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Posts Tagged ‘Bhandara’

Ever since I got my car, I always wanted to take my Uncle for drive. I asked him where he wish to go. He instantly expressed his desire to visit “Jejuri”. I was not very surprised as I was well aware of his curiosity to see different places.

Before we proceed, let me tell you some thing about this uncle of mine. His name is Dr. J.A.F. Roodbergen. He is a Dutch, age 83, double PhDs in Sanskrit language to his credit. His passion to learn Sanskrit brought him to India in his early twenties. He stayed in Deccan College (Pune) and completed his first PhD. Then he returned to Amsterdam and completed another PhD from there. He taught Sanskrit for about 20 years in University of Amsterdam. He has been coming to India for past four decades. He is now writing books along with his guide and co-author Dr. S. D. Joshi on Panini sutras in Sanskrit. Now he comes to India every year from June to November and works on this project. ‘Sahitya Akademi’ publishes these books. We can call him “Half-Indian” as he spends half of the year in Pune. We were neighbors for 3 years (1999 – 2002) when he was in Pune then. My roommate (Pradnya) and me befriended him. He used his PC as typewriter and I have spoiled him a bit by showing him ‘other’ uses of computer like watching movies, playing music and chess. We have watched many classic English movies together and enjoyed excellent music from Sufis to pianos & instrumentals to electronics guitars. We have indulged ourselves in endless discussions from traffic on Bajirao road to Indian government, and culture differences to old India. Even though we have parted as neighbors long back, our bond has stood and grown strong with time. For the world he is renowned Sanskrit Scholar but for me he will always be my dear Uncle. 🙂

So coming back, we booked one Sunday for Jejuri. We picked Uncle from his place and parceled some Hindustan Bakery pattice. There were light showers when we started in the morning. We waited in the midway and had our breakfast. The atmosphere was very pleasant as we drove through. Dive ghat is another amazing place on the way. We halted there for while and enjoyed picturesque panorama from here. We reached Saswad and headed for Jejuri.

To reach Jejuri:

  1. Take Solapur highway
  2. Drive up to Hadapsar and take right turn to Saswad.
  3. On the way to Saswad, you have to cross Dive ghat.
  4. From Saswad, take road to Jejuri. Total distance from Pune to Jejuri is around 48 Kms.

Coconut Heap

We reached Jejuri base. There were small shops selling pooja items along with Abir, Gulal, Pinjar and halad (4 different color powders offered to God), bangles, holy threads and devotional CDs, etc. One shop had heap of coconuts very beautifully arranged. Everyone has their own way to show the creativity and art within. 🙂

Jejuri is one of the famous temples in Maharashtra. Popularly known as ‘ Khandobachi Jejuri ‘. The God of Jejuri is “Mhalsakant” or “Malhari Martand”. This is more popular among the Dhangar tribe and known to be their deity. Dhangar is one of the oldest tribes in Maharashtra. The temple is situated on a small hill, called as Jejurigad and can be seen from the approaching road. We climbed over 200 steps to reach the top. It was bit tiring for Uncle considering his age. Pradnya and me supported him while climbing. The beautiful surroundings made climbing efforts much easier. We could see many “Deep Malas” (Light stands made up of stones) on the way. These are known to be oldest “Deep malas”.

The temple on hilltop is very beautiful. The idol of Khandoba is attractive and is sitting on a horse with weapons in hand and ready for fight. The deity is also called the fighter god. There are two eye-catching bells in the temple. Devotees apply and shower turmeric powder (bhandara) which paints the whole arena into golden yellow, a color they associate with the power of the sun and one suggestive of Khandoba’s solar origin. The people shout the ritual slogan “Sadanandacha Yelkot” which means Khandoba’s everlasting bliss. Jejuri gets its another name from this bhandara as “Sonyachi Jejuri” which means “Golden Jejuri” in Marathi.

The weapons like a sword, a damaru (drum) and a paral kept inside the temple have historical importance. Sword holding competition is held here every year on Dasehara Day. Temple dome and surrounding area is also worth seeing. There is also a pathway to “Kadepathar Jejuri” uphill temple, which goes through mountain.

Jejuri also has significant importance from historical point of view. It is said that after years of separation Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj met his father Shahaji Raje on Jejurigad and discussed the strategies against Mughals. This place is blessed by sacred feet of Shivaji Maharaj.

Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb tried to destroy this temple for second time in 1690. However he was frustrated when the Mughal soldiers while trying to attack the temple disturbed the nest of hornet. The hornets harassed the Mughal soldiers and they had to lift their siege and spare the temple.

We took darshan and then took some snaps. The view from here is very scenic and pleasant. We climbed upstairs. “Peshawe” lake is seen from top.

We started descending. While stepping down, melody of ‘Sambal’ (Marathi name for a musical instrument) caught our attention. We waited for while and enjoyed it. We returned back in the afternoon.

Jejuri is worth a dekko. I am thankful to my Uncle whose urge to see Jejuri took me to this amazing place.

Note: You can also add another destination “Morgaon’s Mayureshwar Ganapati” to this trip. Morgaon is 15 Kms from Jejuri.

For more snaps visit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157603772384044/detail/

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