Thursday, 23 February 2012

Bhandara Hill - February 22, 2012

A day before (on 21st) at 5 pm while leaving from office, Bala told that we are planning for a outing tomorrow. Nothing else was decided.
Next day (on 22nd) I reached office prepared (in my car for the drive, extra pair of sport shoes - if required for the trek and the camera). Couple of people backed out due to some other priorities, however, we 4 made it.

We decided for Bhandara Hill - again near Dehu, like last time we visited on February 8, 2012.

We started off by 5.15 pm after our office hours through the same route as our earlier trip. We reached Dehu village. Stopped for the brief photography.
Tukaram Gatha Mandir (Temple) at Dehu - on the banks of Indrayani

After this bridge comes the Talegaon-Chakan By-pass. Last time we went towards right. This time we took Left here. Immediately when we headed towards Chakan, we could see the Hill on right side - that's the Bhandara Hill.

Bhandara Hill - as seen from Talegaon-Chakan bypass
There's one toll (25 Rs.). We told the person there that we are going to Bhandara Hill. He informed us that the same receipt can be utilized while returning. One can just try to avoid this toll if he can pass-by as a local from the area. One needs to have that confidence in talking that way.  ;-)

Withing 1/2 a km after the toll is the rectangular arch constructed (pink colored) on the Right. This place is called a Indoori. We took that road.

This road goes on the hill. Road is extremely wide, newly tarred; actually some patch is still under construction. But the drive upwards is excellent. It must be pleasure to drive in monsoons.

On the top is there is a small temple with the idols of Tukaram Maharaj; apart from Vitthal-Rakhumai, Lord Ganesha and others. There is this large tree in the shade of which Tukaram Maharaj used to sit for his prayers. Parking space is ample. There are couple of snacks centers which would serve atleast Chai if nothing else. We got only Chai-Biscuits; nothing else was available.

We spoke with some locals there. It is said that the historic meeting between Saint Tukaram and Chhatrapati Shivaji happened at this very place.

By 7.00 pm we decided to get back. On our way back, we halted at the Tukaram Gatha Mandir at Dehu (refer 2nd photo from top). We did the mistake here. We should have gone here first and then we should have proceeded for Bhandara Hill. By the time we reached at 7.20 pm it was all dark already and couldn't see the beauty of it.
Gatha Mandir - this one I took with shutter speed of 1.6 seconds; hand-held
Next time I will definitely visit here during the daylight.
Coordinates for the places are:-

Bhandara Hill:              18° 45’ 06.38” N   73° 43’ 58.72” E
Gatha Mandir:              18° 43’ 39.53” N   73° 46’ 06.12” E

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