Theur is an important mythological village located near the confluence of three major regional rivers; the Bhima, Mula, and Mutha. Perhaps owing to the prominent location it has been inhabited almost continuously from the stone ages. Archaeological finds in the area have pointed to the presence of ancient communities thousands of years old.
Theur is famous as the seat of the Chintamani Ganpati one of the prime deities of the ashtavinayaka, and as the rural retreat of the Peshwas. Most notably the place where Madhavrao Peshwa the First (Thorle Madhavrao) retreated to spend his last days.
One of the origin stories of the village that is mentioned in ancient tales of the Ganpatya sect. The legend of Theur begins with the difficulties faced by the creator of all the worlds. It is said that when beset by anxiety, Lord Brahma, the creator, decided to pray to Ganesha to calm his wavering mind. After a long penance, he finally was successful in calming his mind and stop his distracting thoughts. The village which was the site of his penance came to be called 'Sthavar' (which literally means to be stable in Sanskrit). As is wont in such cases eventually, the word Sthavar changed over the years to become the more contemporary word 'Theur'.
The 'Mudgala Purana' describes how the Lord Ganesha retrieved the wish giving jewel Chintamani for his devotee, the sage Kapila. A greedy king ‘Gana’, deceitfully stole from Kapila, the jewel which granted its owner any wish he demanded. Distraught by the actions of the greedy king, Kapila appealed to Ganesha for help. Ganesha vanquished the vain king and recovered the miraculous gemstone. However, when the gem was presented to him, the sage asked his Lord to stay with him instead of taking the jewel. Ganesha pleased by the devotion of his favourite disciple stayed on with Kapila in Theur, taking on the name ‘Chintamani’.
The temple at Theur is believed to have been built by the Ganapatya saint Morya Gosavi, although the exact date of construction of the temple is unknown it is assumed to have been constructed in the 13th century.
The Peshwa Connection
Theur enjoyed royal patronage of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire during the 18th century. The Peshwas, worshipped Chintamani Ganpati as their ‘Kuladaivat’ (family deity), and donated land, cash and made additions to the temple.
In 1739 Chimaji Appa, brother and military commander of the Peshwa Baji Rao I, won a famous victory over the Portuguese at Bassein Fort (Vasai). One of the spoils of war, a large European made church bell, was donated by the Peshwa to the Temple and which even today hangs in the compound.
The fourth Peshwa of the Maratha Empire, Madhavrao (Ballal) Peshwa I, is considered one of the greatest Peshwas in Maratha history not only for his military victories but also for his reputation as a just and charitable ruler. He had a special attachment towards the village. Madhavrao would visit Theur before and after every battle and would seek solace in the serene environment of Theur. Peshwa Madhavrao spent his last days in the precincts of the temple. After his demise in 1772, his widow Ramabai committed Sati on his funeral pyre. a memorial to her is built just off the riverbank near the temple.
Theur today is well known in the glamour circles of Pune as the home of the Poonawala Stud Farms, India’s premier equine breeding establishment, and The Hamlet Theur, an upcoming residential gated community. It is located in close proximity to a large number of reputed educational institutions, industrial parks, IT hubs and tourist destinations. The village provides access to a simpler rural life of charming markets, antique fairs, and village fêtes. This is a food lovers paradise, a region where local produce is literally grown at your doorstep. You can spend weekends browsing local farmers' markets and farm shops. It is a neighbourhood unlike any other, surrounded by institutions of learning, spiritualism, style destinations and much more.