Jun 30, 2018

Across different regions of India, there are numerous God and Goddess and their dedicated temples in Hindu religion. Everyone can't always visit the main sacred place. So some of the Indian states are building the replicas of major Hindu temples such as:
Replicas of 12 Jyotirlingas at Siddhesvara Dham, Sikkim
Replicas of Char dham at Namchi, Sikkim
Replicas of 51 Shaktipeeth at Ambaji, Gujrat.
Replica of the most famous Shirdi Sai Baba Temple (Prati Shirdi) at Shirgaon village near Pune.
Other replicas of famous monuments and major places of pilgrimage such as the Taj Mahal and Replica of Angkor Wat Temple in Bihar were under construction at the time of writing. 

Near Pune we have replica of most famous Tirumala Venkateswara Temple (Tirupati Balaji) named "Prati Balaji Temple" near Ketkawale-Narayanpur. If you have limited time and want to visit Balaji temple near Pune, this could be right place. For us, It was a short and half day trip from Pune. I have visited this place twice so far. There are multiple routes to reach this place. If you can come early, you can also trek for nearby Purandar Fort on same day. 
Address: Prati Balaji Temple, Saswad-Kapurhol-Bhor Road, Ketkawale, near Narayanpur, Pune, Maharashtra



It was built by the V.H.Group at a cost of 27 crores. It is located outskirts of Pune and also known as Shri Venkateshwara Temple. The priests of this temple have come from Tirupati Temple in Andhra Pradesh. Balaji temple at Pune is constructed under the guidance of Tirumala Tirupati Temple Devasthan. It took almost 7 years to built this temple during 1996 to 2003 and it is one of the best religious places in Maharashtra. The temple premises is quite clean and very well maintained. 

Prati Balaji Temple Ketkawale Timings: Daily 5:00 am to 8:00 pm. At the time when we visited, there was not much crowd at this temple. Even during the weekend, there were limited people, and within 5-10 minutes we got to see the replica of the Balaji idol inside. This place also has timings and Pooja details alongwith Darshan (visit) closing timings. 


No photography is allowed inside the temple, though Balaji Idol is pretty visible once you are inside the temple. They do not allow mobiles, cameras, leather waist belts and wrist watches inside the temple for security reasons. The lockers are available to deposit all these things. However, visitors can take photographs outside the main temple. We had few photographs during the 'Parikarma Marg' & Pathik also enjoyed this place during my second visit. This place in itself is beautiful amidst lush green hills, and all the color carvings are pretty amazing all around, which depicts lots of stories of Hindu Gods. After the visit don't forget to have Prasadam near exit. 




During both the visits, We relaxed here for an hour. Near the parking area of the temple, there are few shops, where one can buy souvneirs and also have snacks. Just outside of the temple, and near to main entrance there are quite many shops, and small market, that make this place more lively. As per current situtation, parking space seems to be good enough. Do visit this place, If you are in Pune or nearby. 



Other Famous Replicas Visit: 
We had visited "Prati Shirdi" at Shirgaon village near Pune as well. 
We had also visited "Mini Siam" - "The miniature world", place with most of the wonders at one place named "Mini Siam" in Pattaya, Thailand. We had a couple of hours around Mini Siam with a quick tour of most of the landmarks of Thailand and replicas around the world. 

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