A Visit to the Protected Monument “PATALESHWAR CAVE” by chance

I have been visiting Pune for the last so many years for my official work but it was not known to me that the protected site “PATALESHWAR CAVE” is just at a walking distance from the hotel where I generally stay.

After having my lunch, I had approx two hours spare time before taking my flight, hence I thought of visiting a temple Jangali Maharaj Temple which is hardly 200 – 300 meters from my hotel.

The Jangali Maharaj Temple is one of the sacred place in Pune located on Jangali Maharaj Road , which is centrally situated at Shivaji Nagar.

Jangali Maharaj Temple

Jangli Maharaj was a Yogi & disciple of swami Samarth. He did meditation in the Jungle of Shivaji Nagar – Pune hence earned this name Jangli Maharaj (King of Jungle). Maharaj died in 1890 , his followers built a Samadhi at the present Temple at Jangli Maharaj Road – Shivaji Nagar , Pune.

The Temple was built in 18th century. Today this temple is a famous landmark of Pune , road is named after it “ Jangli Maharaj Road” .

Jangali Maharaj Temple

As I entered the temple, on my right hand side there was a small man made Pond with cow spout. The wall contains beautiful Picture of Men carrying Palaki.

Jangali Maharaj Temple

Jangali Maharaj Temple

To reach the temple,I had to climb a few stairs . Out side the temple there is a huge bell along side a concrete Lotus.

Jangali Maharaj Temple

Inside the temple first there is a Sabhamandal & than the Samadhi of Maharaj. After offering the prayer I came out of the temple. When I was taking a round of the temple suddenly I saw a temple with a flattened top of the monument on my left hand side. I asked some body about it, the guy sitting there informed me about the Shivji’s Temple situated just adjacent to the premises of the temple. There are stairs to go down to the monument from the Jangli Maharaj Temple.

stairs to go down from JM Temple to the monument (Pataleshwar Cave)

Once I reached there I saw a board in which the history of the Monument was mentioned,I was too surprised to know that it was a Protected Monument – PATALESWAR CAVE. It is very disappointing that there is no sign board outside the site which can inform the visitors about this sight. If you are planning to visit this cave you need to ask for the Jangli Maharaj temple other wise you will keep on roaming around the Jangali Maharaj Road.

Pataleshwar Cave

PATALESWAR CAVE ( Patal means underground & Eswar 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.

Board inside the site (no sign board outside the site)

Once you enter the gate on the both sides there is a park where one can see students reading books under the shadow of trees & some senior citizens chatting.

At the end of the park there are the stairs to go down and one gets to see the huge circular umbrella shaped structure called ” Nandi Mandapa” which is supported by stone pillars. This mandapa is one of the peculiar structures of Pataleshwar.

stairs to go down to Cave

Nandi Mandapa

Close up - Nandi Mandapa

After the Mandapa, there comes to the entrance of the shiv temple.The temple was lighted due to a few CFL’s. At the center of the cave, Shiv temple is located in a cube-sized room.

Shiv Temple inside the cave

Pataleshwar Cave

There is a huge courtyard supported with pillars, The place looks like for the meeting of people. I saw couple of people enchanting Mantras & reading holy books. I asked some of the people there about the history of the temple but no one was knowing it except that It is almost 1200 years old. The information about the cave & temple is neither available on net nor at the site.

Huge courtyard supported with pillars

I clicked few pictures & took a parikrama of the temple , while taking a parikrama I passed through the statues of Sita, Rama & Laxman carved with white stone. It was very peaceful & calm inside the temple. The sculpture of the Pataleshwar cave temple is not completed but left incomplete, possibly because of a fault line found at the back of the sanctum sanctorum, which made the further sculpting unsafe.

Statues of Sita, Rama & Laxman

It was a good experience to see such an ancient monument right in the heart of the city.

50 Comments

  • Mahesh Khugsal says:

    Good to see the details, wonderful work and utilising your Time and giving useful info. Thanks, Now I can talk to some one about Pataleshwar Cave & Janagli Maharaj Temple.

