Friday, 8 February 2013

A Trip to Shegaon

A Trip to Shegaon

Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal

It’s my first time, I am writing my traveling experiences on web & sharing the same with you all, basically I like to travel a lot & visit religious places whenever time allow me and try to make my own travel plan and help others  devotees, which will help them to plan their yatra.  We have planned to visit Shree Gajanan Maharaj – Shegaon, along with my three Friends [Ganesh, Swapnil & Sagar] & after my marriage it’s my first time that I am travelling without my Wife & Son [Varun] at religious place.
To visit at Shegaon has been fixed when we were travelling by Local Train of Mumbai [coming back from office] & one of friend has given us the Prasad “Laddu” which he has brought from Shree Gajanan Maharaj – Shegaon. At the same time I decided let go to Shegaon for Darashan which I have not visited before & three of my friends where ready and finally we planned our visit for weekend on 25th January, 2013  to 28th January, 2013 & make the Railway reservation for the same & luckily we got the confirm ticket. … Gan Gan Ganat Bote
Day 1st - 25th January, 2013

A day has come when we have to travel, in Moring everyone has gone in office as usual& in Evening we all meet at Kalyan Station as planned; we have booked the ticked in LTT Shalimar Express from Kalyan to Shegaon, which leave Kalyan at 10.45pm. Finally we board the Train & Train departure on time, compartment was full & over crowed by the passenger, because of the 3 day continued holiday, after some time the entire passenger started sleeping & we too. The climate was very cold.
Day 2nd - 26th January, 2013

At around 5am we heard some noise, which was coming from nearby compartment & they were in totally holiday mood & making too much funny jokes. So we finally decided to wake up around 6am, & have hot tea…. Train was on time & reached Shegaon Station at 7.10am. Climate was beautiful.
Before we go ahead, let give some information about Shegaon, Shree Gajanan Maharaj & Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan.
* * About Shegaon * *
Shegaon is located in Maharashtra state in Khamgaon Teshil sub- Division of Buldhana District in Amravati Region in India. Shegaon Tehsil has area of 436 Square km and 95 village come under these & which has a population around 125,000. Geography it is located 20.7833° N latitude & 76.6833° E longitude. It is located 600kms East of Mumbai and 316kms West of Nagpur.
Shegaon is blessed by Saint Shree Gajanan Maharaj and it has been believe & fame of devotees that Shree Gajanan Maharaj is alive & has a miraculous powers, due to which it’s a hub for pilgrimage. Shegaon has a good education Place too. It has a good Engineering college, along with 10 Schools and 4 Junior colleges & Engineering College is considered as one of the best Engineering College & which gives best Engineers of the Amravati University.
It is well connected by Central Railway on Mumbai – Nagpur - Howrah Main line route & many trains have a stoppage at Shegaon Station. Nearly Climate is cool in winter i.e November to February and Hot during Summary i.e March to June.  …. Gan Gan Ganat Bote
*  * About Shree Gajanan Maharaj * *
Shree Gajanan Maharaj - Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
Saint was first seen in Shegaon on 23rd February, 1878. He was first seen eating left over grain of rice from a plate of leaves that was thrown out as waste food & he drink water from cattle which was unclean and went away - by Bankatlala & Damodar from Shegaon.
Shree Gajanan Maharaj  first seen eating Food
After some day he was seen near Mahadev Mandir by Bankatlala & Pitambara & they have given Besan – Bhakar & after eating he gave jug to Pitambara & asked him to bring water to drink.
On same night Kirtan  at Mahadev mandir was arranged  by Govind buwa  and he started  Shlok from Bhagwat  Geeta, as soon as he completed & explained meaning of the first part of Shlok & Shree Gajanan Maharaj setting near Lemon Tree chanted fluently the line of Second part of Shlok and he was constantly chanting “Gan Gan Ganat Bote ……. & from that day he was given the name “Gajanan Maharaj”
Wishes of two Brahmins of Balapur has been fulfilled by Maharaj, Balkrishna & his wife Putalabai were devotes of Shree Samarth Ramdas, and every year they use to go for Darshan at Sajjangada by foot. But due health & age problem there were not able to visit Sajjangada that year. Shree Samarth Ramdas come in Dream of Balkrishna and tell him that he has not visited sajjangada, so he will visit his house in Balapur, and as said by Shree Smarth Ramadas, Shree Gajanan Maharaj has appeared before him…. …. Gan Gan Ganat Bote
Once Bankatlala went to eat corns with his friend in his farm & he took Shree Gajanan Maharaj with him, fire was made to roast the corn. There was Honey combs on the tree near by fire & which was disturbed & they have attacked on them, Bankatlala & his friend run away from there but Shree Gajanan Maharaj does not run, all bees covered him completely. After some time all been has run away and Bankatlala & his friend come to help  Shree Gajanan Maharaj & request to call gold smiths from picking stings from the Body. Maharaj has done “Kumbha Yoga” and all the people saw that all the stings come out from all over body & all Acknowledged Shree Gajanan Maharaj as “Siddha Yoga” …. Gan Gan Ganat Bote
Thereafter as time passed by, several people start to know him, Devotees start to give him good food, clothes etc. but he never use to take them, he use to eat anywhere & leave the place he got. He was doing so many unusual things which were just a miracle, he helped the helpless, he brought water to dry well, he ordered birds like cows to behave properly, he gave advice the devotees, he have save the life of devotees. He has shown a correct path & direction to devotees.
Several Such events are mentioned in the Holy book   “Shri Gajanan Vijay Granth” in 21 Chapters.
Shree Gajanan Maharaj after blessing so may devotees, decided himself to leave from earth and decided date & place for Samadhi. The date was 8th September, 1910 and Shree Gajanan Maharaj Temple to be built on the Samadhi.
As on today also those how come here with some purpose in mind, always went home satisfied. It is called as “Pandharpur” of Vidarbha. On Thursday is being the holy day of Shree Gajanan Maharaj & weekends witness huge crowds from all over Maharashtra. …. Gan Gan Ganat Bote

