Saturday, November 9, 2013

Baneshwar Mahadev and Tukai Hill Climb

28th Sep 2013

Baneshwar Mahadev : Pandav period cave temple

It was my bro Hrushi's birthday on the 27th Sep and I wanted to celebrate it with him and Rupa. So Dad in tow just decided to go to Pune where he lives. The Friday night was spent at home over dinner I had made and part carried from Nerul and part made fresh there.

The next day after relaxing the entire day my bro decided to validate the clearance I had just received from the doc for trekking. Doc has permitted trek upto 5000 ft above sea level (ASL).

So Hrushi took me and Dad for a climb to Tukai hill. Hrushi is an avid trekker and biker so this trek he said would be good to test my stamina. It is a steep climb of 1654 ft from Baner 570 ft ASL to Hill top 2224 ft ASL.

We climbed upto the Baneshwar Mandir which is about a couple of hundred feet from the foothill. Since I began the climb without any warm up it felt slightly tough. Hrushi told me to see around the temple and once I had caught my breath he suggested we climb up to Tukai Mandir at a slow pace.

Baneshwar Mahadev Mandir is home to a shivalinga inside a cave. This temple is said to be from the Pandav period. One has to step down a few steps to go inside the cave. It is maintained very clean and puja is done regularly. The way to the cave is marked by a doorway else in the olden days it would have been a hidden place of worship with just a mast to mark the temple.

 The sanct sactorium

On the outer left side there can be seen some carved pillars, they are now protected in glass cases and needs expert interpretation.

After seeing the cave and taking darshan, we climbed up slowly as lots of athletes who climb the hill for daily training whizzed past us down hill.

Atop the hill sits the Tukai temple which was established in the 17th century and has been rebuilt into a glitzy Bollywood style temple with an awesome gallery that allows an uninterrupted view of the Pune city below, on one side the concrete jungle of Baner and the other side a greenery and water bodies I hope will not see a much dreaded fate.

I loved the fact that such a hill is in the vicinity for my trek loving bro. Punekars who do not know about this temple can visit it atleast once. 

Beyond the Tukai hill are the Baner hills that seemed like a lot to walk and get back before nightfall so we kept it for another time.

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