Parvati hill temple is one of the Pune’s prime historical attractions. Situated near the center of the city and near to the Swargate bus station, the Parvati mandir is situated on a small hillock which rises around 2100 feet above the sea level. This hillock holds several temples including Lord Devdeveshwar, Lord Ganesha, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Vitthal and Goddess Rukmini. This magnificent Pune temple was built under the reign of the Peshwa Dynasty which dates back to around 17th Century. Today, this temple is respite for the Puneties and offers a discrete picturesque view of the adjoining areas. The view from Parvati during the early hours is simply soothing and makes a great start of the day.
A huge number of people gather for their morning and evening walks. A staircase with 103 stairs leads visitors to the main shrine on this hill. Climbing these stairs is one of the exercise regimens for everyday visitors. The staircase here is an example of finest stone work done during the olden times. Also, the steps here are perfectly built without much steep and can be easily climbed even by the elders.
History of Parvati Hill Temple
The existence of this temple can be found even during the reign of the great Maratha Ruler Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj. However, this temple actually flourished during the Peshwa rule in Pune. According to several written documents found, the temple was built by the third Peshwa, Shrimant Nana Saheb to fulfill the vow taken by his mother Kashibai. Kashibai was suffering with certain disorder in her right foot when she came to know about a small shrine to the south of Pune which had miraculous healing powers. Kashibai then headed towards this temple on the top of a hill and prayed for rapid recovery. She also vowed to build a magnificent temple if she was cured out of this disease. Very soon, Kashibai was recoverd and Nana Saheb built this temple to fulfill her vow.
Another important incidence that makes the Parvati Hill Temple important is due to the shrine of Lord Devdeveshwar. Chattrapati Shahu Maharaj, the grandson of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj, considered Nana Saheb as his son. There was a great affection between the both. The death of Shahu Maharaj was a great personal loss to Nana Saheb. This was when, Nana Saheb bought the Khandwa (wooden footwear) of his beloved king and an idol of Shiva from Satara. He then installed them both on the Parvati Hill. This Shiva idol was called as Devdeveshwara and is believed to be highly respected by Nana Saheb.
Parvati Hill Attractions
Devdeveshwar Temple: This fine temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a magnificent Shiv Linga. This temple is one of the best amongst the Parvati temple complex with a huge door made up of granite, entrance decorated by arches, and a mandapa holding the grand Shiv Linga. The Linga here is unique and believed to be brought from River Gandaki which flows in Nepal. Further, the linga is fixed within a brass seat which can’t be easily removed. It is also believed that the footwear of Chattrapati Shahu Maharaj lies beneath this Shiv Linga. The wall behind this Shiv Linga holds a outstanding idol of Lord Shiva with his spouse Parvati on one lap and son Ganapati on the other. It is said that the idol of Shiva was made out of pure silver and that of Parvati and Ganapati were made out of pure gold. However, these idols were stolen in 1932 after which similar were made but in brass.
Vishnu Temple: This temple was constructed along with the Devdeveshwar temple and holds a magnificent idol of Lord Vishnu which is around 4.5 feet high. This statue is too delivered from Gandaki and is pitch black in color. It has turned immensely smooth due to applying oil over it for several years. This outstanding idol is sculptured with four hands holding a lotus, a counch, the chakra, and a gadha respectively. The idol is further mounted upon a Laxmi Yantra which is a holy geometric form with several magical powers.
Kartikeya Temple: Lord Kartikeya is the eldest son of Lord Shiva and is considered as a bachelor god in Maharashtra. Thus, women are strictly prohibited to worship this god. The temple of Kartikeya here was built by Shrimant Raghobadada Peshwa. There are a large number of devotees of Lord Kartikeya who gather here during the auspicious day of Tripuri Poornima. Also, on this day, women too are permitted to take blessing from Kartikeya.
Shri Vitthal Rukmini Temple: The Vitthal Rukhmini temple is the latest amongst all the temples on the Parvati Hillock. As you reach the top of this hill, this temple comes to your eyesight immediately. Constructed using the Maratha style of architecture, this temple possess wonderful idols of Vitthal and Rukhmini.
Peshwa Museum: This museum holds several items possessed by the Peshwas. This is a worth visiting museum and displays mighty swords, guns, wooden artifacts, coins, clothes, daily utilities, paintings, etc.
When to Visit
The temple is open round the year from 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM. One can visit this place free of cost as no entry fee is required. However, to see the museum one needs to buy a ticket of mere amount.
How to Reach
Reaching Parvati main is simple. The nearest bus station to reach here is the Swargate Bus Station. From here you can take auto rickshaw to reach this shrine.
The above mentioned information about the Parvati Hill Temple would help you in understanding a brief history about this place and thus experience it thoroughly.