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The Pataleshwar Cave Temple

The Pataleshwar Cave Temple (also called Panchaleshvara or Bamburde) is a rock-cut cave temple, carved out in the 8th century in the Rashtrakuta period.

Pataleshwar Temples

The temple, made of basalt rock, is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The sanctum - a cube-shaped room about 3-4 meters on each side - houses a linga - the symbol of Shiva and there are two smaller cells on each side. In front of the cave is a circular Nandi mandapa, its umbrella shaped canopy supported by massive square pillars. This mandapa is one of the peculiar structures of Pataleshwar.

The temple was left incomplete, possibly because of a fault line found at the back of the sanctum sanctorum, which made the further sculpting unsafe, or political upheaval resulting in loss of patronage. Still in use, the linga is anointed with ghee and yogurt. A brass temple bell hangs outside the basalt entryway. Pataleshwar Temple

God of the Underworld

Pataleshwar is one of the names of Lord Shiva. The word Pataleshwar literally means God of the Underworld. Entirely carved out in the hard rock, Pataleshwar really looks like a different world altogether. In the vicinity of this Shiva Temple you find a cave and hence it is known as the Pataleshwar Cave Temple.

Right in the Heart of City

This beautiful piece of work was carved out in the Rashtrakuta period in the eighth century AD. The temple now quite in the heart of the city was originally situated in the outskirts of the town. By and by with the increasing urbanization the frontiers of the city expanded and thus today we have the Pataleshwar temple on the city center JM Road (Jungli Maharaj Road).

The Temple

Pataleshwar TempleThe temple carved out of basalt rock is the holy shrine of Lord Shiva. The sanctum is a cube shaped room which is indeed a sturdy construction. The beautiful Shiva Linga inside has been the source of moral and spiritual support for thousands of devotees for centuries together. On each side of the sanctum there are two smaller cells.

Nandi Mandapa

A circular Nandimandapa with its umbrella shaped canopy is another beautiful construction. The massive square pillars of the Mandapa catch the attention of the lovers of art.

The temple is modeled on the Elephanta rock temple. The construction however remained incomplete as a rift was detected at the back of the sanctum.

The daily pooja of the Shiva Linga is a treat to watch. The priests anoint the linga with ghee and yogurt. The fragrance of the incense sticks and the pleasant sight of the beautifully decorated Shiva Linga make you forget your daily din of life.

A big temple bell made of brass hangs outside the entryway and adds to the grandeur of the temple.

Source: Punesite.com

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