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Posts Tagged ‘Shankar’

I badly needed a ‘bhatanki-break’ to kill my boredom. On saturday night, I started hunting for a place to drive and suddenly ‘Lavthaleshwar’ stuck my mind. Actually ‘Lavthaleshwar’ needs to be clubbed with Jejuri as it is 1-1.5kms just before Jejuri but i had not been there earlier in my Jejuri visits. It is known to be an ancient cave temple of Lord Shiva. I felt keen desire to visit here. I got up early in the morning and took up Solapur highway.

To reach Lavthaleshwar:

  1. Take Solapur highway
  2. Drive up to Hadapsar and take right turn to Saswad.
  3. On the way to Saswad, you have to cross Dive ghat.
  4. From Saswad, take road to Jejuri.
  5. 1.5 kms before Jejuri, look for ‘Lavthaleshwar’ temple entrance on right hand side.
  6. Total distance from Pune is around 48 Kms.

It is good drive of around 50 kms to reach the temple. Amazing fact about this place is – the temple is underground and not easily seen from road side. I parked my vehicle near the entrance name and literally searched for the temple. Later found some deep steps leading to the temple door. I  descended and found this cave temple. Another unique thing about ‘shiva-linga’ was, it was placed perpendicular to the entrance of ‘gabhara’. Mostly shiva lingas are horizontally placed in ‘Gabhara’. Being cave temple, it was cooler inside. I bowed in front of almighty and sat in peace. I generally like to visit temples in off-season where in I can spend my own sweet time there and conversing with God in leisure. This time it was exactly same. Then I came outside the temple and spent some time observing the surroundings. It was peaceful and shady. 

It is said that Swami Ramdas on the way to Jejuri halted at this temple overnight. He composed famous Pooja Arati – “Lav lavathi vikrala brahmandi mala…” here derived from the name ‘Lavthaleshwar’.
 
I started my return journey, took a ‘Misal paav’ break in Saswad. It was good drive of 60 odd kms and the place was worth visiting. 
Lavthaleshwar can be clubbed with Jejuri. For all those who want to be at peace this is THE place to be. 🙂

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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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