23rd Dec 2014: Day 3 – Tuljapur, Solapur and Back to Pune
Well.. I still remember the way Shailesh was looking at me (irritated) when I woke up late. After getting ready, we bought our offerings for mother. Mighty entrance of the temple is named after the great king Shivaji’s father..Shahaji Raje Bhosale. I must say that it was a pleasant surprise when I entered the temple. I have been to the temple almost 10 years before during my motorbike ride to Latur and trust me that was big bad experience. The temple is now well renovated, clean and tidy. We had to enter in the temple without cameras for security reasons (??).
Gondhalis (mother’s devotees) were playing Sambal (lather drum) making the atmosphere more enchanting. Now we came to know about one more co-incident. It was Tuesday (Devi’s day per Hindu calendar) and was a first day of mini-navaratri. Devi Bhawani was gone to divine sleep for 4 days as per the belief. Devi’s idol was actually kept on the bed. Rarest darshana of sleeping goddess. We were so amazed and happy even in that rush queue for the darshana.
We wandered around the small market, the temple bazar, for a while. Bazar was full of gods and goddess. Kind of irony.. those who made us.. are on sale!!
After having Misal Pav breakfast, we tightened our backpacks and were on way back toward home.It was swift road till Solapur. Specially the curvy ghat section while coming out of Tuljapur town.
Soon we entered the city of Solapur which started getting state’s attention. Solapur is becoming an emerging industrial hub of Marathwada. Malls, news city buses and busy markets were telling the recent growth story of the town of Solapur. On the way to Siddheshwar Temple, we had quick snapshot of the city. Old buildings reminded me of down-town Pune.
Hutatma Chowk can be named as a good place to be at. The monument is built in the memory of four great freedom fighters of Solapur – Mallappa Dhanshetti, Kurban Hussain, Jagannath Shinde and Kisan Sarda. Different religions, different casts but only one goal..freedom!! Shouldn’t we learn something from such monuments? Isn’t that the sole reason of having such monuments?
Siddheshwar Temple, placed right in the mid of the city. Wonderful..was the our first word. A temple in the middle of clean lake, accompanied by Bhuikot Fort (Solapur Fort). Even in the heart of the city, Siddheshwar temple was such a silent place. The temple proved the majority of Lingayat samaj in the city. It’s an amazingly clean and well managed temple and the best part is that there is NO restrictions on photography 🙂 :-). Surrounded by many niche temples of Ganesha, Shiva himself, the main white temple is standing tall.
Samadhi (tomb) of Shree Shiv Siddharameshwar is built in the marble stone and covers major area of the temple campus. We spent almost 2 hours inside the temple campus. When we saw a ritual called bagad where a person ties almost 25 feet long bagad on his stomach and try to balance.
Even Mirchi Thecha tastes sweet when hungry. One of the speciality of Solapur, mirchi thecha adds spicy tadka to your food. Trust me it was a monster-eat by us. yumm.. my mouth is watering while writing these couple of lines only..
After bidding adieu to Solapur, we stopped at Mohol. After thinking about the time and cold, I decided to drop Pandharpur. Shailesh was almost in fight mode and cooled down when I promised that one day we will be come again.
Last & Best surprise of the day… New Solapur Express Way.. surely setting up new parameters of highways. We were tired and were taking more rest in the absence of any further target destination for the day. We reached Pune by 8.30 pm….!