A Short Trip to Parli-Vaidyanath, Aundha Nagnath and Huzur-Saheb Nanded


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Hi All.
My five-year long stay at Pune was coming to an end.
I was planning to shift back to Chennai, after my retirement by the end of Oct'2013.

Only two Jyotir-Linga Kshetras were left for us to cover in Maharashtra.
1. Parli-Vaidyanath.
2. Aundha Naganath.

It is said that five out of the twelve Jyotir-Lingas exist in Maharashtra.
Of course there were different opinions on the authenticity of the claim for being a Jyotirlinga Kshetra.
Some claim that the original Parli Vaidyanath exists in the present Jharkand and Nageshwar or Naganath is the one near Dwaraka in Gujarat.
But for the devotees of Shiva there is no such exception and each kshetra is equally Holy.
Why should we limit HIS abode to just 12 ??

It was on 01/10-2013 that we decided to make a trip to these Holy Places which were near Nanded.
Because of the suddenness of the plan we had no option but to take the MSRTC bus to Parli on the next day.
Added to this we also wanted to visit the Holy Gurudwara at Nanded.

It was 02/10/2013 and me and my wife boarded the 'Semi-Luxury' bus of MSRTC from Pune to Parli.
However there was absolutely no semblance of even comfort in the bus, leave alone 'luxury' .
For a person who frequently travels by the 'Shivneri' buses (operated by MSRTC) and enjoyed its comfort, this 'semi-luxury'was a big let-down.

The bus was rickety, the seats were torn, cobwebs were abundantly available in the over-head and screws and nails were protruding from the seat handles.
Added to this agony, we had the most Non-communicative crew.

Should not the MSRTC atleast clean these Buses which run for almost 11-12 hours on such trips ?
Atleast they can run their better-maintained buses for such long trips.
The only saving grace was the the sky was cloudy, and because of the incessant rains, the climate was quite pleasant through out.

The travel time from Pune to Parli was around 8 hours.
We started around 7.30 and the bus was practically empty.
The road upto Ahmednagar was good but it was only pot-holes after that.
There was no halt for tea or breakfast.
The driver was kind enough to stop for lunch around 11.30 at a place called Jamkhed.
It was a typical bus-stand hotel where quality was the first casualty.
We were lucky to reach Parli Vaidyanath by 4 pm, in one piece, though completely starved and exhausted.

But once we alighted from the MSRTC Bus at the Parli Bus-Stand, Lord Shiva took over and it was a wonderful trip after that.
We could feel HIS Divine Help in every turn, after landing at Parli.
More of it later.....

A few pics of the barren Land (looks greener due to the incessant rains) on the way to Parli.



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The first job we did on getting down was refreshing ourselves after the back-breaking journey.

Immediately I went to the MSRTC counter to enquire about the transport to Nanded. As usual the communication with this person in the counter was very difficult as he replied in mono-syllables. Ultimately we understood that the bus which we came from Pune was the last one to Nanded from Parli and there was no other buses after that. We were a bit worried about our onward journey now.

It was at this time that we met a gentlemen who was observing me going forth and back and animated discussions with the MSRTC official.

He introduced himself on his own and said that he had come to Parli from Nanded in a Mahindra-Bolero with some 'Press'persons and he was intending to go back to Nanded around 5.30. Since we had about 75 minutes time, we could join him on his return journey. He would be waiting for us at the bus-stand and gave his mobile number too.

Since he was a frequent visitor to Parli and also an ardent devotee of Shiva, he informed us about the details of Parli Vaidyanath.

The Village of Parli is located on the Slopes of the Naganarayana Mountain in Beed District of Maharashtra. It was surrounded by thick forests of Medicinal herbs which could cure all ailments. Hence the Lord is knows as 'Bavaroga Vaidyanatha', the curer of all ailments (physical and spiritual).
This also one of the Most Important Pilgrim Centers for the Veerasaiva Sect.

This place is also associated the Ámritha-Manthan'(churning of the Milk-Ocean for obtaining the Nectar) and it is said that Nectar was hidden inside the Shivling for a while, when the Devas and Asuraas fought for it.

The Temple of Shiva which is the fifth Jyotirlinga (among the 12) is located on a small mound surrounded by high walls. Rani Ahalyabai Holkar of Indore had completely renovated the temple in the year 1706 after vandalization by the Moghuls.

When I told him that it would not be possible to complete the Darshan in one hour he added that due to the Pitru-Paksha (the fortnight when we offer worship to our ancestors) the crowd was very minimal and hence we could have Darshan in a few minutes.

