Someshwar Wadi Temple & Baneshwar Cave Temple, Pune

The city of Pune in Maharashtra is known for its history and its ancient heritage of great monuments & temples. In this article, I will describe two historic temples in Pune – the Someshwar Wadi Temple and the Baneshwar Cave Temple.

Someshwar Wadi Temple

t1 Someshwar Wadi Templeis built in Hemadpanti style in black stone and situated on Ram Nadi. This temple has three entrances. One can see the Swaysmbhu Shivalinga from the inner sanctum. The sanctum has beautiful carvings on the top dome. Towards the south near the banks there is a temple of Padmavati, goddess of fulfillment. This temple has a 40 feet tall Deepmala, and is surrounded by temples of Ganesh, Hanuman and Bhairavnath. To the north there is a Hom Kund where offerings are made.

There is a folklore which states that a cow was sprinkling milk over a snake hole (varul) was noticed by a cowherd, who dreamt about Lord Shankar and he dug up the snake hole where he found the Shivalinga. This is a jagrut place where it is said that Jijamata used to come to pray between the years 1640 to 1650. Little Shivaji also used to visit along with his mother to pray hence, this temple is also known as Jijapur.

A Samadhi of Hanumante, a minister in Shivaji's court is also found here. Shaista khan has said to build a sabha mandap in front of the temple following the miracle at Jejuri Khandoba and their failure to destroy it.

During Peshwas, Shivram Bhat Chitrav Swami contributed to the renovations with gold coins found by him, through Nanasaheb Peshawa. Nanasaheb Peshawa was instrumental in getting the temple renovated. There is a Samadhi of Chitrav Swami in the temple. The final renovation happened in 1974 to 1984 by devotees. It is said that village disputes used to be settled here by the way of divya or miracles of God.

The stories also state that religious chanting like Maha Rudra abhishek was performed for rains for the Pune city. This temple also has a Chakra Teerth, a square outside towards the Ram Nadi, which has a natural spring which flows throughout the year.

Baneshwar Cave Temple

t2 Folklores say that the Pandavas once lived in the Baneshwar Cave Temple
during their exile almost 5000 years ago. Tales also say that they were found during the reign of Rashtrkut Raja some 2500 years ago. Yet lost in the new development of Baner are the caves of Baneshwar. Baneshwar is also another name for Lord Shankar or Shiva.

This is a Swambhu temple with Shivalinga found in one of the caves and it also has a natural springs. Trustee of the temple Sudhir Kalamkar says that the entire cave gets flooded with water, which they pump it out and use it for Dev puja. The cave also has some of three-part Virguls, which are the hero stones or victory pillars at least 700 to 800-years-old depicting the warrior's fights, him praying to Lord Shankar and the last piece depicting him gaining entry into heaven.


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