Category Archives: Maharashtra

Solapur Enjoying Harmony in Diversity

Solapur city which delighted tourists by its cultural confluence. It’s existence as a textile hub and connecting center for pilgrimages. Marathi, Kannada, Telugu and Urdu cultures assimilated in this beautiful city of South Maharashtra. Linguistic transmission is very smooth. Nobody quarrels over language. All cultural groups knew very well how to communicate each other.  They merrily participate and enrich literary events of each culture. Many Marathi people knew Kannada very well. You can speak in any language here.  Marathi language spoken here has various flavors. It’s a very sweet experience to listen Marathi from Telugu or Kannada neighbor.

Special Food in Solapur City

 Like languages cuisines of various cultural groups are simply mouth -watering. Solapur is world famous for its jowarBhakari and shengdana (groundnut) chatni. It is also known for its Idali houses. Idalis are cheaper in this city than other places. Even non-veg dishes with stiffened BajariBhakaris are always in demand from tourists. If you are interested in Telugu dishes, you can have it in plenty at the east side of Solapur. Hurda parties are enjoying during harvesting season in Solapur City and its adjacent areas. Here Kannada, Telugu, and Marathi festivals are celebrated with traditional cuisines. A child brought up in Solapur becomes global in food tests. If you are fond of foods, you can visit various dhabas around a city. You eat here a variety of food items ranging from continental to local. JowarBhakaris are important in all that items.

Solapur is also a textile hub, well known for its chaddar, towels and handloom items. Solapur’s chaddar has consumers from all over Maharashtra.  Each and every Marathi household likes to possess this item. It retains its magic value for generations. It’s a favorite gift item as well. It is in much demand at marriage ceremonies, took place in rural Maharashtra. Padmashali community from Andhra Pradesh controls textile business of Solapur for generations. The business has export value. It has increased Solapur’s fame all over the country. Textile items attract tourists in all seasons.

Famous Place in Solapur City

There are many tourist sites in the city. SidheshvarMandir is a marvelous place So, It is a famous pilgrimage for Lingayat community. Sidheshvaryatra, the annual fair is held for fourteen days around Sankranti. Lakhs of devotees come for this yatra from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra.  Entire Solapur city is in a festive mood during yatra days. This yatra entertains as well as provides business opportunities to the rural folk. It generates revenue for Solapur Mahapalika.  Landlocked fort, kambar, and  Lotus Lake is another historical place in the city. Thermal power station becomes a new attraction for tourists.

Tharmal power plant
Thermal power plant Solapur

Solapur is a connecting center for various pilgrimages. From Solapur, you can easily arrange a tour for Pandharpur, Tulajapur, and Akkalkot, three important pilgrimages for Marathi people.  All these famous places are one and half hours away from Solapur. You can return within a day after visiting them. Naldurg fort is also near from the city. You can arrange a tour to this fort during the rainy season. Solapur city is also the connecting center for visiting Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Naldurg-fort Solapur
Naldurg-fort Solapur

Solapur has its intrinsic beauty which one must experience. Unfortunately, it has got negative publicity. The character show in Marathi film Tu Tithe Me transfers to Solapur.After listening to this news, he becomes panic. But, this is not the case at all. This is the unique city in the country which was put under the Martial law by British rulers.Freedom fighters of Solapur declared independence much before 15 August 1947. because they had sacrificed their lives for this patriotic act in 1930.  One must visit Solapur to understand its glorious past and beautiful present.

Sanjay Dongare

Enjoy 3 Days of Amrotsav in Konkan!

How about a tour from Pune to Konkan on the occasion of Amrotsav in Konkan? During the tour, you can visit different places in Konkan like Guhagar, Velneshwar, Hedvi and Parshuram. Here, People enjoy this Amrotsav and eat delicious mangoes with their friends and family. (Armas in Marathi means Mango juice, so this tour is for you to enjoy pure mango juice in the vicinity of sea and mango trees)

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Guhagar

Guhagar is the city in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. It is the place famous for Alphonso (Haapus) mangoes, coconuts, and betel nuts. The railhead Chiplun is about 44KM away from Guhagar. This place is featured several films, recent example is Marathi film, Killa. This place is between the river Vaisishthi and the Jaygad creek. It is the perfect getaway destination with a beautiful beach.

