Finding my feet in Pune
Pune Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
The day after my arrival in Pune was a fairly realxed day - trying to get my bearings - so I took advantage of the fact that all my colleagues (except 2) were travelling to see the Taj Mahal and also Delhi over the weekend so used our driver to give me a brief tour of where the shops were and see a few sites.
Pune is an up and coming city - it is far celaner than I was expecting - there does not seem to be the huge culture shock here that you get in Delhi - the driving is still just as chaotic but there do seem to be less animals (cows, donkeys and dogs only) - bear in mind the last time I was in India I was 19 and it was 1991, so as you can expect things must progress. One thing I am looking forward to is the fact that on the 15th August it is the 60th Anniversary of India's Independence - though I hear as well that it is a dry day - no Booze anywhere (restaurants, hotels, shops, bars) so that should be interesting - I guess everyone goes out on the 14th to stock up....
One of the places I visited on my brief tour was Pataleshwar
The 8th century cave temples are dedicated to Lord Pataleshwar, God of the Underworld, and are believed to have been cut out from a single rock, the place has massive pillars, which are the grandeur of the temple caves. The shrine there is dedicated to Shiva and the Nandi.
The "cave" is a Shiva temple and out buildings carved of living basalt. The black rock has been carved into pillars, seating areas, rooms, and so on. Notable is the heart of the cave, a cube-shaped room about 3-4 meters on each side that houses a lingam (this is a symbol for the worship of the Hindu god Shiva. While its origins are debated, the use of this symbol for worship is an ancient tradition in India extending back to the early Indus Valley civilization). Still in use, the lingam is anointed with ghee and yogurt. A brass temple bell hangs outside the basalt entryway.
If you have a spare 10 minutes to kill and are in the area I would recommend seeing this unique temple but don't go out of your way to visit it as it is not really worth it.
Tomorrow is a day off so I will see far more sites of Pune.