Religion and Spirituality in Pune


Religion in Pune is sometimes synonymous with the Ganapati utsav i.e. Ganesh Festival. The city is also famous for its Ganesh temples.

Chaturshrungi goddess is the reigning deity of the city of Pune. A temple dedicated to the goddess is situated on the slopes of a mountain in the northwest part of the city. The temple is in the midst of nature's scenic beauty. This ninety feet high and one hundred and twenty five feet wide temple is looked after by Chatushringi Devasthan (Temple) trustees, with full dedication. In the month of September there is a huge procession for the Navaratris and people flock in to visit and receive blessings of the Goddess.

Pune was also home to a considerable population of the Indian Jewish community, the Bene Israel. It is home to Asia's largest synagogue (outside Israel), The Ohel David Synagogue (Popularly called Lal Deval - the Red Temple ). Pune is also the birth place of Meher Baba.

Close to Pune, near the Malavali hills, is the Vedanta Academy, founded by one of the world's most noted exponents of Vedanta, Swami Parthasarathy. The academy offers free Vedantic education to young seekers from all corners of the world.

The spiritual teacher Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) resided and taught in Pune for much of the 1970s and 1980s. The lush green Osho International Meditation Resort, one of the world's largest places dedicated to meditation and personal development, is located in the Koregaon Park area and attracts a large national and international audience to the city.

Pune has become important place for Yoga education since world famous legendary Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar established his Yoga Institute and where teachers of Yoga from all over the world come for final education. BKS's books Light on Yoga and Light on Pranayama are translated in 18 languages world wide and considered Text Books of Yoga.His Iyengar Yoga System is recognized for school education in UK, USA & Canada and there are approximately 6000 IYS teachers world wide. At the age of 86 he still attends the Institute to guide students

Close to Pune City are the villages of Alandi and Dehu where Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram belong. Each year thousands of pilgrims from all over Maharashtra gather here and start 'Wari' which is the procession carrying 'palkhi's of Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram to Pandharpur. Pandharpur is the home to Lord Vitthal and is about 300 km from Pune. All pilgrims walk this distance to reach Pandharpur on the auspicious day of 'Aashadhi Ekadasshi' when the 'Wari' ends.