Velneshwar

Velneshwar village is to the north of Shastri River in Maharashtra. It is ideal water spot where you can enjoy the beauty of nature. It is the best place to visit anytime. This beach is becoming a very popular tourist spot and the magic and charm of this place. The entry of this place is Velneshwar temple which is Lord Shiva temple. It is the place where fresh green coconut trees and rock less sea water makes the place so beautiful and seem so pleasant and refreshing. Amrotsav celebrates here also.

Hedvi

Hedvi is the small village situated near the town of Guhagar in Konkan region of Maharashtra. The Hedvi beach is also popular for its peaceful features and very big black monolith which called the Bahman Ghal. The beach is 3KM from Ganesh Temple.  This temple is from the Peshwas regime, and gorgeous Dashbuja Marble idol is from Kashmir.

Parshuram

In this village, there is a famous temple of Parshuram, (the name of the village is due to this temple). The temple is an excellent example of ancient statues. Peaceful and beautiful nature and idol of Parshuram made up of black stone. The temple also has an excellent architecture. On the occasion of Parshuram Jayanti, there is the grand ceremony, and many devotees come on that occasion.

Mangoes
Konkan Alphonso Mangoes

About Amrotsav in Konkan Trips this summer:

Amrotsav in Konkan trip starts from20th April for two night and three days. People stay in the proper Wadi in AC Rooms and travel through AC vehicle and discover Konkan. Contact Devika Kelkar Travels to book your seats! Please Drop Your Enquiry at kelkar.devika@gmail.com Or WhatsApp 9763239892

Olive Ridley Turtle Festival at Vayangani in Konkan, Maharashtra

A small town in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra is home to the yearly Olive Ridley Turtle Festival. The Olive Ridley turtles thrive in warm tropical waters of Indian and Pacific Ocean. India is a ground for their reproduction.

Yearly Festival

Every year, around December to March, adult female Olive Ridley Turtles come to the beach of Vayangani and some other beaches in Konkan part of Maharashtra to lay their eggs.  These turtles visit in large groups for nesting called Arribadas.  Olive Ridley turtles are rare because they only lay their eggs at selected beaches. Why on selected beach?

The female note down the beach they were born at and return when they are at parenthood and lay their eggs at the beach, no matter where they are in the world.  Poachers have destroyed Olive Ridley Turtle eggs, and also jackals and pigs eat them. The eggs start hatching in 55 to 60 days. The turtle starts arriving in Maharashtra for breeding as soon as the temperature starts rising. They have decided to hold the turtle festival in four different beaches of the Konkan region.

Konkan Turtle Festival is celebrated each year in the form of a unique discussion program, which reflects the facts that Olive Turtles are on the border of extinction. The main objective to arrange this festival is to educate people to a maximum extent regarding the great work of taking care of various turtles in the best possible manner. This festival celebration happens in a small town of Vayangani village of Maharashtra in the month of March and April.

Reasons for Konkan Olive Ridley Turtle Festival

After successful hatching, baby turtles get left in the open waters of the Arabian Sea. The main concern for the environment is that the population of these turtles has decreased significantly because of broadly increased pollution levels in the recent times. In Maharashtra the festival spare over 30 villages. They ensure that the turtle gets hatch with maximum egg.

We Indians celebrate many festivals throughout the year, and some are very rear. 22nd April is world environment day and this opportunity is just around that time. In Maharashtra, the festival is organised  for turtle  Olive Ridley Turtles have a behavior of forming Arribadas, which are mass gatherings of female turtles to lay eggs on the shore.

The turtle mating season is November to March. After mating the female turtle comes to the sea shore during the night during a high tide line, dig holes up to 18 inches deep and fill them with about 100-150 eggs and then they go back to the sea.