* * About Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan * *
As per Instruction of Shree Gajanan Maharaj, Construction of Temple began in 1909, to look after day to day activities, selected people where required & for that “Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan” was established on 11th April 1909, with the blessing of Shree Gajanan Maharaj. To run the Sansthan trustee were appointed & First president was Shri Hari Kukji Patil from 1909 to 1930 & presently since 2008 onward Dr Rameshchandra Chamalal Dangra is the President of Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan. 
Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan is function best because of the relentless effort of the members of Borad of Trustee, the Priests, the mansevis & the Sevadharis.
The Board of Trustee has fixed some rules in presences of Shree Gajanan Maharaj of which some are as below:
Devotee will worship from a distance,
Do not amass wealth,
Do not stop the influx of devotees
Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan strictly follows the principle laid down by Shree Gajanan Maharaj, since Money is not the priority of the Sansthan, the main objective of Sansthan is “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhenah” [May All Be Happy].
Sansthan Presently has taken 42 differences Project in the field of Education, medical, social welfare & spiritual Development, apart from managing day to day activities of Mandir.
Above was the short introduction part of Shegaon, Shree Gajanan Maharaj & Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan. 
Now let move ahead with journey. As we reach Shegaon Station we have to move fast & to catch Bus nearby Station, which is free run by Shegaon Sanstha. We were lucky, as we reach Bus has come & we were first to board in bus.  From Station to Mandir it’s around 1.5km. Auto is also available @ Rs. 10/- per seat, but frequency of bus is very good, in every 10 to 15 minutes there is bus from Station to Mandir. 
Free Bus Service at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
Bus has dropped us near Bhakta Niwas, which is near to Mandir. Now it’s time for us to search for Accommodation.   We just entered Bhakta Niwas 5 & 6 for enquiry about Accommodation, we were surprised that there was no room & Sevak advise us to check in Bhakta Niwas 1 & 2, we rust to there & there was less line as compare to Bhakta Niwas 5 & 6, so we decided to stand in queue, with the hope that we can get room, it was around 8.30am & my number was 21th, line was not moving & while chatting with other person in queue I come to understand that they will allot room only to the families & then somebody from line advise us to contact Sansthan office & they will give you slip that will help you to get the room.
Bhakta Niwas at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal

