The Saras Baug Ganapati Temple has an idol of Shree Siddhivinayak. It was built in the 18th century by Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa.
Saras Baug temple. File photo
An island of about 25,000 sq ft area was retained in the middle of this lake. Later on, a beautiful garden was created on this island. Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa gave it the name of Sarasbaug (means beautiful garden).
Historians point out that in 1784, Shrimant Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa built a small temple in Sarasbaug and installed the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak Gajanan, the god he worshipped. The temple has a beautiful garden around it. Every day there are hundreds of devotees that visit this temple.
Saras Baug. Pic/Mohan Patil
Historians add that now there is no sign of the lake, except for a small moat-like structure that sees a steady flow of water around the staircase leading to the temple.
In 1915, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) started filling the lake with debris and garbage but the garden was built around 1950 when the then commissioner of municipality, Bhujangrao Kulkarni decided to beautify the area. It is well-maintained by the private trust and PMC, as of now.