This is my Day 2 in Panchgani.Check out my escapades on day1 in wai

Links:
Day1 first half: Pandavgad-trek
Day1 Second half: Vairatgad-trek

Rajapuri Caves (4378 ft)

On the way to Rajapuri caves, we were enthralled by the beautiful valleys and
the clouds. After entering Panchgani and paying 20 rs per person as God-Knows-
what-charges, we reached Sydney point. This is a famous tourist point. But
we were here pretty early say around 0900 and there was not a soul around. the
entire place was for us. The clouds kept the visibility to zero. We were driving above the clouds.

Reaching Rajapuri

we reached the Rajapuri caves enjoying the soothing views.

History

The 6 caves are very old as is understood by the rock carvings in Devnagari ( Pali) language. These caves might have been carved in the 10 – 11th century,

The Rajapuri Caves hold spiritual importance because of the fact that it these caves were used by Lord Karthikeya, son of Lord Shiva and Shakti, to perform various sacred ceremonies and for penance.

The caves have also supposed to have protected the Pandavas during there exile from the Kingdom. King Virat gave them protection.

The first cave contains a kund, which continuously keeps on getting filled by water flowing from the opening of a sacred ‘Gomukh’.

There are overall three ponds in the first cave. There is a common belief that the water in the Mallikarjuna kund ( the first kund) has power to cleanse the soul 🙂

The cave of lord Kartikeya is one of the most important caves. It is isolated from the other caves.The other caves are interconnected by means of underground tunnels.

Things to look for

  1. The cave having The temple of Lord Kartikeya
  2. The Large Nandi in front of the caves
  3. Kund/Sacred Ponds in the first cave filled by water flowing from a sacred ‘Gomukh’
  4. There are few tabs having different scriptures
  5. There is a peepal tree behind the Nandi having few more scriptures and miniature Nandi

How to reach

wai – mahabaleshwar highway to Khingar and a bit ahead to reach the rajapuri caves. Its about 7 kms from Panchgani.

Once we reached the base village of Rajapuri, there are about 80 stairs to reach the caves.

Stairs at Rajapuri Caves
Stairs at Rajapuri Caves

The stairs have been built by Saint Gadgebaba in1943. He built the stairs using the Dalits in the village at that time fighting the untouchability issue. His efforts have paved way for the village getting a national cleanliness award.

The Six caves are carved inside the 100-125 ft rock below the village. The water falling over the edges of the rock and over the cave-entrance create a very drammatic effect. The old roots hanging from over the edge also create a very unique feel.

Experiencing the Rajapuri caves Experiencing the Rajapuri caves
Examining the caves

Cave1:

The first cave has three ponds

  • Dattatreya kund
  • Mallikarjuna kund
  • Vishnu kund.

Mallikarjun kund at the entrance of the cave is the biggest amongst the three. And is supposed to have magical powers. whoever bathes in this kund is cleansed of all his misdeeds

Kund at Rajapuri Caves
Mallikarjun Kund at Rajapuri Caves

.There are multiple idols in this cave eg- Sheshshayi, sheshnag, ganpati, shivling etc.There is also a Gomukh , water from his mouth falls directly into the Mallikarjuna kund.

Gomukh At Rajapuri Caves
Gomukh

Besides the Gomukh is a small Dattatreya Kund. The innermost kund is the Vishnu kund . Behind the Vishnu kund there is a cave which houses the Jagdamba devi ( Bhavani mata).
Cave2:
This cave is smaller as compared to cave1.

Caves At Rajapuri Caves
Cave1 & Cave2

It has North facing Shivling. There was a excavation carried out near this cave which lead to finding few idols, Veergal (stone tabs), satigal ( stone tabs).

Cave2 @ Rajapuri Caves
Cave2

Satigal has hands carved on it indicating the tab has been created to remember the women who had offered their life as Sati.

Satigal @Cave2 Rajapuri caves
Satigal @Cave2

Veergal denote the courageous deeds performed by warriors. If the warrior dies in the battle , an angel ( apsara) takes the soul to heaven.

Veergal @ Rajapuri Caves
Veergal

Cave3:

This is the Lord Vishnu cave.
The Lord vishnu’s idol carries Shankh, Gada, flowers and Chakra.

img_6850-lord-kartikeya

Cave4:
This again is a small cave housing a Shivling with a Nandi in front of the cave.

Rajapuri Caves

There are many idols and veergals present as well.

 

Cave5:
This cave is the famous Kartikswami Cave.

