Phew! Planning a trip is not so easy, after a long planning and postponing we finally left to Kolhapur from Bengaluru on Sunday at 9pm. It was a very smooth ride on NH4. It was night journey for the first time for all of us. We were all very excited and apprehensive too. The road was very smooth and clear. With less traffic we were able to keep good pace. We crossed Karnataka border around 5:30 am and finally reached Kolhapur around 7 am. After a quick fresh up we went for darshan. The Temple was almost empty and we thought of going in two times. After having breakfast we were planning for the next destination, we had two options. Go to Shani Shignapur and then to Shirdi for halt and next day go to Nashik or directly go for Nashik and then to Shirdi. We decided to take the longer route to Nashik.
We had chosen Pune-Chakan-Sagamner route thinking it’s a 4 lane road and we will be able to reach faster to Trimbak. We encountered heavy traffic in Pune and Chakan. Drivers were creating their own rules and it was hard for us to match their skills. Horrible road and to add up to that it took a lot of time for us to reach the Temple. What was worse was, we had to pay toll for some bad roads. Finally we reached Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple at 8 pm. We had very little time to enter the temple as it was almost closing time. Again the Temple was empty and we were able to spend more than usual time. After having dinner we left for Shirdi. There was slight ghat section on the way and a huge traffic jam. Taking help from google maps searched some shortcut, and it was bit spooky. But, trust me we were able to avoid the traffic jam. It took us 2 hrs to complete 120 kms. As soon as we were entering Shirdi heavy rain started to pour. We had booked our room in Sai Ashram Bhakti Nivas for 250 rs. The room was very spacious and clean. We all were very tired after covering 1200 kms in 27 hrs with very little sleep. It was time for us to have some sound sleep.
We took bus from hotel to temple around 9:30 am. After facing long queue we had darshan at 11 am. We were already running out of time. Had to walk till the Prasadalaya for lunch. After having lunch in temple and some shopping we left for Shani Shignapur at 1 pm. Again poor roads and bit of traffic we reached temple at 2:30 pm and went for darshan. We had lunch in temple and left for Bengaluru.
It was like travel for hours on road spending very little time in Temples. Well there was no other option as we had less time and more places to visit. Took Ahmednagar-Lonand-Satara route to join NH4. Once again horrible road and senseless drivers were testing our patience. We reached Satara at 10 pm. 6hrs to complete 280 kms was very painful. After joining Highway we stopped for dinner for an hour. Only two drivers doing the task was getting painful. Four lane road is what we were waiting for hours together and it was time to cover the time gap. The road was getting better but we were bit sad that the journey was coming to an end. We reached Bengaluru at 10 am.
We had covered 2300 kms in 61 hrs. It took 140 litres of petrol and we paid around 1600 for toll and we still remember paying around 100 rs toll for some horrible road. National and State highways in Maharashtra are really not good and still got a long way to go. Our car took a lot of beating and so did we. Looking forward to more such trips and Darshans .