I AM BACK!!!
This time it was Pune my City-In-Law. I have been to Pune couple of times but this time I was able to take time out to visit 2-3 spiritual places around Pune (you know what happens at Inlaws place :P). This was a very short trip still I thought of sharing my views with you all. The places I visited were Shree Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Shree Shani Shignapur Temple and Bhimashankar Temple.
Before sharing the experience about the places mentioned above, I would also take time to tell all my Delhi was that will bring back the memories of their childhood. I visited the Appu Ghar in Pune, it was nowhere close to the one we had in Delhi but was enough to bring back the memories. The best part was that we were the only people in the Appu Ghar. Now the travels begin.
Shree Shridi Sai Temple :
We started our Journey from Wadgaon Sheri in Pune around 1130pm to Shirdi Village which is in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. From NH 9 the distance is 154 Kms (3 hrs drive). We reached the place searched for the hotel. There are plenty of options available depending on your requirement such as u need room for changing or for staying. We checked in around 3 am and took rest for an hour. The best time to visit the temple is when the morning aarti is happening this is at 6 am. You will find several people offering help so that you can take a shortcut to the temple please avoid them as it will only be waste of time and money. As we had less time we were not able to click photographs (sorry for that). After darshan, we left that place at 8 am for Shree Shani Shignapur.
Shree Shani Shignapur:
If you don’t have a vehicle don’t worry there are several private jeep owners that drive people from Shridi to Shignapur. This is 40kms distance can be covered in 2 hrs looking at the condition of the road and traffic. Shree Shani Shignapur Temple is now completely changed. You are now allowed to take bath and reach the main temple in wet clothes. Moreover, you are not allowed to stand on the platform and offer oil to the main motor. Now the temple is more systematic considering the number of people visiting the temple. On an off day, you will find 30,000 to 40,000 people and the oily platform and wet clothes can lead to a stampede. Women are not allowed to go near the main moorti and there are several mortises and a well that women are not supposed to touch. I would suggest not to bring any souvenir from the temple except Prasad as Shani Dev can either bless you or can punish you for evil deeds. If you are a businessman then you can keep the Shani yantra for your “Galla”.
Next day we planned to visit Bhimashankar. This is 112 km away which is 3 hrs drive. We started our journey at 10 is in the morning. It is advisable to drive slow so that you can see the ghats. Ghats are the natural waterfalls that appear this the rainy season due to heavy rainfall. The road to bhimashankar is very beautiful and there is no mobile network in that area. In the rainy season, you can see the chocolate milk flowing from the hills as Maharastra has red soil. If you are sleeping or driving very fast you will miss the scenic beauty. You can find cars stopping at ghats and people taking bath. This can make your trip a bit longer. Please make sure that you keep the whole day for this only as the queue in bhimashankar is very long. If you have never visited Maharashtra earlier I would request you to try the peanuts that we get in bhimashankar they are different in taste. The temple is very old, sorry to say this but like any other temple, you can tip the Admin there to skip the queue and enter the graph griha. It was good to see fewer beggars and the Prasad was not lying on the floor as they have kept the temple really clean. Due to the ongoing construction, there is waterlogging. While coming back you will find several restaurants but don’t expect too much out of them as they are away from the population. Towards the end of the journey, we were so tired that we could hardly talk or move.
Coming up: “Trip to Mathura, Vrindavan and Nainital”