Pune is a Maharashtra state in Western India. It is the seventh largest city located 160 kilometers southeast of its capital. Its name comes from the word Punya Nagari, means the City of Virtue in Sanskrit.
It started to exist during 937 AD founded by the Shivaji from the Maranatha Empire. Nowadays, there are many religious places like mosques, temples and churches throughout the city. There are Hindus, Protestants and Muslims worshippers that strongly give importance to their own faith.
Below are some of the worship places that reflect the city’s multi-cultural and architectural diversity:
Chaturshringi temple is dedicated to Goddess Chatshrungee. It is located on a hill rock just near the Senapati Bapat Road during the reign of Shivaji Maharaj. Today, it is surrounded by the big IT companies and commercial buildings. People who visit this temple seek the blessing of God Devi Ambareshwari.
The temple has a scale model on its entrance. A Hindu festival is being held annually during Navarati. There are lighted lamps decorated in an Indian tradition style.
Fire temple is also called as Agiary (a place of worship of Zoroastrians). It is situated along Agiary Street, now Dastur Meher Road. The temple was established by Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy in year 1844.
The structure protects the Holy Fire and Sacred Holy Book (Atesh Adaran Saheb). In November 1844, the holy fire was first lighted inside the Pune Fire Temple amidst the Cyprus trees. It was still burning without turning off even once. It is adorned by a fountain in a triangular field. It became the erected source of Pune’s water supply.
Ganapati Temple is dates back to 17th century on the banks of river Krishna at Sangli in Theur. It was built and dedicated to Lord Ganesha, an elephant headed Hindu deity also known as Ekadanta, Ganapati, Vinayaka. It is one of the beautiful temples in the southern part of Maharashtra. It is carved with black stones and doors made up of multi-colored woods. It is one of the Maharashtrian marvels that feature a rich design and inspiring architecture.
A Maharashtrain festival was held in the temple during Ganesha Chaturdashi. The temple is decorated with mixed adornments. People come to visit the place to pay respect to their protector.
Pataleshwar Cave Temple
Pataleshwar Cave Temple is dedicated to the God of the Underworld known as Lord Pateleshwar. The temple rock-cut cave architecture lies on the Jangali Maharaj Road in Shivaji Nagar. It is one of the heritage site dated back 8th century AD.
It is of unique structure made out of a single block of stone that houses big pillars, Nandi bull and Lord Shiva’s shrine. It has a striking display with small rooms for the visitors. The worship area in a cube-shape room includes statues of Sita, Laxman, Rama and other Hindu Gods and Goddess. The temple’s museum is enlisted in Guinness Book of World Records. It exhibits 5,000 characters using grains of rice.
St. Mary’s Church
St. Mary’s Church is one of the oldest protestant churches on Staveley Road, Pune. It was consecrated by Bishop Heber and was built for the British soldiers and officers in 1825.
The Gothic style architecture of the church is one major attraction. It was originally adorned with a huge tower. It was replaced with shorter concrete in 1982. There is stained glass at the altar which costs about 200 pounds. The church interior is boasting with memorial plaque for Colonel William Morris memory.
Omkareshwar is a major tourist attraction situated on Mutha River. It was constructed in 17th century during the reign of Sadashiv Bhau. It is dedicated to Goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. The extraordinary style of stone carvings proves an exotic view of columns and arts.
The white dome is made up of soft soap stone on the upper portions. Columns are carved in polygons, circles and squares. Its tower is built in Nagara style with 5 layers that represents different images of a Hindu God.
Parvati Hill and Temple
Parvati Hill temple is dedicated to Hindu deities like Ganesha, Vishnu, Parvati, Kartikeya and Devadeshwar. This temple is located on high hills of 108 steps. The entire temple offers a full view of the city.
There is an adjoining museum that contains things of the contemporary society of the Peshwas. Artifacts include old manuscripts, weapons, replicas of ancient paintings and coins.