Almost everyone knows about Parvati in Pune. But, mainly it is known as a morning exercise spot. Actually speaking Parvati is a fortified temple of Goddess Parvati (पर्वती) also known as Parvatai (पर्वताई) and God Shiva known by Devdeveshwar. The Parvati hillock rises 640 mt’s above sea level. Which means 80 mt’s above Pune’s altitude (560 mt). It has around 110 steps to reach at the top. Most of the people just climb up the hill, do some exercise and come back. I want to provide another view of Parvati as a historic and heritage sight including some photos.
Today’s Parvatai temple was built by Balaji Bajirao Peshwa but, it is not the original structure of the temple. As per the history the original temple was built by someone unknown and was forgotten until a person named Navaloji Taware rebuilt it. There is a board in the premises of the Devdeveshwar Temple which talks about this history.
The name of this goddess is Parvatai Devi. There was a small village called Jalaki Wadi on the other side of the Parvati Hill. Navaloji Taware was the chief of this village. His mother’s name was Sakarau. Her breasts got affected due to some unknown disease. She was very distressed.
One night she had a dream, a glorious woman appeared and told her that, there is a temple dedicated to her up on the hill, surrounded by cactus. She asked her, to clean that place, pray her everyday and apply holy ash. This way she shall get released from this disease.
She told her son about this dream. Navloji immediately went to the hill, found this temple and cleaned it up. He built a small shelter around this temple.
He started praying the goddess on daily basis, he used to bring holy ash to his mother. His mother Sarkau, got well miraculously. The glory of Parvatai goddess spread across. Many days passed. Mother of Shrimant Balaji Bajirao Peshwa‘s (Nana Saheb Peshwa) mother had some knee aches. She made a vow to goddess that, she will build a big temple for Parvatai if she gets well. She took holy ash and holy water everyday. She got well completely. Nana Saheb Peshwa, ordered to build a big temple for the goddess.
Parvati at once was a hill outside the city and place to breath fresh air. Unfortunately now it is in the heart of the city surrounded by slums and noises. Yet, on the top of the hill there are several interesting spots you can visit.
The first temple you will see after climbing the hill is Vitthal-Rakhumai temple. Also, there is a museum which has a decent collection of photos and other artifacts of Peshwa era. It is a good spot to bring your kids, to let them know about the history of the city.
The Parvati Hill complex is built like a fortress. Almost all buildings are made of stones. The surrounding wall has some portion built with bricks which is now falling apart. But, still overall the structures are in good shape.
The main attraction for tourists here is the Lord Shiva’s temple. The temple which we see from the distance on Parvati Hills is this temple. There is walkway on the walls surrounding this temple. This walkway gives beautiful views of Pune city.
There are man made tracks to walk around the hills. These tracks are surrounded by trees so, it feels nice and healthy. Lots of people climb Parvati Hill everyday as part of their routine workout.
Many people come here everyday as part of their workout hence, it will be busy everyday. However apart from these regulars many young couples come here to get some calm space outside the city’s hustle and bustle. There are some ruins of buildings surrounding the Parvati Hills of which not much is known about. If you are lucky you might be able get to get a glimpse of peacock (although it has become extremely rare these days)
Another attraction which most of the people of who visit Parvati Hill is Nanasaheb Peshwa’s Samadhi (Nanasaheb Peshwa’s Resting Place). It is a small building filled with lots of interesting photos and information about Peshwa dynasty.
Not only this building is spacious but also well maintained and has beautiful wall paintings. You can see windows and doors which take you back around 200 years ago in time.
Just outside the Nanasaheb Peshwa’s samadhi (Final Resting Place) on Parvati Hills, there is an old Tulshi Vrindavan and also a list of those brave warriors who faught the Third Battle of Panipat against Afghan invaders and sacrificed their lives while protecting the motherland.
Thousands lost theirs lives in the third battle of Panipat, the list shown in pictures above enlists a few of noblemen. There is a plan to build a monument in the name of these brave warriors in the future.
Definitely Parvati Hills is one of those places which is binding Pune city to its roots in the modern times. Certainly a must visit for anyone who wants to see, feel and experience the glory of the pune’s past
Parvati Truly is a Gem in The Pune City’s Heartland !