August 16, 2015

Quote of the Post: "This hilltop is one of the best treasure for temple and nature lovers" - Quote about Neelkantheshwar Temple near Pune by Sachin Kumar Gupta

One can reach Neelkatheshwar temple from Pune via either side of Kadhakwasla Dam. There are two ways to reach Neelkantheshwar Temple (in Kondhur) from Pune. One covering one side of the Khadakwasla Dam, while another covering other side of Khadakwasla Dam.
Route1 (dam being on your left side) - On this route you'll find beautiful resorts and waterfronts alongside the dam. (~50 KM)
Swargate - Anand Nagar - Khadakwasla Village - Kudje - Mandvi - Jambhali - Neelkantheshwar Road - Temple
Route2 (dam being on your right side) - This route gives a closer look of dam and Khadakwasla Chaupati road. (~60 KM)
Swargate - Anand Nagar - Khadakwasla Village - Sinhagad Road - Khanapur - Sonapur - Velhe Panshet Road - Cross Mutha River by Bridge - Neelkantheshwar Road - Jambhali - Temple

It was Independence day, when we finally started for this much awaited trip. We started late morning from Pune and wanted to spend sometime at Khadakwasla dam, so we took Route2 while going, and Route1 while returning, so we covered whole circumference with monsoon views of Khadakwasla Dam. Neelkantheshwar road is in little bad condition for nearly 5-6 kms, but Ok to move with 2 or 4 wheelers. It goes straight at the base of Neelkantheshwar. We also saw few autowalaas from Jambhali to temple base point. It took approximate 2 hours (approx 50-60 kms) to travel from Hadapsar Pune to Neelkantheshwar Temple near Kondhur. It’s a very pleasant and scenic drive till Neelkantheshwar parking point. Lush green surround the place specially during monsoon.

This hidden treasure temple is situated at hilltop of triangle dams:
Khadakwasla Dam
Panshet Dam
Varasgaon Dam

Notes and important points while visiting Neelkatheshwar temple:
  • From the parking point, you have to climb up the steep hill approx 1.5 KM, so plan accordingly. Wear sports shoes or floaters and plan well, while being with toddlers.
  • The climb is really steep at few places (though wide) and this can prove to be a good exercise for all ages. :) With all high spirits we were gald to see many old age people climbing up the temple. 
  • During summers plan to climb early in the morning when it isn't too hot and while returning, walk carefully else you may skid and fall.
  • Bring water bottles and other snacks as per your choice.
  • During monsoon, don't forget to bring an umbrella as there are no shops on the top except for a small restaurant.
  • It is a huge temple, with lot of open space to sit and enjoy the beauty of exquisite sculptures that tell different Hindu mythological tales, located between lush green hills and breathtaking views. 

It was quite a lucky day, as we could capture many beautiful photographs throughout the day, specially from the hilltop. Unfortunately, there is not much promotion or maintenance done by Government. I hope someday, there will be motor-able road right up to the temple.  Two big idols welcome everyone at the temple entrance and the walls of the temple are decorated with many other Hindu Gods. We saw backwaters of Panshet, Varasgaon and Khadakwasla dams. The views were just amazing and this was pure rendezvous with nature. Neelkantheshwar temple is full of beautifully crafted cement sculptures depicting various Indian mythological stories from the great Indian epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. 

Few sculptures are of:
Shiv Parvati Family
Ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu
Sagar Manthan
Royal Court of Indra
Fierce battle between Bhim and Duryodhan
Mace Battle between Vaali and Sugreev
Waking up Kumbhakaran from his sleep
Sant Dnyashwar, Sant Ramdas, Shivaji Maharaj stories
Many stories depiction, unknown to my knowledge

I have never seen so many sculptures in one place, this is one of the best temple I have seen. I couldn't cover all the pictures to tell the complete story. Enjoy some of the photographs to get a sense of what you are missing, if you haven’t been to this place yet. We visited this during the month of Shravan, this temple of Shiva attracts thousands of devotees in this month and on the occasion of Maha shivratri. If you are a temple or nature lover and looking for a weekend retreat near Pune in the lap of nature then Neelkantheshwar is your place. You can visit Neelkantheshwar at any point of time during the year but monsoon would be the best time.


Deep said...

bahut achche nice pics nd photographs

Ruchir M said...

u found a good place near Pune looks very good. lots of murtis. Jai Neelkantheshwar. Jai Shiv.

Bhaskar said...

This blog is really helpful to me for the places to visit near Lavasa. Am eagerly waiting for your future blogs for more interesting places to visit.Thanks a lot.

Latha said...

Thanks a lot Sachin for this wonderful tour. Where are the rest of the photos ? Looks like you have 126 + photos of this pace. May God bless you for sharing your experience with us.

Shakti said...

Jai Neelkantheshwar amazing details and photographs. soon we will visit this.

sachinkgupta said...

Thanks Latha for liking it. Appreciate it. Yes I do have 126+ snaps during Neelkantheshwar trip. Keep exploring and enjoying.
-Sachin (LENS)

Anonymous said...

Why Don't we bring Paani Foundation Team in our Kondhur Village - Dighe Wadi to fix and resolve the Water problem permanently & Also submit request & follow for creating a Bridge over the lake in the Dighe Wadi, creating Road & Solar Light on Road till the last House in the Dighe Wadi.

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