Baramotichi Vihir at Satara- Maharashtra's only step well

'Kings from Maharashtra were lazy' I announced one day.

'What why !?!?' sang my mother and my wife in unison.

'No exotic palaces, no gigantic forts, no step wells. Seems they lacked imagination' I continued.

'My dear child, do you know that most of the beautiful forts and palaces still preserved in good condition in India were because the local king decided to align with British East India Company rather than fighting for freedom ? That almost all forts built in Maharashtra were in constant state of war with invaders ?' explained my mother.

'Yes. And Maharashtra has always had good rainfalls. So I am sure that step wells were not a necessity for the locals then.' my wife Suchita joined in .

It would have been waste of resources. Why would there be a step well in..... ' suddenly she stopped talking.

I could see from her face that she was trying to recollect something.

'Unlesss....' she mumbled.  Out came the smartphone. She typed in something and then smiled.

'Unless there is actually one step well in Maharashtra !!!!'  She turned the screen towards me.

'Baramotichi Vihir' I read.

'Yes !!! ' she exclaimed.'And we are going there today'

So we left on our search of this little heard step well of Maharashtra. Entered the destination as - Baramotichi Vihir on the all knowing Google Maps.

Baramotichi vihir is approximately 2 hours drive from Pune. History states that  it was constructed between 1641 and 1646 by Virubhai Bhosale. This well was used to water the hundreds  of different varieties of Mango trees which locals say were procured by Virubhai Bhosale. This well also served as secret meeting room. There were 12 pulleys (Baramoti) in operation  hence the name.

So after 2 hours of continuous drive, we came to a road which seemed to be going to a dead  end.

A bit anxious we tried to find people to ask direction but were not able to find any. Just as we were about to give up our search, we saw a signboard which signaled turning right towards Baramotichi Vihir.

We got down out of our car unsure of anything in vicinity. From the ground level, nothing except the periphery of a well is visible.

But as you move closer, a different picture comes up altogether.

Wow !!! We thought. Tried googling the history but came up short.

Luckily, we met a local person who lives right besides the well. He happily guides and explains the well to visitors for a small fees as low as 100 to 200 Rs.

Name of guide: Ravi Varnekar, Ph. No: 9763529573

With a proper guide the beauty of the entire place comes alive. You get to know the history, the purpose of the well as well as some great photo places.

Our guide explained that the well was used to water the hundreds  of different varieties of Mango trees which locals say were procured by Virubhai Bhosale.

This well also served as secret meeting room. The large  door at the entry was  meant to act as meeting space with villagers. The room on floor above was meant for secret meetings.

It is 110 ft deep and 50 ft in diameter.The well is octagonal in shape and looks like dug-out Shivling.

As the entire structure is hardly visible from ground level, it was very difficult for any possible attacking army to know the exact location of the place.

There are some intricate carvings which present some great clicks.

There are multiple exits from the chamber room for possible escape in case of attack.

We took a look inside and found that the water still looked fresh. 'There are still 3 active springs in this well providing fresh water' our guide told us.

 Suchita meanwhile spotted some kids ready to take a dip and clicked one glorious pic.

After an hour exploring, we paid and thanked our guide for this wonderful short tour.

He thanked us, moved a bit ahead, turned back and said 'A  good king spends more money on their people and not on palaces. Hence the history forgets but the hearts of locals always remember.'

I was shocked. This was the exact answer to the rant I had put up earlier in the morning at my place. It was like a ghost of Bhosale's army had given me a reply.

I looked up and expected Mr. Ravi to disappear in thin air. But instead he went to his cottage nearby and sat on his chair.

'Oh well... maybe next time I will have an end like some movie' I thought as I started my car for our return journey.

Thanks for reading and happy travelling :)

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Pune day trip- Bhuleshwar Shiva Temple

'Kailash mountain is astonishing. The resting place of Lord Shiva and supposedly cannot be climbed' I told Suchita my wife while watching a National Geographic series on Mount Kailash.

'It is believed that Lord Shiva and Parvati' still reside there.'

Suchita had come to know my sudden bursts of history and mythology sessions and nodded along.

'Hey Suchita do you know that there is actually a very old temple of Shiva near Pune. It is believed that Parvati had danced for Lord Shiva here and from where they had gone to Mt. Kailasha and got married'

'What ?!?!?' Suchita said a bit astonished. 'I did not know Pune was part of any folklore related to gods'

'Well, there are many stories associated with Pune' I continued 'This happens to be one of them'

'Actually... the Bhuleshwar Temple is supposed to be a photographers delight !!!' I continued. 'If you want we can plan one visit today'

I turned around to see Suchita already packing her camera and travel bag.

Bhuleshwar is a Hindu temple of Shiva, situated around 45 kilometres from Pune and 10 km from Pune Solapur highway from Yawat. The temple is situated on a hill and was built in the 13th century.

The temple is unique as its architecture is Islamic from outside and appears more as a mosque than a temple due to its resemblance of circular tomb and minarets. The reason for this unique design is said to be done to protect the temple from being destroyed by invaders. There are classical carvings on the walls. This is what Wikipedia tells us.

After an hour and half of drive, we took a right towards Yawat. The roads had been good all along and the drive pleasing. The temple becomes visible soon after you leave the highway.

This temple used to sit at top of a fort and the walls of the fort as still visible at places.

The road leads right upto the temple. There are few turns and bends along the way all through the incline.


Though there are no guides at this fantastic temple, the guard and the priest do offer useful information if free.

We were lucky to have been guided by both.

Legend has it that the temple was built by Panch Pandava. Consturction of the Bhuleshwar temple commenced during the period of 1230 AD during Yadava Rulers. The temple is constructed using Black Basalt rock not found in this region.

The fort on which the temple is situated is called as Daulatmangal fort which was built the fort to keep a watch on the Pune city.

From outside the temple has been designed like a mosque than a temple due to its resemblance to Islamic architecture like circular tomb and minarets.The guard told us that this was done to avoid invaders from destroying the temple.

Inside the temple is a treasure trove of exquisite carvings, stories of Ramayana, beautiful pillars, a Nandi and lots of history.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is accompanied by idols of Godess Parvati, Lord Ganesha,Nandi,Kali,Shakti,Vishnu,Laxmi,Saraswati and many other Hindu Gods and Godesses.

One is one of the very few temples in the world to have a status of Female Ganesha - Vinayaki.


Statue of Nandi inside the temple


A bell outside the temple


There are a lot of interesting carvings inside this temple and a shutterbugs paradise. The Shivling is itself unique and opens up from top. One can place offerings inside it. The temple priest told us that there have been cases of offerings disappearing for very few devout followers.

It was late in the afternoon when we commenced our journey back to home. Bhuleshwar is a very interesting place to visit for believer and non-believer alike.

Thanks  for reading and happy travelling :)

* We  would love it if you want to use our images for ethical and useful purpose. Please mail us on or for the high resolution file.