There is a road from Karad that leads us to Masure. The road is in good condition, and one can easily do 60-70 KMPH safely on this road. There is another big temple in the Masure village, but we continued inside to go to the Samartha Sthapit temple.
Here we faced little confusion. Based on some wrong info, we thought Masure was first and Shahapur later. It was the other way round. Shahapur is some 3 kms before Masure. So took a U turn, and went to Shahapur.
Shahapur’s Maruti Temple is the located at a beautiful location, overlooking the river below. The gates were closed, but as with all other Maruti temples, a humble request specifying the photo purpose opened up the gates to God.
Later, we joined the speedy NH4 again. Few kms ahead came Umbraj. From Karad to Satara, at Umbraj, there is one temple on right and four on left. The temple at right is in Umbraj itself, called ‘Mathatil Marutil’. This math too is a small house looking building, easily hidden in the mazes of the villages. Rain tried to catch us here, but we dodged into the temple in time. A group of elderly ladies was amused by the sudden presence of space rangers between them.
Crossed NH4 to head to the other side to visit last 4 temples. First was at Majgaon. While going towards Chaafal, you will come across the board ‘Majgaon’. Take the small road towards right. The first building on your left constructed on a platform is the temple. You can’t miss it even if you wanted to. There was no one in this temple, and sadly not even a donation box. Had to press the donation notes deep inside the locked gabhara.
Next stop: Chafal. This was the headquarters of Samartha Ramadas Swami. Out of 72 years life, he spent 32 years here and few years on Ram Bet, the island we visited at Bahe. Here, while enquiring about the Samartha Maruti, we faced a unique confusion. People here were confidently stating that there is only one temple of Samartha Maruti in Chaafal. But then the day’s count would be ten, not eleven. The people that were telling us this were localities, staying there for many years. Finally, Maruti himself solved the confusion, when we found the list of Marutis in the Veer Maruti temple.
There is a big Ram temple in Chaafal, enshrined by Samartha Ramdas swami himself. In front of that temple, there is a Maruti idol placed in a Namaskar pose, facing the idols. This is one of the 11 Maruti idols. It’s a wonder how the localities don’t consider this as one of the 11 temples!
One day, Samartha Ramdas Swami had a vision that there was a Ram idol lying at Angapur. He went there, and found the idols in the riverbed. But the villagers protested that the idols belong to them, and hence be installed there only! Samartha placed the idols then and there returned to Chafal. The idols couldn’t be moved an inch by the villagers. Finally they came to Samartha and seeked forgiveness. The idols were then brought here.
There was a big earthquake here in December 1967, where most of the temple was damaged. A businessman donated to the temple fund, and this new temple is created at the same place.
Way to Samartha’s Gunfa for meditation. It was impossible for me to get in because of all the motorcycle gear I was wearing.
There was one last temple remaining, Shinganwadi. As ironic as it may get, this is the first temple of the series to get constructed. Shivaji Maharaj met Samartha Ramdas here. It was around 5.30 that we were at the base of the hill where the temple is located. Motorcycles are said to be able to go up, but soon the roads became too bad to take any risk. The whole ride to home was still remaining, so I parked Vesta halfway on the hill, and walked thereon.
A small temple welcomes you on the hilltop.
A strange feeling filled our minds after we stepped out of the temple. A task that was so randomly placed in the mind in past, had finally been accomplished in a grand way. 11 Marutis in one day. Not in our wildest plans, not even in the worst of the worst case scenarios did I consider we might have to do this route in one day. Though a journey of 175 kms was still waiting, and the body was tired by the already done 100 kms ride, we were filled with happiness. Was this what they call as spiritual bliss? That you achieve a thing you wanted in the wildest way possible? Whatever it was, it was great.
We spotted this colony of nests that are called ‘Sugrani cha khopa’ in Marathi. A whole colony was blooming on the green tree. The birds were returning to their homes, after a day of little adventures. And so were we, after having a little adventure of our own.
The journey back was uneventful, if we decide to omit the repetitive description of cars trying to run you over! I wonder what goes in the making of a car that turns a man (or woman in worst case) into a monkey with accelerator and horn. The HID installed on Vesta saved us countless times, and save a little stop to relive and have a quick snack, we rode the journey continuously. Finally touched base at 9.30 p.m.