Pune city takes immense pride in its rich culture and history. The city has successfully preserved and nurtured its culture. Omkareshwar temple is one such example that highlights the city’s spiritual attachment and connection. Omkareshwar Mandir, temple of Lord Shiva dedicated to his wife Goddess Parvati.
Story of Omkareshwar
Omkareshwar temple is situated in Shaniwar Peth on the banks of river Mutha. It is one of the biggest and oldest temples in the city. The holy abode was built by Shivaram Bhat, spiritual guru of Peshwas between 1740 to 1760 .
Temple proclaims the splendor of the fallen Peshwa Empire. Chimaji Appa, commander of Maratha Empire and brother of Bajirao Peshwa provided donations to built the temple. The samadhi of Chimaji Appa is in the temple where he regularly visited and left for heavenly abode.
Revolutionaries like Lokmanya Tilak and Veer Savarkar assembled near the Omkareshwar temple at a spot known as ‘Taalim’. Veer Savarkar along with his followers had gathered at the Taalim to light a bonfire of British goods.
Panshet Floods: Survival Tale
Omkareshwar is a symbol of survival. Temple had successfully endured the mayhem of Panshet floods in 1962. As the temple was built on a strong foundation it could withstand the destruction caused by the flood.
Omkareshwar is viewed as a perfect piece of art and architecture of the 17th century. The white dome of the temple is made of soft soap stone. It has Nagara styled Shikhars (spires) with engravings of Hindu deities like Ganesha, Dattaguru, Makardhwaj, Vyasa, and four Keerti Mukha.
Omkareshwara boasts of splendid architecture, huge domes, and intricate carvings that charm and amaze devotees with its beauty. Spacious verrandah with artistic columns enhance the grandeur of the shrine. The columns are in the shapes of circles, polygons and squares. The premises house smaller temples of Goddess Durga, lord Vishnu, lord Shani, and lord Hanuman.
As you enter the shrine through a gateway, you can see a beautiful mandap a home of Nandi Maharaj. The idol of Nandi was washed away with the strong current of flooding waters. The locals had to pull the heavy Nandi idol and place it back to its original position. As you move ahead between the main Garbhagriha and the Nandi Mandap lies an Agni Kunda, a ceremonial fireplace.
In the Garbhagriha, devotees mind fills with spiritual emotions, as they see pleasing Shivling decorated by the priests. Devotees offer flowers, bael leaves, and milk for the blessings of the most divine hindu god, Shiva.
Omkareshwar has been bestowing his blessings and grace on the devotees for centuries. The priest of the temple distributes prasad to everyone and gives his blessings. The whole place has a very comforting and peaceful atmosphere that helps to brighten up your mood. There are three main festivals – Mahashivratri, Shravani Somvar, and Tripurari Pournima.
Relaxation & Meditation
The peaceful vicinity attracts a lot of people to this place. They relax here, chant and meditate for a long time without any disturbance. In the evening, locals prefer to sit in the open yard in front of the temple and enjoy the cool breeze. The whole place has a very soothing, calm and peaceful spirit that helps to brighten up your mood.
If you are visiting Pune city, a visit to Omkareshwara Mandir should be on top of your list.