We approach Sansthan office & requested, they have given the slip & advice to go to Ananad Vihar where there is not too much rush compare to Bhakta Niwas & easily you will get the room, it was already 10.30am. It’s around 3 kilometer from Mandir & Free Bus Service is available.
We approach at Anand Vihar & waiting number was 16, & around 12.30pm we got room. We have been allotted 3 bed room for 24hrs @ of Rs. 600/-, we were so happy after running here & there we finally got room…….wow… Usually room is available, but due to 3 day continuous holiday there was too much crowd & all rooms where booked.
Before we go ahead let give some information about Accommodations Facilities
Ananad Vihar at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal

To accommodate the devotees in Shegaon, Sansthan has proved well Maintained Accommodation facilities, with 2 beds, 3 beds, 4 beds, 6 bedded. They has built Two “Bhakta Niwas” building near to Mandir with 161 rooms, just distance of 5 Minutes from there they have Built 417 Rooms in “Bhakta Niwas” with includes A/c & Non A/c rooms.  Due to increasing number of devotees, Sansthan has decided to build more Lodging facility, which is around 3km from Mandir called “Anand Vihar” in which around 900 rooms is there and another complex which was built near to Anand Vihar known as “Anand Sagar Visava” in which around 5000 devotees can be with accommodated.
Ananad Vihar 1 at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
There is no advance booking system, room are available “First come First Server” basis. Charges for the accommodation are nominal.  They give room for 24hours & that can be extended for another 24hours.
Accommodation at Ananad Vihar Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
Now let move ahead with journey, as we have been allotted room in Ananad Vihar. Ananad Vihar is just like a Luxurious holiday resort type, Room where clean with attached washroom. Hot water facilities is also there outside the room, its timing was Moring 4am to 9am. All area in Ananad Vihar was greenery & beautiful sculptures & landscaping was done.
It’s was already 1.00pm, after fresh we have decided to go for lunch, In Every Bhakta Niwas , Ananad Vihar, Ananad Sagar & Ananad Sagar Visava they have dining facilities, the charges are very nominal. Timing for lunch was from 11am to 2pm. The quality of food was good & the charges was just Rs. 45/- & Rs. 25/- for unlimited food.
Food Facilities at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal

After lunch we decided to go Ananad Sagar. Because we have to do Abhishek in Mandir, which is done in Morning from 5am to 7am only, so it’s was time to move towards Ananad Sagar, it was around 1.5km from Ananad Vihar & we have done Auto, which has charged Rs. 10/- per seat. Free Bus is running between Bhakta Niwas to Ananad Sagar regularly.
Before we go ahead let give some information about Ananad Sagar:
*  * Ananad Sagar * *

