The Maruti Temples of Pune

Pune is modern city with IT companies, start ups, educational and research institutions of repute, the automobile industry , a city with a cultured and refined audience for music and theatre. Among some of its other hues, Pune is also a city of temples with hundreds of them dedicated to the different deities. Among them Maruti or Hanuman Temples exist in large numbers. While there are temples dedicated to Maruti alone, the deity is also part of most Shri Ram Temples and even traditional wrestling ‘talims’ or ‘akahadas’ in the city. Maruti forms are classified as Daas Maruti – the daas or servant of Shri Ram or the Veer or Warrior Maruti. This post is about few of the many dedicated Maruti Temples in the city. Quirky names associated with the temples are another interesting aspect of many of the these temples. As Pune grew rapidly from 1730’s a Maruti Temple often defined the boundaries of the new areas and settlements that were getting inhabited which is an important reason for the large number of temples. Many of these temples are about 200-300 year old.

Akra Maruti Temple
The Daas Maruti – Akra Maruti

The Akra Maruti Temple and Ram Mandir is located in Shukrawar Peth. The location is over 200 years old and from the late Peshwa period. The property is said to have originally owned by Sardar Bapu Gokhale but I have not yet come across authentic sources that confirm this information.

Bhangya Maruti

The Bhangya Maruti Temple is located at Budhwar Chowk. The strange name is probably derived from ‘Bhang’ that may have been sold in its vicinity during historical times. The temple also served as a meeting place for cooks who could be contracted by the hosts when preparing feasts.

Bhikardas Maruti

The Bhikardas Maruti Temple is located in Sadashiv Peth behind the Rana Pratap Garden on Bajirao Road. The Maruti Temple was once in the garden of a ‘Seth’ named Bhikardas. The Maruti is in existence for over 200 years. During those days it represented the absolute limits of Pune city. The locality was not much habited then since it was at the outskirts of the city.

Dulya Maruti

The Dulya Maruti Temple is located on Laxmi Road near Ganesh Peth. There are multiple stories associated with the temple however it is not always easy to validate them. One of the story mentions that this Maruti was established by Samartha Ramdas and later built by Naro Anant Natu. Then it was on the banks of the Nagzari Stream. As per lore it is said that the murti shook with the grief that struck the Kingdom and Pune City at the Battle Of Panipat.

Ganji cha Maruti
The tall Ganjicha Maruti

The Ganjicha Maruti is located near the Sant Kabir Chowk on Laxmi Road. The words Ganji in Marathi refers to bundles of grass or hay. It is thus possible that there may have been a hay market or open space for storing hay nearby. This is temple has probably the tallest murti of Maruti, standing about 6 feet tall, among the Maruti temples in Pune

Jilbya Maruti

The Jilbya Maruti is located opposite Tulshibaug in the heart of Pune’s shopping district. As per one story a sweet shop owner used to offer a garland of Jilebis to this temple hence the name. Historically this area was on the banks of a stream, the Ambil Odha that flowed approximately along Bajirao Road of the day. It is also said that prior to 1730s the area was in the vicinity of Pune’s cremation grounds.

Lakheri Maruti
Lakheri Maruti
Lakheri Maruti Murti

The Lakheri Maruti is located at Rasta Peth. It is said that the temple was established by troops stationed there during the Peshwa period. A Zorastrian Fire Temple, a Jewish Synagogue and a church are also located nearby.

Munjabacha Bol – Das Maruti
Munjabacha Bol Murti

Munjabacha Bol is at Narayan Peth off Laxmi Road. Not much is known to me about the history of this Maruti Temple. However it is likely that there may have been a Munja here.

Pasodya Maruti Temple

The Pasodya Maruti Temple was once along the ‘High Street’ of the city. The temple is a couple of hundred meters from the Budhwar Chowk. From the mid 1700 to the mid of 1900s the street was the market place selling different goods including cloth. Pasodyi is a cotton blanket or shawl and this place had sellers that sold these pasodya and hence the name stuck.

Patrya Maruti
Patrya Maruti Murti

The Patrya Maruti Temple is a small temple located in Narayan Peth. The temple used steel roof sheets or ‘patre’ as they are referred to in Marathi, this is how the temple got its name is a story that is generally told.

Pavan Maruti shrine
Pavan Maruti Murti

The Pavan Maruti is located at Sadashiv Peth near Peru Gate. This is a small shrine in the middle of the road. Till 1920-30 there was hardly any population beyond this area.

Shaniwar Veer Maruti
Shaniwar Veer Maruti

The Shaniwar Veer Maruti temple is in Shaniwar Peth near the Omkareshwar Temple. The murti has a demon under its foot, the murti also sports a mustache. The road slopes behind the temps and in historical times was a slope that led to to the river and the Omkareshwar Temple beyond.

Sonya Maruti

The Sonya Maruti as the name hints is located at the traditional jewelry market or the Saraf Bazaar of Pune. The small temple can easily be located on Laxmi Road and by itself has been a long standing landmark.

Untadya Maruti
Untadya Maruti Murti

The name Untadya Maruti is probably based on history of camels being maintained in its vicinity. The temple located opposite KEM Hospital is also called the Vyadhihar Hanuman since devotion to this Hanuman is said to cure ailments.

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