Pataleshwar Caves


Nestled in the heart of Pune, Maharashtra, the Pataleshwar Caves stand as silent witnesses to the city’s rich historical and cultural tapestry. These ancient rock-cut caves, dedicated to Lord Shiva, provide a captivating journey back in time. This comprehensive travel guide unravels the secrets of Pataleshwar Caves, guiding you through their history, architecture, and the unique experience they offer.

History and Significance:

The Pataleshwar Caves are believed to date back to the 8th century, hailing from the Rashtrakuta dynasty. Carved out of a single rock, these caves showcase remarkable craftsmanship and architectural ingenuity. The name “Pataleshwar” is derived from “Patal,” a term referring to the underworld in Hindu mythology.

Architectural Marvel:

The caves are a splendid example of ancient rock-cut architecture. The main cave, dedicated to Lord Shiva, features a central shrine with a Shiva Lingam. The Nandi bull, Lord Shiva’s sacred vehicle, guards the entrance. The intricate carvings and sculptures within the cave depict various mythological figures, showcasing the artistic prowess of the craftsmen of that era.

Jangli Maharaj Mandir:

Adjacent to the Pataleshwar Caves is the Jangli Maharaj Mandir, a modern temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The juxtaposition of the ancient rock-cut caves and the contemporary temple creates a unique blend of history and modern spirituality.

Sculptural Wonders:

Explore the rock-cut chambers adorned with sculptures depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. The exquisite carvings include figures of deities, animals, and intricate patterns that narrate stories of devotion and divine tales.

Temple Courtyard:

The temple complex includes an open courtyard with a majestic banyan tree providing shade. The serene ambiance of the courtyard allows visitors to pause, reflect, and soak in the spiritual energy of the surroundings.

Visiting Tips:

  1. Timing: The caves are open to visitors from early morning to evening. It’s advisable to check the specific timings before planning your visit.
  2. Footwear: As a mark of respect for the sacred environment, it is customary to remove footwear before entering the caves.
  3. Photography: Photography is usually allowed, but it’s courteous to check with the authorities and avoid using flash to preserve the integrity of the ancient carvings.
  4. Guided Tours: While exploring the caves independently can be enriching, guided tours are available for those seeking a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural aspects.

Location and Accessibility:

The Pataleshwar Caves are centrally located in Pune, making them easily accessible from various parts of the city. The address is Jangali Maharaj Road, Shivajinagar, Pune. Public transportation, including buses and rickshaws, is readily available for those traveling within Pune.

Nearby Attractions:

  1. Shaniwar Wada:
    • A historic fortification located in the heart of Pune, Shaniwar Wada is known for its architectural grandeur and historical significance. It’s a short distance from Pataleshwar Caves.
  2. Dagadusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple:
    • One of Pune’s most famous Ganesh temples, known for its vibrant festivities during Ganesh Chaturthi. It’s a cultural and spiritual gem located in the heart of the city.
  3. Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum:
    • Home to an extensive collection of artifacts, the museum offers a glimpse into India’s cultural and historical heritage. It’s an ideal destination for history and art enthusiasts.


Pataleshwar Caves, with their ancient allure and spiritual ambiance, offer a unique retreat within the bustling city of Pune. As you step into the rock-cut chambers, you’re transported to an era of devotion, artistry, and timeless spirituality. Whether you seek historical insights, architectural marvels, or a quiet sanctuary in the heart of the city, Pataleshwar Caves invite you to explore, reflect, and connect with the rich cultural heritage of Pune.