Vishnu Temple

Situated at the foot of the hill, nearly 300 feet towards south of Kartikeya temple, is the temple of Shri Vishnu. It was constructed along with the main temple of Devdeveshwara i.e. that of Shiva.The idol is 4.5 feet high and is made of dark black stone. It is said that it is made of Shaligram Shila from Gandki river. The colour and texture of the stone reflect the extraordinary nature of the stone. The idol of Vishnu is extremely beautiful. According to the residents of Pune, it is one of the most beautiful pieces of workmanship. Serenity pervades the surroundings as you gaze at the austere and compassionate face of the Lord. It is rightly said that except the Idol of Shri Vitthal at Pandharpur, there is no idol which equals it in its beauty and majesty. The stone, as said earlier, is Gandaki Stone, pitch black and with years of applying oil on it, the stone has acquired a fine polish. The face has such a fine glass finish that when rays of the sun touch the face of the Idol, it brightens up showing two dimples on its face. It looks as if the Lord is smiling. It is a masterpiece creation of the artist. Vishnu’s twenty-four names are taken daily in the morning Sandhya (worship). On these twenty-four names, twenty-four forms have been given to the Vishnu by the Indian Iconologists. The only difference lies in how he holds the objects in his four hands i.e. the flower Lotus, the Counch (shamkha), the Chakra (whirling weapon) and the gada (maze). They are to be held in a particular way clockwise (Dakshinadhahkrama). Thus when an idol holds Gada, Chakra, Shankha & Padma, it is known as Madhava Moorti (idol). It is called so because it was installed…

The Devdeveshwar Temple

The entrance of the main temple of Shree Devdeshwar ( meaning “Lord of Lords” ) is majestic. On the two sides of the entrance are the two Bhairavas–the demi-gods to represent the door attendants.They are made of blackstone and have been installed here recently in 1981. The entrance door is made of granite stone and is almost as big as one room. A pear-shaped archway looks colossal and is artistically designed to fit in a square frame. The entrance is decorated by arches, museum and samadhi sthan of Shri Nanasaheb Peshwa The entrance steps take us to the courtyard of the temple. Sadar is the entrance part of a mansion; a receiving counter where an idol of Ganesh is kept. When this temple was inaugurated and the first pooja was performed, the Peshwas brought this beautiful idol of Ganesh from Jaipur. It is of North Indian style and of pure white marble. This idol of Ganesha is worshipped before commencing any work or activity. The Main TempleThe main temple was constructed in 1749. It was built with blackstone (known as deccan trap stone) in mortar. The main deity, the Linga of Shiva is kept south-north, facing the east. The Linga is oval-shaped, six inches in diameter, red-black in colour with very thin wire-like lines on it. The upper part of the Linga has a reddish spot, resembling a topi (cap) put on it. This red spot which is considered to be extremely rare gives it sacred importance. This stone is believed to have been brought from the river Gandaki, a tributory, which flows in Nepal. Such sacred stones are believed to be found only in Gandaki river. The Linga is fixed in brass seat of an unusual shape and cannot be easily removed. It is believed that underneath this Shiva…

Peshwa Museum

The palace built by Shrimant Peshwa in the year 1795 still exits. Part of the same has been converted into Peshwa Museum. Near the museum is situated the Samadhi Sthan of Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa, who died here due to the intense grief experienced by him when his son Vishwasrao  and elder brother Bhausaheb lost their lives in Panipat war. The Peshwa Museum has been built using part of the Peshwa’s Mansion, using many old carved wooden pieces and displays a collection of items belonging to the Peshwa Era. The museum contains paintings of all Peshwas, Maratha Sardars, their family members along with the arms, articles and coins which were in use in Peshwa era. The entire palace of Sardar Bhuskute of Burahanpur (M.P.) has been installed in the museum. The rare collection is displayed in the museum and hence treated to be the most important museum connected with the history of Pune and Peshwa Raj. Samadhi Sthan of Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa is now renovated and converted into sabha mandap where the paintings relating to various battles fought by Marathas are on display. Some of the beautiful paintings of Peshwas are also displayed in the hall.

The Kartikeya Temple

Kartikeya or Shadanan, the God with six heads is the eldest son of Lord Shiva. Kartikeya is, in Maharashtra, believed to be a bachelor God, whom ladies are not supposed to worship. His temples are rather rare in Maharashtra. However in South India, he is commonly worshipped without any taboo attached to women-worship. The Kartikeya mandir was built by Shrimant Raghobadada, elder brother of Nanasaheb  Peshwa. There was a continuous family feud between these two brothers and a life – long competition and rivalry between these two families. We see a clear picture of it in the words of his wife Anandibai, kept in confinement as a political prisoner at Kopargaon. When the subject of Parvati came for discussion, she said, “the idol of Kartikeya should have been installed on some other hilltop. It would have at least brought good name.” Unfortunate incidents with Kartikeya’s idol Historical events have proved how unlucky the idol of Kartikeya has been. During the invasion of Nizam, the idol was broken and so Madhavrao got a new one made through his able Prime Minister, Nana Phadnwis. It was installed on 14th March 1766. In 1767, it developed big cracks; hence another idol was made at Pune and was installed. The records show that on the day on which it was installed, coconuts were offered to ward off the evil eye. In 1791, lightening struck the temple. It destroyed the temples but spared the idol. It was a bad omen and hence another idol was installed. In June 1820, the British took over the administration of the temple. Shri Madhavrao Jayaram Sadavarte became the manager of the Devesthana and he restored the idols. In 1867, the right hand of the deity broke down due to the crown falling on the hands of deity. Hence on…