Kadepathar Khandoba Temple (Jejuri) – Ek Mukkhi Dutta Mandir (Narayanpur) – Prati Balaji Mandir Ketkavle – Baneshwar Mahadev Temple (Nasrapur).
duration : Full day circuit
Mileage : Approx 200kms
please check the temple circuit 1A for more details.
Start very early from pune preferably at 6am towards Saswad (36 kms). Just 16kms ahead there is Jejuri. The abode of Khandoba on top if the steep hill so its called kadepatthar.
Car can be parked from 2 lanes. One before the main lane and one after the main lane close to the start of Jejurigadh stairs.
The Hadi /Bhandar available in shops here is of very low quality don’t take it home for cooking. Its to be splattered in air to bring good luck and good health a tradition followed by the devotees.
On the way on steps there are street performers who perform a Gondhal. A ritual of song sung in praise of the lord khandoba. Do pay them to watch their performance. Its mesmerizing.
There are very few male gods. So if you are from West Maharashtra or Goa or Karnataka Your Kuldev is either Balaji or Khandoba.So both are covered in this route.
First have to take darshan of banai and pradhanji temples and then proceed to the khandoba temple on top of the hill The stairs are very steep and not for the faint hearted.
The terraces have been closed so can no longer enjoy the Panasonic view.
After darshan drive back towards Saswad and take the Saswad kapurhol road which is a 35kms journey and would reach the next destination which is the ek mukhi Dutta mandir at Narayanpur.
The idols across Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andra are all with 3 faces so 1 face idols are uncommon and this is one of them. Many people come to listen the “Pravachan” of Shri.Sadguru Narayan Maharaj (Anna).
Considered to be a jagrut temple and almost all have experienced it in some way so year by year the crowd swells multiple folds.
Next to it is a very old Narayaneshwar Shiva temple. Do visit that too. Sometimes the shortcut door between both temples is open too.
Continue on the same road further 10kms to Prati Balaji Temple Shree Venkateshwata Balaji Temple at ketkavle.
Its a replica of the famous Balaji temple so its called Prati Balaji (a mirror image)
Its a huge campus with the stone temple in the middle. The main temple is surrounded by smalller one within the temple campus. So you can only make pradakshina and visit all of them in a sequence. There are intricate carved different palkhi’s of the diety. Very traditional.
The stone idols are beautiful decorated with flowers, gold and diamond lit by traditional oil diya. The rood of the temple has intricate paintings. Had an opportunity to see while it was done. A person layed on his back on a stilt and was painting it upside down. These were specialist brought from Andra Pradesh to do the job so do appreciate the work when you see it.
Do note the temple is closed between 10am to 11:15am and its flexible.I have visited it many times but the schedules you find listed are never on time. So do what ever you time it. You will end up standing in the queue for atleast 1/2 hour before the darshan starts.
If you reach before 12noon you will be given lunch coupons (Authentic south Indian Sambar Rice and a sweet) otherwise a Drona of pure ghee bundi.
Many tour bus operators took undue advantage of the prasadam service so they offer it sporadic and suspend it on weekends and holiday.
At noon the floor is blazing hot so try going there as early as possible in the day.
Its not handicap friendly but temple management is helpful to them by providing wheel chair and letting them skip queue.
There is separate parking for cars faraway from the temple. Do make a point not to waste time on the previous destinations because if you reach after 12 noon As the sun rises the ground gets unbearably hot and have to still walk barefoot in blazing sun.
Temple has stands to put your shoes and safely store camera enabled mobiles. if you have come after covering Jejuri post 11am don’t believe the posts who say to keep footwear in car / bus.
After Darshan come to parking area which is packed with memorabilia shops. to buy photos and stickers Proceed to Kapurhol where you can purchase fresh vegetables from local villagers. The right turn on the highway is closed so if going to Pune you need to proceed towards Bangalore direction for underpass of Bhor junction for a U turn.
Proceed 12 kms further for Nasrapur town on the left to Baneshwar mahadev temple.
Passing through inside it at the end of the market is a right turn for Baneshwar Mahadev temple marked by an overhead board. Click on the above link for Wikipedia history. The Ponds have turtles and really nice to watch. If you have spare time check out the garden behind the temple (have to pay entry fee) . Best time is monsoon where there is a huge running Baneshwar waterfall behind the garden.
On returning towards pune some 6kms later there is a jaggery factory on the left which is open throughout the year. After shopping you start back home.
You can stop for refreshments after passing the Khedshivapur tool plaza which is always over crowded so best is to pass it as quick as possible since after 5pm traffic increases multiple folds.