Writing a short blog post about the Chaturshringi Temple in Pune has been on my “to do list” for over four years, and as I’m about to plan my next trip to Pune in early 2020 I think it’s about time to cross this one off that list 🙂
The Chattushringi Temple (also known as Chattushrungi Temple) is situated on the slopes of a hill in the north-west of Pune, along Senapati Bapat road (also known as “SB Road”). It’s about a 7 minute walk from the JW Marriott Hotel, and back in the day when I made frequent business trips to Pune and stayed in that hotel it was always the first place I’d visit upon arriving in the city. In more recent years I still make a point of visiting this temple at least once during my stays in Pune, it’s become a bit of a personal ritual that I don’t ever see myself changing.
There’s an interesting story associated with the founding of this temple. Over 250 years ago, during the reign of the Peshwas, there was a money lender (saavakar) and mint owner named Durlabhsheth Pitambardas Mahajan. He was a very religious person and devotee of Devi Saptashringee, which is situated on the hills of Vani near Nashik, about 220km north of Pune. Every year on the full moon day of Chaitra, he would travel from Pune to Vani in order to worship the Goddess.
In his later years it became difficult for him to make that journey in order to perform pooja and worship the Goddess. Stricken by deep sorrow, he prayed to the Goddess and asked her, “I can’t come to you for your darshana, now what should I do?” Because of his prayer and devotion, he subsequently had a dream where the Goddess Saptashrungee Devi told him that, “if you can not come to me, I will come to you and stay near you.” She told him to come to a mountain situated in the north-west of Pune and dig there. The place as described by the Goddess was determined, and Durlabhsheth started an excavation. Before long a miracle occurred, as he found a natural statue of the Goddess swayambhu devi.
On the very spot where Durlabhsheth found the natural statue, he constructed a temple, which has since been renovated and expanded greatly. Durlabhsheth also minted a special Chattushringi rupee in order to celebrate this occasion.
Over the years the Chaturshringi Temple has become an important place, with devotees coming from all over India. When Durlabhsheth passed away, care for the temple was passed to Dastageer Gosavi and his disciples. It was later passed on again, this time to the Angal family who for the last five generations have been performing all the deity rituals like pooja, naivedya, arti, and other religious rituals.
The temple today is knowned for the celebrations that occur during Navaratri. During this 15 day festival big giant wheels, merry-go-rounds, and food stalls are there as part of a fair. On the evening of the tenth day there is a procession of a silver statue of the Goddess Chattushringi in a silver chariot.
For me this temple has always been a bit of a safe haven in the city. Set back from the main road in a semi-wooded environment, it’s always been and immensely peaceful place to spend some time. There are 170 steps to climb in order to to reach the shrine of Goddess Chattushringi, where photography is not permitted.
Within the temple complex there are also temples of Goddess Durga and Lord Ganesh. This also includes eight miniature idols of Ashtavinayaka. These smaller temples are located on four separate hillocks surrounding the main temple.
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