Pandupol is a quaint town situated in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, India. The town is named after the Pandava brothers of the Indian epic, Mahabharata, who are believed to have spent a significant amount of time here during their exile. Pandupol is a hidden gem that is slowly gaining popularity among tourists for its ancient temples, serene lakes, and scenic beauty. In this article, we will explore the mystical beauty of Pandupol and discover what makes it a must-visit destination.
Story of Pandupol
Pandupol is a small town located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, India. The town has a fascinating story that dates back to the time of the Mahabharata, an ancient Hindu epic.
According to legend, the Pandavas, the five heroes of the Mahabharata, along with their wife Draupadi, visited Pandupol during their exile in the forest. During their stay, the Pandavas are said to have built a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism.
Over time, the small temple grew in size, and today it is known as the Pandupol Hanuman Temple, a significant religious site for Hindus. The temple is believed to be over 5000 years old and attracts thousands of devotees every year.
Apart from the Pandavas, Pandupol also has a rich history from the medieval era. The town was ruled by the Rajputs, who built several forts and palaces during their reign. The most famous of these is the Bhangarh Fort, located about 35 km from Pandupol.
The Bhangarh Fort is believed to have been built in the 17th century by Raja Bhagwant Das, a Rajput ruler. The fort has a tragic history and is believed to be cursed. According to local folklore, the princess of the fort, Ratnavati, was a beautiful and intelligent woman, and a sorcerer fell in love with her. The sorcerer tried to use magic to make the princess fall in love with him, but the princess found out and threw the potion on a boulder, which rolled over the sorcerer and killed him. Before dying, the sorcerer cursed the fort, and it has been abandoned since then.
Despite its tragic history, the Bhangarh Fort is a popular tourist destination and attracts visitors from all over the world.
Pandupol Bheem And Hanuman Story
According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that Pandupol is the place where Lord Hanuman met Bheema, one of the Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata.
Legend has it that during the exile period of the Pandavas, Bheema was wandering in the forests of Sariska in search of a flower called “Saarangi” for his wife, Draupadi. While he was looking for the flower, he came across a monkey who was lying on the road, blocking his way. Bheema tried to move the monkey with force, but he couldn’t. Realizing that the monkey was not an ordinary one, Bheema tried to lift him up. However, the monkey grew in size and weight, and Bheema realized that the monkey was none other than Lord Hanuman himself.
Lord Hanuman then revealed his true identity and explained the purpose of his meeting with Bheema. He wanted to convey to Bheema that he would play an important role in the upcoming Kurukshetra war and that he should stay strong and focused during the difficult times ahead. Bheema was humbled by this encounter, and he realized the greatness of Lord Hanuman.
This story is a popular one in Hindu mythology and is often depicted in various forms of art, including paintings and sculptures. Pandupol Hanuman Mandir is considered a sacred place by devotees, who visit the temple to seek blessings and pay homage to Lord Hanuman.
Significance of the Pandupol
Historical Significance: Pandupol has a rich history that dates back to the time of the Mahabharata. According to legend, the Pandavas, the five heroes of the Mahabharata, along with their wife Draupadi, visited Pandupol during their exile in the forest. The Pandavas are said to have built a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, which has now grown into the Hanuman Temple. The town also has several other historical sites, including the Bhangarh Fort, built by the Rajputs in the 17th century.
Religious Significance: Pandupol is a significant religious site for Hindus. The Hanuman Temple is one of the most visited sites in the town and attracts thousands of devotees every year. The temple is believed to be over 5000 years old and is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism. The town also has several other ancient temples, including the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, the Shri Ram Janki Temple, and the Kala Devi Temple.
Natural Significance: Pandupol is home to the Pandupol Sarovar, an ancient lake believed to have been used by the Pandavas during their stay in the town. The lake is a beautiful spot to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Tourist Significance: Pandupol is a popular tourist destination and attracts visitors from all over the world. The town’s rich history, significant religious and historical sites, and natural beauty make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and religion.
Architecture of The Pandupol Temple Alwar
Entrance: The temple’s entrance has an intricately carved archway, which is typical of traditional Rajasthani architecture. The archway is decorated with floral motifs and sculptures of Hindu deities.
Sanctum Sanctorum: The sanctum sanctorum, where the idol of Lord Hanuman is kept, is a small room with a low ceiling. The room’s walls are covered with paintings and sculptures of Lord Hanuman and other Hindu deities.
Pillars: The temple has several pillars, each of which is intricately carved with motifs and sculptures of Hindu deities. The pillars are made of sandstone and are typical of North Indian temple architecture.
Dome: The temple’s dome is a beautiful example of traditional Rajasthani architecture. The dome is made of marble and is decorated with intricate carvings and paintings.
Courtyard: The temple’s courtyard is a large open space surrounded by pillared galleries. The galleries are decorated with carvings of Hindu deities, and the courtyard is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the temple’s peaceful atmosphere.
Frescoes: The temple’s walls and ceilings are adorned with beautiful frescoes, depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. The frescoes are a significant feature of the temple’s architecture and add to its aesthetic appeal.
Pandupol Mela is a popular fair that takes place near Hanuman Mandir in Sariska National Park, Rajasthan. The fair is held annually during the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April) and attracts a large number of devotees from nearby villages and towns. The fair is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, and devotees offer prayers and seek blessings from the deity. The fair also features various cultural programs, folk dances, and stalls selling local handicrafts and food items. It’s a vibrant and colorful celebration that showcases the rich culture and traditions of Rajasthan.
