The Saras Baug Ganpati Mandir is one of the most famous temples of Pune. Situated in the 25-acre premises of Sarasbaug, people from Pune and all around the world come to visit this holy place to seek the blessings of Shree Siddhivinayak Ganpati. The 25-acre park that we see today was once full with a small lake.
It all started in 1750 when Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa shifted his focus towards the development and exquisiteness of Parvati hills after erecting the Shree Devdeveshwar Temple on Parvati hill. It was his decision to construct a lake at its foothills with the retention of about 25,000 ft2 for island at the center of the lake. Sarasbaug is the result of the creation of a beautiful garden on this island.
Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa and Mahadji Shinde of Maratha confederacy supervised its construction. In 1784, a small temple was built in Sarasbaug and the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak was installed by Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa. This temple is situated near the Parvati temple, which used to be the residence of the head of the Maratha confederacy. Since then, this temple has been an epitome of faith and inspiration for all the devotees. The temple attracts maximum number of visitors on Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganeshotsav, and other special occasions. It is believed that Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa and his associates used to conduct secret meetings while riding on a boat in the lake.
The Saras Baug Ganpati temple and the surrounding area have been renovated from time to time and now it is fully developed. In addition to the beauty of the temple and its holiness, the surroundings will keep you engaged all the time. This includes the ponds containing beautiful white and pink lotus flowers and a variety of fishes. You will find a museum in the back region of the temple that displays a variety of idols of Lord Ganesha carved in stone, ivory, wood, metal, etc. This exquisite work will leave you amazed. The lush greenery of the park adds to the splendor of the temple. In fact, the Sarasbaug is considered a picnic spot. The children enjoy it a lot, as they can also experience delight nearby in the rides of giant wheels, slides, and inflated bouncers. You will also find some snack centers nearby that provide a variety of delicious food items like pavbhaji, bhelpuri, panipuri, pulav, etc. Moreover, in the proximity of the temple lie the popular tourist spots like Peshwe Energy Park and the Mahalaxmi temple. All these things and the blissfulness of the temple make it a worthwhile experience.
Reaching Sarasbaug is not a problem as Swargate, which is the main bus transport station of Pune is situated within a mile of the temple. You can use the bus service or hire a rickshaw. The temple remains open everyday from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.Thus if you are looking ahead to make a trip to Pune, you must visit the Saras Baug Ganpati to experience its richness.