The Ujjani Dam built in1969, is one of the biggest reservoirs in Maharashtra. It is a now a primary source for supplying irrigation and drinking water to districts of Pune, Solapur and Ahmednagar. However, when it was built, very little thought was spared on heritage constructs in the villages, which were submerged. And along with the villages, there was also a prized temple, believed to be built somewhere between 9 th and 11 th century AD. These submerged villages were not attended to at that time, which has now turned into an ideal spot for underwater tourism.
The government is now trying to develop these areas on the lines of underwater tours offered to visit the ancient city of Dwarka, in Gujarat. If latest news reports are to be believed, the added underwater attractions will likely be relics and other remnants of that time, especially near Bhigwan.
Consent to use land has also been received, which means land near Indapur should soon be available for development. Referring to this development, Deepak Harne, Regional Manager from the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) Pune region, said the areas opened for these exclusive experiences will include sightseeing, boating and scuba diving too. Further, camping facilities, landscaped gardens and watchtowers will also be part of the experience.
As of now the areas that might be opened up for tourists are:
Pedgaon Village: ‘Fort of Pedgaon’ or ‘Dharmaveergad’ is one of the prime attractions of this place. The fort has five temples, two of which are known as Baleshwar and Lakshmi Narayan Temple. Then there is also a Ram temple that is adorned with the rare cravings of Laxman, Sita, Hanuman and Ravan.
Palasnath Temple: This was built by the Chalukya kings near Palasdeo village, and this ancient structures date back from 9 th and 11 th century. This beautiful temple has carving in Hemadpanti style, which is a sight to behold.
Wangi Temple: The Tulja Bhawani Temple in this village boasts of ruins that are of archaeological interest. The village is also home to four ancient temples dedicated to four different deities, i.e., Siddheshwar, Khandoba, Nagnath and Lakshmi.
Not just these, there are other villages that have temples submerged underwater, such as Kugaon, Parewadi, Bitergaon, Dhokri, Pomalwadi, Takli, Kondhar-Chincholi and Chikhlathan.
However, the prime concern as of now is that the prime hotspots near Ujjani dam, Maharashtra, don’t have facilities to provide staying facilities to tourists, which the government is now looking after to fix it.
Thus, in near future, you might be in all likelihood come across some ancient temple walls from the bygone era while you are enjoying scuba diving .