Exploring Pune: Glorious & Gruesome, the Lesser-Known History of Tulapur

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Pune is surrounded by many, many breathtaking places which are only a couple of hours’ drive from the city or even within its limits. Before the pandemic wrecked havoc, we were all happy to explore touristy locations on rainy weekends, no?

But, when was the last time you went to a place after reading about its intriguing past? Let me know the answer once you’re done reading this article!

There is so much more to Pune’s culture and history than its surrounding forts and highway eateries; lesser-known places with fascinating folklore and history. One such tale is of a historic place named Tulapur, a mere 35 km from Pune.  

Those who are aware of Tulapur surely know about two prominent historical occurrences that put this location on the map. One which is glorious and the second, heart-wrenchingly sad.

Originally known as Nagargaon, Tulapur has a culturally-rich history dating back to the 17th century. This place boasts of blankets of green covers in the monsoon, having been blessed with three rivers- the Triveni Sangam (confluence) of the Bhima-Bhaga-Indrayani rivers.

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Tula means ‘to weigh’. According to old tales, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s father, Shahaji Raje Bhosale was so pleased with the hospitality extended by the locals that he gifted them with gold weighing equal to that of an elephant. A glorious time, no doubt. Hence, the name ‘Tulapur’. 

Onto its sorrowful past, on March 11, 1689, a day before Gudi Padwa, Sambhaji Maharaj, son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was captured in the ancient Shiv temple, Sangameshwar, tortured and brutally killed by Aurangzeb. His body was cut into pieces and scattered in the river.

It is said that people from the nearby Vadhu village assembled and stitched the body parts together, subsequently going against Aurangzeb to cremate his remains. The villagers came to be known as ‘Shivale‘, or ‘those who stitched’.

Back to the present day, this place is a perfect blend for history lovers and photographers. You can capture the architecture of the temples and immerse in some peaceful moments while visiting the Samadhi

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When you visit, mark these three places on your list: Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj’s Samadhi, the Triveni Sangam, and the Sangameshwar Temple.

Let us not limit our love for travel to only picturesque and touristy places; Pune has so much more on the showcase which needs our attention and respect!

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