DAY 1: Reach Manmad station and transfer to Shirdi Hotel.SHIRDI DARSHAN: Shirdi is famously known as the home of the late 19th century saint Sri Sai Baba. The Sri Saibaba Sansthan Trust also located in Shirdi is one of the richest temple organisations
DAY 2: SHIRDI DARSHAN: Shirdi is famously known as the home of the late 19th century saint Sri Sai Baba. The Sri Saibaba Sansthan Trust also located in Shirdi is one of the richest temple organisations
SHANI DEV TEMPLE: The presiding deity of Shinganapur, Sri Shaneshwara or Lord Shanidev- the personification of the planet Saturn is worshipped with utmost reverence and devotion by multitudes of people from all over the world. The spectacle of the deity in black stone is overwhelming. A unique aspect of this place is, that no temple structure houses the Shanidev. There is only a simple platform on which stands the swayambhu idol, in black stone.
Unlike other pilgrimage centres, devotees here can perform puja or abhishek or other religious rituals themselves.
One of the unique aspects of the village Shiganapur is that houses here have no door- frames or locks on them for safety. They are in fact not needed. The people here believe that it is the benediction of the god that no crime ever occurs in this village.
Night stay in Shirdi.
DAY 3: NASIK DARSHAN: Located at the foothills of the Western Ghats mountains on the banks of the holy Godavari River, Nasik (or Nashik) gets its name from the Ramayana .Today this large provincial city’s old quarter has some intriguing wooden architecture, interesting temples that reference the Hindu epic and some huge bathing ghats. The city is noticeably cleaner, better maintained and greener than many Indian cities of its size.
Trimbakeshwar is where from river Godavari originates.
PLACES OF VISIT IN NASIK:
TRIAMBAKESWAR SHIVA TEMPLE: Trimbakeshwar or Tryambakeshwar is an ancient Hindu temple in the town of Trimbak, It is dedicated to the god Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.
Kusavarta, a kunda (sacred pond) in the temple premises is the source of the Godavari River, the longest river in peninsular India. The current temple was built by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao (Nanasaheb).
The temple is located between three hills namely Brahmagiri, Nilagiri and Kalagiri. The temple has three lingams (an iconic form of Shiva) representing Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.
KALARAM TEMPLE: It is dedicated to Lord Rama. The meaning of 'kalaram' is black Rama. This temple was built by Peshwas. There are great processions and utsav on Ramnavami, Dasara and Chaitra Padwa (Hindu new year day). The specialty of the temple is that it was built with black stones.The stones were brought from Ramshej 200 years ago. It took 23 lakhs of rupees and 2000 workers to build the temple in 12 years. The apex of the temple is made up of 32 tons of gold. In 1930, Dr. Ambedkar performed Satyagraha, to allow the entry of Harijans into the temple.
SITA GUMPHA: Sita Gumpha is located in the western side of the Kalaram temple,The Gumpha is surrounded by five tall and broad banyan trees,known as Panchvati.It is believed that during the exile Sita(wife of Rama) used to worship Lord Siva here. It is also believed that Ravana,the king of Lana kidnapped Sita from here.
MUKTI DHAM TEMPLE: It is a marble temple complex honouring various Hindu gods.
PANCHVATI: River Godavari flows through Nashik and its Northern part is called as Panchavati. It is said that lord Shri Ram and Sita along with Laxman stayed at Panchavati for some time. Thus Panchavati has gained holy importance. There are five Banyan (Vad) trees and hence the area is called Panchavati.
Night stay in Shirdi.
DAY 4: Shirdi To Aurangabad
BHADRA MARUTI TEMPLE/AURANGZEB'S TOMB: Bhadra Maruti temple is one of the important places of worship in Khuldabad, Aurangabad. Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, it is visited by devotees as well as tourists. Lord’s idol inside the temple is of Lord Hanuman in a sleeping posture. It is one among the three temples where the idol of Lord Hanuman is found in sleeping posture; the other two temples are located in Allahabad and Madhya Pradesh.
