Aug 25 2012
So having all recovered from a myriad of experiences and caught up after a day apart we had an early breakfast to fuel ourselves for our first visit to a temple. With it being a longer drive the prospect of a lift on a moped was out of the question so we all boarded the bus in high spirits and headed on the Solapur Road towards Mumbai, this time as we were wide awake we got to see the surrounding country side change as we headed across the Deccan plateau and down towards the hills. A quick toilet stop resulted in more puppy napping from Cara and a Scottish invasion of one the lorries parked up having a coffee.
Photos taken we dived back on the bus and soon hit the approach road to Bhuleshwar Temple, as we got closer the roads became more windy and the sides fell away to either side, each turn ploughing further up the hill as the temple came to view. Perched on the top of the hill and carved from a single rock the structure is protected by the steep sides of the hill with the remnants of the fort once placed to protect it, unsuccessfully on 3 occasions, from mogul invasion. Once out Dr Sanjeev Nalawad guided us around the temple informing us of the traditions, beliefs and iconography associated with the temple, this was aided by our colleagues from Fergusson adding information on the geography of the area and some of their views on the culture of the area. Whilst in the temple we got to see the intricate stone carvings, statues of Lord Shiva and the bull hall before several of the party got good luck bands and Sinead, ever the consummate performer, had a go on the drums.
Out of the temple the temptation of a nearby carousel was too much and every one jumped on. Much to the delight of group members sat on the seats and local children taking advantage of the enthusiastic pushing done by Gavin, Sami and Augusta. All tired out we headed down past the aquifer that supplies the temple and to a spot overlooking the valley for lunch, cucumber sandwiches and local dishes. Back on the bus we took a detour back through via the Diwe Ghat a chance to see the back roads into Pune.
The evening dinner served up another Indian treat with some of the groups’ tummies getting the hang of the local food better than the others we all relaxed for the evening with full bellies and sleepy eyes.