Ananad Sagar at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal

Ananad Sagar is developed by Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan, taking in to consideration the increasing number of devotees coming at Shegaon Mandir for Darshan, as there was no place nearby Shegaon to spare time. Sansthan has decided to develop a place which should be spiritual as well as entertainment Center for Devotees.
Ananad Sagar is spread in 350 acres area, and the main work of project began on 8th April, 1999. The Sanstha was facing water problem, which was big challenge to them and they brought water from Man River which is 9 kms away from here & done rain harvesting which help them to overcome water problem.  Around 500 labourers & around 200 expert Sculptors from Rajasthan worked here to create main Entrance, Marble Temple & other Sculptures.  Initial estimation of the project to be implemented in three phases was of 300 Crore Rupees. It was dedicated to Country on 12th December, 2002 by Vice President, Hon. Shree Bhairavshinghji Shekhawat.
Anand Sagar is a huge complex with a big lake, several Green Lawns, Children’s Playing area, Temples, Meditation Centre, An Fish Aquarium, Open Theatre where Fountain show is conducted, Beautifully decorated with Sate of art artefacts & carvings all over Area, an Amusement park with a Toy Train encircling the entire place. There is a good facility for dining at economical rates. There are many amenities for the devotees, including free wheel chairs, baby prams and Umbrellas. To cover all places at least in Anand Sagar it will take around 8 to 10 Hours.
Ananad Sagar at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
Now let move ahead with journey, as we reach Ananad Sagar there, Big Ganeshji created on the Main gate, as we go ahead we show there is Queue to Entrance Ticket, they Charge Rs. 30/- , I stand in queue and one Sevak come & update details of number of person & age group & given slip to be given on window, after 10 minutes my number come & I have got the entry ticket.  If someone has given Donation, then there is no entry fee for them; just they have to show the Donation receipt at the Ticket Window. Just near to the window there was a huge entry gate & we all have to pass through security check, as we entered  there was a water flow nearby steps and in front there was a big fountain & in between  there was a statue of  sitting Saint  &  just little far away it was covered with other Saints.
Ananad Sagar at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
Just we were moving we pass by Ganesh Temple, Big Greens lawns & everywhere there was some message posted in between & direction signs, which help a lot.
We entered a place called “Shri Krishna Dwarka bet” to reach there we have to cross through Bridge, which was on rope & use wooden to make, after crossing bridge there was statue of Shri Krishanji & shown there Leela & ahead there was a park & dinning place, in which where was too big queue to take a coupon for snacks & everyone & we too enjoyed snacks & drinks.
Ananad Sagar at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
Now it’s time for us to move fast, because we have short time & still we have to cover too many things, so we moved towards “Dhyan Kendra”. As Ananad Sagar has huge water reservoir & spread around 55 acres land. An Island is created in the center of the lake. A replica of Swami Vivekanand Center at Kanyakumari is created on the Island. A Statue of Swami Vivekanand constructed on the top & below there was a meditation hall created, in which there is no permission for the children. To reach their boat Service is also available.
Ananad Sagar at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
As we reached to Dhyan Mandir, on the main door Sevak has informed us to switch off cell phone & keep silence & go ahead, we move head & reach place where Status of Swami Vivekananad & Saint Ramakrishna Paramahansa was there & it’s was above the meditation hall &  as the place was little above, view from there was very good & we can see the beauty of Ananad Sagar , after that we gone at Meditation hall &  done meditation for  some time &  move from there as it’s was already 5.00pm.
Ananad Sagar at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
It’s time for us to move ahead & by walking we have seen the Toy Train passing by & we decided let have a ride on it, as we reach the station from where it’s start’s, there was a big queue & some who has tickets were waiting for train too come, so we trop plan & to take some break & rest on a Green lawn.

After Break it’s time for us to move ahead,  Nearby there was Shiv Temple & carving of temple was very good, Entry gate of temple was just like some Old Temple with good carving & Temple was surrounded by  4 big size “Diva” & 4 big size “Nandi” , by flowers & by Green lawn.

Ananad Sagar at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal

Just near to Temple there was refreshment center & opposite there was kid play with rides. After taking some snacks we move ahead to see “Fish Aquarium”, as we reach there was small queue & as we entered in Aquarium it was like we are entering in cave & there was little light. As we go ahead there was good collection of fish.
Ananad Sagar at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
It was already 6.15pm & we have to see Open Theater Musical Fountain Show which was at 6.45pm to 7.00pm, & there was also 2 more shows after that & we decided to see 6.45pm show & still we have half an hour to move around, but we decided let move so that we can grip front seat, as we reach at Musical fountain, it was already crowded & it was in an open area created like a theater & given the shape of chair using green lawn. People were already seated, but still there was place & we got as we desired.
Ananad Sagar at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
As there was time to begin in between there was continued announcement regarding the information related to Shree Gajanan Maharaj Sanstha, Colleges & Musical Fountain & Requesting so take seat in front of fountain.
Before we go ahead let give some information about Open Theater Musical Fountain:
Musical Fountain at Ananad Sagar Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
Open Theater Musical Fountain is a type of animated fountain that creates an aesthetic design. This Achieved by employing the effects of times sound waves and timed light against water particles. The Water Refracts & reflects light & in doing so, three dimensional image can be produced.

As it was already 6.45pm, all lights was off & Music was stopped and after some time show starts, it was really worth & we were just involved in the show that we never know how these 15minteus has gone & show has been finished.  It’s time for us to move by taking some sweet memory of “Ananad Sagar” a great place.
As we reach to exit point, there was a big queue for free bus & we were too much tired & has no power to stand in queue & wait for bus, so we take Auto & auto has charged as Rs 20/- per head.
As we have do Abhishek in morning, so we decided to go at Temple & take Abhishek Receipt which will save time in morning. After taking Receipt we have dinner at Bhakta Niwas and move toward Room at Anand Vihar & we were so tired that as we went on bed, we never know when we went for sleep. As we have to weak up at 4.15am for Abhishek.
 Day 3nd - 27th January, 2013
At 4.15 am Alarm ring & one by one we were ready by 5.00am, we were waiting for Bus at Bus stop in Ananad Vihar and around 5.20am Bus has come & droop us near Bhakta Niwas.
Day to Day Activities of Temple
Kakda Aarti
5.00 am
Madhyanaha Aarti
11.00 am
Sanja Aarti
at Sunset
9.00 pm
5.00 am to 7.00 am
Chaturthi Pooja on Chaturthi days
8.00 pm to 4.00 pm
Mahaprasad (Free of cost)
11.00 am to 1.00 pm

