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Posts Tagged ‘Cave temple’

Ghorwadeshwar Base entrance‘Ghorwadeshwar’ (मराठी: घोरवडेश्वर) was on my mind since quite some time. Last Sunday, I visited this place with one of my friends. We got up early in the morning and drove to Ghorwadeshwar base. We parked our vehicle there and started climbing the mountain.

To reach Ghorwadeshwar:

  1. Start from Pune and take old Pune-Mumbai highway.
  2. Cross Dehu, Shelarwadi to reach village called ‘Somatane’.
  3. On left hand, you will see entrance of ‘Ghorwadeshwar’ and stone steps on the huge mountain.
  4. Total distance is 35-40 Kms.

Note: Carry water bottle. Wear good shoes/floaters with good grip as path is steep and rocky.  Strictly – no chappals, fancy footwear, sandals.

Cave Temple - GhorwadeshwarThere are stone steps till the half way and rest of the steps construction is still in progress. It was good trek and we climbed the mountain to reach the top. Cold breeze refreshed us and we rested for a while below the tree. And then we began to explore…

Total 11 caves and many water tanks date back to 3rd or 4th century. There is a Chaitya gruha which has 3 small rooms dug on left side, 4 on right side and similar 2 on back side. The main stupa is now turned into ‘Ghorwadeshwar’ temple. The sabha mandap is big to accomodate devotees. The Gabhara is extension to it and has no door. I found the shivlinga quite unique in shape from the rest. The base of this shivlinga is squared and not circular in structure. Some of the wall has carved messages in Brahmi lipi.

The panorama of Shelarwadi, Dehu, Talegaon, Somatane was on front side and on back side there were traces of concrete jungle in Hinjewadi. We sat on the rock for some time to figure out these places with our bino.

On the left hand side there is another cave temple dedicated to Saint Tukaram. Three beautiful black stone idols of Vitthal, Rakhumai and Tukaram are installed here. Ghorwadeshwar trust was formed in 1981.

There is huge yatra here on ‘Mahashivratri’. Thousands of devotees climb up to take darshan on this auspicious day.

A new chirping beauty caught my attention. I clicked many snaps of this place as well as of this new bird which got recently added to my bird encyclopedia. I later found its name – “Crested Bunting”. 🙂

Seeing all this was indeed very amazing. We started descending down at 10. It was wonderful trek+outing. 😀

For more snaps visit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/tags/ghorwadeshwar/

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I have been to Pataleshwar couple of times but all the times were without camera. This time I went with intention of taking some snaps. One fine morning, I decided to leave early for office and halt at this place.

Pataleshwar - Nandi MandapPataleshwar cave temple literally means “God of underground”. The word is derived from two words “Patal” (means Underground of the earth) and “Eshwar” (means God). This temple is a rock-cut cave temple, carved out from a single rock in the 8th century in the Rashtrakuta period. The entire structure is carved out of basalt or black rock.

The temple is dedicated to God Shiva. There is an exotic arrangement of circular stone at the entrance. It highlights acute sense of architecture of ancient era. There are also many seating arrangements for the devotees and visitors. Then there is huge circular umbrella shaped canopy called “Nandi Mandap” which is supported by massive stone pillars.

Serenity - PataleshwarThe actual cave temple has huge pillars sabha-mandap (hall like area) and Gabhara (sanctum sanctorum) which has shivalinga. There are small beautiful statues of  Sita, Rama, Laxman installed outside the sanctum. We can find some or the other devotee sitting in the sabha mandap enchanting the mantra jaap or reading holy book.

It is said that the temple was left incomplete, possibly because of a fault line found at the back of the sanctum sanctorum, which made the further sculpting unsafe.

Outside the cave temple, there is grass lawn surrounded by some old trees like banyan. We can find many students studying here beneath the trees’ shadow. Also beside the temple on the left side is the ‘Jangli Maharaj’ math which is also worth seeing.

Pataleshwar is one of the finest examples of rock cut architecture. The mesmerizing site needs to be maintained carefully by government as part of heritage and treated responsibly by all of us as glory of our ancient era.

The calmness in the cave is mind soothing and freshening. The atmosphere is very blissful. I love this place for its serenity. 🙂

Pataleshwar is certainly a ‘not-to-miss’ place among all the site-seeing places in Pune.

