Prati Balaji Temple is situated at Ketkawale village near Narayanpur, around 45 km from Pune in Maharashtra. The temple is spread over ten acres of land, and it is surrounded by the beautiful Sahyadri hills. The presiding deity is Sri Balaji and Thayar in a separate sannadhi along with Padmavathi Thayar. These idols have a striking resemblance to the abode of the Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala. The structure is slightly similar to the original Tirumala devasthanam and all the religious activities including prasadam are quite similar to Tirumala Devsthanam. The presiding deity of the temple is carved in the wood, unlike the original Tirupati temple. The idol is painted in Grey oil paint. The interior of the temple is decorated with the amazing woodwork. The temple is quite colorful. The building material including black stones has been brought from Kancheepuram. There are four small shrines inside the main temple. The top surface of the main Venkateshwara temple is painted with Lord’s images. There are also sannadhis to Venugopala Swamy, Chakratalwarm, and Andal. There is a separate sannadhi to Lord Kubera outside the main temple.
Temple History and Temple Legend:
The temple of Lord Venkateswara is located in Ketkawale Pune is a replica of the famous Tirupati Balaji Temple. The temple is also known as Shri Venkateshwara Temple. The priests of this temple have come from Tirupati Temple in Andhra Pradesh. The temple was developed Venkateshwara Charitable Trust which was set up by the V H Group at the cost of Rs 27 Crores. This group was started by Dr. Banda Vasudev Rao in the year 1971. It took around seven years to build this temple (1996 to 2003). The temple has a huge and beautiful entrance created out of stone. Devotees enter barefoot in the temple premises. There are various shrines located inside the temple complex which is dedicated to different deities. These shrines are very beautiful and are made out of either marble stones or black stones.
Festivals and Celebrations:
Ram Navami, Chitra Pournami, Vijaya Dashami, Vaikunta Ekadasi, Kanu Pongal, Gudi Padva, Tamil New Year and Deepavali are popular festivals celebrated in this temple with great devotion. Tamil New Year is observed with decorations and pomp by the devotees
How To Reach:
By Train: Pune Railway Station is the nearby railhead to reach Prati Balaji Temple (40 km).
By Air: Pune Airport is the closest airport.
By Road: The temple stands on the Pune-Solapur highway, near Saswad village. Buses and private vehicles are easily available to access Prati Balaji temple.