About Parvati Hill
Amongst the most famous ‘tekdis’ and hillocks in the town of Pune, Maharashtra, Parvati Hill offers visitors gorgeous and stunning views of the surrounding valley. With a history dating back to almost 250 years, Parvati Hill is famous for its temples and museums, in addition to being one of the oldest structures in Pune.
Built in the early mid-17th century, the Parvati Hill Temple Complex can be found on Parvati Hill. The temple is located at the top of the hill and enshrines the idols of Lord Ganesha, Goddess Parvati, Lord Vishnu, Lord Karthikeya as well as Devateshwar. It is also said to have served as the sole place of worship of the Peshwa rulers in the bygone eras.
Situated at an elevation of almost 640 metres above sea level, it is also one of the most beautiful locations in the whole city of Pune and offers a great view of the entire city. One can reach the top of the hill simply by climbing 103 steps which are marked by specialised stone architectural works of the Maratha style.
Moreover, the hillock also has the Parvati Museum, which boasts of age-old manuscripts, rare weaponry and one-of-a-kind coins. Located near the museum are the Sati Monument and Vetal Chabutra. Additionally, the museum complex also houses the Samadhi Sthan of Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa.
The Parvati Hill Temple Complex is one of the oldest heritage structures in the city, still serving as a gentle yet magnificent reminder of the rule of the Peshwas in the region. Many old legends suggest that Balaji Bajirao, the Peshwa ruler, used to watch the Battle of Kirkee and the subsequent defeat of the British from this hill.
History of Parvati Hill:
A single hilltop that rests 640 metres above sea level, Parvati Hill has a rich history that dates back to the 17th century. Famous since the days of the Maratha rule, there were many small shrines on its peak. It is during his rule as king when Shivaji Maharaj granted the rights and the seal of Parvati Hill to Priest Mahadbhat, the son of Mudgal Bharat Purandare to maintain the shrines.
The formation of the main temple has a legend associated with it. According to the legend, the main temple was built in 1749 by Shrimant Peshwa III Nana Saheb as a means to fulfill his mother’s vow. Kashibai, his mother, was suffering from a chronic foot ailment at the time and went to visit the shrine which was famous for its magical healing powers.
There, she prayed for her recovery and pledged to build a beautiful temple once she was cured of her ailment. Soon, she recovered and as per her promise, Nana Saheb constructed what is now known as the Parvati Temple on top of Parvati Hill.
Another belief associated with the Parvati Hill and Temple suggests that Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, the king of the Maratha dynasty and Shivaji Maharaj’s grandson, had a special place for Nana Saheb Peshwa, who had won his confidence as well as trust.
Shahu Maharaj treated the young Peshwa like his own son. Naturally, the demise of King Shahu Maharaj was an immense loss to Nana Saheb. So, as a means to pay respect, he brought the late king’s slippers and a Shiva Linga to Pune and placed them in the Parvati Temple. Later on, this shrine came to be known as the Devdeveshwar Temple.
How to Reach Parvati Hill
The closest airport to Parvati Hill is the Pune International Airport, located around 16.8 kilometres away. In order to reach Parvati Hill from the airport, you need to reach the Swargate Bus Station, either by your own vehicles or by regular bus and taxi service from the airport. Public transportation will generally drop you off at the Bus station, after which you can take auto rickshaws to reach the hill.
Best Time to Visit Parvati Hill
Parvati Hills in Pune experiences a pleasant weather, along with stunning views of the city, all around the year. However, the months between August to February are considered to be the best time to visit this heritage structure. It is during these months that the weather is at its absolute best, with cool breeze flowing around and the sun not as harsh as in the summer months.
What Not to Miss at Parvati Hill
Some of the major attractions near Parvati Hill are:
1. Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum: Located around 4 kilometres from Parvati Hill, this museum houses the huge and magnificent collection of Dr Dinkar G. Kelkar. This three-storeyed museum is dedicated to the memory of his son Raja and is home to many beautiful artefacts and sculptures, some of which date back to the 14th century.
2. Sarasbaug: Around 2.8 kilometres from Parvati Hill is Sarasbaug, which is a major landmark in Pune. There is a beautiful park in this 25-acre complex here which was formerly a small lake.
3. Sarasbaug Ganapathi Temple: The Sarasbaug Temple Complex is home to a Ganpati Temple, which has a stunning idol of Shri Siddhivinayak. The Sarasbaug Ganpati Temple is considered sacred by millions of devotees, both in Pune as well as around the world.
4. Samadhi Sthan of Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa: On climbing the 103 steps to the top of Parvati Hill, one can also find the Samadhi Sthan of Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa. It is located in the main entrance of the Parvati Museum.
5. Vishram Bagh Wada: This is a colossal mansion located at the centre of Pune at Thorale Bajirao Road, around 4.3 kilometres from Parvati Hill. This palace served as the luxurious residence of the last Peshwa of the Maratha confederacy, Peshwa Bajirao II.
