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Siddheshwar Temple near Machnur Fort near Mangalwedha on the way to Solapur

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Siddheshwar Temple in Machnur is located around 37 KM away from Pandarpur. One has to travel on the Bijapur Umadi Pandarpur Road to reach Mangalwedha. From Mangalwedha one has to travel on the Sangola - Mangalwedha - Solapur Road to reach the temple
Siddheshwar Temple and Machnur Fort are both located in Machnur.
Entrance to Siddheshwar Temple in Machnur Village

The temple premises was flocked with devotees who had come from all over Maharashtra.

As I entered the Temples premises, I heard a megaphone playing devotional songs.
Old temples in Siddheshwar Temple premises in Machnur Village
There are many small temples in the Siddheshwar Temple premises. All the temples are historic.

I located four diya stands and they were very beautiful. I have seen beautiful diya stands at Achara near Malvan too. And the tallest of them all at Shankaracharya Mandir in Vasai.
Diya Stand at Siddheshwar Temple premises in Machnur Village
Diya stand at Siddheshwar Temple premises in Machnur Village
At the other end of the Siddheshwar Temple premises there is another door. there are stairs leading to the riverbed. River Bhima. As it had dried up, one can visit the temple premises. This temple is also historic, most of the time I believe it is submerged under water, like the Palasdeo Temple.
Old temple in Siddheshwar Temple premises in Machnur Village
Nandi wilt horns of Gold atSiddheshwar Temple premises in Machnur Village
There are no hotels here. Most people who visited the temple travel in private vehicles. Could not spot shared rickshaw nor State transport bus here.

The temple is made of black stone The same stone is used in the construction of the Machnur Fort.
Old temples in Siddheshwar Temple premises in Machnur Village
Of of Siddheshwar Temple premises in Machnur Village, from River Bhima
The Siddheshwar temple walls are designed like a fort walls. The carving on the temple was beautiful. I saw a statue of Nandi, but the horns of which where made of Gold like metal. I have seen statues of Nandi, but this one was quite unusual.
Devotees at Siddheshwar Temple premises in Machnur Village

We then headed off to see the Solapur Fort in Solapur. 

Please do click on the highlighted words above to read about those explorations. 

Machnur Fort near Mangalwedha on the way to Solapur

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Machnur Fort is located around 37 KM away from Pandharpur. One has to travel on the Bijapur Umadi Pandharpur Road to reach Mangalwedha. From Mangalwedha one has to travel on the Sangola - Mangalwedha - Solapur Road to reach Machnur Fort.
Machnur Fort and Siddheshwar Temple are located in the village of Machnur.
Fortification of Machnur Fort near Mangalwedha on the way to Solapur

Machnur Fort is tagged on google maps, so just follow the directions and you won't get lost. There are no signboards, but you can rely on the locals for help.
Fortification of Machnur Fort near Mangalwedha on the way to Solapur
We decided to visit the fort first.The moment we parked the car near the fort entrance it started drizzling. But it stopped soon there after.
Main Entrance to Machnur Fort near Mangalwedha on the way to Solapur
The fort walls were very short in height. There was a small door like structure to enter it. The fort walls were made of stone. The fort was square in shape it had fortification on three sides. There was no fortification on the side facing River Bhima. There is a  sheer drop there. So be careful. Due to the drought situation in Maharashtra, the riverbed was dry.  
Structure within Machnur Fort near Mangalwedha on the way to Solapur
There is nothing much to see in the fort premises, except for a mosque like structure near River Bhima. There is a unknown tomb near the mosque like structure. The Siddheshwar Temple can be seen from the fort premises.  
Fortification of Machnur Fort near Mangalwedha on the way to Solapur
The fort can be viewed by walking on the fort walls. Since they are small in height, one can easily climb them. It took us around 30 minutes to see the entire fort. There is plenty of wild vegetation in the fort premises along with ant farms. So beware for the red ants. You might just be invading their homes.
River Bhima riverbed from Machnur Fort near Mangalwedha on the way to Solapur
This fort was built by Aurangzeb in around 1615 AD to protect himself from his enemies.
Siddheshwar Temple from Machnur Fort near Mangalwedha on the way to Solapur
Ant hills at Machnur Fort near Mangalwedha on the way to Solapur

We then walked to the Siddheshwar temple located near the Machnur Fort.

Please do click on the highlighted words above to read about those explorations. 

