Architectural Design of Pataleshwar Cave Temple
The Pataleshwar cave temple is reminiscent of the massive rock-cut temples of Ellora. It is important to note that the Pataleshwar is erected out of a single block of rock called basalt, thus rightly being called the rock-cut cave temple. Characteristically, this temple is huge and is supported on gigantic pillars. It has a sanctum sanctorim with a linga (the symbol of Shiva). The linga is anointed with ghee and yogurt. Architecturally, this sanctum is designed in the shape of a cube and is about 3 to 4 meters on each side. Each side is provided with two smaller cells. Statues of Sita, Rama, Laxman and a host of other Hindu gods and goddesses comprise the sculptures in the principle worship area of the temple. A noteworthy feature of the Pataleshwar is its entrance as it is based on the acute sense of geometry of the architects. There is an exotic arrangement of circular stone at the entrance. The temple is also provided with a wide array of seating arrangement and smaller rooms for the visitors. A circular Nandi mandapa is situated in front of the cave. It has an umbrella shaped canopy supported by massive square shaped pillars. This mandapa is considered to be one of the peculiar structures of the Pataleshwar. A brass bell hangs outside the entrance of the temple. The unique sound of the bells is considered to be the most striking feature of the temple. Apart from the elaborately designed principle worship area, other parts of the temple are devoid of much decoration.
It is important to note that the temple was not designed completely. A fault line found at the back of the sanctum sanctorum is considered to be a possible reason for leaving the structure incomplete. This fault line would have made further sculpting unsafe. Another reason is political upheaval resulting in loss of patronage.
Other Places of Attraction near Pataleshwar Cave Temple
A museum which is enlisted in the Guinness Book of World Records is considered to be an attraction worth visiting in the vicinity of the Pataleshwar Cave Temple. This museum displays a grain of rice that has around 5,000 characters inscribed on it. Jangli Maharaj Mandir, Bal Gandharv Natya Mandir, Anjitnath Temple, Surya Mukhi Gurudutt Mandir, Shri Vithal Mandir, Mangla Theatre and Sambhaji Park are some of the other places of attraction near Pataleshwar Cave Temple.
The nearest airport to Pataleshwar Cave Temple is Lohegaon Air Force Base Airport in Pune. It is located at a distance of about 9 km from the cave temple. The nearest railway station to Pataleshwar Cave Temple is the Pune Junction Train Station. This train station is located at a distance of about 2 km from the cave temple. Roads leading to Pataleshwar Cave Temple are known to be motorable by auto rickshaws.
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