Hemant Rasane, chairperson of the Pune Municipal Corporation’s standing committee, told The Indian Express that the civic body was constructing the sports complex on a 1.5-acre patch of land at Ambegaon Pathar in Dhankawadi.
The Pune Municipal Corporation will install a Ram culture at the under-construction Ambegaon Pathar sports complex in the city’s Dhankawadi area. The civic body, which is run by the BJP, has also made provision of Rs 2 crore for the sculpture.
Hemant Rasane, chairperson of the Pune Municipal Corporation’s standing committee, told The Indian Express that the civic body was constructing the sports complex on a 1.5-acre patch of land at Ambegaon Pathar in Dhankawadi. It received a proposal to install a Ram sculpture on the premises that was approved unanimously on Tuesday. Rasane added that the civic body had decided to set aside Rs 2 crore for installation of the sculpture.
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BJP corporator Varsha Taprik, who was recently elevated to the post of vice-president of the party’s state unit, tabled the proposal for the sculpture’s installation. In her proposal, Tapkir said construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya was an inspiration for Indians, The Indian Express reported. She added that the Ram temple construction was the realisation of a dream held by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former prime minister.
She went on to add that the RSS, other Hindu outfits and organisations in Dhankawadi had demanded installation of the Ram sculpture at Ambegaon Pathar.
Tapkir further added that Ram’s values should reach everyone. She said love, friendship, harmony, compassion, brotherhood, mercy, prosperity, and equality were a part of ‘Ramrajya’, and they all had made India the same once again. The BJP leader said that it was on this basis that Dhankawadi residents wanted the sculpture to be installed at the sports complex.
Temples devoted to Ram in Pune
Pune and its surrounding regions are home to several Ram temples, all of which are popular tourist attractions. Among the most popular is the Tulshibaug Ram Mandir, built by Naro Appaji Khire (Tulshibagwale) following an order from Balaji Baji Rao (Nana Saheb). The temple’s original structure was built entirely of teak and included a large congregation hall with carved columns and arches.
The Ramdara Mandir on the Solapur Highway is another popular tourist desitnation. Although it is named after Ram, it houses idols of several other gods and saints from Hinduism. Located around 25 km from the main city, the temple is surrounded by water bodies on three sides and provides a scenic backdrop for the shrine.
The city is also home to several other religious sites of historical significance, including the Shreemath Dagdusheth Halwai Temple, a famous temple devoted to Ganesh. The temple was finished in 1893. The presiding Ganesha idol, which is insured for Rs 10 million, stands at 7.5 ft high and 4 ft wide.
The Pataleshwar Cave Temple is another popular site that dates back to the 8th century Rashtrakuta period. The temple, dedicated to Shiva, is made of basalt. It houses a linga, representing the god, and two smaller cells on either side.