Posts Tagged ‘Pune-Satara Highway’

My friends and I were planning for some monsoon outing since long. Finally we decided to go to Baneshwar last monsoon. We packed our backpacks and started in morning. There were light showers and atmosphere was very pleasant.

To reach Baneshwar:

  1. Take Pune-Satara highway.
  2. Drive approx. 30-32 Kms to reach Nasarapur phata (function).
  3. You can see sign board on left hand.
  4. Take right turn from this junction.
  5. Drive more 2.5-3 Kms to reach Baneshwar.
  6. Total distance is 35-40 Kms.

As the temple approaches, the dense canopy of bamboos welcomes you. This path is amazing. There is lot of parking spaces with few shops selling pooja thalis. Also there are few small hotels outside the temple. The temple entrance, deep malas, Nandi and water tanks are worth watching.

Baneshwar has beautiful temple of God Shiva. This temple is founded by Shrimant Balajirao Peshwa in 17th Century. ‘Ban‘ means ‘dense woods or forest’ in Marathi language. As this temple is situated among dense forest and trees it is called ‘Baneshwar‘ i.e. ‘God of woods’.

There is a unique flow of water around the temple. The construction is mostly in black stone. There are two water tanks with Gomukh. The water in those tanks is hard water. The gabhara has idols of God Vishnu, Devi Lakshmi and Shiva Linga. The surrounding is very pleasant and peaceful.

Outside there is a beautiful garden. There were many beautiful flowers and plants. We spent some time there. I spotted a spotted dove (doesn’t that sound rhyming…? 😉 )

Also there was a waterfall near to the temple. The route to waterfall is amazing and there is green all over. We should take precaution in waterfall as negligence can be dangerous.

Baneshwar is becoming popular now-a-days due to its approachability and beauty. We really had great time at Baneshwar.
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I am always keen to see ‘off-the-beaten-track’ places. Best thing about such places is these are not crowded and we get to see something really worthy. I read about “Amruteshwar” last night and it sounded very fascinating. Pradnya and I made a quick decision to explore this much unknown and unexplored place.

We started at 3:30pm from Pune. We took up road to new Katraj tunnel and joined Pune-Satara highway. There were beautiful orange flora beds on both sides of the highway. We halted there for a while to click these orange beauties.

To reach Amruteshwar:

  1. Drive Sinhagad Road and join NH4 near Dhayari flyover.
  2. Take diversion towards new Katraj Tunnel.
  3. You will be on Pune-Satara Highway.
  4. Cross Shivapur Toll plaza. Get return journey fare receipt here of Rs. 70/-
  5. Travel approx. 38-40 Kms to reach ‘Bhor’ phata. (Right hand side is HP Petrol pump)
  6. Take right from here and cross bridge on river ‘Gunjawani’ near ‘Kasurdi’ village. Approx. distance is 3 Kms.
  7. Travel 5 mins distance more and take right turn to ‘Mohari’ village.
  8. More approx. 3 Kms. drive to reach Amruteshwar temple.
  9. Total drive is approx. 45-50 Kms.

We took right turn from Bhor phata and we observed hues of green and cool breeze. It was not very sunny but pleasant atmosphere. We didn’t hope that we would get to see much of the birds in afternoon but Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark caught our attention. We were extremely happy as we found it for second time and also this time we had Canon 75-300 mm lens. 🙂 It posed for us as we captured it. The excitement continued as we traveled more with other birds like Jungle Babblers, Drongos, Mynas, Green Bee eater, Baya weavers, Sparrows, Brown Shrike, Swallows, Ashy Prinia, Swifts, Brahminy Mynas, Spotted Doves and Cattle Egrets. Green landscapes were adorned by beautiful rainbow. It was just amazing!

We reached Amruteshwar temple. There are 4-5 houses of Pujaris nearby the temple. The temple entrance is beautiful. There is recently constructed Sabha Mandap (hall used for religious gatherings and conferences) as extension of temple. Many ancient stone-craved idols of gods are kept in the temple. Few of these stone idols were found in furrow in digging while renovation of temple. The temple has carvings on outside walls. There is huge Nandi at centre of Sabha Mandap and a deep-maal outside the temple.

The Gabhara (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple has shiva linga without Salunkha (ling case). The salunkha place is covered with water in shiv linga. Similar shiva linga is present in the rivulet near the temple and is easily visible in summer season due to less water. In rest seasons, it is hidden in water stream. There are sculptures of Shri Lakshmi-Vishnu (sitting on eagle) on the back wall in Gabhara.

Shivganga, Gunjawani rivers and Mahadev stream unite together near Mohari village and hence also considered as holy place due to this sangam (Union) of water streams. This village is known since era of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. I consider every place touched by his feet as holy and I was lucky to visit Amruteshwar. It gives a different feeling of contentment.

We started our return journey at 6:30pm and reached Pune by 7:30pm. It was really a quick, short and perfect outing. We rejuvenated ourselves for another upcoming hectic week. 🙂

For more snaps visit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157607976099866/detail/

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