  • Junglee Baba ki jai…. nice pics…

  • Onil Gandhi says:

    well written and supported with good pictures… keep traveling … keep sharing

  • JC says:

    Mahesh, I live in Pune and have passed through this temple so many times but never ever ventured to go in. Ignorance on my part and lack of information available may be attributed to this. After reading your post I’m sure to visit this place soon. Thanks for such informative posts and keep posting.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear JC,

      Yes you are right most of the time we ignore our own city & prefer to go out when ever we get chance. Inspite of Historical city most of the Delhiets hardly visited Delhi.

      Thanks for liking the post.

  • Hi Mahesh,

    Its rather a coincidence that I just started to write about my visit to Pataleshwar caves back in February. You would have read about my travel to Daman. It was during that same trip when my wife and I went day tripping to Pataleshwar caves and also visited the Shaniwarwada fort. Coincidentally, your photos look very similar to what I had licked…looks like we have a similar photographic instincts :-)….

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Vasanth,

      I was their in the last week of Oct. , although it was a unplanned but it was a wonderful experiences. I will be looking forward to see your post on Pataleshwar caves , you might be able to add something more which I could have missed.

  • Sahil says:

    Hi Mr. Mahesh ,
    Again a beautiful post. Never heard of Pataleshwar Caves. Thanks for adding this place to my list.

    Sahil

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Sahil,

      Happy to know that after going through this post you have added it in your list.

      When ever I get time , I try to utilize it & share with my Ghumakkar friends.

      Thanks for liking the post.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    I replied last few comments while waiting for my Chennai flight at Terminal – 3. I would like to share my T-3 , experience with you , when ever I get time.

  • Ram Dhall says:

    Mahesh ji,

    Another brilliant write up and so aptly supported by some self explicit pictures.

    I have never heard of Pataleshwar Cave. I do not know, if this protected monument would find a place in the history, but your write up would definitely be etched up in the memory of some of the readers.

    I admire your spirit of travel and sharing.

    Warm regards and God’s blessings.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Ram Sir,

      Your comments always motivates me a lot. I was surprised to see that there is no sign board outside the a protected site , one has to ask for Jangali Maharaj temple to reach to this place.

  • manish khamesra says:

    During our educational trip at the end of my Engineering degree we visitied Pune and no doubt Pataleshwar cave was the monument we liked the most there.

    Would be visiting Pune soon and would like to pay another visit.

    I was thinking that at that time of our tour we did not have much access to technology so I don’t know much about it. Its sad to know that anyway there is not much information available.

    Vasanth, would be curious to read your account as well.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Manish,

      Thanks for going through the post.

      I will be waiting for Vasanth post on Pataleshwar Cave. He might add some thing new. I always love to read his adventures experiences.

  • Roopesh says:

    Hi Mahesh,

    Its a pity that even after living in Pune for last 3 years, I haven’t been to this place even after knowing it is there. However, your post is timely as my parents are in Pune and I can take them over there. I think we can add a new Murphy’s Law that “one would never visit his/her own city as much as he would crave to visit other places”.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Roopesh,

      Take your parents to Pataleswar Cave along with Jangali Maharaj Temple. You are rightly said most of us ignore our own city and try to visit the other cities when ever we get time.

      I am in Delhi (NCR) since 1984 , till date I have not visit even half of the tourist places of NCR.

  • Gita AM says:

    What a pity that no efforts are made to put this ancient site on the tourist circuit.

  • P D KULKARNI says:

    i was in pune to study engineering and this spot was so near to our hostel but we never ventured here.after a gap of 35 yeras recently when i had been to pune i got a chance to visit pataleshwar caves and found them very enchanting.we are fast forgetting our own culture and feeling good aping others!

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Mr. Kulkarni,

      Thanks for going through the post.

      Even I was visiting Pune for the last so many years & the hotel where I use to stay is also on Jangali Maharaj Road , but never had been to this place , problem is that there is no sign board outside the site.

      • P D KULKARNI says:

        there was also an Iranian restaurent called cafe NCR which we used to frequent and as was practice with iranian restaurent they will never ask us to leave and we used to sit there for hours reading newpapers and finding out which matinee show in the city is worth watching.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    I have to many time there for Biryani , the name of that Iranian restaurant is Blue Nile Restaurant , close to Pune club.

  • Enjoyed reading the post. I just rang up a friend who is on a visit to Pune to make sure that he visits the Pataleshwar Caves.