AURANGZEB’S TOMB: Aurangzeb,the last of the great Mughal Emperors died in 1707 at Ahmednagar. His body was then carried to Khuldabad after his son Azam Shah and daughter Zinat-un-Nissa came. There is a platform over the tomb made of red stone, less than three yards in length. There is also a "cavity" in the middle which measures a "few fingers". The tomb has been covered with soil on which herbs grow. After his burial, he was given the posthumous title of "Khuld-makan" ("he whose abode is in eternity"). Lord Curzon later covered the site with marble and surrounded it with a "pierced marble screen". The tomb is roofed by "the vault of the sky".The gateway and the domed porch were added in 1760.
It is said that Aurangzeb paid for his burial place by stitching caps during his last years and that it cost only 14 rupees and 12 annas. The tomb is "remarkably simple in keeping with Aurangzeb's own wishes". Aurangzeb's full name is written on a marble plate located in one of the corners of the tomb.
GRISHNESWAR JYOTIRLING: The Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is one of the ancient and holiest shrines of India. This temple is the holy abode of one of the 12 jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. Ahilyabhai Holkar constructed the Grishneshwar Temple, who also re-constructed the Kasi Viswanatha temple at Banaras and the Vishnu Paada temple at Gaya. Grishneshwar is also known as Ghushmeswara. The Lord is also known by several names like Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeswara, etc.
BIWI KA MAKBARA (MINI TAJ TEMPLE): Bibi Ka Maqbara is situated 5 km away from Aurangabad. Aurangazeb's son, Prince Azam Shah built it in 1678 in the memory of his mother Begum Rabia Durani. This mausoleum is a replica of the famous Taj Mahal.
The caves at Ellora were carved out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills between the 6th and 10th centuries. The carving work began around 550 AD. There are 34 caves in all: 12 Buddhist caves (500-750 AD), 17 Hindu caves (600-870 AD) and 5 Jain caves (800-1000 AD). The caves are numbered roughly chronologically, starting with the oldest Buddhist caves at the south end.
The most notable Hindu cave (Cave 16) is not a cave at all, but a magnificent temple carved from the solid rock, patterned closely on the freestanding temples of the time. It represents Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva, and is called the Kailashnath, Kailash, or Kailasa Temple. It originally had a thick coat of white plaster to make it look like a snowy mountain.
Open Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Monday-Sunday),
Closed on Tuesday
Time Required: 2-3 hours
Night Stay in Aurangabad.
DAY 3: DAULATABAD FORT: Daulatabad was once known as Devagiri. Daulatabad fort (19.57 N, 75.15 E) was one the most powerful forts of the medieval Deccan. The defense system that made Daulatabad virtually impregnable comprises fortifications with double and even triple rows of massive walls. In addition, there are ingeniously built mazes with a complex arrangement of entryways and deep rock-cut moats and trenches which can be crossed only at one point, over a drawbridge. Defense mechanism of rock-cut subterranean passage is unbelievable.
Daulatabad was founded by the Yadavas of Deogiri (The hill of Gods) in 11th Century AD under king Bhillama 5, who led victorious campaigns against the Hoysalas, Paramaras and Chalukyas of Kalyana.
Open Time: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM.
Night Stay in Aurangabad.
DAY 4: AJANTA: Located around 99 km from the town of Aurangabad, lie the Ajanta Caves now included in the list of UNESCO World heritage Sites. Ajanta caves depict the Buddhist culture and their stories through various sculptures and paintings. It also takes you to the world of Jatakas.
Situated in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, the Ajanta caves is a set of 30 rock cut Buddhist caves that date back to the period between 2nd century BC and 650 CE. The Ajanta caves are considered one of the most prestigious monuments of India as they house many beautiful paintings and sculptures depicting the rich cultural heritage of India.
Naturally used as a retreat by the Buddhist monks, the caves depicts the serenity of Buddhism through its simple yet breathtaking sculpture. The basic designs of the caves are called 'Chaityagrihas' & 'viharas.' There are in total 29 caves. Figurines of Lord Buddha and scenes from the traditional Jataka tales are the mainstays of this place. The area used to be heavily forested and the caves fell out of social conscience before being rediscovered by a British hunting officer in 1819.
Open Time: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Tuesday-Sunday),
Closed on Mondays
Time Required: 2-3 hours
Tour ends: Shift to station