Saturday 2 March 2013

Piligrimage to Shirdi, Shani Shingnapur, Trimbakeshwar, Panchavati

A sudden inspiration, a chance offered by a stranger, a longing to get away, a legitimate reason to go. All this led to Shirdi. Packing was completely disorganized and it felt so odd to go off alone to Hyderabad, since My friend also joining from there.
As far as my religious orientation goes, I’m somewhere not between a cynic and a believer, I am a believer of god atleast for some extent. Anyways, it was saturday that I found myself in Shirdi and standing in that small queue (since it was early morning) to get a sight of the ‘holy one’ known popularly as Shirdi Wale Sai Baba. You may ask what prompted my visit? A fair question, indeed. Let’s say it was 40% curiosity and 30% bhakti. Rest because I am travelholic.

Trimbakeshwar Temple
After 30mins the moment finally arrived when I had first view of Sai Baba. The view was breathtaking, Sai idol is made out of marble (complete white) and is of life size. The facial carve is almost realistic and would stun you for a moment.  The hall is big where the Samadhi is placed (in front of the life size Idol) and is having 2 lines to form queue one on each side of the hall. You can touch and bow to Samadhi and offer your prayers. Samadhi stage is usually occupied by four priest two on each side of the Idol. There are few place inside sai baba premises where baba had lived and done miracles, served food for poor.i.e Gurusthan,  Dwarkamai, Chavadi.
Shani Shingnapur is a village about 70 kms from Shirdi and legend has it that there is not a single shop in the village that has shutters or locks and even then not a single incident of theft or robbery has been reported over here it seems.
Shingnapur is famous for the Shani temple here and pilgrims visiting Shirdi usually take out about three-four hours and make a day trip to the Shani temple to pay obeisance to the god who represents our planet or graha in Hinduism.

Shani Singanapur
Getting transport to Shingnapur from Shirdi is both easy and cheap as a round trip on one of the many jeeps that ply devotees between the two temples costs just Rs. 100 per person. If you don’t want to travel via a jeep then you’ll have to either hire a tourist cab or bring your own vehicle. Entering to shingnapur there are people who divert your mind to take you this and that etc!! Which we were trapped actually!!  It’s really disgusting how they grab money in name of god. Yanthra, manthra, etc etc. After which the guide who took us for devastanam darshan also asking for dakshina(dhana). As per my belief dhana is whatever you get from others without asking or begging! Per head each the guide was begging 200rs i.e. total 400 rs for 2 guys. I was controlling my patience but after that I yell at him and sent back!. Because yanthra all that cost was 750 rs per head and upon that the guide. The same yanthra whatever you call its cost was 250 in some other shop. In the name of god people are grabbing money be alert. So I decided from than not to drop kanika in temples! But I know I will do it again and again that is human tendency or fear or sentiment or anything you may call it on. It was same case in shirdi also. People come for peace, blessings and such things happen to them.  I am thinking atleast once in a year I go to some anathashram or disabled or orphanaged home serve one time food which will make me feel good! Anyways it’s left to individual belief. Thinking “Jho hota hain ache keliye hota hain” pausing my keyboard. Thinking of next day to Trimbakeshwar Temple, Panchavati, Mukthi dham fell asleep early because had to start early next morning at 6AM. Was eagerly waiting whether it will be suffer or Saffar.

Traditional Sugarcane Juice making, Shani Singanapur

Ram Kund
Kala Ram

Plan was to go to Muktidham, Trimbakeshwar Temple, Panchavati which is around 2 hrs from shirdi. We had booked a cab (indica) whose cost was 1800rs. After bargain it was 1600rs to and fro.
Mukthi Dham is also called as Birla temple. In Hyderabad Birla temple is of lord Venkateshwara where in Nashik  it is honoring hindu gods in series!

Mukthi Dham, Nashik
Trimbakeshwar Temple is one of the holiest and sacred place for Hindu pilgrims and is revered as a one of the 12 jyotirlinga shrins of Lord Shiva in India. The temple lies in the foothill of mountain Bhramagiri which is the origin of river Ganga (called here by name Godavari). The most attractive part of this temple is presence of 3 linga's each representing Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Frankly speaking I dint notice the above unfortunately! Amazed by the beauty of Trimbakeshwar Temple, it was looking like a “Black Beauty”.

Sita Cave, Panchavati
The name Panchavati it got is from the five banyan tree present in the vicinity where Lord Ram and Sita spent their exile period. The name Nasik also has a legend, during exile period Laxman (brother of Shri Ram) cut off Shupernakha's Nose (In Sanskrit Nose means "Nasik") and throws it on other side of the river Godavari (Ganga) which then christened as "Nasik" or "Nashik". Thus on one side of the sacred river is known as Nasik while other side where five banyan tree is known as Panchavati.

Naroshankar Temple
There are few places to see in panchavati. Its Ramkund, Kapaleshwar temple, Sita Cave ( sita gumpha) the cave which is believed to be where Devi Sita was stayed to hide herself from Demons. panchavati is coverable in 1 km. so places don’t hire a guide with auto! Which we were forced to do. Pleasure is mine to say thank you to my friend who planned the piligrimage. Back to shirdi by 3 PM. It took almost 24 hrs from shirdi to Bangalore via pune in bus.