Wada on the way to Pandharpur from Piliv via the Satara Pandharpur Road

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

After visiting Piliv fort, we took directions from the local and landed onto the Satara-Pandharpur Highway, which was to take us to Pandharpur. We were to rest there for the night.
Wada on the way to Pandharpur from Piliv 

En route, we located this fortified structure on our right hand side. Now this was not on our itinerary. But we still decided to pay it a visit. Parked the car outside it, we entered the stone walled premises via the Maha Darwaza or the Main Door.

Maha Darwaza to Wada on the way to Pandharpur from Piliv
The Main Darwaza had a small Chor Darwaza or Small Door in it. The wooden door was decorated with nails, that are 5 inch long, currently they are totally rusted. When the fort was attacked by the enemies, the enemy could enter the fort either by climbing the walls or the main door. History states that Elephants were used to attack and break open the Maha Darwaza, hence the nails to injure the Elephants.

It was a land fort and the walls were not very tall. Like the Ahmednagar Fort in Ahmednagar. The fortification was intact. The fort was square shaped.

Maha Darwaza and Chor Darwaza
Raigad Fort, Vasai Fort have got great Maha Darwaza's.

There was just one house in its premises. The current owner of the Wada stays in that small house. They are the descendants of the Nimbalkar's.

Stone tablets at Wada on the way to Pandharpur from Piliv
There is a old well, near the house. The well is around 50 feet deep but no water within it. There are a couple of old structures in the Wada premises. We saw a granary too.

The descendants had unearthed a sword and musket gun. Not sure how many more historic treasures are buried under ground.
We also located grinding stone,  rock cut stone artifacts here. Similar to the ones we saw at Tural Hot Water Springs on NH66.

Old structures within Wada on the way to Pandharpur from Piliv 

The time was now 6:45 PM and we had to reach Pandharpur.
On the Satara-Pandharpur Road, we were greeted with lighting and thunder. Finally came the rain to cool down the soaring temperatures. How I love and cherish the smell of the soil.

Artifacts at Wada on the way to Pandharpur from Piliv

Now we had to search for a place to stay for the night. We tried the local government guest house. But it was full. Through past experience, we have never got to stay in a Government guest house.
We got ourselves room's in Hotel Laxmi Palace, at a cost of Rs 700 for non AC. The AC ones cost Rs.1000. The rooms were okay, but not that great.

Current residents at Wada on the way to Pandharpur from Piliv

Ate some street side chinese food and omlette pav. But nothing beats the street side chinese food we had at Wai, what say Manohar.

Well at Wada on the way to Pandharpur from Piliv

That night it rained so heavily that the power conked off. We had to keep the balcony door open so that the chilly breeze could come in. Good we didn't take the AC room, as it would  have been a complete waste of money.

Unearthed Musket Gun at Wada on the way to Pandharpur from Piliv

Unearthed Sword at Wada on the way to Pandharpur from Piliv

Next morning woke up, had breakfast at Kamat's located on the Satara-Pandharpur Road. The food was not at all tasty. First time ever, it didn't live up to the brand name. We then headed off to see Machnur Fort. 

Please do click on the highlighted words above to read about those explorations. 

Piliv Fort located on the Satara Pandharpur Road on the way to Pandharpur

Monday, November 14, 2016

Piliv Fort is located around 32 KM away from Akluj fort. i.e around 45 minutes of travel time. Piliv fort is located on the Satara Pandarpur Road. If we visit, then we should reach the fort by 5:30 PM.  We decided to take our chances and head over to see the fort.
Directions available on Google maps. We followed the directions.
The roads are very narrow and in bad shape, they will test your car suspension. Bad roads, increases the time to visit the fort.

Bastions of Piliv Fort

Finally around 5:40 PM after asking locals residing near the fort premises, we were near the fort. The fort walls were intact and in good condition. The bastions looked amazing. Someone has also gone ahead and constructed a shop using the fort wall as one of the walls of his shop. How stupid of him to destroy the national monument.

Bastions and Entrance to Piliv Fort
There is a very small door to enter the fort premises. There was a SUV parked there with a cover, covering it. Not sure why.  

It is small fort, having many bastions,  the stones used in fortification remind me of the forts in Delhi.

Entrance to Piliv Fort
We climbed up the fort walls to get a better view of the fort from the inside and outside. We located a hand cannon. It was heavy to lift. I was able to lift it for a few minutes though. That is the only cannon on the fort premises.

Structures within Piliv Fort
There are people staying in the fort premises. Similar to Mahim fort and Vasai fort. Not sure if they are staying legally or illegally. I guess, the SUV parked near the fort entrance, belonged to one of the people residing in the fort premises.

