It was the great Peshwa ruler Balaji Baji Rao who drew the attention of people towards this magnificent hill in the first place. While on top of the hill, you can see the incredible view of Pune’s city life, what’s interesting is that the quietness of the spot lets you find some alone time for self-contemplation and analysing life.
The temple here, which goes by the name of Parvati Hill Temple is a shrine for many Hindu Gods like Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, God Vishnu, Goddess Rukmini, God Vitthalla, and God Vinayakar. Parvati temple, however, is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva and his divine consort Goddess Parvati.
To reach here, a person has to climb about 103 stone steps. It is believed that given the size of these steps, they were originally meant for the elephants to ascend and descend from the hill.
On the top of the hill, you can find the Parvati Hill Temple along with a few other temples nestled quietly away from the chaos of the city life. The gates of the temple are open from 5:00 am to 8:00 pm, and the best months to visit Pune is from October to March.
History of Parvati Hill Temple
The Legend of Kashibai
If we turn the pages of history backwards, then, it is believed that the great Maratha leader Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao had stood on this very soil of the hill and had witnessed the defeat of the Britishers in the Battle of Kirkee.
It was Shrimant Nanasaheb who had built this temple. As the legends go, the temple was majorly built in order to fulfill a vow taken by Kashibai, who was the mother of Baji Rao.
The story behind the vow goes like this: She had heard, that atop the hill there was a shrine with mystical healing powers. And when she was suffering from pain in her right foot, she decided to visit this shrine in hope of getting healed and also vowed that if she becomes healthy, she will order that a proper temple is built there. Thus, eventually, the temple was built here in 1749.
Story of Nanasaheb and a Historical Remnant of Peshwa Dynasty
It was the great Nanasaheb who named the Parvati Temple as Devadeveshwara meaning Lord of the Lords. And when Nanasaheb had himself fell ill, he preferred living in the temple premises. Perhaps it is one of the reasons that the hill also contains the memorial of Nanasaheb Peshwa.
As the temple has been standing proud for more than 250 years on the hill, it won’t be wrong to call it a remnant of Peshwa dynasty. The entrance of the temple is made of granite stone and is extremely giant.
As you cross the door, you find yourself in a courtyard which is also known as Sadar - a receiving counter where an idol of Lord Ganesha is kept. This particular idol has been brought from Jaipur and, before commencing any auspicious activity, is worshipped with great reverence.
Major Attractions in and Around Parvati Hill Temple
This palace was once considered as the seat of the Peshwa governance here in Pune. Now, it’s been more than 250 years that this palace is still standing, passing the tests of time. Today, Shaniwar Wada, which once was a symbol of order, is considered as a popular tourist attraction. The architectural beauty of this place will leave you awestruck, craving for more.
2. Aga Khan Palace
As the name of the palace suggests, it was built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in 1892. It is considered to be one of the most notable historical works in the history of India. As this was the site where Mahatma Gandhi, along with Sarojni Naidu as well as Mahadev Desai, was taken as prisoners. It covers a total area of about 19 acres and currently serves as the headquarters of Gandhi National Memorial Society.
Situated in close proximity to Shaniwar Wada, this place is believed to be built in the 16th century. Lal Mahal has seen many attacks of foreign invaders thus, every crack of this place has its own story to tell. It is said that it was Shahji Bhosle who first tried to revive it by restoring its architecture in the 1630s.
How to Reach Parvati Hill Temple
Pune is a fine example of urban travel getaway where you can hope to spend a whale of a time. It is located at an approximate distance of 1,457, 148, 2,065, and 842 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru respectively. Here is how you can reach Parvati Temple Pune.
The nearest airport is the Pune International Airport located at an approximate distance of 15 km. It has fairly good connectivity with other Indian cities. Once you deboard at the airport, you can easily take a cab to reach here.
If you are planning a trip by train, then you would need to deboard at the Pune Junction. Once you get off the train, you will need to take a cab or some other means of transportation like an autorickshaw to reach the Parvati Hill Temple.
The city of Pune has great road connectivity with nearby Indian cities. You can book a bus online, hire a cab or as per your convenience, take your own vehicle to this place.