I am Pataleshwar Caves – a rock-cut cave temple located in the city of Pune in Maharashtra. I am dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva and was curved out of basalt rock in 8th century A.D during the Rashtrakuta period, Here the shivling is worshipped as Lord Pataleshwar, the God of the Underworld and my temple is believed to be cut out of a single basalt rock.
There are a number of massive pillars those add to the grandeur of the temple along with grand statues of Nandi, Sita, Ram, Lakshman, Lakshmi and Ganesh and an oversized shivalingam under a single roof.
Pataleshwar Caves was left unfinished by my makers possibly because of a fault line that generated at the back of the sanctum sanctorum that made it dangerous for further sculpting though there are also some people who believe that I was left unfinished due to some political reason.
Though I am located amidst a chaotic and congested locality in the out skirts of Pune on downtown Jangli Maharaj Road I am a very calm and peaceful place. The rock temple at Pataleshwar Caves is actually declared a preserved monument by the Archeological Survey of India and has a cube shaped sanctum housing the lingam or the Symbol of Lord Pataleshwar.
On each side of the sanctum there are two smaller cells and in front of it there is the circular Nandimandapa – a huge umbrella shaped stone canopy supported by massive square pillars. This Nandimandapa is the unique attraction of Pataleshwar Caves that has fascinated pilgrims and visitors for centuries with his exquisite architecture and craftsmanship.
For my location in the outskirts of the city of Pune reaching m anytime of the year is not a problem as devotees visit Pataleshwar Caves all around the year and worship the lingam with ghee and yoghurt. There is also a large brass hanging just outside Pataleshwar Caves basalt entrance.