Baneshwar (Maharashtra, India)
Baneshwar is a temple of Shiva located in the village of Nasarapur about 36 km southwest of Pune. It is a pleasant and calm place amidst a jungle. It was recently discovered and hence declared as a small bird sanctuary hosting a decent amount of rare birds with many crowned hornbills seen.
Baneshwar temple architecture is from the medieval period. The temple was constructed in 1749 by Peshwa Nanasaheb, son of Peshwa Bajirao I.The total cost of construction was 11,426 Rupees, 8 Aane, 6 Paise. The temple hosts an important bell which was captured by Chimaji Appa after defeating the Portuguese in the battle of Bassien in 1739. The bell has the year 1683 and a Cross on it, which depicts that the bell belonged to a church and was transported as a token of victory. Same kind of Portuguese bells can be found at Bhimashankar Temple too.
Baneshwar is a conserve forest area and wildlife sanctuary where a variety of birds, flowers, plants can be seen. Baneshwar is worth visiting for jungle lovers and trekkers as well as for pilgrims. This temple is very famous in Pune and people from all around come to visit this temple. There is a scenic waterfall behind the premises of the Mandir.
Baneshwar is approximately 37 km from Pune and 200 km from Mumbai. From Pune Government MSRTC buses are available at a regular frequency.
The best time to visit is between August and February. Though any time of the year is good to visit, it is better to avoid visiting during summer. Similarly during monsoon unless one likes trekking, it is better to avoid. That leaves the best period to seven months between August and February.
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