If there is one God, whose temples are found in unique places of India, then it must be Shiva! Not that there are no other shrines in special places but Shiva overtakes them all. Not only pilgrims but also travellers love to explore these shrines. It is the faith and also the mesmerizing locations which draw many to these Shiva temples.
Among various such places, Pataleshwar Caves in Pune stands in all its glory. Probably, not many know about this rock-cut Shiva temple but it has a charm that creates a curiosity. Unlike other caves in Maharashtra, Pataleshwar is much smaller in size. In fact, it is an incomplete architecture.
Maybe it was constructed away from the human settlements but now Pune city has grown and this archaeological site is situated inside the city. Pataleshwar Cave Temple is also called as Bamburde Temple and is located in Jangli Maharaj Road.
Inside Pataleshwar Temple
Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of this temple and is worshipped as Pataleshwar. 'Patala' means underground; maybe the location where it is built has given it the name Pataleshwar. Though not much is known about this temple, the structure looks similar to Elephanta Caves in Mumbai. Pataleshwar Caves Temple belongs to the Rashtrakuta period and is now a protected monument under ASI (Archaeological Survey of India).
A small lush green garden invites you inside the premises of Pataleshwar Temple. Further, a large circular shaped structure grabs your attention. Infact, this circular structure houses Lord Shiva's mount Nandi. This structure is one of the main attractions of Pataleshwar Cave Temple.
Shiva temple is in front of this circular mandapa, forming a semi-circular shape. It is the carved interiors that attract us with the rustic charm. The pillars, dark alleys, intricate scultptures on the walls are seen in the temple. Unfortunately, the temple architecture in incomplete and nobody knows the exact reason behind this.
Some believe that the change of administration might have stopped the construction. Whereas some say that the architect released that the structure was not proportionate and hence decided to leave it incomplete. However, no specific information has been found till date.
Pataleshwar lit up
PC: Ramnath Bhat
Pataleshwar Mahadev Temple is surely a unique wonder and a must-visit place. The basaltic-rock cut structure stands with a charm surprises the visitors. Pataleshwar Temple is definitely one of the unique Shiva temples in Maharashtra and serves an ideal picnic spot.