Hand Cannon at Piliv Fort
The fort takes around 30 minutes to see. The fort smells of nilgiri due to the nilgiri tree in the fort premises. 

Fortification of Piliv Fort
Piliv Village lies at the base of the fort. It is a small town. The narrow roads are packed with people and vehicles. Not sure if there is a public mode of transport to reach the fort premises. 

Fortification of Piliv Fort
Again I am not aware of the history of this fort.

Bastion at Piliv Fort

The time was now 6:15 PM. We were tired. We were on the hunt for a place to stay for the night. Pandharpur was our closest bet. Pandharpur was around 40 KM away on the Satara-Pandharpur Road. 

Please do click on the highlighted words above to read about those explorations. 

Akluj fort (Shiv Srushti) near Solapur

Saturday, November 12, 2016

After driving for a couple of minutes on the Pune Solapur Highway we located this hotel, Hotel Indraaatya. We decided to brake for lunch there. The time was now 2:45 PM on my watch. Not sure if lunch would be served, but we still decided to try our luck post Kugaav Fort.
Hotel Indraaatya
Lunch was served and so we settled for Chicken Thali, at a cost of Rs. 160 each. Twelve, you read it right, twelve pieces of chicken for Rs.160 is not bad. After having a heavy lunch we then headed over to see Akluj fort (Shiv Srushti) near Solapur.

Akluj fort is tagged on Google maps so there is no way you can get lost. It was around an hour away. We reached the fort premises at 4 PM. It was open to public.
Chicken Thali at Hotel Indraaatya
The ticket cost us Rs.20 each. The timings are from 10 AM to 1 PM, lunch break, 2 PM to 630 PM. I guess it is open on all days.
The Main Darwaza to enter the fort and the fortification is artificially created. It has got mannequins of soldiers around it. There is also a historic bastion located in the middle of the fort. I guess the bastion is all that remains of the original fort, that once stood here.
Akluj fort (Shiv Srushti)
Akluj fort (Shiv Srushti)
It is basically a museum depicting the important events in Shivaji's life. The walls on the inside have got the various events on Shivaji's life depicted in the form of large images.
Akluj fort (Shiv Srushti)
Akluj fort (Shiv Srushti)
The Coronation of Shivaji as King and his Birth Ceremony is depicted in 3D format. Mannequins dressed in various attire. A lot of effort has gone in making this museum aka fort. It was nice to see a museum depicting the important events in Shivaji's life. It takes around 20 to 30 minutes to see the fort aka museum.
Akluj fort (Shiv Srushti)
Again not much is known about the history of this fort.
The original bastion located in the center has a statue of Shivaji atop it. It gives a good view of the fort and also the surrounding. It is the topmost point of the fort.
Akluj fort (Shiv Srushti)
Akluj fort (Shiv Srushti)

The time was now 430 PM, we decided to visit Piliv Fort, before we break for the day. 

Please do click on the highlighted words above to read about those explorations.

Kugaav fort aka Inamdaarcha Wada at Kalasi Village near the Pune Solapur Highway

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I came to know about existence of the Kugaav fort, after reading Aashish's blog. As it was on the way, we planned to pay it a visit too.

Kugaav fort aka Kalasi Village or Inamdaarcha Wada in the water

After visiting the Palasdeo temple we headed back to  the Solapur-Pune Highway. Drove till we reached the Varkute Phata. It took us around 15 to 20 minutes to reach Varkute Phata. A couple of people were gathered there. Not sure why, maybe they were waiting for a ST bus or a Jeep to take them to their destination.

We asked them about the whereabouts of Kugaav Fort. Not a soul was able to provide us with directions. Aink. That is strange. We then asked for Kalasi Village or Inamdaarcha Wada. Then the helped us with directions. A small tiny road from Varkute Phata leads to Kalasi Village. Please note  that there are no signboards here, your GPS might not work. So keep asking the locals for directions as and when you find them. Like  we did.

I don't know, the history of this fort, but, if you are aware then please let me know.

Finally after driving over the bumpy roads and spending nearly an hour we reached Kalasi Village. Asked a couple of boys, about the whereabouts of the fort. As per the boys a portion of the movie 'Sairat' was shot here. They were surprised, when they heard that we had come all the way from Mumbai to see this fort. They gave us directions to reach the banks. The tar roads were now replaces by muddy and bumpy roads.

