India

Sangam Mahuli

Situated at the confluence of the Krishna and Venna rivers, 5km east of Satara, Sangam Mahuli is a group of 18th and 19th century Hindu temples built in a typical Maratha style.

Dedicated to Vishveshwara, the largest sanctuary was built on land donated by Ch.Shahu Maharaj to Shripatrao Pant Pratinidhi, his erstwhile minister and aristocrat from the nearby state of Aundha. Pant Pratinidhi used the land for constructing this and other nearby temples, and further donated land to another Brahmin, Anant Bhat Galande, a pandit in vedas.

Constructed of basalt stone, the Vishveshwara Temple was completed in 1735 and is characterized by towers crowned with fluted dome-like elements. All the domes have figurines of deities moulded in stucco over brickwork. Miniature versions of these elements cluster around the main shafts of the towers, themselves divided into niches.

The adjoining mandapas are almost all double-storeyed, the upper levels are in a late mughal style with shallow pilasters, in contrast to the lower levels that have temple-like columns.

Bounding the temple of two sides is an interesting arcaded passageway, there are some hidden steps here that take you to the top of the passageway, but care needs to be taken as there’s a lot of rubble and clearly not many people venture to do this !

From this elevated position you do get a much clearer sense of the architecture, plus views across the river to the Kshetra Mahuli temple lying across the river Krishna, and the Sangameshwara temple (along with Gosavi smadhis) across river Venna.

Although the lower fabric of the temple appears relatively plain and undecorated, there are a few carvings to be seen.

Inside the temple, the walls flanking the passageway have niches with idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Parvati (in a shakti form) placed within.

The central shrine is square shaped and houses a Shivalinga. 

Outside the temple is a single impressive Dwipstambha (lamp post), very much dominating the overall view leading down to the river, and many smaller shrines mostly residing on the eastern side of the complex.

My visit to Sangam Mahuli was part of a day heritage tour of sites near Satara. My thanks goes to the co-organizers, Shantanu Paranjape and Anurag Vaidya from Pune who did an amazing job that day.

If you are planning on visiting Sangam Mahuli near Satara, here are two other nearby sites that are could be combined to offer a great day out of exploring :


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Categories: India, Maharashtra

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