The Rich Heritage of Pune, Maharashtra

The city of Pune in Maharashtra is well known for its history and its ancient heritage of great monuments & temples. In this article, I will describe few such buildings, monuments and temples in Pune.

Mhasoba Gate, Pune

pp1 Mhasoba Gate is an important junction near the Agriculture College which is often mentioned in history as an important place. There is a temple which is now completely pushed to the side but this temple was supposedly a part of history for it stood exactly next to a police chowki and during British regime a gate would be a chowki.

One will find similar gate which is now turned in to Chaturshringi police station at the University gate, which was close to the Governor's house now known as Raj Bhavan. But historians say that the original Governor's house was earlier in Bopodi close to the train tracks, built also by the British in 1857, on the confluence of the rivers Mula Mutha, thus bringing the railway to Pune.

Vithal Rakhumai Mandir (Aundh gaon), Pune

pp3 Standing a mute spectator to the growing traffic is the Vithal Rahkumai Mandir almost 200 year old. Situated on the banks on river Mula and at the outskirts of the Aundhgaon, this temple is built in black stone and when you enter into its sanctums, it whisks you away in the glorious past. This temple was built by Mhadji Shinde of Gwalior's clan. It was part of his watan and this is a Jagrut temple.

This temple dates back to the era of Chimapji Appa and the win of the Vasai Fort. This village was then given to Sardar Raoji Shinde, whose generation then built this temple. It was from Jijabai who gave the running of the temple to Ranawades then. This temple also has a replica of the Shinde Chatri that is in Wanowrie on the banks of the river. It also has the Samadhi of the late Shinde's in the front of the temple. The old ramparts of the temple built high from the river banks are also visible from the road.

Tulsibaug, Pune

pp5 The Hindu Brahmin womenfolk found it inconvenient to travel all the way to Dhanya ali and hence the Peshwa started another market that was much closer for them at Tulsibaug. The name Tulsibaug was chosen as during that time, there was a garden of Tulsi here (Tulsi is basil and Baug means garden).

The tall shikhara of the Tulsibaug temple that was built by Thorle Baji Rao is an important landmark in Budhwar Peth. The temple was built and managed by Naro Appaji and the complex stood on an acre of land. The courtyard within the temple premises today is a bustling hub of shopping and the shops stock a number of brass and copper vessels.

Kolsa Gali, Pune

pp4 In Camp, is the street known as Kolsa gali that connects Main Street and Centre Street on either side. It was created almost 180 years ago to offer services to the British troops and officers. It got its name as the shopkeepers sold coal or kolsa as fuel. Today, though no coal is sold here, the name still remains. The lane sells mirrors, frames, keys and has the well known Persian bakery. An old shop still sells military items like badges and accessories for uniforms.

Burud ali, Pune

pp2 You know you have reached Burud ali located behind the Mahatma Phule market when you see the tall bunches of bamboo stacked on one side and weavers engrossed in weaving baskets amidst display of their finished wares. Burud ali is the lane of bamboo and cane workers and the baskets vary in shapes, sizes and purpose. From those used in gardens to those used for storage, to winnows for separating the chaff from the grain to short handle leaf brooms used to sweep front porches all are available here.

Chatai matting can also be custom made. The number of weavers is barely a handful and remnant of the large group that came from Satara, Ahmednagar and Aurangabad to Pune in the 18 Century. Legend has it that the buruds made baskets in which flowers were carried by Goddess Parvati when she would go to worship the Vad tree on Vat Purnima.


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