Bhuleshwar AKA Daulatmangal Fort

Type: Hill fortsGrade: Easy (You can drive till top)
Base Village: Off Urali Kanchan, beforeYevat
Distance: 45 KMs from Pune
Route: Pune-Solapur Road
Time visited: Feb 2011
Time to see around: 1 hour max
How to visit: From swargate hit Pune-Solapur highway. After the toll road ends at Urali-Kanchan, (2 Kms before Yevat) take right turn along eastern bank of canal. The fort should be around 8 Km. There is small ghat but the road is good condition. This raod further goes down to Saswad. There is right side diversion just as the Ghat ends and a bumpy road with pretty steep with sharp turn’s lead you right till the temple on the top of the fort.

Every time I visit Solapur I promise myself that I need to take out time and visit Bhuleshwar temple on the Daulatmangal fort. This Sunday finally I headed for this amazing place. Started at 6.45/7 we hit the cool breezy road. The Sun was out smiling as the sleepy traffic moved calmly at Magarpatta and Hadapsar.

After the toll ended we stopped at our favourite stop- Kanchan for steamy breakfast. Mouth-watering Hot Idlis and Dosa on fresh green leaf with yummy sambar recharged our energy that we would need for next few hours. We strolled for few minutes in the Nishigand and Marigold farms on the opposite side.

I could easily locate Bhuleshwar behind the hotel. After turning on right the road from Solapur highway it become lonely amid the dry arid landscape. A few leafy green of mostly Banana and Papai farms are only ones that add beauty to the parched yellows and muddy browns. Well just at the ghat starts, the large number of misty Jacoranda tress adds the delightful voilets. Throughout this road, the temple is always visible in front of you.

The striking Buruj towers at both ends draw you attention. There are two connected towers probably now a home to a few people is at the centre. Not sure if these were built recently...

There is good stairway built from half of the fort to the temple but since the road is pretty steep with barely one vehicle could pass safely I could locate a place to park my car. We finally reached the top from the left side. I could locate 2 Buruj on the way. The fort is supposed to be built around the temple in 16th century by Murar Jagdev after he had looted Pune.

Bhuleswar Temple is very old and said to be built in 12th century by Choula Rulers. The temple is centrally located on a huge platform. The closer look of the roof towers highlights the magnificient artistic detailed designs.

The Hemadpanthi temple is amazing built using Black besalt rock. Somehow this temple gave me memories of Halebidu-Bellur temples. The beautiful carving starts right from the door of the temple. A right climb traverse in the dark lead you to a huge opening to the main temple. A beautifully carved Nandi draws you attention. Every inch on the main temple wall and every pillar has extremely fascinating and wonderful intricate carvings with some having mythological references.

The temple bears many signs of invasion and destruction as you can see typical destruction of all the artistic work- where hands and heads are chopped off. It said that Aurangzeb had invaded this fort before invasion of Jejuri.

With a promise to myself that I would visit back this mystic place once again in rains when the scorched yellows would turn into radiant greens, we proceeded to Ramdara.