Bhadurgad is situated 100km east of Pune, it takes about two hours to get there on mostly good roads. There are two main sites to explore in the immediate area; a small collection of temples located near the banks of the river Bhima, and a much ruined fort and palace complex immediately next to the temples.
The Shri Laxmi Narayan temple is the best preserved of the Hemadpanthi temples on the site. The carvings outside the temple are quite exceptional.
But for me the highlight were the carved windows, in all manners of shapes which created a very special feel once inside the temple. Of course, from a photographic perspective it was irresistible as well, and in all likelihood you will have the temple completely to yourself to enjoy.
Immediately next to the Shri Laxmi Narayan temple is the Shri Baleshwar Temple, not in such a good state of preservation but still worth exploring. I’m not sure I have the name right for this temple, it’s hard to find any references to it on the internet. The setting for both these temples is amazing, right on the banks of the river offering a glorious 180 degree view.
There is hardly anything left of the old fort now, except for a few ruined structures that for the most part stand in isolation from one another. It’s a short walk around to explore these and see what you come across.
The fort is famous for two events.
- When the Indian warrior king Shivaji Raje heard news of the arrival of the two hundred trained Arabian stallions at Bhadurgad, he deliberately leaked the news that he was planning to attack Bhadurgad. Intially 2,000 men attacked the fort and then retreated with Bahadur Khan in hot pursuit with his army. Luring the mughals 20km away from the fort, the Marathas then dispersed into the landscape. Meanwhile, the remaining 6,000 Maratha contingent attacked the fort, taking away all the gold and horses.
- Later after death of Shivaji in 1689, Sambhaji Raje was captured at Sangameshwar and was brought to Bhadurgad as a prisoner. Here he was subjected to a horrific torture and eventual death when he refused to be converted to Islam. The account of what they did to him is beyond comprehension, if you have the stomach for it you can read it here.
Bhadurgad has been renamed as Dharmaveergad in the memory of Sambhaji Raje.
Heading further away from the river you will come across a few other ruined temples (one may be called the Shri Rameshwar Temple, again, I’m not 100% sure of that), until you reach a small village with a more modern and very colourful temple along with a collection of Jain thirthankars and other idols that have been collected together.
This is a lovely day excursion from Pune, immersing yourself into the surrounding countryside and visiting a really interesting site that doesn’t appear to be that frequently visited.
You’re welcome to ‘Like’ or add a comment if you enjoyed this blog post. If you’d like to be notified of any new content, why not sign up by clicking the ‘Follow’ button.
If you’re interested in using any of my photography or articles please get in touch. I’m also available for any freelance work worldwide, my duffel bag is always packed ready to go…