Pune is a popular tourist spot in Maharashtra. It has a lot of options for a tourist in Pune – natural attractions, event attractions, history as well as religious attractions. Ramdara temple is one of them, very near the city but far off from the hustle-bustle of the metropolis on the Sholapur highway.
My Uncle and Aunt had come over from Hyderabad along with my cousins, aged 10 and 11. My father planned a Pune city round-up for them on the next day. So the first day was free and my father felt I should take them to a Ramdara Temple, 30kms away from the Pune.
Accordingly, the five of us set from Seagate on to the Sholapur Highway on a lovely Friday morning. We crossed some places like Hadapsar, Manjiri, etc, and reached the Loni Kalhor Toll plaza. We then crossed a bridge, a signboard with the name Ramdara and reached the Loni Kalbhor Village. From there we took a 7 km ride to this ancient temple.
About the temple
My cousins, Ajay and Anup, who used to city life, we’re very excited to see the pearl millet fields on the way. They also let out a cry whenever a group of goats crossed the road. Seeing their excitement, I slowed down and let the early morning breeze and green visuals in.
The temple is well-covered by the green hills and visible only when you reach its entrance arch. We were very much thankful to a villager without whose help we would have gone in the wrong direction.
Ramdara is an ancient temple that was rebuilt in 1970 by Dhundhi Baba. Clean and well-maintained porches, ornate pillars, and arches welcome you inside the temple. The unique conical Shikaras of the temple got our immediate attention when we reached there. The temple is open from 5 am to 5 pm for visitors who wish to come here.
Inside the temple
There was the idol of Lord Ganesha at the entrance. Few steps going downward lead to the sanctums of other Gods and Goddesses.
The main deity here is Lord Shiva along with Goddess Parvathy. Mythology highlighting the construction of this temple is painted on the walls and those interested can check it out. The idol of Nandi made in marble stands in front of the main deity. About 12 Shiv lingas are placed in various parts of the temple.
But this temple is more famous for the Rama, Laxman and Sita Idols and hence the name Ramdara.
You can find murtis of Lord Hanuman, Dattatreya, Lakshmi, and Krishna also here. .Also check out the beautifully sculptured images of Surdas, Meera, Ramadas, Tukaram, Sant Gyaneshwar, Swami Vivekananda, Nanakji- the spiritual guru of Sikhs and Sage Vashisht on the other walls of the temple
The kids loved moving inside the spacious temple and playing various games on the steps that lead to the main deity.
There is an ashram of Shri Devi Puri Maharaj who is locally known as Dhundi baba nearby. He was instrumental in rebuilding this temple and giving it the present shape.
We spend about 15-20 minutes inside the temple praying and admiring the interiors. The mother of kids was telling them stories from mythology as we moved from murti to murti.
Around the Lake
After doing the parikrama of the temple we moved outside to have a look.
There is a regular in-stream of tourists to this place. While many come to pray at the temple, few come to enjoy the serenity of the place. The temple is outside the hustle-bustle of the city, surrounded by trees and green hills, and visitors with high-pressure jobs come here to cool and calm down their wearied nerves. Others come to have a time-out with their families.
The temple is situated amidst a beautiful lake. There is a walkway around the lake to take a stroll or explore. The trees here have raised platforms around them where people can sit and enjoy the view.
The lake itself is clean and one can have a view of the colored fish in the water. A part of the lake is covered by beautiful lotuses. Few ducks were waddling in water and the kids had fun feeding them.
Sometime back I had come here with my friends very early in the morning. The time we reached here was perfect as we could get to see different varieties of birds like Mynas, ducks, Lora birds, Sunbirds, Baya weaver, Kingfishers, Drongos, Doves, Red Wattled Lapwings, Bulbuls, and small bee-eaters. One of my friends is a photographer and he wanted to capture nature up-close. He took many photos and videos of the birds and even posted them on YouTube.
This time around I had to satisfy with pictures of ducks and lotuses in the pond as we were late for nature’s early morning bird show. We had packed a brunch for ourselves and ate under one of the trees.
There was a small hill nearby which I and the kids explored while their parents rested a bit. One small kid was selling guavas and out of pity for the fellow purchased a few. It was so tasty that I purchased more than 2 kilos from him again for my family back home. We also purchased few snacks at the nearby stall.
It was then time for us to return. With a heavy heart, we started our journey back home. Summing up, it was a nice trip of 2 hours which the kids enjoyed without getting bored. If you like beaches, we have posted the best konkan beaches article over here.