Steps to Protect the Olive Ridley Turtle

For some years, most of these eggs were stolen/sold by people. A few years ago, Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra NGO in Maharashtra, came to provide protection to turtle in the Konkan coast. Turtle festival started in small villages like Vayangani in Ratnagiri district. The place were villagers with tourists from India come together to discharge the turtle hatching into the sea. There are specific environmentalists and forest department officials who support this activity each year.

During these festivals, many visitors watch baby turtle and collect onto the sea. Hatchlings come out of their nests on the seashore and crawling towards the sea. From last five years, hundreds of baby turtle go to the sea safely.

Want to watch the rare Olive Ridley Baby Turtles this Month? Visit Devika Kelkar Travels website. They have got you this Opportunity. Join the Turtle Fair (Kasav Jatra) from 14th April to 16th April 2017. Call them and enjoy the Turtle Festival!

Shegaon Tour in Maharashtra for Peace of Mind

Shegaon, a religious and beautiful place in Buldhana district in Vidarbha region is famous for the Samadhi of Shri Gajanan Maharaj. Shegaon town has a population of about 60000. Shri Gajana Maharaja Sansthan, established in 1908 was two years before his Samadhi. The mission of Sansthan’s is “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaha” that means well-being of humanity. Presently Sansthan successfully manages 42 public utility services including education, health, and social welfare, culture and spiritual activities. Shegaon is the best-managed trusts in the country and largest trust in Vidarbha. On an average 35000 people visit the temple every day and 10 million pilgrims annually.

Shegaon Temple

Shegaon has acquired fame as pilgrimage center because Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj lived here. Hindu considers Gajanan Maharaj Saint had amazing powers. The origin of Gajanan Maharaj in history is untraceable. Sant Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan is the biggest temple in Vidarbha region and is also known as Pandharpur of Vidarbha. This place attracts all pilgrims from all over Maharashtra and other nearby states also.

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Anand Vihar Bhakta Niwas

It is the newest and best accommodation available here. It is only 1Km from Anand Sagar. Bhakt Niwas owned and operated by Sansthan. It is no lesser than a luxurious holiday resort at a reasonable cost. A room with six beds in just Rs 900 per day. Rooms are neat and clean with attach washrooms. There are beautiful sculptures everywhere with landscaping and gardening. There is tea coffee machine installed in every building on ground floor. Free bus service is available to commute to Sansthan from Anand Vihar.

anand sagar
anand sagar

Anand Sagar

Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan has developed Anand Sagar taking into consideration the increasing number of devotees coming at Shegaon Mandir for Darshan as there was no place nearby Shegaon to spend time. Sansthan has decided to develop a place which should be spiritual as well as an entertainment center for devotees. Anand Sagar has its spread in 350 acres area. The work of project began on 8th April 1999. Around 500 labor and 200 expert sculptors from Rajasthan worked here to create the main entrance and marble temple. Hon. Shree Bhairavshinghji Shekhawat devotes to the country on 12th December 2002.

Anand Sagar is a huge with adevotesake, children playing area, a fish aquarium. There is an open theater where you can see a fountain show and toy train encircling the entire place. When you reach Anand Sagar, you can see Big Ganeshji created with the help of many small coppers Lota’s on the main gate. Once entered into gate there is a huge fountain, and in between, there was a statue of sitting Saint. Inside the Anand Sagar, there were big green lawns. Anand Sagar is also an enjoyment place for children.

An artificial island of 300*60*40 size is at the center which is same as Swami Vivekanand center at Kanyakumari. In which there is “Dhyan Kendra”[Meditation center] and the statue of Swami Vivekanand. There is the best facility for dining water at reasonable rates. Also, you get a variety of tasty snacks inside the Anand Sagar. There are many facilities for devotees including free wheelchairs, baby prams, and Umbrellas. To cover all spot in Anand Sagar, it will take 8 to 10 Hours.

Summary

Shegaon is the place which is visited by lacs of people every year. The place receives a huge donation from them, but they have done well to return it back to them in the form of service and facilities. It is a place where donations get utilized well, and it gives a sense of satisfaction for donors.

