The Balaji Temple near Saswad is said to be an exact clone of the ‘Tirupati Balaji Temple’ in Tirupati – but this is a miniature version of the original.
We went to this temple after we visited the Kanifnath Temple, but I will provide the direction from Pune for ease.
How to go: From Pune, you have to take the NH9 (Pune – Solapur Highway) and go towards Solapur. Then you have to take a right turn under the flyover, besides the Hadapsar bus stand. So keep your vehicles to the right side of the lane and do not go to the flyover. When you take the right, you have to go on to this road for around 40 Kms – this road goes through the Dive Ghat (a small hill section) and then straight to Saswad. Once you reach Saswad, you will see a Shivaji Statue on your right and a bus terminus (the Saswad bus stand). After this, keep going straight for 150 meters or so when you will come to a junction. There is a board pointing towards right depicting Narayanpur. You have to take this right and drive straight. This road will lead you straight to the Balaji Temple after 15 Kms. Enroute there is a small road which can you can see going straight towards the hills on the left. This road goes towards the famous Purandar Fort. More about this fort in separate posts.
Here is the map.
Inside the Balaji Temple, photography is prohibited. So there is no snap from inside, but if you do not enter the temple you can take snaps from outside circling the temple.
There is a large parking available outside the temple and from here you have to walk on. There are many parking attendants so parking is not going to be a problem. You can leave your shoes in your car or there is a shop to keep your shoes for free. Just besides this one, a canteen is there where you can have food and water.
For me the good part was they were giving away some ‘Prasadam’ (Sweets) to all the visitors. And the queue was long.
Here are the snaps of the temple from the outside. The first one is the entrance which itself looks like a small temple.
Though the temple itself did not give us the opportunity to take many snaps, the road towards the Temple were so breathtaking that we had to stop at many locations to engage ourselves in photography. So there are more snaps of the scenic beauty than the temple itself The greenery actually started to show its true self after we drove for 4-5 Kms from the right turn at Saswad.
This road was a bit narrow at times but there are less potholes so you can drive easily. But the nature is so beautiful that it will definitely make you stop many times to soak in the nature to the fullest.
No more babbling from me, here are the snaps.
Some snaps of Dive Ghat now. The not-so-full pond in the second snap is called as ‘Mastani Lake’. It is said that Bajirao Mastani used to come here to bath with the companions.