July 21, 2012

Quote about the Post: "As every picture is worth a thousand words, so are these - chock-a-block potholes near Takali Haji" - Quote about Potholes near Shirur in Maharashtra

If you are searching for a unique but less visited places around Pune, Pothole near Takali Haji is a good option. Google maps reflect this place as 'Nighoj Potholes in Maharashtra'. It is only recommended to go if you want to go some unusual place in Maharashtra, and trek down to some blunt, rough, cliff shaped potholes. To be true, This place seems to be quite interesting and one can go down the chock-a-block pothole cliffs with courage and high care.

Natural Potholes near Takali Haji:

After visiting Ramling, we proceeded to the less visited but unique place to visit near Shirur, natural potholes (Kund) in the River Kukdi near Takli Haji. We followed the route as we covered Ranjangaon Mahaganpati and Ramling in the same day:

Pune - Lonikand - Koregaon Bhima - "Sanaswadi" - Shikrapur - "Ranjangaon" - Shirur - "Ramling" Old Shirur - Annapur - Takli Haji - "Potholes" in Nighoj village - Malthan - Chincholi Morachi - Ganegaon - Shikrapur - Pune

You can directly follow below from Pune, if you want to visit only this place: Pune - Lonikand - Koregaon Bhima - "Sanaswadi" - Shikrapur - "Ranjangaon" - Ganegaon - Malthan - Takli Haji - "Nighoj Potholes" - Ganegaon - Shikrapur - Pune

Pune - Ranjangaon - Ramling - Potholes Route Map

You have to keep asking about the "Kund" (nearby people know by this name) to reach the destination. With the clear road and green fields, it was pleasant drizzle which welcomed us to 'kund'. The rains made the rocks slippery and we decided to stand still at a safe place before proceeding towards the trek. We got good time for some pics. There is recently constructed "Malganga Suspension bridge" and It seems like the smaller version of "Laxman Jhula in Rishikesh". 

There is also a small temple named "Shree Malganga devasthan". Soon the rain stopped, and we were all ready to explore the potholes. One has to be very careful while going down the potholes, but still quite interesting. We spent sometime climbing up and down to the potholes. This place was shows-topper in the entire journey. Thanks to Tarachand Bhawnani for suggesting this unexplored place. 

Note: Come with proper trek shoes. Children should not go at the edges and panic station points, and should be in guidance with elders all the time. On our way back to Pune we stopped by at Cauliflower, Pomegranate and other fields at time to time. On request we got a pair of fresh Cauliflower, free-of-cost from the farmers. Meenal gave the chocolates to farmer's baby. We also had the bullock-cart ride on request just for pose, and Tara gave some tip for this hospitality. 

One very peculiar thing we noticed on the way, the way onions were stored (ref to album). Next we landed at the peacock village - Chincholi Morachi, but time didn't allow us to stay longer. Peacocks can be seen only during early morning or late evening i.e in pleasant and cool weather. Now we had our much needed late lunch and headed back to Pune. 

Our day long drive make the proverb true: "March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers". 
As per our plan to cover nearby places of Shirur, we moved to famous Ramling temple in old Shirur, after worshiping Mahaganpati at Ranjangaon.

Pune - Lonikand - Koregaon Bhima - "Sanaswadi" - Shikrapur - "Ranjangaon" - Shirur - "Ramling" Old Shirur 

View Pune to Ramling Shirur Map

Ramling (Old Shirur):

Ramling is a village 3 kms distant, on the way to Pabal. Famous for Ramling (Shiv) Temple, it is an ideal place for weekend pilgrimage. It is believed that Lord Rama built this Shivling here while he was in exile. Many people gather here for the holy festival of Mahashivratri. Main shivling is downstairs inside the temple. 

For people who would like to pay regards along with holy offerings, can purchase it at the temple entrance. Fortunately, photography is allowed inside this temple. Lit with beautiful 'diyas' inside the place was serene and beautiful. The temple structure is quite colorful and as neat as ninepence. There is a small Ramling garden as well, that is well maintained. There was a marriage ceremony being performed in the temple premises. Guess, this place/premises is a primary option with villagers for various functions or rituals. Food place is named as "Matoshri Madanbai Manikchandji Dhariwal - Bhojanalaya". 

After that we stopped for sometime near the Ghodnadi bridgeSome old temples can be seen from this bridge. There were visible potholes filled with water in the Ghod river. We took some photographs at this place and biked towards "potholes near Takli Haji".

July 18, 2012

After Alibaag our monsoon express visited the nearby places of Shirur located between Pune and Ahmednagar. It was a day long drive with occasional monsoon drizzles. Four of us started the journey on two bikes, Tarachand & Komal on one and Meenal & myself on the other. We traversed through the below route:

View Mahaganapati Temple in a larger map
Pune - Lonikand - Koregaon Bhima - "Sanaswadi" - Shikrapur - "Ranjangaon" - Shirur - "Ramling" Old Shirur - Annapur - Takli Haji - "Nighoj Potholes" - Malthan - Chincholi Morachi - Ganegaon - Shikrapur - Pune

Shri Bhairavnath Temple, Sanaswadi

This was our unplanned stoppage, but the temple is on the roadside and quite colorful to attract the people passing-by. The temple is located between Koregaon Bhima and Shikrapur on the way to Shirur. Shri Bhairavnath is village deity. This village celebrate annual village fair in the name said deity on 2nd day of Chaitra Krishna Pakshya. All villagers celebrate the said fate with enthusiasm. On the first day of fair there are bullock cart races and on the second day, wrestling competitions are arranged. 

Within the same premises, we have Jogeshwari Prasanna and Shani Dev temples. Unlike other states, females are prohibited to go to Shani Dev temple in Maharashtra. We got the "Jalebi" as the prasad to visit this place. We wish, we could get this even more! You can visit this place while going to Shirdi, Shani Shingnapur or Aurangabad from Pune. 

Ranjangaon Mahaganpati Devasthan:

Ranjangaon village is located about 50 km from Pune on the way to Shirdi, enroute to Aurangabad. While going from Pune - Nagar highway, the route is Pune - Koregaon Bhima - then via Shikrapur Rajangaon is 21 km before Shirur. 
Ranjangaon Mahaganpati is one among the Ashtavinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha. Outside the temple, there is small market, offering prasad, garlands, coconuts and other holy offerings for Mahaganpati. This cute idol of Lord Ganesh is also named as 'Mahotkat'; portrayed on a lotus, flanked by his consorts Riddhi and Siddhi. 

The temple is quite crowded on weekends and holy festivals, and you may have to wait for more than 30 mins for paying a visit. One also has an option of fast darshan by paying INR 50; however, the local villagers are previleged for having a direct entry to the main temple. There are a few colorful paintings on the walls depicting stories of Indian Gods & Goddesses.

Just near the parking lot, there are two decorated idols of elephants adding beauty to this holy place. While we were busy admiring these beautiful creations touching their neck bells and capturing photos, we noticed a giraffe peeping from behind. In anxiety, we headed to explore more, and found sculptures of rhino, zebra, lion, tiger in the garden. Best was the tiger whose eyes were quite frightening. This park serves not only as a picnic spot to the localities (you can easily spot people relishing home made snacks), but also a place for relaxation for workers (catching an afternoon nap in the calm & serene environment). 

Further more a huge entrance is under construction, which will make the place, easy to be identified for the tourists. Photography and videography inside the temple is not allowed. Ganesha Chaturti is celebrated in great splendor and thousands of devotees come over to pay their regards. We had our breakfast in the temple restaurant, wheeled ahead in search of "natural potholes near Takli Haji".

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