I drove for an hour and a half from Tuljapur to Akkalkot and had plans to stay in Solapur (further an hour away) that night. But i changed my plans…read on….
The drive from Tuljapur to Akkalkot (BOTH IN MAHARASHTRA) was picturesque, there were landscaped hills and farms everywhere, a couple of ponds peeked at us from between the bushes, little huts and houses of farmers marked the presence of human life. Goats and Cows were grazing on the lush green grass and every now and then a herder would use a stick on the most mischievous of the lot as if reprimand them.
When we reached Akkalkot we were so impressed by the little town, there were little lanes with colorful houses, people wore traditional attire in varied colors and there were bhajans playing all around (songs sung in praise of the lord), though there were no elite hotels there was a temple Guest house that had non-a.c and a.c. rooms available if you ask me the A.C. delux and A.C. VIP DELUX are better options , We were glad to eat the Dinner offered by the temple to its devotees(fabulous lunch also available), the food was delicious later We proceeded for the Main temple where we attended the Aarti performed in front of the deity-A renowned Indian saint SWAMI SAMARTHA, the temple is a walking distance from the guest house and it’s food hall. One of the reasons why it’s a renowned temple is that the bed of swami samartha is kept here and it’s one of the places swami samartha used to be at.
In fact a tree in the compound of the temple has projections which have taken an exact formation of the hands and feet of the deity, it’s indeed a miracle to notice the perfect formation and one can even touch the formations and ask for a wish which shall be granted.
After an wonderful darshan we took our leave for the evening and decided to stay in akkalkot that night as it is a place very different from what we have seen before it has beautiful Sculptures of SWAMI SAMARTHA, SHIVAJI MAHARAJ and his army, we concluded our day with a lovely Kulfi (indianised version of ice-cream) available outside the guest house, In the morning we started on our way back to Hyderabad we had some Misal Pao a traditional Marathi dish from a stall outside, there are numerous stalls five steps away from the guest house offering many traditional Indian dishes for breakfast and snack time, whilst lunch and dinner are taken care of by the temple. On the way we stopped and prayed at the SAMADHI of the Indian saint, It was a Fantastic trip to the town of SWAMI SAMARTHA who would always re-assure his devotees by the words ‘Bhiu Nakos Mee Tuzya Paathishi Aahe’ ( भिऊ नकोस, मी तुझ्या पाठीशी आहे.) translated as ‘NEVER FEAR I’LL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU’.