Sambhaji Maharaj Samadhi : Tulapur,Vadhu

Situated at about 27 km from Pune, on the Pune Nagar highway, Tulapur tells the great story of valour and sacrifice of second chatrapati of Marathas Sambhaji Maharaj, son of Great Maratha King Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

From the main Nagar road highway we need to take a left turn at Lonikand. After taking a left turn you would see the electric receiving station of Lonikand. Keep following the same road. You would see few companies and hotels on the way. After about five kilometers from the highway you would see a board pointing in the right direction saying Samadhi of Sambhaji Maharaj.

Though the inner road leading to Samadhi is very narrow (at a time only a single four wheeler can enter) there is ample space for parking two wheelers and four wheelers inside. The entrance gate is beautifully made.

Tulapur Entrance Gate

Entrance gate Tulapur

On entering the premises you are greeted by a book stall. It has most of the books about forts, Shivaji Maharaj and his great soldiers and about many other great leaders.

There is a big statue of Sambhaji Maharaj and on our recent visit we saw the compound work around this statue was in progress.

Sambhaji Maharaj statue Tulapur

Sambhaji Maharaj statue Tulapur

I remember visiting this place 15 years ago. There was hardly anyone at this place that time. Today a good number of people visit it. There is a beautiful Shiva temple Sangameshwar made up of stone.The name is given since there is confluence of three rivers Bhama, Bhima and Indrayani. The temple has a spacious courtyard and it is very clean. Inside one can see idols of Vitthal Rukhmini and Ganesh which is made up of single stone and dates back to 1633.

Sangameshwar Mandir

Sangameshwar Mandir

ganesh Murti

Ganesh Murti

The Shivaling is present in the inner sanctum. The entrance arch of inner sanctum is magnificently carved with typical garland designs and triangles at the base.

The surroundings of this temple are kept clean. When we came out of the temple we saw few vegetable hawkers selling fresh vegetables from their farms at reasonable pricing.

sangameshwar mandir1

sangameshwar mandir

Inner sanctum Sangameshwar

Inner sanctum Sangameshwar

Near the temple is the Tomb of Kavi Kalash. He was brutally tortured and killed at this place. He was the real friend of Sambhaji Maharaj who was with him till the end. Even after the brutal torture he did not stop praising Sambhaji Maharaj, Aurangzeb had his throat cut.

Kavi Kalash Samadhi Tulapur

Kavi Kalash Samadhi Tulapur

On the other side of temple is the Samadhi of Sambhaji Raje. Inside the room is a half statue of Sambhaji Maharaj. It is kept clean and worshipped daily. Around this statue few paintings related to Tulapur history are shown. There is also a picture of Sambhaji Maharaj which was obtained from the British Library in London.

Sambhaji Maharaj Samadhi Tulapur

Sambhaji Maharaj Samadhi Tulapur

There is a small canteen near the Samadhi were one can have snacks. There is also a boat ride facility available.

I have a sincere request to all the visitors to maintain the sanctity of this place and not making this place a picnic spot for entertainment.

Sambhaji Maharaj was brutally tortured and killed by Aurangzeb. He was asked to surrender his forts, treasures and names of Mughal collaborators who helped Marathas. But he stood tall, faced all torture and refused to convert to Islam and help Aurangzeb in any way.

confluence of 3 rivers

confluence of 3 rivers

Sambhaji maharaj statue Vadhu

Sambhaji maharaj statue Vadhu

On the other side of the river bank, is the village called Vadhu. To reach there you will again have to come back to the highway and take a left turn, go for about 2 kms and take a left turn again when you see the board Shikrapur Police chowky. After going inside for about 3 km you will also see a board saying Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Samadhi. Go straight inside it you will reach Maharani Yesubai entrance gate.

sambhaji Maharaj samadhi Vadhu

sambhaji Maharaj samadhi Vadhu

It is said that Aurangzeb killed Sambhaji Maharaj and threw his body parts in the river. Vadhu villagers collected it and gave fire to it as per the Hindu rituals. There is a tomb of Sambhaji Maharaj and Kavi Kalash here. There is a big statue of Sambhaji maharaj as well. At Vadhu a big hall has been constructed and paintings depicting important incidences of Sambhaji’s life are displayed. We also saw a picture of Sambhaji Maharaj’s  rajamudra (royal seal) over there. This place can be visited from 7:00AM to 7:00 PM on all days.

Sambhaji Rajamudra Vadhu

Sambhaji Rajamudra Vadhu

Sambhaji Maharaj was great scholar of Brij and Sanskrit language.He was valiant king who stood in front of huge army of 5 lakh mughal soldiers of Aurangzeb with his own smaller army. He fought bravely with Aurangzeb for 8 years and never lost any important fort or any ship. He was the first king who tried to build a bridge in sea in order to capture invincible Janjira. He sacrificed his life at the age of 32 for the protection of his religion and his countrymen.

Great Salute to this Maratha King!


Pataleshwar Caves : Must visit in Pune

The mountains and beaches have their own charm but there is something about the temples which enchants you by taking you into a world of their own.

Pataleshwar Caves of Pune are Situated on a Super busy Junglee Maharaj road between Modern college chowk and Engineering college ground. It is a must visit for every visitor to Pune city and every Punekar. It is a rock cut cave temple of 8th Century AD of Rashtrakut Dynasty.


Nandi Mandap

When you enter you see two short columns on both the sides of about 2 feet height. Both the columns have different designs and no symmetry, so one cannot predict if they were part of the entrance gate. Located a few footsteps ahead is a huge banyan tree. Whenever I visit this temple a feeling of calmness and peace always touches my heart.


This temple was carved in a single stone. You need to climb down a few steps to enter the temple. One can see a beautiful Nandi Idol of stone on the left hand side. You must take a few minutes to appreciate the nice ornament carvings on it. It is situated under a Champa tree. When visited during Spring and Rainy season one can see the natural shower of Champa flowers on this Nandi Idol.


Nandi Idol

In the centre is a Nandi mandap. It is simple canopy structure and Nandi is at the centre. This Nandi Idol is worshiped daily. After this Nandi Mandap a small cave based on four columns is seen on the left hand side. In the ancient times this might have been used by the travelers.



When you enter the main temple you can see its structure made up of 60 square columns 10 columns in each row. After entering the main temple some unfinished carvings can be seen on both the sides.

unfinished carvings_compressed

Unfinished Carving



















On the floor one can see Saripaat (ancient board game) carved. Also few flower and leaf carvings are found on the floor. The temple is carved out of Basalt rock.


Carvings on the floor

In the inner sanctum (garbhgruha) the Shivaling can be seen. It is worshiped daily. Simple carvings are seen at the top of the door. Also one can see Monster mask (Kirtimukh) carved on the entrance step of the sanctum like all other lord Shiva temples. This monster is believed to be eating all our sins.

inner sanctum_compressed

Inner Sanctum

On the left and right of the Shivaling are the Idols of goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesh. While taking Pradakshina one can see idols of Lord Shriram, Sita and Lakshman carved in white stone and Lord Hanuman in front.


Idols of Shreeram,Sita and Lakshman

Unfortunately this temple was not completed. One can see completed columns and incomplete ones and can understand the difference very easily. This is supposedly because of a fault line identified behind the main temple which may have made entire structure unstable if carved further.

This temple Patal (Underground) Ishwar (god) is frequently visited by foreigners. This place is under the control of Archaeological survey of India. This place has tremendous importance for students of Architecture, History, Archaeology and Geology.

It is indeed a pride of every Punekar.