Parvati Hill Temple, Pune
Come to Maharashtra and all you see is the fascinating Maratha history - everything about their beliefs, battles, lifestyle, kingdoms, governance and what not. In fact, Pune city itself has a lot to tell. One such landmark is the Parvati Hill Temple
We all have heard about Balaji Baji Rao, popularly known as Nana Saheb of the Peshwa dynasty. He won many battles for the Maratha empire and also expanded the regime. It was he who got this Parvati Temple built on the hill. There is a fascinating history behind it.
The shrine at the top of the hill is very old. It was believed that all the cures were healed if one visits the shrine. It was then that Nana Saheb's mother, Kashibai was ill and wanted to visit this place and be healed. She vowed that if that happens, she will get a temple built here. As you may have guessed, she indeed got cured and since then we see the Hill Temple dedicated to Shiva and Bhawani Devi (the ferocious aspect of Goddess Parvati).
The temple is situated at the second highest point in Pune and gives a panoramic view of the city. If you are lucky and the air is clear, the view is simply amazing. Not to mention, it takes some efforts to reach there. Though, I did not count the steps to the temple, one can find it over the internet that there are 108 steps in total. 108 is also a very auspicious number as per Hinduism.
It is worth to mention that these steps were created so wide so that even elephants can reach the temple. Maharajas and other prominent rulers used to visit by riding on the elephants. Even, Albert Edward VII, Prince of Wales, visited the shrine riding atop an elephant.
And today when you climb up the stairs, you can also see beautiful wall painting depicting Yoga postures.
Historical places often take us back to that age, and especially when these places are away from the city hustle. The icing on the cake is when there is a museum dedicated to those times. And this is where the Peshwa Museum adds to the excitement. The museum houses all those things that were used by the Peshwa dynasty - Utensils, Games, Paintings, Musical Instruments, Coins dating back to not just Peshwa but beyond and other stuffs.
The entry ticket for the museum is Rs. 20. Just walk inside the hall and try to visualise yourself in the era of the Peshwas. It is amazing to see and feel the centuries old things that they used to own and use. We also see a painting where official from the East India company visited the Peshwa to form the treaty against Tipu Sultan.
The gallery of the museum
Treaty between the East India Company and the Peshwas against Tipu Sultan
The rarest "Hona" Coin that was issued by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
The gallery of the museum
There is a temple for NanaSaheb as well, which was constructed after his death. The compound has his sculpture and some wall paintings of those times
Lastly, the scenic view of the city gives a peaceful feeling that cannot be ignored. After offering prayers at the temple shrines, people flock to the perimeter to enjoy the view of the city
What if you are hungry at the top?
This can be a very serious question once you climb the stairs!! But do not worry, there is an eatery just when you are about to enter the temple premises. He is an old fellow who will cook delicious Misal Pao, Vada Pao, packed items and also has refreshments to quench your thirst! Do remember to carry cash because as at this date, he does not uses UPI!!!!