(Blog Post by Rajashree G)

Weekend Trips near Pune, Maharashtra

Weekend Trips near Pune

Pune is one of the largest Cities in the state of Maharashtra. It is a large Educational hub and IT hub in India. The City is known for good weather, cloth, and jewellery market, food hubs and restaurants and many places for entertainment. The City has proximity with Mumbai, the Capital City of Maharashtra. Pune and Mumbai are well connected with Express Way and Railway. Using either of the ways,  you can commute between two Cities in three hours. Let us see some Weekend Trips near Pune.

Places of Tourist Interest around Pune City

You can stay in Pune City and cover all these places by returning to your Hotel in Pune same day. Some of the places have good lodging and boarding (staying and food) arrangements but some are good just as a day-tour. Places like Kolhapur, Aurangabad, and Mahabaleshwar have nice Hotels and you can stay there for a day or two to visit the places near these Cities.

These are well-known Weekend Trips near Pune and depending on the season and School holidays, these places of Weekend Getaways from Pune may be really crowded.

  1. Panchgani Mahabaleshwar Pratapgad (Hill Stations)
  2. Matheran  (Hill Station on Pune to Mumbai Road near Neral Railway station)
  3. Exploring Pune City
  4. Purandar Fort
  5. Kolhapur City
  6. Aurangabad, Ajanta, Verul
  7. Khed-Shivapur
  8. Baneshwar and Bhatgar Dam
  9. Sajjangad Fort & Thoseghar Waterfall
  10. Karla and Bhaje Caves (Near Malavali Railway station)
  11. Lohgad & Visapur Forts (Off Pune-Mumbai Road near Malavli Railway station)
  12. Lonavala – Khandala Hill Stations (Pune-Mumbai Road)
  13. Sinhagad Fort (Historical fort to be explored on your own)
  14. Lavasa City (daily package / free roaming in the small City)
  15. Khadakwasla, Panshet and Varasgaon dams (all are near Pune, and are on the same route)
  16. Tung & Tikona Forts
  17. Alandi (Saint Dyaneshwar Temple)
  18. Dehu (Saint Tukaram Temple)
  19. Mulshi Dam (50 km from Pune) on Pirangute and Paud Road

Resorts around Pune City for Weekend Trips near Pune:

  1. Ambrosia Resort, Bavdhan Khurd, Pune
  2. Chokhi Dhani, Pune-Nagar Road
  3. Della Resorts, Lonavala (Adventure Park)
  4. Ghadge Botanical Garden, Near Sinhgad Fort
  5. Girivan Valley View Resort, Near Mulshi Dam
  6. Jadhavgadh fort, Saswad Road
  7. Krushi Paryatan Kendra Chincholi Morachi (View Peacocks)
  8. Malhar Machi, Taluka, Mulshi
  9. Manas Holiday Resorts, Bhugaon
  10. MTDC Resort, Panshet
  11. Manntra Hill Resort, Bhor (allowed only with prior booking)
  12. Paradise Resort, Near Panshet Dam
  13. Rutugandh Resort, Gorhe village, Panshet Road
  14. Sanskruti, Pune-Solapur Road
  15. Sentosa Resort, Near Mumbai-Pune Expressway
  16. Shantivan Resort, Near Khadakwasla Dam
  17. Surya Shibir Resort near Varasgaon Dam
  18. The Corinthians Resort, South Pune Mohamadwadi
  19. The Lake Weekend Resort, Near Panshet, Panshet-Tav Road

There are more weekend gateways to explore from Pune City. If you like Maharashtrian food, there are specific places to visit. In general, within Pune City, you get all types of food like Veg and Non-Veg in Maharashtrian, South Indian, and North Indian style. Using your own vehicle or hired Taxi are better options than relying on the local bus transport. The entire area is well-known for food and clothing markets.  You can also visit the Pune City Blog to know more about places of interest within the City.

In spite of being a resident of this City for decades, I must say that Pune is a costly City for staying as well as for food (with Indian standard of living). As Pune has developed as an IT hub, the number of people earning a good salary has grown over last 25 years and the City went on inflating in terms of population, vehicles, roads, apartments, Companies, IT Parks, and Shopping malls. The next step is the recently started ‘Metro Railway’ project for internal transport within the City. It is likely to get completed in next 5 to 6 years.