  • mohan kamble says:

    this is the place where shiva is in live position in linga. when and how once u make dhyan in ligum u find truth of real god and real blue light of spirit which no body known it. it is the right place for dhyan and meditation. pataleshvar is made by pandava u just sit inside temple and make sound of ooom u see what vibration come to u and it will help u to enjoy asana. near junglimaharaj place it is goddess super power of junglimaharaj samadhi. stay their nearby hotel one weak and follow the experience of god. mohan ,pune.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Mohan,

      Thanks for your kind information.

      • mohan kamble says:

        mr.mahesh it is vary nice to see pataleshvar shiva temple as well as jungli maharaj temple… if you follow someshvar temple pashan near banergaon.. is also vary good for dhyan and meaditation.. parvatinandan temple of ganesh at ganeshkhind.. or moryagoswami temple..chinchwad.. gundacha ganpati near kasba peth ganesh temple… best in pune city.. actual old temples.. who divoted ganpati on ganesh jayanti most like to visit those place.. for their children and family.. jai ho ganesh…bappa morya…

  • Mahesh,

    Very thoughtful of you to visit Pataleshwar caves. Though in the middle of the city, I had never visited it in last so many years of my stay in Pune. Finally some of us made it a point to go and visit this monument one early morning. I dont think it attracts many tourists even though it is a such a peaceful and lovely place which again is a blessing in disguise!

    -Manisha

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Thanks Manisha for going through the post & liking it. Even I was visiting Pune for my official work for the last so many year & never realized that this monument is so close to my hotel, where I use to stay.

    • mohan kamble says:

      shiva linga in temple pataleshvar is live . if u sit early before 5 a.m. see their viabrations..? make onkar in body inner spirit will go up with blue lights of shiva.. mohan.

  • mohan kamble says:

    mr.mahesh , will u help at place of tukaram maharaj temple ,dehuroad. their also old place of jungli maharaj sthan. near by river. who will take care of old temples? may be god help u with ur inner spirit is may be strong. pls to say someone to keep clean our old temples..? ur mohan..

  • Sridhar says:

    I was in Pune for morethan 6 months.I missed to see this beautiful place.Next time I will make sure to visit.Thanks
    Sridhar

  • Mahesh jee ,

    This was a superb place. Even though I have been to pune lot of times , I have never heard of this.

    Thanks for posting. Pictures were awesome……….

    Still did you find any history about this caves?????

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Thanks Vishal for your comment , sorry no clue regarding history.

  • shirishkumar bhale says:

    don’t you think that pataleswar leni is nothing but a buddhist leni ? Because If we saw inside the cave the gods statues are not carved into rock only sticked with some kind of glue like bhaje leni

  • sandeep kanojia says:

    sir the information u gave is very useful …. U have so much of intrest in these things … So i am…. Good to see that nw also people have tym for our culture… Thank you sir

  • Thanks sandeep for your kind comments !

  • Debasish Bhattacharjee says:

    Mahesh, Glad to find good information on Pataleshwar cave. I had a chance visit to this place today and thanked my Pune friend Mukund for taking me there. I have an opinion to share with you. The Rashtrakutas, the then rulers of the region was tolerant of all religions. Most flourishing of the time were Jainism, Vaishnavaism and Shaivism. Even Muslim religion had made inroads in that region as early as 8th century. Buddhism was on the wane due to Adi Shankara’s Advaita philosophy, but still was prevailing in the area.
    I get a trace of Buddhist heritage in the Pataleshwara cave too. Although Shaivism is apparent through the Shivalinga and the Nandi, yet, when I saw some the walls in the caves closely, I get a feel that there might have been statues from Buddhism, which were chiseled off for the sake of uniformity. The overall structure had a lot of similarities to a Buddhist cave, seen across Maharashtra.

    Your opinion please.

  • Thanks for information !

  • vaidyanathan says:

    WHAT A WONDERFUL site this is ! i WILL DEFINITELY LOOK UP THIS PLACE
    when I visit Pune next

    vaidyanathan

  • Thanks for ur comment.

  • rajeswari says:

    thanks for good religious information

  • Sheba says:

    Hey Mahesh, liked this write up. I used to live in Pune & as a child visited this temple many times with my parents. It’s a beautiful place, thx for refreshing my memory.

  • Jayanthi Parthasarathy says:

    Thank you for this wonderful info
    Just visited the Jangli Maharaj & Pataleshwar temple today & was trying to find out more info

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