Parvati Temple located at a height of 2100 feet above the sea level is located on a hill towards the southern part of the city of Pune. There are 103 long, broad and curving steps to the hill top.

Shiva is the main deity of the temple. On the four corners are the idols of Ganpati, Parvati, Vishnu and the Sun God, with small temples for each of them. It is said that this is the main idol of Parvati Devi, after whose name, the hill came to be known as Parvati Hill. The ancient place of Parvati was at a place called Tandla.

The story from an inscription in the temple goes like this. Next to the Parvati hill there was a village Jalkiwadi. There lived a Patil by the name of Navloji Tavre. His mother‘s name was Sakarau whose both breasts were diseased. She was grief stricken. She prayed. One night in her dream there appeared a lady in a Divine form who said that, “My abode is on the Parvati Hill. Go there, light a lamp daily and perform my puja and you will be alright”. She told this to her son. Navloji searched and found the place of the Devi. He cleaned, built a mandap there, performed the puja and lit a lamp every day. He brought the holy water and gave it to his mother as Prasad. And what a surprise, she soon became alright. Soon the news spread and many such incidents started taking place.

One day, Peshwa Balaji Bajirao’s wife Gopikabai, quite accidentally, from the Moti Mahal, saw that devotee climbing down from that hill. She made all enquiries with him. He then told her, “This is a very ancient place of the Devi, and she answers to vows and frees us from troubles. At that time Gopikabai was deeply troubled by persisting eczema / itch in her leg. She made a vow before the Devi. Devi responded and Gopikabai got cured of the itch. She asked for the temple to be constructed for the Devi. The work on the construction of this temple began in the year 1672 due to the efforts of Balaji Bajirao under the orders of Shahu Maharaj and was completed in 4 years.

R Gaikwad writes in his book on ancient deities, “After accepting the post of Peshwa, Balaji Vishwanath was finding it difficult to frequently go to Satara to meet Chatrapati Shivaji as the work was expanding far and wide on a daily basis. Therefore he brought the padukas of the Chatrapati and installed it on the Parvati Mountain. This made it convenient for that very devoted servant of Chatrapati to express his devotion and support. Some years later Bajirao installed a Shiva Linga in that very same place. It is understood that the paduka of Chatrapati Shivaji is in fact below the Shiva Linga which is presently there. The Shiva Linga was named as Devdeveshwar. The silver idol of Shiva weighed two maunds, and the gold idol of Parvati seated on the lap weighed 1100 tolas while that of Ganapati was 900 tolas. This ancient temple was destroyed by lightening during the year 1761. The Peshwas then rebuilt the temple and that’s the temple we see today.

There is a separate temple of Kartik Swami as well. During the times of Peshwas, there was a secret passage from the hill to Shaniwarwada, which is to be used during the tense times. The opening to this secret passage is at the north-east corner of the mountain. Just next to this entrance to the secret passage, is the temple of the fair faced Parvati. It is said that during the last fight of the Marathas with the British on 5th November 1817 at Khadki, the last Bajirao sat on this hill and watched the proceedings through a telescope. It is also said that during the month of Shravan, it was at this place that the Peshwas used to give dakshina to the Brahmins who used to be gathered there, which was called “Ramana”.

The temple is visited daily by hundreds of trekkers and senior citizens as a daily exercise routine apart from others who come to visit the temple. One can experience the fresh cool breeze of the mountain and have the beautiful panoramic view of the city from the hill top.

The Parvati hill also houses a Parvati Museum where there is a wide collection of ancient paintings, manuscripts, coins, swords, utensils, clothes, statues and palanquins used by the Peshwas. There are beautiful idols of several deities as well.

Come. See. Be blessed.

Featured Photo Credits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parvati_Hill#mediaviewer/File:Parvati.JPG

Saraswati Raman, a Sahaja yogi, lives in Pune, Maharashtra, India. Gifted with a spiritual bent mind, an uncanny intuition, and an extreme sensitivity, Saraswati is able to bring her abilities to pen down a few remarkable books on the evolution of the human being through energizing of the subtle energy centers in the human being. Saraswati Raman took up Sahaja yoga fifteen years ago, and her life changed dramatically. She was cured of schizophrenia, her career got uplifted, and she completed her MBA in finance and an MD in alternative medicine.
Other books written by her are the following:  [1] The Mystery of Sound [2] Incarnations: Steps to Momentum in Human Evolution [3] Sahaja Yoga: An Experiential Treatise [4] Sahaja Yoga: The Secret to Self-unfoldment and Transformation – Contact author through [email protected].

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