In one of the articles in Times Of India, I read about Neelkantheshwar.
Also I have seen Neelkantheshwar in one of the episodes of 'Bhatakanti', on Aplha TV-Marathi. As Neelkantheshwar is very near
to Pune, we planned for a one day trip.
Neelkantheshwar is actually a big
hill which is around 50 km from Pune. It is near Panshet. It got its name because of the temple of Neelkantheshwar, i.e. Lord
It was a sunny morning of Aug-2004. We were 6 friends for the
trip, Abhay J., Abhijit, Datta, Laxman, Sudhir,and myself. We left Pune at around 7.00 am on 3 bikes. Laxman was on his Pulsar
with Abhay J.,
Abhijit was on his Passion with Datta and I was on my Passion+ with Sudhir. We had Kanda Pohe and tea at
Donje Phata, near Sinhagad. From Donje phata, one road goes to Sinhagad and one towards Khanapur-Panshet. We chose the later
one. It was a very nice drive early in the morning. As it was monsoon season, there was greenery everywhere. Trees were having
different hues of green colour. Road was also in good condition and with less traffic.
There are two routes to reach Neelkantheshwar.
to Panshet by Pune-Khadakwasla-Donje Phata-Khanapur-Panshet. Panshet is having two dams- Panshet dam and Varasgaon dam. Follow
the road to Varasgaon dam. On this way, you'll get a small road going to Neelkantheshwar. There is a board at this point.
This road is in very bad condition. It goes straight at the base of Neelkantheshwar.
2. There is one small village between
Khanapur and Panshet. I am not remembering the name. Small boats (hodya) from this village will take you to another village,
across the river. Neelkantheshwar is around 4 km from this village across the river. If you come via boat, you
reach Neelkantheshwar base by this 4 km walk. But this walk is really enjoyable.
We follow the first route. By taking the bumpy ride on the
bikes, we reached the base at 10.00 am. From base you have to proceed by walking. Its 30-40 min. walk. The road for the top
is very wide, but it is very steep. So, we took a small break in between and got fresh for next part. We reached the top at
Neelkantheshwar hill is very wide in size. It has a big temple
of Neelkantheshwar. But the main attraction of Neelkantheshwar is hundreads of sculptures made from cement. The
sculptures are mainly associated with Hindu mythology. Some scenes are also presented through these sculptures. Some of the
sculptures I am remembering are- all the 10 Dashavatars, Ashtavinayakas, Bakasur-Bhim story, Vaali-Sugriv yuddha, Sant Dnyashwar,
Sant Ramdas, Shivaji Maharaj, Jesus Christ and so on. The list is endless.
Sarjemama, a forest ranger, has made these sculptures.
He only found the Shiva linga on this hill, built the temple around it and made those hundreads of sculptures. Sarjemama is
also associated with 'Vyasan Mukti Abhiyaan'. As per the newspaper cuttings in the temples, Sarjemama rehabilatated 4-5 lacs
of alcoholic people.
There is a small hotel just outside
the temple where we had some bhel and limbu sarbat.
The view from the hill-top is amazing. You can see backwaters
of Panshet, Varasgaon and Khadakvasla dam. You can also see Sinhagad from here. The view is very beautiful in the
After having a photo session, we start descending at around 1.00 pm. On the way to Pune, we took our lunch in
Kombdi dhaba near Panshet. Food was very delicious. After lunch, we left for Pune and reached at around 3.00 pm. Fortunalety
/ unfortunately, there was no rain for the complete day.
So, overall we had a very nice one day trip to Neelkantheshwar.