Metropolitan cities have their own legends and urban myths. Some have been dissolved and falsified, while some still paint an absolutely enthralling image of the city. For Pune, the list of its urban myths is long and heady. Some stories have literally been passed on from generations to generations, while some have been exaggerated to the point where we have experts to solve the matter at hand.
While not all stories need to be debunked, those revolving around religion and the almighty need some serious clarification. Today’s myth, although not as ludicrous as the usual, can still cause some raised eyebrows. The story of Chaturshringi temple, yes, our very own gorgeous temple on SB Road.
Said to have been built around the time of Shivaji Maharaj, the temple houses the Goddess Chaturshringi. She is considered to be the presiding deity of Pune city. The temple has been managed since years by the Chaturshringi Devasthan Trust. Usually, a fair is held every year to worship and commiserate our love and faith for Goddess Chaturshringi.
Chaturshringi, derived from the word ‘chattu’ meaning four, is a mountain with four peaks. The temple has over a hundred steps which you need to climb in order to reach the shrine of Goddess Chaturshringi. The temple premises also house Goddess Durga and Lord Ganesh. Now, to the legend-
Once, there was a rich merchant named Durlabhseth Pitambardas Mahajan who was a devotee of Godess Saptashrungi. He visited her temples all over the country, however, age took the best of him. Upon finding himself unable to travel, the merchant was disheartened and saddened by his inability to visit his Goddess. Then one night, the Goddess herself appeared in his dreams and consoled him. “If you cannot come to me, I will come to you”, she said. The merchant, clearly moved by these words, asked the Goddess as to what more he could do. She instructed him to come to a mountain situated in North-West Pune and to dig till he finds what he’s looking for. When the merchant did as he was told, he was surprised to find an idol of Goddess Saptashrungi.
The miracle of finding a natural statue of the Goddess (Swayambhu Devi) inspired the merchant to construct a temple. The place where he constructed it is the same place where it’s located right now, the temple has just been renovated over a period of time. It’s a gorgeous temple, a sure sight to see for those interested in myths and legends. As to how true and accurate this story is, we shall never know. But as all religion and matters of God transpire, we take it with a pinch of faith and hope that we’re being heard.
Feature image by Rupesh Jadhav Photography.