6. Pataleshwar Cave Temple: Situated almost 5.7 kilometres from Parvati Hill are the ancient Pataleshwar Cave Temples. Dedicated to the God of the Underworld, Lord Pataleshwar, this is a rock-cut cave temple, which was built in the 8th century, in the Rashtrakuta period.
Things to do in the Parvati Hill:
Be it a nature lover, or an adventure and history freak, there are a lot of things one can do while visiting Parvati Hill. Some of these are:
1. Pay Respect: Pay your respects and reverence to the age-old temples that are not only beautiful but are also quite well-maintained. Additionally, you can also spiritually connect with your inner self at the tranquil place.
2. Visit The Peshwa Museum: Pay a visit to the Peshwa Museum which is located nearby the main temple. You can understand the rich culture and history of the eras gone by. The museum takes you on a journey back in time just by its scintillating exhibits.
3. Relax And Rejuvenate: Spend some much-needed time relaxing with your near and dear ones at the top of Parvati Hill. Enjoy a stunning view of the Pune city which will mesmerise and rejuvenate you.
4. Get Your Adrenaline Pumping: For those who love to work out, climb to the top of the hill by jogging in the early morning. You can also trek here when there is lesser crowds. This place is best to give your system a good energy boost early in the mornings.
5. Make Use Of Your Cameras: Parvati Hill offers stunning images of the city from the top. Therefore, budding and seasoned photographers can take some spectacular and memorable photographs from atop the hill.
Other Essential Information About Parvati Hill
Location: This heritage structure is located at Swargate Bus Station, Parvati Paytha in Pune, Maharashtra 411009.
Timings: One can visit the Parvati Hill Temple Complex every day between 08:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. The Hill, although, is open all day long for visitors.
Price: There is no entry fee to visit Parvati Hill.
Travellers Tips for Parvati Hill:
While visiting Parvati Hill, there are certain traveller’s tips that one needs to keep in mind. These tips are:
-It is important that you carry your food, snacks as well as water while visiting Parvati Hill. This is because there are little to no eateries or food and refreshment stalls in the immediate vicinity of Parvati Hill.
-Similarly, there is a lack of washroom facilities in the area. So, travellers are advised to prepare accordingly while paying a visit here.
-One needs to climb 103 steps, some of which are quite steep. Therefore, it is recommended not to drink too much water or eat too much before starting the climb. Additionally, senior citizens or those with breathing issues are advised not to take the climb.
-Additionally, it is also advised to carry less valuables with yourself while visiting Parvati Hill. Alternatively, you can keep your valuables or money and cash in the vehicle you arrive by, to keep them safe.
-It is recommended to reach the area a little early and park your vehicles in appropriate places, since Parvati Hill tends to get crowded later on during the day. With more crowds, finding areas for vehicle parking gets difficult.
-It is recommended not to visit Parvati Hill during the state holidays. These are times when there are extreme crowds in the area, which can be frustrating.
-There is a lack of hygiene and cleanliness in the areas surrounding Parvati Hill and the Temple Complex. Therefore, it is advised to keep littering to the bare minimum or try avoiding it fully.
Interesting facts about Parvati Hill
There are many interesting facts surrounding Parvati Hill that many are unaware of. Some of these are mentioned below:
-The top of the Parvati Hill located 640 metres above sea level has the Parvati Temple Complex. This is also the area which was used by the erstwhile Peshwas to keep an eye on their invading enemies.
-The Peshwa Museum, which is located near the Parvati Temple, has many excerpts from the common Maratha life which are kept well preserved. People generally visit the museum to watch these artefacts, admire them as well as learn from them.
These artefacts further include ancient manuscripts, and the age-old inscriptions, along with many 17th century coins, idols and weapons. You can also find portraits and paintings of those times.
-Parvati Hill is also known as the watch ground of the Battle of Kirkee. It is from here that Balaji Bajirao, the King of the Peshwas, used to keep a watch on his enemies, the Britishers. It is also from here that he saw their defeat and ultimate retreat.
-Parvati Hill also has many old legends associated with it. One such saga states how Kashibai, Shrimant Nanasaheb’s mother, prayed for the recovery of her painful infected right foot.
After she pledged at the powerful temple, she recovered, and it is here where her son Nanasaheb later built the famous Parvati Temple, thereby fulfilling Kashibai’s vow.
-There’s another story in regards to the known black-stoned Devdeveshwara Temple on Parvati Hill. The story lies in the father-son relationship of respect and fondness between Nanasaheb and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj.
When the king passed away, Nanasaheb took the slippers of the late king along with a Lord Shiva idol made purely of silver and placed them next to the pure gold idol of Goddess Parvati and Ganesha in Parvati Temple. This is what then laid the foundation of the Devdeveshwar Temple on Parvati Hill.
-The Shiva Linga in the Devdeveshwar Temple is considered to be very special. Moreover, it is said to have its origin in the Gandaki River in Nepal. However, these idols were stolen sometime in 1932.