It was my long pending desire to visit temple or samadhi place of Navnath Maharaj. I am not a staunch follower of Nath sampraday but yes I respect them a lot. They belonged to very ancient school of ‘Siddhi’ which is practiced through yoga.
Their main Guru was Lord Dattatray. Hence this journey we decided to start with Datta temple in Ahmednagar. As usual we started in the morning at around 7:00 and our first break was Smile stone near Ahmednagar. After refreshments we moved ahead towards Datta temple in Ahmednagar. Shri Datta Kshetra temple in Ahmednagar is an epitome of architectural excellence. It is constructed with pink stones from Rajasthan. The temple is very beautiful and spacious and provides immense peace to the devotees of Lord Dattatray. The idol of the lord Dattatray is made of marble and is very beautiful. Below the temple one can go for meditation in the spiritual atmosphere of Dhyan Mandap. There is one divine tree located besides the temple, people called it Kalpavriksha. The fact that it is a combination of three trees I.e. Audumber, Peepal and Wad from a single root makes everyone wondrous. This is kind of miracle. Vedant University is also nearby temple which is run by temple trust. Young students come here to learn Vedic education and rituals. The temple is open from 7-11:30 in the morning, 3-6 in the noon and 7:45-9 in the evening. Please note that leather belts and accessories are not allowed inside the temple. You can keep in your vehicle or keep safely with security at the entrance of temple. If coming by public transport then temple is nearer to Tarakpur bus stand in Ahmednagar from where auto rickshaw will drop to the temple. For personal vehicles, google maps is the best navigator.
After spending some time with the spiritual atmosphere of the temple we moved on to Kanifanath Madhi which is almost 50Kms from this place on Ahmednagar-Beed road. At this place, Saint Kanifanath has taken Samadhi in around 10th century. The temple is built around this Samadhi. Saint Kanifanath was one of the maha yogi of the Navnath Sampraday of 9 yogis. There are few steps to reach the temple from parking. Also it is believed that Saint Kanifanath was born through the elephants ear. The life size idols of elephant and baby Kanifanath is built there to portray the same. The basic construction was done by Yesubai, wife of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj and she also offered a horse made of brass which is still kept in the temple. Kanifanath is believed to be the God of all nomads. There are processions every year from Holi to Gudhi Padwa and huge number of devotees throng this place. After paying respect to the Samadhi we moved ahead towards Machhindragad which is just 10Kms from Madhi.
Although the distance is less but road is single lane and with windings. The temple is at the top of a hill and one has to go through numerous curves to reach the place. The parking place is huge and there is no dearth of place for parking. The place is really beautiful and one should visit the place in monsoon to witness green hues all around and different small waterfalls adding to the beauty of nature. As of now there are no basic essential services there like proper food, toilets etc. The place is still under construction. We paid our respect to Shree Machhindranath Samadhi to experience the soothing vibrations of the atmosphere and moved towards Paithan.
There are no proper hotels visible from Ahmednagar till now and we were aware of the same. Hence we had our lunch packed with us. We found open area with trees and had lunch there.
Paithan is approximately 70Kms from Machhindranath Gadh and is place of Samadhi for Sant Eknath Maharaj. The temple is on the bank of Godawari river and is a place filled with positivity. However the river behind the temple is all filled with filth and dirt. Paithan has many other places to visit but due to shortage of time we had to return back from the temple itself. Hope to cover other places in the next trip.
We headed back towards Pune with a refreshment stop at Smile Stone again as there were no decent hotels or restaurants on the way.
It was a marvellous single day journey of approximately 450 Kms covering 4 temples of Spiritual Masters. Jai Shree Gurudev Dutt!!!!