An ancient Ganesh temple nestled quietly in Pune’s bustling Somwar Peth
In the by-lanes of the bustling Somwar Peth, lays an almost hidden Trishund Mayureshwar Ganpati temple. A small but beautiful temple located near the Kamala Nehru Hospital chowk, was constructed with a direct approach to the banks of the Nagzari stream.The construction of this temple was started on 26th August 1754 by Bhimjigiri Gosavi from Dhampur near Indore and was completed in 1770.
There are three inscriptions on the wall of the sanctum of the temple, two of them are in Devanagari script and Sanskrit language and the third one is in the Persian script and language. The first inscription illustrates the foundation of Rameshwara and the creation of this temple in 1754. The second Sanskrit inscription gives a verse from the Bhagavad Gita.The third inscription, which is in Persian, informs that a temple of Gurudevadatta was constructed.
The temple has an idol of Lord Ganesh with three trunks and six hands, seated on a peacock, which in fact is a rare depiction of this deity.The temple is constructed on a high platform and has a small courtyard.
The facade of the temple is highly decorated with the depictions of different real and mythological creatures. The entrance has the sculpture of Goddess Lakshmi flanked by two elephants on the top and opens into a hall which further leads to a passage to the sanctum. The entrance of the sanctum has many sculptures.
The temple also has a basement. There is an open hall with a couple of pillars in the basement along with a Samadhi (a memorial) of Gosavi. There is an inlet water and hence, the basement is generally filled with water. It is not open for everybody except on Guru Purnima day, when the basement is cleaned and dried and people can pay homage to the memorial of Gosavi. It is believed that the basement was used as a school for ascetics who practised the tantric form of Hinduism.
The exteriors of this temple are also decorated with the images of Shiva, and Vishnu, as the original plan was to dedicate this temple to Shiva.
There are several unique sculptures carved on the frontage of this temple, a rhinoceros which is being tied tight with iron chains by a British soldier is one of them. This is a clever depiction of the historical fact that after the battle of Plassey in 1757, the British had captured Bengal and Assam. A rhinoceros symbolising Assam was used by the artist to give this suggestion. The architecture of the temple is a mixture of Rajasthani, Malwa and South Indian styles, but the Shikhara (tower over the sanctum) is missing today. This temple is looked after by a trust.
This temple is a masterpiece of stone masonry carvings by Bhimjigiri Gosavi and is considered to be a monument of the Gosavi sect. The entire construction is in black stone.
Trishundha Mayureshwar Ganapati temple
What: The temple built in 1754 has an idol of Lord Ganesh with three trunks and six hands seated on a peacock
When: 7am to 12 noon and 5 pm to 9 pm
Where: Somwar Peth