Saras Baug Pune – Sacred ground of Faith
Among all the beautiful and popular shrines in Maharashtra,the Ganpati temple in Saras Baug Pune is one of the cherished one.The temple is known for its rich historical background and also has an identity of its own owning to its unique island position in the midst of a lake and that’s why popularly known as “The Talyatla Ganpati” (Talyatla means inside a lake in Marathi).This island was named as Sarasbhaug by Balaji Baji Rao (also known as Nanasaheb), who was a Peshwa (Prime minister) of the Maratha empire in India.In May this year,Sarasbhaug will complete its 232 auspicious years.
Ganesh Chaturthi festival holds a special place in every Maharastrian’s heart and Punekars are no different.On an average,Sarasbaug temple sees ten thousand devotees everyday and this figure goes upto Eighty thousand per day on Ganesh Chaturthi and several other occasions.The temple is run by Shree Devdeveshwar trust which is a public charitable trust in Pune.The monument and Devasthan were originally a property of Peshwa which was later on confiscated by British Raj in 1818 AD when they overpowered the Peshwas.Taking into consideration the resistance of the local population,the British decided to play safe and returned back the confiscated articles and idols.
History of Saras Baug Pune
- The history of the sarasbaug temple dates back to 18th century and can be traced back to the Maratha period.It was constructed when Nanasaheb Peshwa ruled almost the entire India
- The lake where the island is located is situated at the foothills of Parvati hills whose area is about 25 acres.The island of about 25000 sq.ft area was retained in the middle of this lake.
- A beautiful island was created on this island and Nanasahb Peshwa gave it a rather poetic name “Sarasbaug”.
- In 1784, Shrimant Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa built a small temple in Sarasbaug and installed the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak Gajanan, the God he worshipped. Naturally Parvati, Sarasbaug and the lake became places of worship and leisurely walks for the people of Pune.
- In 1784,Madhavrao Peshwa(son of Nanasaheb) built a temple in Sarasbaug and installed the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak Gajanan,the God he worshipped.It’s said that the one who comes to pray here everyday at the same time for straight 21 days,that devotee’s wishes get fulfilled.
- Today,there is no sign of the lake,except for a small moat-like structure that sees a steady flow of water around the staircase leading to the temple
- According to folkfore,Nanasaheb Peshwa conducted various secret meetings and important discussions while on a boat ride on this lake. The persons who rowed the boat at such times were either Habshis (Negros), who didn’t understand a single word of Marathi or Hindi or were stone deaf and dumb. The purpose was to prevent any leaking of the secret discussions. Even if this is just a myth, it is believed that it has mentions in historical chronicles. Historical documents mention of many such confidential discussions between Shrimant Peshwa, Mahadaji Shinde and Nana Phadnis.
- The idol which was originally placed and worshipped was made from a type of stone called ‘Kurund’ which cost only 10 anas at that time.Since then,the idol has been changed twice,once in 1882 and also in 1990,the latter being crafted by Rajasthani artists.
Significance of Saras Baug Pune
- The Sarasbaug temple houses the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak (“God who makes wishes true”). A sacred ground of faith for millions of devotees in Pune and around the world,where on an average the Sarasbaug temple receives ten thousand visitors a day and this figure goes up to eighty thousand devotees per day on Ganesha Chaturthi and other special occasions. Various dignitaries and luminaries throughout India have made it a point to visit this sacred temple to seek the blessings of Shri Siddivinayak.
- Each temple has a temple manager who manages the day-to-day administration of the temple. The Sansthan manager oversees the working of all the temple managers & the trust.
- The Sarpanch is the overall administrative in-charge of the Sansthan.
- Saras Baug Ganpati , also known as Talyaatla Ganpati is one of the major landmarks of Pune city and is situated at the foothills of Parvati.
- The temple and the garden, today lies in the Swargate locality of Pune. The premises can be accessed by three main archways.Two of the access points are in the south itself and the third access point is in the east. One has to climb down the stairs of the access ways to reach the garden.Around the temple are the temple offices and a Ganesha museum where various Ganesha idols and artefacts are displayed.
- Around the temple is a beautiful pond filled with lotus flowers and habitat by aqua life. At one end of the pond, is a statue of a Crane signifying Saras,the name of the garden.
- There used to be a zoo called the Peshwe park in the immediate proximity of Saras Baug that has since been relocated to Katraj and renamed as Rajiv Gandhi Park. But the garden in Peshwe Park is still retained and is a major attraction, especially for the kinds because of its Toy Train, play ground and an educational display of nonconventional energy.
