Exploring Ram Temples In Pune

Exploring Ram Temples In Pune

The participants, spanning all ages and walks of life, listened keenly to Sandeep Godbole as he gave information about the temples during the nearly 6km walk, showing no signs of fatigue

Gaurav KadamUpdated: Monday, January 22, 2024, 08:26 PM IST
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Exploring Ram Temples In Pune | Gaurav Kadam

Ahead of the consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, this author embarked on a heritage walk guided by Sandeep Godbole to visit several Ram temples in Pune. Godbole, a cybersecurity expert by profession, conducts these walks out of personal interest to showcase the hidden gems in the city. During this three-hour walk, which had over 20 participants, Godbole took everyone on a divine sojourn and explained intricate details of the temples and the city.

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"I have been conducting heritage walks for the past few years. Considering that we, as a society, have been quite lax in maintaining our heritage, hardly anything has survived. The historic temples, however, have been reasonably preserved. This window into the past and our heritage helps us experience not just spirituality but also historical vibes. This attempt to help discover Pune's past and heritage led me to conduct the Ram Temple walks over the weekend. It is fulfilling to connect with the participants and experience their joy too," said Godbole.

Speaking about the joyous mood in the country on account of the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, he said, "Temples, even private ones, are hubs of social activity. Over the last two centuries, we saw a dwindling interest and association. The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya has kindled the inner spirituality we have inherited. It has helped connect with those who have maintained these temples even from their modest means. This rekindling of the cultural, spiritual, and social connect is what reclaiming our past is about."

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The participants, spanning all ages and walks of life, listened keenly to Sandeep Godbole as he gave information about the temples during the nearly 6km walk, showing no signs of fatigue. They expressed that the walk was an "eye-opener" as they got to explore the Ram temples they had never seen "despite living in the city for many years."

Varun Godse, an HR Consultant, expressed, "Pune is truly a city of temples, and this sentiment was vividly illustrated by Godbole. He showcased a collection of old and exquisite Ram temples maintained by trusts and private entities, underscoring the deep pride the community holds for its rich heritage."

Software engineers, Mihir and Akshata Karandikar, shared, "We've lived here all our lives but never knew about these old temples right in our backyard. Godbole brought these places to life. This wasn’t just a walk; it was a journey into history. We're grateful for this experience."

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Pranav Purohit, Senior Associate at Amazon, added, "This walk was a true eye-opener for me, who has stayed all these years in the vicinity of such simple, elegant devotional places and yet never explored them before. The information provided by Godbole on various temples, their roots, and their influence on the community was a journey filled with historical curiosity."

Participants Manisha Chitale and Monica Gokhale also praised Godbole for conducting an "informative walk". "It was a very well-conducted walk of age-old Ram temples in the eastern part of Pune. It was a walk full of discovery and devotion," said Chitale. Gokhale added, "It was very interesting and can be called an eye-opener because, despite staying and growing up in Pune, I was not fully aware and updated about its rich heritage."

A Divine Sojourn

The heritage walk commenced at Joshi Shri Ram Mandir in Shaniwar Peth, followed by another Ram temple at the Amriteshwar-Siddheshwar Temple Complex. The participants then proceeded to another Joshi Shri Ram Mandir in Kasba Peth, which was currently undergoing restoration and painting work.

Joshi Shri Ram Mandir in Shaniwar Peth

Joshi Shri Ram Mandir in Shaniwar Peth | Gaurav Kadam

Idols at Ram temple in the the Amriteshwar-Siddheshwar Temple Complex

Idols at Ram temple in the the Amriteshwar-Siddheshwar Temple Complex | Gaurav Kadam

Joshi Shri Ram Mandir in Kasba Peth

Joshi Shri Ram Mandir in Kasba Peth | Gaurav Kadam

Next on the itinerary was the Shri Kalaram Mandir in Somwar Peth, where the idol of Lord Ram is intricately carved from black marble. The temple, spacious and accommodating, features a circumambulatory path for devotees. The garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) is crafted from stone, while the sabha mandap (anteroom) is constructed from wood. The sabha mandap, adorned with intricate fretwork, is further embellished with chandeliers and paintings.

Shri Kalaram Mandir in Somwar Peth

Shri Kalaram Mandir in Somwar Peth | Gaurav Kadam

The idols at Shri Kalaram Mandir are intricately carved from black marble

The idols at Shri Kalaram Mandir are intricately carved from black marble | Gaurav Kadam

The journey then led to the Ram temple inside the Someshwar Mandir Devasthan Complex in Ravivar Peth, illuminated attractively with lights. Following this was the Shri Ramchandraji Ka Mandir, resembling an old wada. The final destination was the renowned Tulshibaug Ram Mandir in Budhwar Peth, boasting a history of over 200 years. Initiated by Naro Appaji Khire (Tulshibaugwale), the construction began in 1761, and the exquisite idols of Lord Ram, Lakshman, and Sita were sanctified in 1765. Despite the extended timeline, the temple's construction was concluded in 1795. The wooden work within the temple is notably attractive, and the shikhara is quite tall. The traditional celebration of Ram Navami takes place here every year.

Ram temple inside the Someshwar Mandir Devasthan Complex in Ravivar Peth

Ram temple inside the Someshwar Mandir Devasthan Complex in Ravivar Peth | Gaurav Kadam

Shri Ramchandraji Ka Mandir resembles an old wada

Shri Ramchandraji Ka Mandir resembles an old wada | Gaurav Kadam

The idols at Shri Ramchandraji Ka Mandir in

The idols at Shri Ramchandraji Ka Mandir in | Gaurav Kadam

Tulshibaug Ram Mandir in Budhwar Peth

Tulshibaug Ram Mandir in Budhwar Peth | Gaurav Kadam

Women reading the Rama Raksha Stotra at Tulshibaug Ram Mandir.

Women reading the Rama Raksha Stotra at Tulshibaug Ram Mandir. | Gaurav Kadam

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