Pataleshwar – The Cave TempleHistorical places, Places — By Neha K Kulkarni on January 30, 2012 at 11:16 AM
Each city has a unique treasure that is yet to be explored. Even though we reside in a city for years, there are times that we still haven’t been able to visit all the places the city is famous for.
One such is the Pataleshwar cave temple. It is included in the Pune Darshan tour as one of the must visit places in Pune. This temple is a rock-cut cave temple, carved out in the 8th century in the Rashtrakuta period. It is also known as Panchaleshwara or Bamburde. When it was built it was situated outside the city limits, but over the period of time the city limits have expanded. Therefore, now this temple is located on Jungli Maharaj Road.
The temple, made of basalt rock, is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. The sanctum – a cube-shaped room about 3–4 metres on each side – houses a shiv linga. This is the symbol of Shiva and there are two smaller cells on each side. In front of the cave is a circular Nandi mandapa and its umbrella shaped canopy is supported by massive square pillars. This mandapa is one of the peculiar structures of Pataleshwar.
The temple was left incomplete, possibly because of a fault line found at the back of the sanctum sanctorum which made further sculpting unsafe. It is also believe that it could also be political upheaval which resulted in loss of patronage. The shiv linga that one sees here is smeared with ghee and yogurt. Also seen here is a brass temple bell hangs outside the basalt entryway.
Note: Open daily from 08.00 to 17.30.