- After witnessing the beauty and the serenity of the place, one can easily conclude that Saras Baug is justifiably one of the pride of the Punekars.
Saras Baug Pune Temple timings
- The visiting hours of this temple is between 6 am and 9 pm.
- The temple gates open at 5:30 am in the morning where throughout the day the daily Aarti schedule is followed
- Morning pooja which is known as the Sansthan Panchamurat Pooja starts at around 5:30 am which includes Shastrroka morning pooja,snana and decorations of the idols.The above rituals and poojas are done in front of devotees who present themselves in the premises of the temple beforehand.The idols are decorated and is prepared for darshan the entire day.
- After the morning pooja,the devotees who visit regularly in the morning perform aarti in the chorus which takes place around 6:40 am.
- This is then followed by the Evening aarti which is also performed by the group of devotees in the chorus which occurs around 7:51 pm where it continues for half an hour thereafter.
Saras Baug Pune Festivities
- Ganesh Chaturthi: Those who wants to experience the tradition of pune in small time should definitely visit Sarasbaug during Ganesh chaturthi festival.The place bcomes a little crowded as Eighty thousand devotees visit to pay their respect to Lord Ganpati on this day.One gets to experience a beautiful atmosphere of togetherness and holiness during this period.Every Ganesh devotee should visit this place. Especially in Ganesh Chaturthi. The ambience, the crowd, the music and the idol all make up a resounding experience to be remembered for life.
- Diwali : As the beginning of the Hindu new year (Padwa) takes place during Diwali,the ambience becomes very serene and punekars come to visit this place wearing new clothes and jewellery.Also, musical concerts and Deepotsava are held on early mornings of Diwali days which adds upto the attraction.
How to reach: Air,Train,Road
- By Air: The nearest airport is pune airport which is at a distance of 12.2 km from Sarasbaug.Domestic flights connect Sarabaug to Mumbai,Bangalore,Nagpur,Goa,Ahmedabad,Jaipur and Patna.
- By Rail: Pune railway station is at a distance of 16 km from Sarabaug.One can get auto rickshaws and taxis from there
- By Road:There are many private buses that connect major cities like Mumbai and Bangalore to Pune and one can hire the taxi to reach Sarasbaug.
Mumbai to Saras Baug Pune
- By Air: There are connecting flights available between Mumbai and Pune.Take a Taxi or Auto rickshaws from there.
- By Rail: There are many trains that connect Mumbai and Pune which run on daily basis.Its a mere four hours ride to Pune.One can get an auto rickshaw or taxi to reach Sarasbaug.
- By Road: There are many private buses which connect Mumbai and Pune.
Bangalore to Saras Baug Pune
- By Air: There are connecting flights available between Bangalore and Pune.Take Taxi or Auto rickshaws from there.
- By Rail: Take a train from Bangalore to Pune.Pune railway sation is only 16 km from Sarasbaug.Devotees can hire Taxis from Pune railway station.
- By Road: There are many private buses which connect Bangalore and Pune.
Hotels near Saras Baug Pune
There are a lot of private hotels which one can accomadate near Sarasbaug. There are many good rated hotels within 0.5km radius of Sarasbaug Ganpati.
Where to eat
There are many restaurants near Sarasbaug temple where the food and ambience are good.One can visit these restaurants after taking the tour of Sarasbaug Ganpati.If you are a “foodie” – there are a number of street-food restaurants and cafes which serve the inimitable Puneri “Bhel” and other tasty snacks at the entrance to the garden – and this makes “Saras Baug” and ideal place for a family outing and a popular picnic spot.
- Just in the front of Saras Baug Pune, a famous landmark of Pune lies the famous MahaLaxmi Temple. It’s very rare to see all the 3 Goddess MahaLaxmi, MahaSaraswati and MahaKali together.And this very temple has all these 3 Goddess made out of pure gold.
- Chaturshringi Temple is one of the famous temples of Pune. It is the temple of Goddess Chaturshringi, also known as Ambareshwari.The beauty of the temple is that it’s located in the middle of companies of Pune, on slopes of a mountain in North-West Pune.Being situated at the height, the temple provides a great scenic beauty of the city, from the height.It is at a distance of 6.1 km from Sarasbaug .
- Kesari Wada-previously known as Gaikwad Wada- is at a distance of 3 km from Saras Baug Pune and has become a historical monument in Pune hallowed by a long stay there of a great leader Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The site has witnessed many important events in the Indian Freedom Struggle and hence boasts of history and culture.
- Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati temple is the most famous temple of Pune.Pune is well known in near and far places for this temple.One of the main attractions in Pune and is located at a distance of 2.1 km from Saras Baug Pune.