Bhuleshwar Shiva Temple, Yavat, Pune… a place that keeps on calling again and again and awakening the inner soul.
An 13th century ancient Bhuleshwar temple of lord Shiva is as mystical and mysterious as he is himself. Originally built around 8th century, reconstructed again in 1230 AD during Yadava’s Dynasty.
Bhuleshwar is known for its awe inspiring extravagant exquisite sculptures and carvings. Quite an unique temple it seems than rest of Shiva temples due to its so many different style of construction. It has both Islamic and Hemadpanthi style and quite exciting on account of its multi layered architecture. The main Temple from inside is of Yadav Kalin made from black Basalt stone, While Shikharas structure is made in lime and gypsum and was constructed during the 17th century Maratha-Peshwa period.
Bhuleshwar Temple is considered to be of historical and religious significance. Its located in the periphery of once a Fort called Daulat Mangal Fort which is almost ruined with very less traces of existence. The Gate of the fort, ruined and counting its numbered days still stands tall narrating the glorious past . Buried within the ruins around has thousand tales of bravery untold. The fort was constructed by Murar Jagdev in 17th century after he robbed Pune. He built the fort on the hill of Bhuleshwar Temple to keep a watch and to get a birds view of the city.
Interestingly, as the myth goes its believed that this is the very spot where Goddess Parvati performed dance for Lord Shiva before they left for Mount Kailash where they had got married. Now that also explains the reason behind so many sculptures of dancing Sur Sundaris, Apsaras and Gan Nayikas adorning the wall of inner temple.
Its also a story of barbarism and brutality unleashed by the Mughals on and in the temple and its carvings.
Lets begin the Journey of exploring this marvelous piece of art.
It is almost a 220 KM one way journey from my place in Mumbai.
Had this tremendous urge of re-visiting Bhuleshwar from quite some time for the reason unknown after my last visit in January but the busy schedule kept on delaying the idea.
On 25th of March, In the morning at 0700 I decided to start solo without any pre-planning. Love driving, so the long journey was not an issue, and with beautiful Express way it seems like a cake walk.
Though had some irritating moments in the interior of Pune but the atlast reached Yavat junction on Pune Solapur Highway. Rejuvenated by a tasty Misal Pav and Sugar Cane Juice, Started my journey on this beautiful and thrill to drive Ghats of Yawat – Malshilas and within 15 min I was at the door step of Temple on the hilltop of Mashiras.
As you climb the stairs there are two beautiful Sur Sundaris pasted on the wall of either side and as one reaches the platform of the temple, Just out of the temple gate you are greeted with huge bell whose divine sound breach the silence to reach the ears of omnipresent almighty marking your presence.
Just before the entry there is this stone (Shila) probably used for breaking coconut. The entrance gate constructed is in very simple yet elegant style. Entering you come in a plain simple hall which again has an another entrance. Its been made in such a way that a simple glance gives an impression of a very small ordinary temple with just one sculpture of Hanuman but moment you enter in there are two stairs almost hidden from the eyes in the sideways which takes you to the main temple Garbhgriha.
What an amazing stark contrast and transformation one goes through. From a normal looking temple you reach in a place full of architectural marvel. Probably it was made that way to misguide the cruel invaders who already have unleashed their barbarism in past..
Once inside the temple I directly proceeded to pay my obeisance to Lord Shiva before doing anything else as it was due from long time. One is not allowed to take pictures of deity in the garbhgrih.
After taking blessings, it was time for admiring the sheer beauty of marvelous architectural work and clicking photographs.
Temple is broadly divided in to three section. Sabha Mandap, Antarala and Garbh Griha
Beautiful exquisite sculptures of Gandharvas Yakshas and Bharvhakas on the pillars of the Sabha Mandap and Antaralas and intricately carved door frames just make the divine place more beautiful.
The moment you enter the Pradikshna Space of the Temple, you are greeted with a huge NANDI housed in it own section of pillars and wall with dancing elephants mural at the outer base of Nandi Griha.
Beautiful depiction of Sringaar Rus by Sur Sundaris and Gan Nayikas. These are one of the finest sculptures I have ever seen. It beautifully depicts the various feelings of women emotions. So elegant and graceful and full of sensuality. The way women of those period adorn themselves to be not, more beautiful, but more alluring. Such a visual definition of beauty and attractiveness. Mesmerising Apsaras dancing, dressing up, playing music and drum just leaves an enduring impression on ones mind.
Sad that most of them have been broken by Mughal Fanatics. Broken sculptures says the story of barbarism and brutality unleashed on these dis figured yet awe inspiring masterpieces by Mughals. Such were the ethos and values of those cruel enslavers. Unfortunately ours is the ONLY society which demands and protects the rights of Aurangzeb and alike whereas they and their ideas should meet and be treated with exactly the same brutality.
Motif all along the base of the Temple walls… So beautifully made. Each murals has a deep and profound symbolic meaning of spirituality. Walls have carvings depicting stories from the Hindu epics of Ramayana and the Mahabharata etched in mural form. On the panel the Lord Ganesha is shown in female attire. It is popularly called as Ganeshwari or Lambodari or Ganeshyani.
Beautiful Lanes of Temple in play of lights absorbing sun rays and various Panels of deity on the walls.
Sculptures of Saptamatrika – seven mother goddesses from ancient Hindu doctrine – along with an unusual female form of Lord Ganesha called Vainayaki or Ganeshi are found over the cornice of an open part of the cloister.
I was there for 4 hours admiring the beautiful and amazing craftsmanship and not a single minute i felt bored.
Once out of Temple I explored the remnants of Daulat Mangal fort around. Looking at the gate one can imagine what a beautiful fort it would have been standing in it full glory. It was of quite an strategical importance keeping watch on Pune.
For Me… BHULESHWAR… is a Story in itself.
Story of a beautiful divine Shiva Temple.
Story of Mystical place called Bhuleshwar.
Story of awe inspiring extravagant masterpiece carvings and sculptures.
Story of buried beneath a thousand tales of bravery.
Story of almost ruined which once was glorious Daulat Mangal Fort.
Story of Goddess Parvati performing dance for Lord Shiva before they left for Mount Kailash.
Story of Red Maruti Swift which has traveled 65000 KM showing me extra ordinary places.
Story of my 440 KM solo trip on 25th of March 2016.
Story of grit, determination, courage and triumph over incredible adversity of travel in search of a phenomena called LIFE.
Location : 10kms from Yavat village and 50kms from Pune off the Pune–Solapur highway (on Yavat-Saswad road)
The serenity and calmness of the place with magnificent craftsmanship leaves one spellbound and the desire to revisit again……