Pataleshar Cave Temple

The Pataleshwar cave temple is located on Jangali Maharaj road in the Shivajinagar area of Pune. It is a rock cut shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. This cave was created in circa 8th century C.E. and is dated to the Rashtrakuta period. The cave is located at a lower level than the present level of the road and the cave complex. There is an exquisitely carved circular Nandi shrine in the huge courtyard of the cave. The main cave is rectangular on plan and has a pillared porch. There are three sanctums in the cave temple and the central one houses the Shivalinga. There is a circumambulation path provided in the cave where one can see the unfinished part of the cave temple. It appears that after finishing the front and the sanctum the cave was left incomplete due to some reasons, one of which could be the faults in the rock. However the walls in the main cave have some outlines drawn suggesting the sculptures depicting stories from Indian mythology, especially involving Shiva. There are a few water tanks in the courtyard along with a small unfinished cave to the right of main cave. The huge complex of the cave has been converted into a garden and there are a few architectural members stored in it probably belonging to some old temple nearby. As this is the oldest monument in Pune, which is over 1300 years old, the Pune office of the Archaeological Survey of India is located in the adjacent property. The famous Jangli Maharaj Temple is also very close to this monument. The campus of this cave temple is lit with thousands of oil lamps on the occasion of Tripuri Pournima (the full moon day of the Kartik Month according to the Hindu calendar) to commemorate the victory of Shiva over the demons. The entry to the site is absolutely free.