillars. The temple is not completely finished. Some of the parts remain unfinished.
Apart from Shiva, there are few more sub-shrines dedicated to the bas-relief image of Parvati, red stone idol of Ganesha and marble idols of Ram-Sita-Lakshman-Hanuman. All these idols including the main deity Shiva Linga appear to be new idols. Only the Nandi statue outside the cave seems to be original.
More than the temple, the circular Nandi mandapa with its umbrella shaped canopy supported by the massive square pillars are very attractive.
This temple should never be missed by art lovers.