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Pataleshwar caves near Jungli Maharaj Temple on Jungli Maharaj Road in Pune in Maharashtra

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Wai (to read about it click on Wai) was one of our best road trips, and it was time that we head out for yet another memorable road trip. I asked Manohar if he could take time out from his busy schedule so that we could plan yet another trip. To which he readily agreed.

Pataleshwar caves

We planned to cover Pataleshwar Cave in Pune, Paladeo Temple located in the middle of River Bhima, Kugaon Killa, Akluj Fort, Piliv Fort, Dhotri Fort, Solapur Fort, Siddheshwar Temple and Lake and finally Naldurg Fort in Osmanabad in 3 to 4 days time. We were hoping to save on time as we were traveling by car. 

Statue of Nandi at Pataleshwar caves
As decided we met at Ghatkopar Railway station at 5:45 AM. As it was just the two of us, we headed off the Mumbai Pune Expressway to Pune. As the roads were empty, and due to Manohar driving skills we reached Pune at around 8:15 AM. From Ghatkopar Railway station to here it is roughly around 152 KM.  
At 8:15 AM we were greeted by the office going crowd. It was the rush hour. Thanks to the GPS and the one way roads, we were driving in circles. We finally asked a couple of locals who  informed us to take the right turns to reach the Pataleshwar Caves. 
Statue of Nandi at Pataleshwar caves

Pataleshwar Caves is tagged on Google Maps, but the one way roads in Pune adds to the misery. 

Pataleshwar Caves is located in the premises of the Jungli Maharaj Temple. There are two ways to enter the caves. One is from the temple and the other is from the road (Jungli Maharaj Road). We skipped the temple and headed to the caves directly. 
Pataleshwar caves

A little bit of history. The Pataleshwar Caves aka Leni are also called as Panchaleshvara or Bamburde Caves. The caves were built in the Rashtrakuta Period. Dating back to the 8th century. The temple is  made of basalt rock. Currently it is surrounded by lush green trees and a white colored building.  

As we entered the cave premises we saw a statue of Nandi. A little ahead is a circular shaped caves. It is supported by pillars. Inside it is another statue of Nandi which is worshiped by people. The face of Nandi  is towards the entrance of the Caves. 

Carvings on the walls of Pataleshwar caves
Another Caves is located on the side, though a small one, but nothing much to see in it. 

Inside the main Caves is a temple dedicated to Shiva. The pillars of the cave cum temple are in symmetry. It reminded me of the caves in Jogeshwari near Mahakali Caves in Mumbai. (to read click on Jogeshwari and Mahakali, highlighted in red) At both the extreme ends are huge carvings on the walls. 
Pataleshwar caves

There is a brass temple just near the Door to the (Linga) Shiva temple.   

There was hardly anyone in the caves premises.
Pataleshwar caves

I immediately started my photography sessions to capture details of the caves. It took us just 15 minutes to explore the caves in entirety.
Pataleshwar caves

It  was time for breakfast, outside the Jungli Maharaj Temple premises are located a couple of roadside eateries, we headed there to  have breakfast in the form of masala dosa and vada sambar, a common breakfast dish for the two of us. 
Pataleshwar caves

Our next pit stop is Palasdeo Temple in River Bhima.


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