The sun was right over our heads. I could see the fortification in the middle of the river. It was too far to swim, so had to board a boat to take us to the fort. 'Where is the  jetty' no sign of it. Finally a local came along on a bike. I asked him, he said that we need to walk down to the banks of the river, he pointed out in a distance and said that the boats leave from there.
pomegranate plantation
'Now that we found the so called Jetty, Where is the boat' I said to myself. The local also wanted to board the boat to cross over to the other side. He make a couple of calls to find out about the whereabouts of the boat. He told me that the Tehsildar is come to survey the village and hence he has taken the boat along. They should be back here in the next 2 to 3 hours.

'2 to 3 hours?' that is a long wait time to see a fort. We didn't want to waste time as we had loads of historical places on our agenda. I discussed with Manohar and we decided to leave for Akluj fort. I was sad as we had come a long way, but could not explore the fort.
Again we had to drive slowly as the roads are not in good condition. On the way back we stopped to see the pomegranate and maize plantations. Both sides of roads were filled with pomegranate and maize plantations. I was not aware that it is a flower which then gets converted into a fruit. I don't like pomegranate much, but it is still good to know information :)

pomegranate plantation
Finally we reached Vakrute Phata. Not sure if there are rickshaw or jeep or ST buses which ply to the village. Back on the Solapur-Pune Highway again. Our next pit stop was the Akluj fort. 

Palasdeo aka Palasnath temple loated in the middle of River Bhima.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

After visiting Pataleshwar Caves in Pune, tackling the rush hour and traveling on the one way roads, finally we were out of the city premises and on our way to Palasdeo Temple. To visit the temple one has to travel via the Pune-Solapur Highway.
Boats leading to Palasdeo aka Palasnath temple

 Again the directions to the temple are tagged on google maps. It took us roughly around 3 hours to reach. The closest village is the Palasdeo  village. We asked a couple of locals for directions and headed over the dry river bed to reach the boat service, leading to the temple.

The GPS showed that we were actually traveling on the River Bhima.
Palasdeo aka Palasnath temple
As we were travelling on the river bed, the muddy path will test the car suspension, you will  also have to travel slowly, as the ground clearance is very low.

Cattle was also grazing on the dry grass on the riverbed.
Artifacts at Palasdeo aka Palasnath temple

A couple of trucks parked in a distance were carrying on illegal mining work. Make hay while the sun is shinning. LOL.

 We then parked our car near the dry riverbed and then headed towards the boat. Note : there is no jetty here, one has to get in the water to board the boat, something similar to Arnala Fort in Virar and Undheri and Khanderi Forts in Alibaug. The boatman will  instruct you as to where you need to sit, as the boat needs to be balanced or it will capsize.
Artifacts at Palasdeo aka Palasnath temple

It took us 10 minutes to reach the temple. The boat journey cost us Rs.30 for a return trip. The boatman told us that he makes a cool Rs.700 a day, thanks to the drought situation. I don't mind transporting people to and fro.

The boatman told us that the temple was totally submerged under water. It had been like this for the last two decades. Due to the drought situation, we were able to see and visit the temple.
Around the temple premises are a couple of artifacts. Especially this square shaped stone that is beautifully carved.
Palasdeo aka Palasnath temple premises
There are arch shaped structure, made of bricks is beautiful.
We then headed to the temples. There are two temples here. Both the temples are beautiful. The top of the temple was beautifully carved and it has remained that way for ages. Especially when it has been under water for two decades. Not sure as to when this temple was built.

Both the temples were flocked by devotees. Who had come from far to see. Some had come for worship others to take selfies with the temple before they are submerged under water.
Palasdeo aka Palasnath temple
What I didn't like about this place is the signboard that instructs you to take off your footwear when visiting the temple. But then the same people are climbing up the temple Kalash to take photos and selfies with footwear on. NO signboard to instruct them. What a shame.

Also the way people were climbing the top, they could destroy the architecture of the temple, which has remained like that for ages. No one seems to be bothered about it.
Palasdeo aka Palasnath temple
We then boarded the boat to return back to the car. Sadly I didn't get to row the boat like I did at Sav Hot Water Springs located near Gandharpale Caves on the way to Mahad.

Now as there are no signboards and people have made their own ways on the riverbed, we were lost. Then with the help of a couple of locals we finally managed to get on track as we reached the Palasdeo Village. From here a straight road leads to the Pune Solapur Highway.
Palasdeo aka Palasnath temple
Not sure if there are any State transport buses or shared rickshaw to reach this place. A private vehicle is needed.  

For next pit stop was Kugaon Killa. Another fort submerged under water.
Boat to Palasdeo aka Palasnath temple
This temple is currently submerged under water, thanks to the rains.:)

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