After the Aga Khan’s Palace faced a water shortage, Pataleshwar, the marvelous cave temple, located on the busy Jungli Maharaj Road, has dried up. The ancient wonder, which is a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), faces severe water shortage and has no water for tourists, nor its gardens.
ASI has now requested the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to provide a new water supply connection
Pataleshwar Cave Temple is an 8th-century rock-cut shrine carved out by the Rashtrakuta dynasty. Although patal means “underworld” and eshwar means “god”, which literally translates to god of the underworld, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
An ASI officer who requested anonymity said: “The Jungli Maharaj road has been facing severe water shortage for three or four months. Since the cave temple is located here, there is less or no water supply. It has become difficult to manage daily operations with the existing offer.
ASI officer GE Mandaware said: ‘We have asked the civic body to provide a new water connection. Official communication has been made with the relevant officials of PMC.
Another ASI official who requested anonymity said: “As there is no water, tourists who were previously greeted by a lush green lawn are now greeted by a dry desert area. ASI had previously provided water for tourists, but now the tourists, who are mostly students and spend hours at the monument site, have no water.
When HT discussed the situation with the head of PMC’s water department, Aniruddha Pavaskar, he was completely unaware. “I am not aware of the water crisis in Pataleshwar. I don’t know anything about allowing a new water connection. I will check with the relevant managers and try to find a solution to this problem.