LAND OF MANY PEOPLE & MANY FAITHS – A QUICK LOOK AT THE SPIRITUAL DESTINATIONS OF MAHARASHTRA
In Maharashtra people of all faiths and religions live in peace and harmony. It’s a place where God is worshipped in all his forms, where Lord Ganesha is the most worshiped deity and the shrine of Haji Ali is thronged by the people of all faiths. A state where you will find the Samadhi of Guru Gobind Singh, pilgrimage for Sikhs and the Zoroastrian Fire Temples and Synagogue.The reflection of cultural diversity and religious unity can be seen though its beautiful temples, elegant mosques, churches and many more religious centres. Thousands of devotees wanting to experience divine pleasure and spiritual ecstasy visit this state. All of you who are looking for a place where you can get respite for your mind as well as your soul should visit here. To make your religious or rather spiritual tour easy, here’s an easy view of the pilgrimages of Maharashtra.
Siddhivinayak Temple – Abode of Lord Ganesha
The most popular deity worshiped by the people of this state, Lord Ganesharesides in this magnificent architecture known as the Siddhivinayak temple. Located in the Prabha Devi area of Mumbai, this popular temple has a wooden door that leads to the sanctum, which is carved with images of the Ashtavinayaks which symbolize the eight manifestations of Lord Ganesha. Although this temple is visited by hundreds of devotees every day, what is most striking is how methodically the security is managed that everyone can offer their puja peacefully.This is one of the oldest and the most popular temples of Mumbai and it is said that the seeker never goes empty handed from the ShriSiddhivinayak temple.
Nearby Attractions: Worli Sea link, WorliSeaface, Shivaji Park
Shirdi – Famous For Living Legend ‘Sai Baba’
Shirdi is the abode of Lord Sai Baba – A popular saint from Maharashtra.The temple is situated far north of Ahmednagar district, south east of Nasik. Sai Baba was a saint of extraordinary powers who could treat any ailment and problems of his followers. Places to visit in Shirdi are Dwarkamai (the holy mosque), Samadhi Mandir, LendiBaug(flower garden), Gurusthan and the Kandoba Temple. To reach Shirdi, you have to get down at Manmad, the nearest railway station. From there you can catch State transport buses or can hire a cab directly to Shirdi. Once you reach, you can look for hotels which offer budget accommodations and are near the temples. You can also book your stay in guest house made by ShirdiSaiBaba temple trust.
Nearby Attractions: ShaniShinganapur
Haji Ali Mosque – Shrine Amidst The Sea
Haji Ali Mosque was built by the devotees of Haji Ali to pay homage to him. The mosque is situated in the middle of the sea, around 500 yards into it, with only a narrow path joining it to the mainland. It is so said that the pathway remains submerged under water at night and in the morning it appears making way for the devotees. At night it appears as if the holy place is floating in the mid sea with divine isolation. Isn’t it astounding? Yet another wonder is that people of all faiths visit this beautiful tomb to pay their homage to the hallowed saint and spent time in the divine company of the sage. The shrine is very picturesque, the tomb has attractive glass work and the courtyard is vast. If you are lucky and visit at an appropriate time you can even witness qawwali (songs in the praises of saint) and indulge in the Zikr (prayers) with the holy people at the shrine.
Nearby Attractions: Mahalaxmi Racecourse, Mahalaxmi Temple, Nehru Centre
Trimbakeshwar – Origin of the River Godavari
Trimbakeshwar is situated in the Trimbak village which is 36 km from Nasik.This temple is the source of the holy River Godavari and enshrines one of the twelveJyotirlingasof Lord Shiva. As Monday is considered the day of Lord Shiva, the idol is carried around the river Godavari on the shoulders of priests every week. The main attraction for visitors is during the festival of Shivratriwhich is celebrated with great zeal and attracts pilgrims not only from India but all over the World.Feel yourself being touched by the divine presencein this place and as you take plunge into the depths of the holy waters of Godavari it is said to bring you salvation.
Nearby Attractions: Neel Parbat, GorakhnathGufa, Brahmagiri Hill, Kedareshwar Temple
Nasik – Abode of the KumbhMela
Located around 183 km northeast of Mumbai, Nasik is situated on the banks of River Godavari surrounded by nine hills. Known for the temples on the banks of the Godavari, Nasik has historically been one of the holy sites of the Hindu and Muslim religion. It is one of the four cities that host the massive MahaKumbhmelaonce every twelve years. The mela where devotees take holy dip in the river Godavari to purify their souls.It is abounded by over 3.5 million devotees from around the world. Apart from this, it is home to one of India’s 12 Jyotirlingas from which the sacred river Godavari originates. Accommodation is not a problem at all as Nasik offers hotels ranging from the luxurious 5 stars to budget ones which cater to all basic needs of travellers. Nasik has its own rail head and is well connected to all the major cities of India. It also lies on NH-3 which makes it an easily accessible town even by road.
Nearby Attractions: Panchavati, Ramkund, Tapovan