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    Temples of Maharashtra that are more than a thousand years old

    Temples of Maharashtra that are more than a thousand years old

    India is a land that is heavily steeped in myths and stories that occurred thousands of years ago. With barely any literature supporting the mythologies of the country, the only medium to sneak into the past are the various temples, and caves of India that offers a partial insight into the Indian history. Tales that travelled from over generations and got moderated as per the perception of the orator may hold no credibility today but what can take one on time-travel to the past in search of the truth is the architecture from the ancient age that withstood the challenges of time. Although the carvings on the stones and walls seem to have tarnished with the bygone era, a few protected and restored illustration on the walls of the historical monuments is all that we have today to read through the pages of the yesteryears.

     While obviously Indians are known to be obsessed with cricket but there is less awareness about how much religion means to them. One always bump into a temple in whichever corner of the streets they are, in India. A trip in the country of Gods is always incomplete if you have not visited any of its temples. While it is next to impossible to list the names of all the famous temples in India, we surely can give you a glimpse of how it is in Maharashtra where the land is not only known for its surreal vistas, active lifestyle and mouth-watering food but also for its prehistoric temples. Maharashtra rightly reflects the spiritual side of its people as almost all of its landmarks in the state is named after a god’s name like Trimbakeshwar and Amravati.

     

    1.    Amravati Mandir: A temple dating back to the prehistoric times

    The temple finds no mention in any historical scripts. However, it holds a great religious importance for Hindus and people who come here to pay reverences to the chief deity of the temple. The primitive construction around the temple is an epitome of talent that the artisans possessed then. The structure has been here for more than thousands of years and nobody knows about when it was built. Although, the legend states that the Ambadevi temple was a witness to the marriage of Lord Krishna and Rukmini but is backed with no reliable evidence. Thus, it attracts a lot of curious historians to the temple, and hence one can find themselves girded by people with mixed interest at the temple. The most celebrated festival of India called the Navratri is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur here. During those nine days, the temple remains open to the public throughout the day. Many cultural and religious programs are performed by famous artists of the region during this time. Even the holy meal of the temple is offered to the public, after being offered to God for free throughout the day. Booking a bus ticket from Pune to Amravati during Navratri is the best one can think of and participate in the ebullience in which the town immerses itself.

     

     Amravati-Mandir

     

     

    1.    Nanded: A holy land of the Sikhs in the south

    Located on the banks of River Godavari, Takht Shri Hazoor Sahib also reverently known as Hazur Sahib is the place where Guru Gobind Singh lived the final years of his life preaching, and then left for a heavenly journey. The Gurudwara is standing in the same place where the Guru was cremated, and a monument was built right after the incident to mark his memory. There is a complex on the inside, that is called as ‘Sachkhand’ meaning the ‘Realm of Truth,' while there is a room in the interior of the Gurudwara that is referred as Angitha Sahib, where Guru Gobind Singh Ji took his last breath. Apart from going around the premises, dining in the langar is another delightful experience that not only fuels the stomach with healthy and delicious food but also fills the mind with devotion. Every visitor is entitled to dine here for absolutely no cost, the one prime highlight of any Gurudwara in India. So, quickly board a Pune to Nanded bus and set out on a land where it is all about selfless service to the humankind.

     

     

    Takht-Shri-Hazoor-Sahib

     

     

    1. Latur: The gateway to Shaivism in Maharashtra

    Siddheshwar & Ratneshwar temple lying at a distance of two kilometres from the city of Latur in Maharashtra was originally built in the 12th Century that marked the advent of “Shaivism,” meaning followers of Lord Shiva. Book your bus services from Pune to Latur and hire a local transport to reach the temple. The Ratneshwar and Siddheshwar temple are of much pertinence to those who believe in the concept of the afterlife as this is associated in some ways with Lord Shiva. The intricate carvings of mythological characters on the walls of these temples are the first things to stun you with its illustrations. The elaborate carvings on the stone walls are an example of the craftsmanship of workers in the ancient times. The temple gates open very early in the morning, and one can head to the temple at 5: 30 AM. The doors of the temple are shut after the evening aarti at 8:00 PM.

     

     

    Siddheshwar-mandir
    Picture by Uddhavghodake
    1. Pune: Land to a Ganesh temple that is raised around the tales of a “Halwai.”

    The Dagdusheth Ganpati Temple in Pune is more than a hundred years old and is a historical site with immense religious importance. Standing quite aloof from the hubbub of the city, this highly acclaimed wish-granting temple seems modestly built with great devotion and faith. As you walk into its interiors, you would gradually unfold the secrets hidden in the temple. Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai built the temple after the loss of his son to a plague which had emotionally drained him from inside. Today, this temple holds one of the most eye-catching fan-fairs during Ganesh Chaturthi.

