Saras Baug, Pune, Maharashtra

Saras Baug is a famous landmark and tourist spot located in the heart of Pune city, Maharashtra.  Spreading over an area of 25-acre the intricate monument was developed and constructed after drying up a preoccupied small lake. The construction work of the Saras Baug Ganapati temple started in the year 1750 AD under supervision of Sawai Madhavrao and situated with 4.8 km of Parvati Temple, which was used for primary residence of Maratha confederacy during 18th and 19th century. The complex building also houses sacred Talyatla Ganpati temple where enormous devotees congregate every day to offer prayer in front of the auspicious idol of lord Ganesh and seek his blessing. The idol inside the temple is believed to be one of the oldest Ganapati idols in the country and worshipped every day with detailed rituals and creeds.

The auspicious temple was commissioned by Peshwa Sawai Madhavrao and Mahadji Shinde in the year 1750 AD and construction work completed couple of decades later in 1784 AD. The shrine was built in the place of Talyatla Lake near Parvati Temple and idol placed inside the temple ornamented with beautiful artifacts, jewels etc. The temple and its surrounding areas underwent renovation several times and last major renovation took place in the year 1969 under the administration of Mahadev Kumthekar and Anandrao Mane. It is said to be believed that the temple once used for secret military strategic centre by Marathas against British Empire and the Peshwa along with his trusted aides, commanders used to go to the Saras Baug by boat to negotiate plans during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth century.  As part of the last renovation a zoo named Peshwe Park was also added to the temple premises though in 2005 all animals at the zoo were moved to Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park.

The Saras Baug Ganapati temple is a delicate piece of architecture and actually built on an island in the lake’s centre. Hence the idol of Ganesha inside the shrine is also known as ‘Talyaatalaa Ganpati’ or Ganapati within a lake. The black stone-cut elephant headed lord Ganesha holding mace, bred, holy water and sweet on his each hand is positioned on a decorated stone platform. The shine is ornamented with beautiful artworks, images of Hindu deities and legend about Ganesh.  In addition, in the year 1995 one small museum decorated with hundred idols of Ganesha, was also added to the temple premises as part of the decoration work.

As the temple located in the heart of Pune City, there are a number of roads and railways that have connected the temple. Pune airport is the nearest airport to the location and from there tourists can pick available public transports including Buses, auto-rickshaw etc.  Swargate bus station, which is a ground transport station for Pune located within a kilometer from Saras Baug.  Pune Railway station is the nearest station (located within 6 km) where tourists can disembark and get available public transports.