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Old 9th August 2010, 01:22   #1
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Default In Maharashtra's Beautiful Hinterland

I had never gone beyond Wagholi on the north eastern border to Pune, so when my mom, dad and cousin proposed a trip to Shirdi, I jumped at the offer. And since my Konkan trip this weekend had failed to materialize, both Samara (my Endeavour) and I were desperate for some action.

In Maharashtra's Beautiful Hinterland-dsc00083.jpg

After tanking up on food and diesel, we hit Nagar road by 1000, and after a beautiful drive in the intermittent rains and a stop for tea, we reached Nagar around 1200. The road is well maintained, 4-lane all the way, and the drive was very smooth and relaxing. Nagar was a disappointment, a muddy, crowded 15 mins through the city thankfully ended with another nice stretch of recently-4-laned state highway to Shirdi, where we reached before 200, the rain progressively increasing until we parked in the muddy lot in front of the temple complex.

A couple of phone calls had ensured we had our VIP passes, the darshan took less than 15 minutes.

It was barely 300, and we had the whole evening to ourselves. We stopped for lunch at Nisarg, a nice, simple garden restaurant a km or so outside Shirdi, and gorged on some wonderful gavraan chicken fry and hot tandoori rotis washed down with Pepsi.

In Maharashtra's Beautiful Hinterland-dsc00095.jpg

Next stop, Shrirampur, a few kms from Shirdi, 20 km off the road to Nagar, a place I had always wanted to visit. Unfortunately, the highly recommended lassi joint Parijat was closed, and we decided to move on to Shani Shingnapur, famous for its door-less houses.

That's when the fun began.

In Maharashtra's Beautiful Hinterland-dsc00103.jpg

In Maharashtra's Beautiful Hinterland-dsc00102.jpg

My Navigator seemed to have clue on how to take me directly from Shrirampur to Shani Shingnapur, and later we found out the reason why - Google Maps showed roads radiating out from both places towards each other, but ending over 20 kms apart.

In Maharashtra's Beautiful Hinterland-20100807174028.jpg

In Maharashtra's Beautiful Hinterland-20100807174103.jpg

Well, we just trusted our instincts, the ever-willing-to-help villager, and Samara, and set off on one of my rewarding drives through beautiful villages with hard working, poor but happy farmers that depend on mother nature and their efforts to eke out a tough living from the rolling fields and herds of cattle and buffaloes, places that seem to sometimes just fall off the map, even though we were barely 150 km from Pune, where roads were defined more by the shrubs on the sides rather than the tarmac underneath.

In Maharashtra's Beautiful Hinterland-dsc00109.jpg

In Maharashtra's Beautiful Hinterland-dsc00098.jpg

And though Samara took a flat and bravely pushed on till we got onto the highway again (the emergency air pump came in very handy as a temporary measure!), never once did we feel like turning back.

By the time we reached Shani Shingnapur, it was almost 730, the night was falling, and we still had to take care of Samara's flat tire, and decided to move on rather than hang around for a darshan.

In Maharashtra's Beautiful Hinterland-20100807204800.jpg

An eager to help mechanic got our tire repaired in flat 5 mins, and we were back on the 4-laned highway to Pune by 800. 150 Km and 2 hours later, the drive aided greatly by the Xenon lights, we pulled into the parking lot at BBQ Nation near Kalyani Nagar, tired from a long day, but excited, energized and filled with some beautiful memories of a wonderful outing.
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Old 9th August 2010, 01:33   #2
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First of all, I love the progression in your signature.
I read somewhere that all VIP passes are cancelled in Shirdi. So it's still there is it? Don't people normally visit Shani shingnapur and then proceed to Shirdi?
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Old 9th August 2010, 08:42   #3
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@MX-6, not necessarily in that order. People often do both together.
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Old 9th August 2010, 10:29   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
First of all, I love the progression in your signature.
I read somewhere that all VIP passes are cancelled in Shirdi. So it's still there is it? Don't people normally visit Shani shingnapur and then proceed to Shirdi?
I heard in reverse order..

