'Who ? Nope !' I said
'Well... they have gone to UK and are currently enjoying at stone henge. You are such a history buff.. dont you ever feel the need to visit this location ?' she continued
'So this is all about a future plan to visit England' I smirked in my thoughts. 'Lets irritate her today' my deepest inner voice said
'Well... I am a history freak. But why go to UK for that ? There is a stone henge right here in Pune !!! And its not even broken unlike the European cousin ' I said.
'What ?!?!?' said Suchita
'My husband has lost his mind' she thought inside.
'Are you ok ? Do you need water or have you decided to speak senseless today. Just becasue you want to have the last word...' shot back an angry reply
'Would you like to visit JM road and get my claim verified in the next one hour. Let us bet a 1000/- bucks on this. I will pay you a thousand if I fail to show you this stone henge and vice versa for you.' I challenged
'There is no way you can win this Mr. Pradhan. JM road is my forte with me shopping least once a month there. You are either playing a bluff or have lost your mind. Either way I am in for this bet' said Suchita.
So there we were... in order to settle this small dispute driving down the road to reach the start of JM road.
I stopped my vehicle in front of Jangli Maharaj Temple. 'For me to make this miracle happen I need to take blessings of the almighty' said I.
'Of course...say your prayers because your 1000 bucks are gone today' said her.
After taking blessings of the almighty, we went to main corridor and sat for few minutes.
'God came in my thoughts and told me to take a walk around the temple... cause there lies the answer' I told my wife
'Oh great !!!!' she said while pointing towards her wallet.
We walked around for five minutes when we came across a few steps downwards. Besides was a board which mentions the history of a Protected Monument – PATALESWAR CAVE.
'What is this ?!?!' exclaimed Suchita
'I dont know' I pretended not to know anything. 'Lets find out'
A few meter walk inside and what we saw amazed us.
'Wha....' blurted an amazed Suchita.
I burst out laughing.
'You little piece of historic ars !!! You knew it all along didn't you' said Suchita while controlling her laughter.'What is this place and how come I never knew about it ?!?!'
' This is Pataleshwar caves...a likeness of Ellora and carved out of a single gigantic basalt rock mostly by Rashtrakuta dynasty in the 8th century. Though the claim is disputed and many believe it to be much much much older.
Some people believe that the caves were in fact constructed by Buddhist monks and Hindus occupied it later.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Pataleshwar and Lord Shiva.Inside are huge perfect cut pillars, a temple for Lord Shiva and a Nandi.
Various figures are clearly visible on carvings along the wall which have eroded over time or destroyed in war of faiths. Some say the entire construction was halted midway as a fault line was identified in the rock. Some also speculate of a religious conflict or maybe a natural calamity which forced all the work to stop.
Pataleshwar today stands in almost complete silence just as it must have when the work was stopped abruptly in it.
It was late afternoon when we left the historic location with camera full of photos.
And in my case a wallet heavier by additional 1000 Rs.
Thanks for reading and happy travelling :)