    The main idol of Ganpati inside the temple is about 7.5 feet in height and 4 feet in width. The idol is placed in a royal gait on an elevated platform that is adorned with gold ornaments and decorated with the finest of jewellery. Because why not? It is said that the Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Trust is one of the wealthiest trust in the world. Get bus booking done for Indore to Pune and Pune to Indore with Travelyaari and bag alluring deals on a return journey ticket.


    Not only is Maharashtra a home to majestic history, but the state also has an interesting line-up of attractions in the form of palaces, caves, forts, beaches, gardens and most importantly different kinds of temples defining different styles of architecture, which gives the place a sense of sanctity and solemnity.



    Home is where family is: Nanded homecoming

    Home is where family is: Nanded homecoming

    It’s been quite some time since my parents moved out from Nagpur to Nanded and I rested back in this same city for my studies. Summer holidays seem to be approaching, and I have been packing my bags from already for a month with excitement extending to a next level. My bus tickets were booked online for 24th April with Travelyaari, and I preferred to travel with Saini Travels.

    Finally, the day arrived, and I reached an hour before, to the bus-stand with a tummy full of butterflies that only craved to taste the flavors of my mom's food. The joy to see your parents after almost four months, stepping into a new home and just the thought of exploring a brand-new place gave me Goosebumps all over my body.

    My bus arrived at about 8:45 PM and I hurried into the bus and reached out to my seat. My sleeper seat had a cozy quilt that comforted me throughout the night, and so I fell asleep very soon. I moved the curtains by my window to peek outside, and it just filled my soul with delight when I saw the street lights shimmering all through the roads. The moving long tarred highways constantly reminded me of my approach to a new home in Nanded much away from Nagpur.

    By 4:00 AM, the bus hit the Nanded bus station, and I immediately bounced out of the bus and landed in an alien land where seemed very unfamiliar. In the beginning, I only saw strange faces walking past by me, but that was a sacred moment of love, the instant I saw my dad waving. He drove me home, and I enjoyed the ride while this unknown city welcomed me with a cool breeze that tickled my cheeks and played with my hair.

    Well! You know, what next. I was home getting pampered with all that flooded emotion and food which I had to miss for over a period of four months. In fact, it was a little too much to see the mom that always yelled at me for being a mess has now turned kinder towards me. Every time she sees me, her eyes turn soggy, and that pretty well conveys how much she has missed me all these days away.

    Dad offered to take us out on a long holiday to Dubai, but I declined since in this vacation I desired to explore Nanded and places around my new house.

    That same evening, we went to Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurudwara, the most famous pilgrim center of Nanded. The entire complex has been well maintained with clean floors and walls in spite of people thronging the place every day. The one best part was its 'Langar' that happens throughout the day and night. So, ya there no, “NO” for food to anyone coming to this Gurudwara.

     

     

    Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurudwara
    Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurudwara

     

    Another amusing custom that I observed here was that the free drinking water is served in bowls and not glasses.

     

    We had also been to the Fort of Kandahar, that is located on the outskirts of Nanded and is amazingly gorgeous. I love visiting historical sites as it somehow takes me on time travel, but this fort is exceptional. I had traveled to a lot of other fortresses in Maharashtra and other parts of South India, but this one is the show stopper. The fortress is all surrounded by fantastic views of the lush green pastures, hills and other waterbodies. These picturesque views that I was surrounded with gave me an experience of life.

    My return to Nagpur from Nanded is after four more days, and so I have decided to spend these remaining days with just mom and dad.

     

    Weekend partying – the trekking style

    Weekend partying – the trekking style

    As the Friday approaches, no matter how much the body wants a night full of sleep, but the mind constantly reminds it about the upcoming weekend. My regular scene of an ideal weekend is movies, beers, long drives and lots of chills. Last weekend I thought of giving a new twist to my favorite days of the week. Yeaaay… I went trekking! The one adventure I had always wished to do at least once in my life. This fascinating pursuance has now propelled me to take up more trekking adventures around Maharashtra and later trek the Himalayas.

    I happened to meet this trekking group on Facebook and realized that they are one of the largest trekker’s associations in India. Last weekend there were treks conducted around Nagpur, and I immediately sprang into one of those treks.

    Nagpur with its great diversity of ethnicity, flora & fauna, ancient monuments, etc., is a traveler’s delight. The varied terrain along with dense wildlife shelters has turned this little town into a must visit destination.

    It's monsoon now, and I conceived what else could be better than venturing into a different world that boasts of its adventure activities like camping, trekking, biking, etc. Without giving it a second thought, I instantly booked my bus tickets online with Travelyaari.

    I reserved my seats in 'Purple Grand' that was scheduled for a departure at 6:00 PM from Pune to Nagpur on last Friday. It would be a sin for not citing the pleasing services the passengers were pampered with, on the bus. The comfort and the luxuries were all along throughout the journey. I quickly fell asleep instantly after boarding the bus as it felt so relaxing and nevertheless, I had to keep my body fresh for an adventure of tomorrow.

