Built during the zenith of Peshwa rule in Pune, the Ram temple at Tulsibaug is one of the few places which have survived in an almost intact form even after years of neglect. Though the neighbourhood has change dramatically, Tulsibaug wada, where the temple is located, has remained the same and a visit to this temple literally takes you back in time. Located right in the middle of one of the noisiest parts of old city, the ambience around the temple is extremely calm and soothing. By the way, this is also my favourite temple in the city and the one I can visit over and over again and never get bored of it.
The history of the temple is closely linked to the rule of Peshwas in the region, especially Pune. The Maratha kingdom was a powerful kingdom, especially under Shivaji Maharaj the much respected and feared Maratha king from the 17th century. While Marathas were in power, their Prime Ministers were known as Peshwa.
During the zenith of Peshwa rule/ Maratha rule that the Ram temple was built at Tulsibaug. This was an era when some of the biggest palaces were also built in the region, like the Shaniwarwada. The temple was built by Jivajipant Khasgiwale when Balaji Baji Rao was the ruling Peshwa, however it was only in 1761 that the temple was finally completed when Madhav-Rao I ruled.
The prominent 150m tall shikhar (the inverted conical structure with stucco work) was added much later in the 19th century, but the wooden temple has otherwise remained unchanged over the years. Surrounded by shops, the Tulsibaug wada is a busy space, but there is a strange kind of calm which still exists here. Unless it's a special day, the temple is devoid of people on most days, especially early in the morning and afternoons when many shops shut shop for a few hours for rest.
As is obvious from the name the temple is dedicated to Lord Rama and has the garbhagriha has idols of Ram , Sita and Laxman.
The statues of Lord Ram, Sita, and Laxmana, made by Umajibaba Pandharpurkar, were placed in the sanctum of the temple in November 1765. In 1767, the statue of Lord Hanuman, crafted by Bakhatram Patharvat Gujrathi, was placed in the sanctum. Later in 1781 statues of Ganapati and Parvati were brought to the temple. Ornaments in gold, silver, pearls and diamonds were made for these statues.
Heritage and history at one place.
Where - Tulshibaug , Budhwar peth Pune.