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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Maharashtra trip 8: Devgad, Shani Singnapur and Pandarapu

27 - 28th December 2007

After Ajanta and Aurangabad, we went to Devgad which was our halting point of the day. Not many people (including me) are aware of this small village. But it is a very calm place next to a river with a nice Dattatreya Temple complex.

Next day, we went to Shani Singnapur, a 45 minutes journey from Devgad. There is a Shani Temple here, which is quite famous. The buildings (including toilets) here do not have any doors or windows. Even then there is no robbery reported till date. It is the order of Shani not to have any doors and windows here. The temple itself is quite unique that there are no Priests to worship God. The stone which is worshipped as Shani does not even have roof. People who wish to perform pooja have to take bath and with just one orange panche (lungi) have to perform pooja. Others can only watch from a distance. Women are not allowed to perform Pooja. I just watched while few people in our group took bath and conducted pooja.

Our next destination was Pandarapur, which we reached by lunch time. First we visited a museum. It has many statues of Sadhus and Gods. The interesting point of this museum is the way they have utilized the space. We had a feeling of entering a “Chakravyuva”. The total area of the museum may be 10,000 sq ft but it took an hour to see it and we were just walking for the entire time. I lost count of number of times I climbed up and got down from the stairs.

After lunch, we went to the Vitthala Rukmini Temple. Pandarapur town is a big mess. I would that the entire town looks like a dust bin. One cannot even find a spot which is clean and people are least bothered. Entire town is covered with house flies. Again for the darshan, we had to wait in the queue for one hour. Even the place where we stand for the queue is not clean. Red mark of beetle nuts is everywhere. The priest at the Temple was a cunning guy. I was looking for a Hundi to offer some money and the priest snatched money from my hand.

That was the end of Maharastra part of the trip. We then moved to Bijapur for night stay. Next day, we saw Gol Gumbaz. On the way back to Hubli we visited Kudala Sangama and Banashankari.

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