Kanifnath temple: A pious place on the outskirts of PuneHistorical places — By Kadambari on December 26, 2011 at 10:23 AM
A religious place, Kanifnath has a special place in the hearts of several devotees. Located on a hill top, it is just a small drive away from the Pune city. A serene place, being on the top just makes you feel divine.
Although there is not much to see there, the top view of Pune city and the sunset is something you should not miss when you visit the Kanifnath temple. The drive through the hilly roads of Bopdev ghat is equally interesting with the narrow roads surrounded by lush greenery.
Who is Saint Kanifnath?
It is said Saint Kanifnath took to incarnation in kalyug on the instructions of Lord Shri Krishna. He is known to be one of the nine teachers – ‘Navnath’ of the Navnath Sampradaya, a Hindu community. It is known that the teachings of Navnath Sampradaya offer seekers the road to liberation.
About the shrine
According to the locals, it was Saint Kanifnath who discovered this cave, which is now turned into a temple and hence dedicated to him. A unique temple, its main shrine is a closed room with a narrow entrance of 9 inch by 11 inch. Opened only to men, one has to squeeze and crawl through this narrow entrance to reach the shrines of Gorakshnath, Jalindranath and Macchindranath.
The closed room has little space for only ten people to stand comfortably at one time. As one is never suppose to show his legs towards the shrine, a person is expected to enter with the head going in first and coming out is also a skilled full task as the legs need to get out first. If you have claustrophobia (fear of enclosed places) you may want to refrain from going inside, as apart from the small entrance there is no other opening to the room.
First time visitors may get apprehensive about getting stuck but miraculously, even bulky men can easily enter, provided they has faith. As per the tradition and customs at the temple, only men are allowed to enter the main shrine that too with a bare chest.
Apart from the main shrine, there are small temples of Datta, Vitthal and Kaal Bhairav in the vicinity of the Kanifnath temple.
A beautiful place, it is best visited in the evening when the weather is cool. With Katraj ghat and Diveghat on the other sides, it lets you enjoy picturesque views.
How to get there?
You can either take a road from Hadapsar or Kondhwa, which is a shorter route. If you are familiar with the Saswad route, opt for that and look for Bopdev ghat. Once you reach the Bopdev village you will see a big arc by the name of Kanifnath. That road will take you directly to the temple. From the parking lot, there are about 30 steps to climb before you reach the shrine.