Now we fully understood that Shiva has decided to conduct our tour from now onwards. What else do you ascribe to this pleasant turn of events, without even our asking ? We were completely relieved by now and our travel tiredness had left us. We took an auto to the temple with the Name of the Lord on our Lips and Heart.

At the Temple premises we had to climb a few steps to reach the main doorway. We left our chappals in the stand, but he refused to accept our baggage, which is not allowed inside the temple. The security guard who was watching this politely asked us to leave the luggage with him and have the Darshan. We were indeed happy to do so and rushed inside to have our Darshan of the Lord.

As informed by our friend, the temple was practically empty and only a handful of devotees were present in the premises.

At the entrance there is a huge hall of wood without any pillars. Three Nandis (Bulls) face the Sanctum.

The Main Shivling is made of Shalagram Stone. All can enter the sanctum, touch the Shivling and offer worship, irrespective of caste or creed. Me should remove the upper garments (like in Kerala) at the time of worship.

There were a few priests inside the Sanctum and on payment of Rs 101/- we are allowed to perform Rudra-Abishek to Shiva while the priests chant the 'Sri Rudra-Shloki'. The atmosphere inside was serene and we were immersed in Bliss.

After spending about 30 minutes in the Divine Presence of the Lord we came out of the Sanctum. We collected our luggage after thanking the Security Guard and then when we checked our mobile we found that our friend had called us atleast 5 times.

The time was now 5.30 pm and we had to rush to the bus-stand.
I thought that by now the van would have left.
But to our surprise we saw him calling us from his van standing at the entrance of the temple itself. He said that he was waiting for us to come out of the temple and hence was waiting at the entrance for more than 20 minutes.

There were already some people in the van and we also joined the group on our Journey to Nanded.
The road was full of potholes but we did not mind the bumpy ride as some-how we wanted to reach Nanded that night itself.
After a ride of about 90 minutes we could reach Nanded by 7.30 pm.
We sincerely thanked the cab-driver (gave him some money as a token of our gratitude) and immediately moved to our Guest House located at Hingoli Naka.
We just had some milk and hit the bed by 8 pm after an eventful day.

Operation of Camera and mobile phones are strictly prohibited inside the temple premises. Hence we could click only a few pics outside the premises.



To be Contd......


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We got up at 5 am the next day after a sound sleep.
It was raining heavily at Nanded since the previous day evening.
There were some direct buses (MSRTC) from Nanded to Aundha but the timings were infrequent.
Another option was to take one bus upto Hingoli or some place near that and then take another bus to Aundha.
After our experience on the previous day, we were a bit hesitant to take the bus once again.
So we decided to hire a cab.
After a quick bargain at that early hours we got our cab ready at 7 am.
The cost for the trip by Indica was Rs 1,700/-.
However, to our luck, Indica was not available and hence they sent us a Tayota-Innova for the same price !
After a sumptuous breakfast at a local South-Indian Mess, we headed towards Aundha.
Aundha Naganath was around 65 Kms from Nanded.
The Road was in much better condition and despite the heavy rains we reached Aundha Naganath by 8.30 am.
Our cab driver was a young guy who had good contacts with the Pandits at Aundha.
So he spoke to one of the senior pundits and arranged for the Abishek.

Now a few words about Aundha Naganath.

Aundha Nagnath is the Eighth of the 12-Dwadasa-Linga Kshetras.
This temple was discovered by the Pandavas in the forest of Daruka (Darukavana).
It is said that When the Mughal ruler Aurangazeb came to this place with the intention of destroying this temple, a Huge Group of bees arose from the forest and drove the army away.
Probably that is the reason why you can still see some exquisite carvings & sculptures on the temple walls.
Later the Great Queen Ahalyabai Holkar of Indore did a lot of renovations to this temple.
It may be also mentioned that the Nageshwar Temple near Dwaraka is also claimed as one of the Dwadasa Linga Kshetras.
But the antiquity of Aundha Naganath establishes this as the foremost of the Nageshwar Shrines.

The architectural beauty of the Aundha Nageshwar temple is exquisite and has to be seen to be believed.
Since camera/mobile is not allowed inside the temple premises we could not click any of these.

Once we enter the main hall, we observe that there is small crate-like hole through which we have to climb down about four steps. But each step is quite steep resulting in a lot of difficulty for the old people to go down for the Darshan.
Further the passage is also too narrow and only one person can either go down or come up at the same time.

