The Bengaluru-Mumbai road trip was like a dream come true, in more ways than one. One of the most cherished of them would be getting to see 3 of Shivaji Maharaj’s forts (He was in possession of a whopping 370 at the time of his death!). We are happy we have made a start, and have seen 3 of the most famous and important of them 🙂
We did 2 of them – Sajjangad (near Satara) and Pratapgad (near Pachagani) during our onward journey, and Shivneri during the return journey. The simplest climb (of the 3) would be to Sajjangad, with an ascent of about 180 steps; while the toughest would be Shivaneri, with steep ascents followed by a fairly long hike at the end. All of them totally worth the efforts though! At the end of each, we felt we could spend all our holiday time there. Alas, we had to move on! But we are surely going back again, to these and to more of those 370 too. *fingers crossed*
Sajjangad houses the samadhi (final resting place) of Samarth Ramdas, a well-known 17th century saint and poet, and the Guru of Shivaji Maharaj. There is something so special about the Samadhi mandir here; the place oozes out spiritual vibes all around. We were right in time for the Aarti and Bhog (offering or prasad to the deity) which made it extra special. There are dolis available in case someone has difficulty with the climb and rooms are also available atop the hill with free food, served as Prasad (offering). Alternately, you can stay at Satara which is only about 15kms by road.
We had heard and read that many saints from other parts of India had also visited this place and interestingly found a room named after ‘Sridhara Swamiji‘, whose place we had visited before (Varadahalli in Sagara district, Karnataka). On reading up more, we got to know that Sridhara Swamiji was a disciple of Samarth Ramadas, connecting all the dots so beautifully 🙂
Here are some pics from Sajjangad. I wish there was a way to record those subtle and spiritual feelings, sigh! This place is a must visit if you want to feel them 🙂
He quenched our thirst after all that climb! Nice marketing skills eh?;)
I wanted to finish writing about all of them today, but don’t think it will do justice. Psst, writing them in separate posts will also increase my post-count, no?;) Stay tuned!:D