After some time we reached Temple & search for the place where Abhishek to be done. Finally we reach the place & it was in the same premises back side of Samadhi Temple. Abhishek is done for the group of people together & we were the one of them. It was already 6.00 & it take around 20 to 25 Minutes for Abhishek . After Abhishek we stand in queue for Darshan, queue was moving very slow & every were for helping there was sevak, and there was Photo of Shree Gajanan Maharaj with different message in each photo, in between there were  tea facilities for devotees, drinking water facilities & devotees were chatting …. Gan Gan Ganat Bote , …. Gan Gan Ganat Bote , Gajanan Maharaj Ki jai……..
As line was moving very slow, at around 8.30 am we were in front of Shree Gajanan Maharaj Samadhi place. We have Darshan at Samadhi Mandir & we have taken Darshan at Shree Ram Temple, Shree Hanuman Temple & Shiv Temple.  We seat some time in temple & done Darshan of small temples build in the Temple premises.
After Darshan we have come at Bhakta Niwas for Break Fast & again went in Temple to read Holy Book of Shree Gajanan Maharaj, after finished Holy book we again gone for Darshan in the “Mukh Darshan” queue & with in 15minutes we have done the Darshan.
Around 10.30am we were standing in the queue for Maha Prasad & which start’s from 11.00am till 1.00pm. After Maha Prasad we decided to go at room & take some rest.
Ananad Vihar at Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
It’s was 1.00apm we have vacant room, so we start packing & check out from room & have Lunch at Ananad Vihar. Still we have some time as our train was at 6.40pm from Shegaon Station.

Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal
 So we decided roam near Temple & after chatting with Sevak we come to know that nearby there is place called “ Shri Shetra Nagzari” which was 7km from Temple & without wasting time we taken Mini door & which charged as Rs10/- per seat. In Nagzari there is a Samadhi temple of Shree Gomaji Maharj & temple of Shri Nageshwar.
Shree Gomaji Maharaj Temple near Shegaon by Ramakant Agrawal

After Darshan we rush to Shegaon at it was already 5.00pm & we reached station at 6.00pm & purchase some “Kachori” from Sharmaji nearby station, which was really tasty & famous. We packed some to take home & Reach station. We have booked Return ticket in Shalimar LTT Express from Shegaon Station, which leave from Shegaon at 6.40pm, we board Train &  it was Departure on time…….. Next Morning we reach Kalyan Station at 3.40am.
As it’s was a memorable journey, which cannot be forgettable & in these way we have finished our trip of Shree Gajanan Maharaj... … Gan Gan Ganat Bote
Before I end, just want to summarize the things which will help you to plan your trip at Shegaon.
1.       Please try to make travel plan on odd day such as Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday when you will find less rush at Shegaon & you can take Darshan peacefully. On Thursday & weekend there is always rush.
2.      While travelling at Shegaon - Train is the best way to reach, From Shegaon Station to Temple there is free bus Service provided by the Sansthan & you can also hire Auto @ Rs. 10/- per seat, which runs 24 hours.
3.      As you reach near Bhakta Niwas, you will find agent roaming around & they will try to convince you for lodging outside the Bhakta Niwas, please never pay attention to them & Check the status at Bhakta Niwas, as Sansthan has lot of room for devotees.
4.       After you do Darshan of Shree Gajanan Maharaj, please do Darahan of Ram Temple & Hanuman Temple & Apply “Angara” Near hanuman Temple.
5.      Try to have Mahaprasad, which begins after the Aarti.
6.      For Food use dining facilities provided by Sanstha, were you will good quality food & at reasonable rate.
7.      For Ananad Sagar at least you should spare 6 to 7 hours.
8.      Try to have “Kachori” which is famous in Shegaon.

Thanks for reading & if I miss something, please update me for the same. … Gan Gan Ganat Bote