Note: See more snaps here –http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/tags/pataleshwar/

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Ever since I heard about Nighoj, had keen interest to see this wonder. Best part is, this moon-land is very close to Pune. I found out few more interesting places to see around Nighoj. It was summer weekend and we took up Pune-Nagar highway.

1. Ranjangaon

Our day began with sacred darshan of Mahaganapati of Ranjangaon. Ranjangaon Ganesh is one of the eight holy Ganapatis i.e. Asthavinayak. Ranjangaon temple is in Shirur district and on main highway at 52 Kms from Pune. There is beautiful garden developed outside the temple. We had a quick tea break here and then proceeded towards Nighoj. While on the way to Nighoj, we came across birds like Shrike, Purple Sunbird and Black shouldered kite.

2. Nighoj

To reach Nighoj –

  1. Take Pune – Nagar Highway and drive upto “Ghodnadi” river bridge.
  2. Take immediate left turn after crossing the bridge. This is “Nighoj Phata”.
  3. Drive approx. 25 Kms to reach Nighoj village. The road is in OK condition.
  4. From village travel 3 Kms more to reach “Kukadi” river where you can see pot holes.

The entire bank of Kukdi River is turned into moon land of huge pot holes. The phenomenon behind its formation goes back to more than thousands of years. The river flow wears out the vesicular basalt’s upper layer and compact basalt layer of the rock. Then small hard pebbles vigorously swirl in these wear out areas due to flow of the water to create circular pot holes. There is huge gorge or canyon created in the river due to the whirl effect of stones for the ages. These are believed to be the largest natural pot holes in Asia. It is very amazing and interesting place. You just have to see this miracle with your eyes to believe it. There is small temple of “Malganga” on the bank on this river.

Only thing, which hurt, is that we don’t do anything to conserve this beauty. Not many people know about it.

Best time to visit: Summer (March-April). May month will be extremely hot.
Summer is best time to visit this place. As water level goes down, pot holes are easily visible. In monsoon, you merely can view gigantism of pot holes. It is said to be approx. 100 feet deep and 3 kms long. Besides, it can be very dangerous to experience their gigantism otherwise. 😉

I took as many snaps as I could and also some live clippings of whirl effects for my folks. We started back and it was already time for food. We found a shady place and unwind mattresses. We enjoyed home made food and relaxed for some time. We had way to go.

3. Wadgaon Daryabai cave temple

From Nighoj, we went to Wadgaon to see another marvel. Wadgaon is plain plateau, which is rich in calcium/limestone. On the way, we saw flock of Swallows. We reached the place and started climbing down stone stairs to go to Daryabai cave temple. Our ancestors warmly greeted us.

CAUTION – Be sure that you don’t carry any eatables to the Daryabai cave temple. There is entire gang of Bonnet monkeys and their IQ is as good as ours. They know how to snatch away and eat all that you carry from “coconut” to “peanuts” and “Cadbury’s Dairy Milk” to “Center fresh”. 🙂

Jokes apart, about another marvel called “Daryabai cave temple” – this temple is dark inside and has dripping water streams inside which gives birth to stalactite. A stalactite is type of cave formation that hangs from the ceiling or wall of limestone caves. It is sometimes referred to as dripstone. It is called as “Lavan kandya” in Marathi. Each stalactite takes thousands and lakhs of years to form. Unfortunately, people who visit this place break them for fun; get them home and then just throw away without knowing their importance.

4. Takali Dhokeshwar

Takali is a small village in Parner district. We went to this place from Wadgaon Daryabai temple. Around 3 kms from Takali village is Dhokeshwar mountain temple. We took tea and Misal-paav break on the way to Takali village.

We climbed the mountain stone stairs to reach the top. There is a beautiful cave temple on the top dates back in 5th – 6th century. Along with Shivlinga, nandi, it also has idols of Laxmi, Ganesh and Bhairav carved in black stones. We relaxed inside the temple. Cold breeze fade away our tiredness. Another must mention thing here is – the water source near the cave. It has water springs throughout the year. I can say I never tasted the water like that anywhere else. We got our water bottles filled and started climbing down.

Each place we visited in this trip was unique in its own way. It was already evening by then and we drove back to Pune with feelings of contentment.

NOTE: For more snaps visit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157601019246769/detail/

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