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Now the devotees of Lord Venkateshwara in Pune don’t need to travel all the way down south to get blessed by this powerful and miraculous deity as they can take the same pleasure of Tirupati temple in a short drive distance. The spectacular clone of the prominent Tirupati Balaji Temple is at Ketkawle village just 40 to 45 kms away from Pune. Not only the outer shell of the temple but the priests, religious activities and even the heavenly laddoo seem to have the essence of the original Lord Venkateshwara temple. As soon as you enter this holy place, you will get struck by the positive energy. The magnificent architecture and the spic and span premises is really commendable. The temple is carved with stone and wood and apart from Lord Balaji, you can spot small shrines of various other god and goddesses. Though the temple is not as lavish as the real Balaji temple or carved with rich gold, but the glow and mysticism is in all sense equivalent to the original shrine in Tirupati. If you have been to Tirupati before, you will definitely recall the same ecstasy and harmony in this replica temple.
The prati Balaji temple was a mega initiative by the Lord Venkateshwara Charitable and Religious Trust, a trust set up by the Venkateshwara Hatcheries corporate group. The temple provides living rooms and kitchen facilities for visiting devotees. The entire project was undertaken under the guidance of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam.
The surrounding environment is excellent. A good thing about the Trust is that they offer Free Meals to all those who visit the temple, in a large Dining Hall, which is maintained neat and clean. You can take Maha-Prasad coupon inside the temple if you are in between 9 am to 3 pm time. The quality of the food as a maha-prasad is also very good, which you get it for free! A army of cleaning staff keeps on cleaning/washing the temple and the premised, keeping it spotless clean.
There are plenty of parking spaces available on the right side. From the parking only you can see the place from where queue starts in a zigzag manner. You have to go bare foot so it is advisable to remove your footwear in the car itself along with your mobiles and camera. These things are strictly prohibited inside the temple. The security is very tight here like in the actual Tirupati Balaji. All pujas and artis are done as it is in the South. Even the Priests and authentic ladoo(Prasad) makers are called from Tirupati Balaji temple. You get Ladoos as Prasad from here which is really delicious. You can click photos once you come out of the temple. In the early hours you may not find any queue but later in the afternoon and on weekends big queues are there. The carvings on the temple top are same as in the actual temple. The standing idol of Balaji is royal and awesome. Surrounding area around main temple has small temples of deities like Krishna, Mahalakshmi, Padmawati etc. We have best taxi cab from 4 seater to 50 seater bus for half day and full day trips.
Balaji temple Narayanpur Pune timings - opens at 5 AM in the morning and closes at 8 PM in the evening.
|6.30-8.15 am.||Morning Pooja.|
|10.00-11.15 am.||Afternoon Pooja.|
|6.00-7.15 pm.||Evening Pooja.|
|8.00 pm onwards.||Shuddhi, Ekantseva.|
The Ketkawale Balaji Temple is located at a distance of 45 kms from the Pune-Mumbai Highway. Cross the Toll and travel down south for about 4kms to reach Khapurhol junction. The temple is at a distance of 4 kms from the junction.
Route from Pune to Narayanpur Balaji temple:
To reach Balaji temple from Pune, you can to take Pune-Solapur highway route and drive towards Hadapsar gadital. Do not take flyover, take the left road and reach Hadapsar Bus stand and from there travel a long way to Saswad village. Just at the end of Saswad village turn right. After moving ahead of the village, you can witness the view of lush greenery. This road will take you to your destination, Balaji temple.
You can also take Mumbai-Bangalore highway. Move on Pune – Satara road from Katraj, once you cross the tunnel, you will come across Shindewadi and Khed Shivapur. After moving ahead, you will reach Bhor- Saswad junction. The temple is just 4 kms from this link. You can spot the temple on the left side. You need to travel through a small road to reach the divine destination.
Narayanpur is around 35 Km to the south of Pune. It is famous for Lord Datta’s Temple and Narayaneshwar temple. Narayanpur is village of Sant Changdev. Pilgrims visiting here worship the old ‘Audambar’ tree. There is also an old temple of Narayaneshwar. Sculptures of this temple are said to be of ‘Yadav’ era.
Narayanpur is famous for their Lord Ek Mukhi Datta. Usually lord Datta has 3 faces but in Narayanpur there is single face. The statue of Lord Ek Mukhi Datta is very beautiful. The idol of Lord Dattatreya here in the sanctum is different from the idols that we see otherwise. You can also see the Padukas i.e. footwear of Lord Datta here. These were placed in the sanctum by Lord Datta himself before he left for Samadhi. Many devotees comes to Narayanpur on the eve of Guruvar and Pournima. The number goes in lacs on the occasion of Datta Jayanti.
Narayanpur has been historically famous for God Datta with only Single. This is the only place where single headed God Datta temple is present and hence more worshipped. This Datta Temple is 12 kms from the highway.
There is also an old temple of Narayaneshwar. This temple and 3 sculptures in the temple are very pretty. These sculptures are said to be of 'Yadav' era. Narayanpur must be seen by both - the pilgrims as well as the nature lovers - because of 2 temples "Lord Datta" and "Narayaneshwar" and the beauty of the Purandar valley.How to go Pune to Narayanpur Balaji temple:
Narayanpur is off Pune-Satara highway and around 60Km from Pune. One can reach Narayanpur either from Dive ghat and Saswad or from Katraj Ghat and Mumbai-Pune-Satara Road. Narayanpur is situated at the bottom of famous Purandar fort. Moving on as you cross Narsapur Phata you come to ‘Kapurhole’ village. Here turn left (Saswad Road) and this small road takes you to Narayanpur.
Baneshwar seems to be an old temple - strange but noticed the silver tortoise infront of the shivalinga (and some live too in the pond). Again lots of parking place, a children park and many school students were playing there. A nice picnic place with many families spending some good time in the park adjacent to the temple, nursery is also there. A 5 mins walk from the temple and one can see the river. Baneshwar is famous for an old but beautiful Lord Shiva temple which is situated amidst dense woods. It is a kind of emerging picnic spot for family and friends. There is a big well maintained garden behind the temple and further half kilometre there is a beautiful waterfall which is the main attraction here.
Purandar fort which is a historical place situated at a height of 700 meters from ground. It is actually has two parts one is called Purandar and the other is called Vajragarh. There are many old and new monuments you can find here. For trekking lovers it is a good spot. The road is not in a good condition so be careful while driving or biking. In Monsoon season the scene of Purandar valley is beautiful.
Plan one day trip 1] In the morning @ 9 am, after crossing new Katraj tunnel, visit Baneshwar first for 1/2 hour. 2] Move to Ketkawale[ Balaji temple] and spend 1 to 1.5 hour and leave toward Narayanpur. 3] In Naraynpur, after taking darshan, have lunch in the nearby eateries or open the packed lunch box under nearby tree. spend there @ 1.5 hour max. 4] from saswad, move toward Pune via BOPDEV ghat. the route is scenic.[ regular route is dive ghat via hadpsar] stop at the top of ghat for panoramic view of Pune city in the evening light. if time permits, visit the Kanifnath temple with little detour while reaching to ghat. You can plan one day picnic that will cover Prati Balaji, Baneshwar, Purandar , Narayanpur & Bhatgar dam in one day.
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