     

     

     

     

    The bus reached the destination by 8:00 AM and I freshened up myself in a hotel near the bus stand where I also had my breakfast and tea. Moving on, I booked a local taxi and drove down to the start point of the trek. Here I met the rest of my trekking teammates and got introduced to each other. We were a squad of twelve trekking enthusiast and were led by Sameer who is a professional trekker.

    And so, it begins—

    My co-trekkers were quite apprehensive that I am taking up my first ever trek. We chose to spend the night camping once we arrive there so that we could start again in the wee hours of the early morning to enjoy the first streaks of the sun from the top.

     

     

     

    The way to Waki Woods is dotted with enchanting lakes. We further observed some rare species of birds and other animals. The heavy woodland along the trekking route was also very stimulating. As we reached the destination, we saw a beautiful river running across. We cleaned ourselves in this water, and next visited the Waki Darga. By the evening, we set up a campfire and shared our packed food while sitting around the fire. We put up the tents and spent the night here relaxing under the glow of the moon.  The next day, brought us an ecstatic morning as we witnessed the sunrise at around 4:00 AM. Soon We packed up, began trekking back and left the place. There is a very famous Dhaba here where we had our breakfast and packed our lunch too for our onward journey.

    By the evening I was in Nagpur and to kill time I went shopping around as my bus was scheduled three hours later.

    I hit Pune early on the Monday morning as I was reliving every moment from my trek and relishing every scene of it.  My next weekend is well sorted now ;)!

     

    An offbeat rendezvous with Pune Heritage

    An offbeat rendezvous with Pune Heritage

    26 June 2017

    Dear Diary,

    I am so glad that I went on to go to Pune for a quick escape. The place is so charming that Atul and I were pampered throughout this trip with an ambient climate and luxurious trip to its heritage masterpieces. We made it here at 8:00 AM on 25th June and our Bangalore to Pune bus tickets were booked online through Travelyaari with VRL Travels. The journey was quite prosperous and luxurious, and therefore I could savour a peaceful night watching a Marathi movie with English subtitles that the conductor played on the Tv in the bus.

    I had booked a heritage tour in Pune with Travelyaari, and this happened to be my best decision of all time. Not only we enjoyed throughout the trip, but also the driver provided with the pre-booked vehicle was incredible with his direction and gave us some significant insights about every site we visited.

    Travelyaari outlined the entire travel plan, and I am happy that they did it for us as this turned this trip one of the precious memory that I am going to keep close.

    We checked into our already pre-booked hotel room and quickly freshened up to begin our sightseeing tour. After having a delicious and authentic Puneri breakfast, we hopped into the vehicle that was booked for us for the Pune sightseeing trip.

    We first headed towards Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Building, where we saw the statue of political reformer Mahatma Jyotirao Phule at the entry of the PMC building which is a tribute to him for his contribution to the society.

    We continued driving next towards the Ghorpade Ghat which is one of the oldest Ghats of Pune. The fragments of a tiny Shiva temple are still here even after it got washed away by a massive flood.

     

     

    We also went to Shaniwarwada, the seat of Peshwa rulers whose foundation was laid by Peshwa Bajirao in the year 1730. The structure seemed to be taking pride in its glorious history.

     

    Shaniwarwada
    Shaniwarwada

      

    The driver later drove us to the Lal Mahal that was built in 1630 by Shivaji’s father, Shahaji Bhosale. It was built for his wife Jijabai and son Shivaji, where he spent almost ten years of his childhood.

     

     

     

    Lal Mahal pictured by shankar s
    Lal Mahal pictured by Shankar s

     

     Nana Wada was the next destination where we headed to find the arches, cypress-shaped pillars, wooden ceiling, motifs of banana flowers here. Nana Phadnavis established this Wada for himself, and it is positioned to the south of Shaniwar Wada.

      

     

    After this, we rushed for lunch at around 2:00 PM and savoured a delicious Marathi Lunch. The driver drove us to a homely mess that served Thalis cooked by the experts of the Kitchen. It was one fulfilling Om-nom-nom kind of a scene.

     

     

    Puneri Thali
    Puneri Thali

     

    Vishrambaug Wada was our next destination post lunch. This Wada was a luxurious residence of Peshwa Bajirao II built in 1807, another Marvel from the ancient.

    Soon we left for Tulshi Baug Ram Mandir that has some unique carvings along with some amazing woodwork, stonework, and lime stucco-work done here.

    Finally, we ended the day at Burud Ali, a lane that houses the families of bamboo craftsmen. One can find some of the best bamboo artefacts in this area. We bought plenty interesting stuff and other gifts for the home.

     

    After a day, full of gazing through the art of the ancient times we headed back to the hotel to relax. Although the journey tired the body, it couldn’t satisfy the hungry souls wanting to see more such beauties.

    Today, we got into our buses at around 9:15 AM and started our journey back from Pune to Bangalore. The weekend ended pretty well because we have had an amazing time in Pune exploring the city and its flavours.

     

     

    ~From the diary of an avid traveller 

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