The main deity of Nageshwar is situated in the basement.
Its a oval-shaped hall with the Nageshwar installed in the middle.
The priests occupy the North Platform while the devotees performing the abishek are allowed to sit on the east and west platforms.
The southern platform is meant for the other devotees, who descend the steps, take Darshan and then move back.
At any point time hardly 10 people can be accommodated in the Sanctum.
But once you go down to His presence you forget all your mundane worries and soak in the Divine Atmosphere.

We had arranged for the Rudrabishek through our priest.
The Board issues tickets for abhishek with the time-stamp and you will have to adhere to the timings.
The poojas and abhishek are conducted in an orderly fashion and the devotees themselves perform all these.
Infact the priest chanted the Sri Rudra-Path without gulping any portion in his beaming voice.

The Silver cover is removed for the devotees to perform the Abishek to the Shivalinga.
During our stay of about 30 minutes in the Sanctum we could feel the Divine Vibration.
We came out and then went around the temple feasting on the beautiful sculptures.
With this our Holy Pilgrimage to these two Shrines came was successfully completed.

After partaking the Prasad we started back for Nanded around 11 am ad was back in our guest house by 12.30 pm.

A few pics of Aundha Naganath taken from outside.





To be Contd......



Plz Help Himabuj (Amit Tyagi) in Corona Fighting
Great Darshan....................
& Puja At..............................
Parli Temple and.........................
Aundha Nagnath Temple...................
Great Help By Lord.......................
For Transportation...................

Actually I have also used MSRTC Bus in Maharashtra.
I went to Basmat Nagar and there was no bus even on schedule to Aundha Nagnath.
People on main road opp Bus Stand suggested me to take a Bolero /Shared Taxi.
The taxi took me to Aundha Nagnath (40km distance in 1 hour for Rs.40).
But the Shared Taxi was Jam packed with 15 persons inside the Bolero Jeep Taxi.
All Villagers travel this way.
Though Driver was worried about me.
But some how I managed a memorable journey.
Later I tried to take Bus, back to Nanded from Aundh Nagnath Bus Stand.
As a bus arrived at time by chance and got the Seat too with full rush in Bus.

The MSRTC Bus Services scheduled even in Day are not guaranteed.
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One place still left in our agenda is the famous Gurudwara located at Nanded on the banks of the Godavari River.
Infact Nanded plays a pivotal role in the History of Sikh Religion and is one of the five takhts of the Sikhs.
The First among the Sikh Gurus Guru Nanak Devji visited Nanded during his sojourn to South India.
Then the Tenth Guru Sri Guru Govind Singhji also chose Nanded for formulating the tenets of the Sikh Religion and also this is the Holy place where he decided to shed his mortal coil.
The Gurudwara resembles the Golden-Temple at Amritsar and was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singhji

The main structure is the two-storied building.
The inner room is closed and is plated with gold.
The inner room called the Ángitha Sahib was built where Guru Gobiind Singhji was cremated.
It is open twice a day between 6.30 am and 7.30 and again from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm for public Darshan.
It was here that this Great Guru conferred the Guru-Ship on the Holy 'Guru Granth Sahib'.

The Inner-Room at the Gurudwara

We spent close to half an hour in the holy atmosphere.
Recitation from the Holy Granth-Sahib goes on day and night.

A few pics of the Holy Gurudwara :




Next to the main building there is another small building housing two more Samadhi's of the Guru's disciples and some Holy relics of the Guru's period.


There is also a historical well and one covered place with some grinding stones.



The entire complex is constructed of white marble.
The volunteers ensure that the complex is kept clean.





Some Inscriptions on the Wall :

Another attraction of this Gurdwara is the 'Langar' which is open to everyone irrespective of caste and creed.

The Langar

In fact every volunteer at the Gurudwara enquires whether you have had your fill at the Langar?
We reached the Langar around 2 pm.
The volunteers served Roti, Dhall, Sabji and Kheer with love and understanding.
We observed that they keep coming to each row with the food till your stomach is full.
We had one of our best lunches that day.
After all it was not only the quality of the ingredients that mattered, the food was soaked with the Grace and Blessings of the Holy Guru.

Some more shots of the Holy Place :




After spending close to three hours in the Gurudwara we were back in our room for a small siesta.

Our return bus (Sharma Transport AC-Sleeper) to Pune was at 7 pm.
This time our journey was very cosy and comfortable.
After all Shiva had conducted the entire tour for us once we landed at Parli and we also had the Blessings of Guru Govind Singhji.

So ''When God is with us, who can be against us ?''

We reached Pune the next day after a pleasant journey and Heart-full of Blessings.