Parvati Hill Temple

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Parvati Hill Temple, Pune Overview

Brought into existence by the great Peshwa ruler Balaji Baji Rao in the 17th century, and rising to over 2,000 feet, Parvati hill offers a sweeping view of the city of Pune. It is located in the south-east part of Pune. The hill in itself brags of beautiful views away from the hustle and bustle of the city with a pleasant climate throughout the year. It serves as a shrine for several Hindu Gods- God Shiva, Goddess Parvati, God Vishnu, Goddess Rukmini and God Vitthalla, and God Vinayakar. Parvati temple, however, is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and God Shiva.

The hill is accessed by climbing 103 stone steps which were originally designed to allow elephants to ascend and descend from the hill. It doesn't take anyone longer than 10 minutes to reach the top. Resting atop Parvati hill, is a black stone structure, the Parvati temple - settled among the scattering of four other temples, the Peshwa Museum and the Parvati water tank. The Parvati temple is a daily visiting place for a number of local citizens. It is the highest point in Pune. The gates of the temple open at 5.00 am and 8.00 pm.

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History and Architecture

It is believed that Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao watched the defeat of the British in the Battle of Kirkee from the hills. The temple was built during the Peshwa rule in Pune by Shrimant Nanasaheb. According to a common legend, the temple was built in order to fulfil a vow taken by his mother, Kashibai. Kashibai had heard of a shrine atop Parvati Hill who supposedly had healing powers. Suffering from pain in her right foot, she visited the shrine and vowed to build a glorious temple when she is cured. Eventually, she was cured and Nanasaheb built the temple in 1749.

Nanasaheb had named the temple "Devadeveshwara" which literally means "Lord of Lords" - which suggests the most supreme of the Lords. When Nanasaheb fell seriously ill, he preferred living in the temple, than to stay at his home. The hill also has a memorial of Nanasaheb Peshwa.

The temples atop Parvati hill are the oldest heritage structures in Pune, with the Parvati temple standing for around 270 years. They are the remnants of the Peshwa dynasty. The entrance of the temple is majestic. Representing the door attendants, both the sides of the entrance are adorned with two Bhairavas (demi-gods). The Bhairavas are made of Blackstone installed only in 1981. The entrance door is crafted out of granite stone and is as big as a room. Reminiscent of the Peshwa times, the entrance is embellished with the arches that are stuck in time. The archway is pear-shaped and is structurally designed to fit a square frame.

The entrance leads to the courtyard of the huge temple. This is known as the Sadar- a receiving counter where an idol of Lord Ganesh is kept. This idol has been bought from Jaipur, made of pure white marble. Now, this idol is worshipped before starting off with any work or activity.

Celebrations at the Temple

Shravan Mas Utsav is vastly celebrated at the Parvati temple. Shravan Mas is the holiest month of Hindus according to the Hindu calendar. Shravan Mas starts late July and ends by the third week of August. In this month, it is believed that offering prayers to Lord Shiva will bring good luck to the lives of those praying. Around 25,000 devotees visit the temple every Monday in Shravan Mas.

Besides the yearly Shravan Mas, there is a classical music festival that happens between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm every day. 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm is the best time to visit the temple especially if you love classical music.

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