Temples of Pandupol
Pandupol is home to several ancient temples, each with its unique architecture and religious significance. Some of the must-visit temples include:
- Hanuman Temple: This temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and is believed to have been built during the Mahabharata era.
- Pandupol Temple: This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located near the Pandupol Sarovar.
- Sita Ram Temple: This temple is dedicated to Lord Rama and is located on the banks of the Pandupol Sarovar.
Serene Lakes of Pandupol
Pandupol Sarovar is not the only lake in Pandupol. The town is surrounded by several serene lakes, each with its unique beauty. Some of the must-visit lakes include:
- Siliserh Lake: This lake is located near the Siliserh Palace and is a popular picnic spot among tourists.
- Jaisamand Lake: This lake is the largest artificial lake in Asia and is a perfect spot for bird watching and boating.
- Bhangarh Lake: This lake is located near the infamous Bhangarh Fort and is surrounded by hills and forests.
Scenic Beauty of Pandupol
Pandupol is surrounded by hills, forests, and water bodies, making it a haven for nature lovers.
- Sariska National Park: This national park is located near Pandupol and is home to several species of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, and hyenas.
- Neelkanth Hill: This hill is located near the Temple and offers a panoramic view of the town and its surroundings.
- Bhangarh Fort: This abandoned fort is located on a hill and is believed to be haunted. It offers a stunning view of the surrounding hills and forests.
Wildlife in Pandupol
Pandupol is home to several species of wildlife, making it a perfect destination for wildlife enthusiasts. The Sariska National Park is the most popular wildlife destination in Pandupol, offering visitors a chance to spot tigers, leopards, deer, and various bird species. The park also has several water bodies, which are home to crocodiles and other aquatic animals. Visitors can opt for a safari ride to explore the park’s diverse flora and fauna.
Adventure Activities in Pandupol
Apart from wildlife safaris, Pandupol offers several adventure activities for thrill-seekers. Some of the most popular activities include:
- Trekking: The hills and forests around Pandupol offer several trekking trails, ranging from easy to challenging.
- Rock Climbing: Several hills around Pandupol are perfect for rock climbing enthusiasts.
- Hot Air Ballooning: Hot air ballooning is a popular activity in Pandupol, offering visitors a bird’s eye view of the town and its surroundings.
Best Time to Visit Pandupol
The best time to visit Mandir is from October to March when the weather is pleasant, and the town is at its scenic best. During this time, the temperature ranges from 10°C to 25°C, making it perfect for outdoor activities. The summer months (April to June) can be scorching, with temperatures soaring up to 45°C. Monsoon season (July to September) brings moderate to heavy rainfall, making it difficult to explore the town’s outdoor attractions.
Pandupol Hanuman Mandir Timings
The temple attracts devotees from all over the country, who come to offer prayers to Lord Hanuman. Here are the timings for the Pandupol Hanuman Mandir:
- Temple Opening Time: The Pandupol Hanuman Mandir opens early in the morning at 5:00 AM.
- Morning Aarti: The morning aarti is performed at 5:30 AM. It is a beautiful ritual that involves lighting lamps and offering flowers to Lord Hanuman.
- Darshan Timings: The temple is open for darshan from 5:30 AM to 12:00 PM and from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
- Evening Aarti: The evening aarti is performed at 7:00 PM. It is a beautiful ritual that involves chanting of mantras and singing of devotional songs.
- Temple Closing Time: The temple closes at 9:00 PM.
Vehicle Entry Days
Sariska National Park allows private vehicles inside the park only on two days of the week – Tuesday and Saturday. On these days, visitors can drive their own vehicles till Pandupol, one of the park’s most popular entry points. However, if you plan to visit on any other day, you will have to park your vehicle outside the park’s entry gates.
The entry fees for Pandupol in Sariska National Park vary depending on the type of vehicle you’re using. For private vehicles, the entry fee is Rs. 250 per vehicle, and for two-wheelers, it’s Rs. 50 per vehicle. Additionally, there is a per person fee of Rs. 150 for Indian nationals and Rs. 450 for foreign nationals. The park also offers guided tours and safaris that have separate fees. It’s important to note that entry fees are subject to change, and visitors are advised to check the official website or inquire at the park office for updated information.
The park may be closed during extreme weather conditions or for maintenance work, so it’s recommended to check the official website or contact the park office before planning your visit.
How to Reach Pandupol
Pandupol is well-connected to major cities in Rajasthan and India. The nearest airport is in Jaipur, which is about 155 km from Pandupol, Alwar. The town also has a railway station, with trains connecting it to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Jaipur. Buses and taxis are also available from nearby cities like Alwar and Jaipur.
How far is pandupol hanuman mandir from alwar?
The distance between Pandupol Hanuman Mandir and Alwar is approximately 37 kilometers, and it takes around one hour to reach by road.
Which is the famous Hanuman Mandir near Alwar?
The famous Hanuman Mandir near Alwar is Pandupol Hanuman Mandir, which is located near Sariska National Park in Rajasthan.
Is there any dress code to enter the temple?
There is no specific dress code, but visitors are advised to dress modestly and respectfully when entering the temple premises.
Can visitors take photographs inside the temple premises?
Yes, visitors can take photographs inside the temple premises, but they are advised to seek permission from the temple authorities before doing so.
Are there any restrictions on the items visitors can bring inside the temple?
Yes, visitors are not allowed to bring any non-vegetarian food items or alcohol inside the temple premises. Additionally, smoking is strictly prohibited.