Pilgrimage tourism in Pune district revolves around the many beautiful temples located here in the district. The people here are ardent followers of Lord Ganesha, and therefore one finds here a number of temples dedicated to Ganesha. The Kasba Ganpati temple is the gram davait of the district, and is an old idol, said to have been installed by Jijabai the mother of Chatrapati Shivaji. Apart from the many temples, such as Chaturshrungi Temple, Jejuri temple etc, there are also found here the Samadhis of famous saints like Tukaram Maharaj and Dnyaneshwar. The various places of pilgrimage tourism in Pune district are discussed below.
The Kasba Ganpati is the Gram Daivat of Pune. So the Kasba Ganpati has the first privilege in the Ganesh Utsav Procession. It is said that the statue was put up by Jijabai
, the mother of Chatrapati Shivaji had put up this statue of Lord Ganesha
. On her behalf, Dadoji Kondadev had put on a tent in front of this statue. Now it is a famous temple in Pune.
This is the place where the Bhima River
> originates, and one of the 5 Jyotirlingas in Maharashtra. It is 125 kms away from Pune city, near the tahsil of Khed. Nana Fadnavis
has built the temple of Lord Mahadev here. Near Bhimashankar are the hills of Manmad. There are carvings of Bhooting, Amba-Ambika and Bhimashankar on these hills. The beauty of Bhimashankar is enhanced in monsoon and winter. Bhimashankar is also a reserved forest area and the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary
is located here. A variety of animals, birds, plants and flowers can be seen at the sanctuary.
30 kms to the south of Pune is a beautiful place called Baneshwar. It has an old temple of Lord Shiva
, which was built by Bajirao Peshwa-I. It has spectacular idols of Lord Vishnu
, Goddess Laxmi
and Lord Mahadeva
and five Shivlings. As the temple is deep in the woods and it seems like a jungle, it is called Baneshwar. A beautiful garden, a small waterfall and a stream of water-all these make Baneshwar a beautiful picnic spot as well.
It is a small hillock dedicated to Goddess Durga
. The presiding deity is Goddess Ambreshwari. An annual Navaratri
fair is held here in the month of Ashwin. The temple was built during the reign of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
A well known place, 40 kms away from Pune, Jejuri is famous for the ancient temple of Lord Khandoba
. It is also known as Khandobachi Jejuri. To reach the temple, one has to climb 200 steps. While on the way to the temple, one gets a view of the Dive Ghat. A Yatra is held in the months of Chitra, Margashirsha
, Puash and Magh (months of Hindu calendar). Deep Mala is popular here. Jejuri also has historical importance as Shivaji and Shahaji had discussed the strategy against the rulers of the Mughal dynasty
here. Various weapons of those times can be seen here.
Eight effigies of Lord Ganesha were found in nature, sculpted by nature. These are said to Swayambhus
, or self-occurring forms. The Swayambhu idols have been housed in temples constructed at the spot where they were found. Out of these eight Ashtavinayakas, five of the temples are in Pune district. These are at Morgaon (Moreshwar), Theur (Chintamani), Ranjangaon (Mahaganapati), Ozar (Vighnahar), Lenyadri (Girijatmak).
Situated on the bank of Indrayani River
, this is the birth place of Saint Tukaram
Maharaj. Pilgrims come here in large numbers. It is 34 kms away from Pune city.
Alandi is 25 kms away from Pune. Popularly known as Devachi Alandi (God`s Place), Alandi has a Samadhi and a temple of the saint poet Dnyaneshwar. The temple was built in 1570. Saint Dnyaneshwar wrote a translation of the `Bhagavad Gita`
in the Marathi language
, called `Dnyaneshwari`. The other famous places in Alandi are Vitthal-Rakhumai temple, temple of Lord Rama
, Lord Krishna
temple and Muktai temple. Saint Dnyaneshwar spent most of his life in Alandi. The Palkhi, which is carried by pilgrims in the month of Ashadh, covers a distance of almost 150 kms from Alandi to Pandharpur. The famous wall on which Saint Dnyaneshwar flew to meet Changdev is also present here.
Towards the south of Pune, the village Narayanpur is famous for saint Changdev and Lord Datta temple. Pilgrims visiting here worship the old `Audumbar` tree and the Narayaneshwar temple. The sculptures in the temple date back to the time of the rule of the Yadava dynasty.
Listed above are the various places of pilgrimage tourism located in the district of Pune.