Kartikswami Cave @ rajapuri cave
Kartikswami Cave

Further, there is another internal cave inside this one which houses the Mallikarjun Shivling.( This Shivling was found in the Bavdhan village and established over here ) There are plenty of other idols as well.

Mallikarjun Shivling @ rajapuri Caves

Towards the left of this Shivling there is another Small cave with the Lord Datta’s idol.

Towards the right of the Shivling there is the Kartikswami cave. It is at this spot where Kartikswami met Naradmuni on his trip around the world to earn the love of Lord Shankar.There is an old legend that Kartikswami had given a curse that no lady can see his face apart from the day of Tripurari Poornima. Hence women are not allowed to the caves on normal days.

Outside the mallikarjuna shivling cave there is a idol of Lord Bhairav and on the other side is the Ganpati Idol.

Besides the Ganpati idol is a small cave housing a east facing Shivling. Plus there are other idols as well.

Kartikswami @ rajapuri caves

Outside the cave there is a stone tab which has carvings in Pali language.

Pali carved on a stone

Cave 6:
This is the last cave. There are not many things to look out in this cave. Plus this cave is closed from outside.
Outside the caves is a huge Nandi. The speciality of this idol is that there is a person carved in the idol who is feeding the Nandi from a basket.

Nandi @ Rajapuri Caves

Behind the nandi is a peepal tree. Nice greenery overlooking the clouds

Rajapuri Caves

 

Below it are few more Veergals and other tabs. there is a miniature Nandi as well.

One last look at the caves , before we head to the Mapro outlet.

Rajapuri Caves

By now we were very hungry and started to search food. we landed up at the Parsi point.

Parsi Point:

The View from this point was a sight for sore eyes. Clouds were romancing the hills, while the Dhom dam just kept looking.The hot maize & chai were just right for the scene.

Parsi Point panchgani
Next up we visited the Mapro Garden Restaurant .

Mapro:

The thing about Mapro is that it brings out the inner child in no time.

Mapro Panchgani

Things to do

  1. Taste the free shakes
  2. Try the sandwich and the strawberry shakes in the restaurant below
  3. Check the chocolate factory
  4. Buy mapro syrups,chocolates which you wont get back home
  5. auditorium (they show the chocolate and the strawberry stories)
  6. Taste the free shakes again and giggle like a kid

You just cant get enough of the free milk shakes and the syrups.The eight of us wreaked havoc on the juice centre with no regret 🙂

Free shakes @ mapro panchgani

Bought some stuff and spent 1000 times more than what mapro would have spent on the free sampling. Successful marketing. Expert opinion: the Green apple, blue lagoon & custard apple shake is a must try.

Just as a way to say good bye .Another round of free shots. And we are off to the next palatial destination used to shoot Bollywood classics- the Bhor rajwada. Enroute the clouds formed a wonderful umbrella over the hills.

 

Clouds @ Panchgani

On the way back to pune we headed to the Bhor rajwada .

Bhor Rajwada:

The facade of the palace gives us the idea of the grandeur of the palace in its heydays.Bhor Rajwada

It was built in 1869, by Pantsachiv Chimnajirao at a cost of 2 lakh rupees after the older palace was burnt due to fire. It is one of the best preserved Maharashtrian wada that exist today.

Synergy of islamic and gothic architecture into vernacular architectural style can be observed in this structure. Architectural style of wada can be defined as Marartha or Peshwai Architectural style, simlar to that of Wishrambaug wada(1807) and Shaniwar wada(1732), in Pune.

Bhor Rajwada

The palace has been the location for shooting many movies including Bajirao Mastani, Katyar kaljat Ghusli etc. Enacting one of its scene 😀

Bhor Rajwada
Enacting the Classic pose
Bhor Rajwada
The royal feel

The palace offers a peek into the architectural glory at every point

One last group pic before we head out to the neigbouring Nira river

Bhor Palace
The Group pic  ( 5 + 2 ) 😀

The near by Nira River offers a very picturesque spot

River Nira
Soothing wind

A quick stop and we headed to towards Pune. On the way is the Bhatghar dam & the beautiful neklace point.

Bhor Necklace point

Necklace point Bhor
Smite me, O Mighty Smiter !!!

From the Bhor Necklace point on the bhor-kapurhol road we took the NH48 to return to swargate. Two fun-filled day adventure comes to an end with tired bodies and mind full of experiences.

4 thoughts on “Rajapuri Caves & Bhor Palace Blog, Panchgani”

  1. very well written and inspiring for others to visit the places and experience the beauty you had experienced….keep it up buddy…eagerly waiting for your north travelogues…

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