A white-road trip to Delawadi Khandoba temple
We were making plans for a Sunday trip. This is how the discussion went: Let’s go to a temple we haven’t been to before. Let’s go along a river as it would be full now. Let’s avoid the highway and go on internal roads to enjoy nature. So, the search began. Zooming in on Mula-Mutha river, i followed its tracks to find a place. Googled to find mentions of few temples we haven’t been to and then upon finding their location/routes, i narrowed down on the Khandoba temple at Delawadi.
About the route: This was also my first trip using a GPS. Recently, i got a Tomtom GPS as a gift. I had never used a GPS or even a map before. I usually decide on a destination and then once i am approximately near it, ask locals for the route and continue. But this was a different trip, where the route was equally important as the destination. So, i decided to use the GPS from one stopover to another. It proved to be quite useful. I don’t have a 3g connection, so anyway my phone was of no use. My friend (who was in another car) had one, but at many places there was a neither a network nor a human being. So, the Tomtom GPS helped a lot (a full review coming soon). On seeing the map, you would understand why i called this a white-road trip. On maps, internal roads and usually marked by a thin white line and this is what i followed for most of the way.
A funny incident happened. I decided to switch off the GPS until Theur as i thought Theur was a popular destination and i would be able to reach there easily. But while enjoying the ride, i missed a turn near Manjari (or rather took a turn) and ended up at a crowded place. So we stopped and i proudly announced to my friend, “This must be Theur!”. I switched on the GPS and it said “Nagar Road”. I was amused and started complaining about the GPS. Then my friend switched on the maps on his phone and confirmed the same. The wrong turn had taken us to a place which would have taken us 10 mins by a regular route and we had taken close to 30 mins for it! That is the reason you see the big deviation around Manjari 🙂
Mula-Mutha may be a dirty little river within the city, but it is beautiful, really beautiful just a few kms outside the city. So, our planned route of criss-crossing the river was very good with the crossing on old rustic stone bridges (and some in pretty bad condition). On an average, the condition of the road was average with it practically being non-existent in some stretches particularly between Ashtapur and Rahu. But, both the Xylo and the swift made it back in one piece. Be prepared with lot of potholed sections, gravel roads and most importantly, be prepared for a very scratched up car! i lost count of the number of scratches on the car. If you are the kind who looks at your car every morning and polishes it to look like a mirror, avoid this route. There are many sections where the road is just wide enough for the car with thorny bushes on either sides. Try to imagine hearing a long screeech on either side when you are driving at 20 km/hr.
The location of the temple was awesome. It was a small hill next to a river valley with the river making a slow curve towards the horizon just before meeting up with the Bhima river. It is a Khanboa temple, much similar to the one at Jejuri, even in architecture. The central domes are very ornate and would make a great colourful foreground against a dark monsoon sky. You have steps to walk down to the river bank. This temple has idols of the consorts of Khandoba.
It was a lazy road-trip. We took close to 7 hrs for this 120 km round trip. Will do it again next year and extend it further to the meeting point with Bhima and further downstream.