First Shiridi then Shani shingnapur ...

In May i have done that trip. I took the Nasik phata---> Narangaon road to shridi. Most of that route is single laned..dense traffic...saw many accidents on ghat road...some road jam....but amazing views. I loved that. The road all go through the mountains...ghats etc.

After Shirdi then Shani shingnapur and return on Nagar road.

We took normal darshan line ...and finished the darshan in flat 2.3 hrs.
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Old 9th August 2010, 11:41   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siddheshb View Post

1]Next stop, Shrirampur, a few kms from Shirdi, 20 km off the road to Nagar, a place I had always wanted to visit.
2]Well, we just trusted our instincts, the ever-willing-to-help villager, and Samara, and set off on one of my rewarding drives through beautiful villages with hard working, poor but happy farmers that depend on mother nature and their efforts to eke out a tough living from the rolling fields and herds of cattle and buffaloes, places that seem to sometimes just fall off the map, even though we were barely 150 km from Pune, where roads were defined more by the shrubs on the sides rather than the tarmac underneath.
1] Is there anything particular about Shrirampur?

2]You can venture on pune-saswad road via bopdeo ghat, drive just 15 km from katraj and you have such type of rural scene.

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Don't people normally visit Shani shingnapur and then proceed to Shirdi?
Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
not necessarily in that order. People often do both together.
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Originally Posted by KALINGA View Post
I heard in reverse order..

First Shiridi then Shani shingnapur ...
You can do it in any order.
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Old 9th August 2010, 11:58   #6
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@MX6, about the signature, yes, it always makes me happy to see that Actually, we added one more Fiesta after the Endy, but technically since it's my wifey's car, I think it's fair to leave it out

@Ashish, nothing special about Shrirampur for the rest of the world, it just holds a special place in my heart

And I am not sure about the order, so we did what was important to us first - Shirdi - and then since we had a lot of time to ourselves, we decided to check out other nearby places.
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Old 9th August 2010, 12:06   #7
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@Ashish, nothing special about Shrirampur for the rest of the world, it just holds a special place in my heart
ohoho,

i was thinking that this man never went after wagholi and how know the name of parijat lassi joint at shrirampur which is highly recommended by......
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Old 9th August 2010, 14:11   #8
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I guess this would make sense. People go to Shirdi on a thursday as it's a special day for guru. And on the way back they stop at shani shingnapur on satuday as it's special for Shani.
But people who can't take weekly off might go to Shani shingnapur on saturday and then proceed to shirdi and go.
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Old 9th August 2010, 15:56   #9
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One happy Ford family you have. The freshness of the snaps of the Endy, show themselves!
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Old 9th August 2010, 17:35   #10
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Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
i was thinking that this man never went after wagholi and how know the name of parijat lassi joint at shrirampur
Me too!

BTW, most of the places in Nagar are in 'rain shadow' area. Nagar faces water shortage.

It is thanks to Godavari and Pravara rivers do Kopargaon, Sangamner, Rahuri are able to do their cropping and get drinking water.

Secondly, siddeshb, the road to Shani Shingnapur is clearly marked when you proceed towards Nagar from Shrirampur (on your return). Continue down this deviation after Shani Shingnapur, you'll hit Aurangabad - Nagar road.

Finally, when you do go to Shani Shingnapur, don't pray for anything! Pray that HE doesn't cast his eye on you and let you live in peace
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Old 9th August 2010, 18:08   #11
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VRPrabhu, you are right. We had noticed that road, and our original plan was to come back to Shirdi-Nagar road and take that one, but I guess when you have an Endy, some of these sensible choices stop occuring to you
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Old 9th August 2010, 18:21   #12
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Ashish/Prabhu, some secrets are best left that way

Next trip, Konkan - and I have some favourites to cover there too
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