Many times we want to wander around in places where there is peace and positivity, where there is a mixture of history and beliefs, where there is essence of God whom no one has seen. These heavy and hearty feelings come from within and we can justify our heart with this by making a trip to some spiritual place. It is an incredible feeling to be in a place which is ancient, peaceful and amazing with its own beliefs connected to it.
Think of once being on a spiritual trip instead of adventurous trips on hills and in rivers; stay in small cottages filled with the essence of flowers, incense sticks and sweets instead of resorts. That feeling of humanity evokes and has its essence in pilgrimages. I remember my trip to Shirdi. It was mid June when my father planned a family trip to Shirdi. It was a 3 days trip and we decided to travel by road.
We started from Indore which is 484.5km away from Shirdi at 2 in the morning. It takes around 10hrs of drive via MP SH 27. The Sai Sansthan provides the facility to book accommodation, arti and sai darshan in advance via online booking on their official website (online.sai.org.in). We were in Shirdi at 11 a.m. and checked in our rooms. We got ready as our darshan timing was 12:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and joined the queue. The accommodation of Sai Sansthan is close to the Sai Temple so that we can walk to the place. So, within 3hrs we finished all the rituals and wandered around the Temple to absorb the essence, beauty, peace and positivity of the place. We had lunch in a nearby restaurant and came back to our rooms. In the evening, we wandered around the accommodation area which has lovely compound, a park filled with greenery and also, it has a hospital which provides free medicines and treatment. It also has a mess which charges Rs.10 for a meal and has buffet with simple, oil free and low fat food. They also provide tea, coffee, milk and other snacks within a small cafe. If you ever come to Shirdi, you should stay at the Sai Sansthan accommodation.
Next morning, we decided to visit Shani Shingnapur Temple which is 72.6kms away from Shirdi and it takes 1h 32min via MP SH 66 to reach there. Roads are undoubtedly beautiful, smooth, clean and well maintained which makes the trip even more fun and relaxing. We reached the Temple at 11a.m. and completed all rituals in an hour.
We then decided to visit Trimbakeshwar which is 3h 56min away from Shani Shingnapur via NH 50 i.e. 174.3kms. Trambakeshwar (Trimbakeshwar) is an ancient Hindu temple in the town of Trimbak, in the Nashik District of Maharashtra. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingaas. The Darshan timings of the temple are 5:30a.m. to 9:00p.m.. We reached the Temple at 4:30p.m. and joined the queue to the Temple. Being ancient, the Temple has engravings on its walls. The most attractive part of this temple is presence of 3 linga's each representing Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. All three resides in a hallow space within the Shiva lingam. The queue to the main temple passes through Nandi temple which is built in front of the Shiva temple, Nandi facing Shivlingam (as we know Shiva temple always has Nandi Idol where Nandi always faces Shiva lingam .Nandi Idol is sitting on a platform which is a foot or two in height and is carved out of white marble. Crossing this Nandi temple we step in to the Shiva temple .Then we enter a big hall whose roof is in dome shape from inside. The sanctum is not big and houses the main Shivlingam and three lings residing in hollow structure. We enjoyed each every sight of the Temple and tried to absorb it within us. After the temple darshan, we headed towards Indore but suddenly decided to stay at some place for the night. Then we found this beautiful place which had cottages all around a Buddha temple in the middle. The place was surrounded by hills covered with clouds. We reached there in the evening and so, the sunset made the place look more mesmerizing. It was clean, cold breeze and peace everywhere. It also had mess with delicious food being served.
Early morning, we woke up and got ready to leave our rooms (although it was that beautiful that I wanted to stay there forever). The whole day went by remembering our trip and cherishing each and every part of it. My personal favourite stay still is the cottage that we found near Trimbakeshwar temple. Some places are soulful and we reach there in an unplanned manner which makes it even more joyous. We were back in Indore in the evening at 6:00p.m. .
These were my short, beautiful, peaceful and spiritual 3 days which I will remember forever !!