Roadtripping to Shirdi, Nasik. India.

The one word that describes this trip for me has to be  *pure*. 

When it starts from within, the need to look and interpret things in the most simplest manner, the take away is inevitably, pure. The reactions, the actions, the feelings, the emotions, the words, the exchanges...the Universe ordains everything to be your soul's reflection

For me the piety was the journey as much as the destination. The varied experiences along the way, the accompanying riders that radiated a collective harmony, the full bloom of Natures raw power. The people we met along the way- from the cattle herders, to the bullock cart riders, to the sugarcane juice seller, to the panditji at the shrine who helped us offer prayers and in turn gave us prashaad... to the various pilgrims who rushed and pushed in their holi coloured colthes, chanting in reverence Baba's name.

We made good distance in the early, pre sunrise hours. The air was crisp, infact cold. We did not need the AC in the car till much later in the day. Listening to jazz, we wound our way into soft sunrise, made our fist halt post the Kasara ghats for the first cuppa! This trip we had packed enuff food and drinks to feed an army, so everytime we decided to stop and take a comfort break it was always away from the madding crowds. Perhaps another reason why the journey was so calming:)

Silence and music eventually gave way to chatter and laughter and much kidding amongst us. Before we knew it, we were in Shirdi. We made our way inside the temple. Left all our worldly belongings behind, we wove our way inside the temple. A tad too crowded for comfort, given it was a Holi-day, we walked to a spot and left our shoes behind.  Our friend was much worried for her JimmyChoos which may not be there when she returns, giving us enough fodder to tease her all the way back:))

Once inside, call it Divine Intervention, call it blessings, call it luck...we had the best fortunes of having darshan of Baba standing central in the temple, with no people around us. Time stood still. Baba talked, communicated. No words were spoken. The belief took over.

All else - the security personnel, the chants, the crowds -  all faded into the background. Reverence and higher energies flowed seamlessly.

With such blessings, we felt buoyed, halted for half hour in a local farmers shaded farm, where we had our bkfst and many rounds of teas and coffees. 

Then were back on the road towards Shanishignapur, 100kms from Shirdi. Upon nearing the temple site at ShaniShignapur, we were accosted by the cacophony of various agents, trying to make a quick buck, stopping the car middle of the road by standing in front of the car - it was awful. We kept our patience, wove our way thru to the parking we wanted. Quickly thereon we sprang like the deer skimming and skipping on hot hot tar...making our way inside the temple.

Such a lovely system they have devised, collection of offering of oil happens at one point...from where drop by drop the collected oil, reaches the holy shrine. So no crowding, no pushing. They have also added another nice touch - they now, keep the main landing square, near the shrine, always cool, by constantly allowing a stream of water flow. Helps keep the land cool, hence bare feet dont burn. This God was historically only worshiped by males. Females were not allowed to enter the Shani Gods precincts, but much has changed, and women happily flocked in here to worship the God:)

 Once done from here, we were back on the road, thirsting for fresh sugarcane juice. After-all this is the land of molasses, where sugar is made and distributed to all India. Here is where we met the most handsome bull, Raja. 

So gorgeous that I couldn't take my eyes off him. I kept talking with him and he kept patiently hearing me. Some local people warned me, that he aint a freindly sorts and he does kick often. That did not deter me in petting him, and chatting with him. I have never seen such kind melting cow eyes. So gentle this Raja, he stood patiently letting me jabber with him, then llicked my hand for spending time with him:)) Dont think I will ever forget him.

Hereon we deicded to skip the main highway and instead took Nagar -Ghoti -Murbad as our route to get back. Such raw barren land for 200kms

...barring one little oasis of fresh water for about 10kms, 

the journey felt daunting, arduous...but once you calm that skitty heart, you marvel at Natures might, its power, you look around with much awe and wonder...what if...  




Rajj said...

You make every trip sound so brilliant. I dont know you as a very religious sorts, but strangely I get the drift...the magic, the connection. You connect so well with the reader, you tell a story really well:D

Shweta said...

I have never seen Shirdi or the journey to be as beautiful, as you describe it. The next time I go, am keeping your post in front of me, to feel this magic:))

Rahul said...

Lovely posts and beautiful pics as always :))
When we travel out with friends for such religious trips they go just like this, fun n lotsa chit-chat on our way, but as soon as we reach our destination everything seem to go on pause, feels as if there's nothing between us and Him.
It's nothing less than a blessing to feel it:)
Thanks a ton for sharing your thoughts n experience.

'Yeh Dil mangey more' so keep travelling n writing lovely posts for readers :P

nkitt said...

well not my cup of tea, since you wrote it so had to read it... two things i really am puzzled by are 1. baba talked!! i thought there was a statue of sai baba. 2. panditji helped ??? :o i thought all they were interested in was making their pockets heavy. anyways awesome writeup and even more brilliant pictures, these are especially very pure and simple, just like the trip, no fancy stuffs. "200km of emptiness" is something i am really interested in....

melinda said...

super lovely post!

RavneetSingh said...

A nice heady mix of belief and Natures awesomeness. Lovely post Meeeeeee!

sanjiv said...

you clearly love Nature :D

Pharma Pharmer said...

It seems this trip was doubly spiritulistic! One on account of the Shirdi temple and secondly on account of the nature. And based on your pictures and description, both seem to be extremly divine

Truly a wonderful trip:))

Sally said...

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