Shri Gajanan Maharaj Temple
Shri Gajanan Maharaj Temple is a popular tourist destination of Amravati district. Located in the Shegaon locality, this temple is comparatively a new complex build in honour of Shri Sadguru Gajanan Maharaj. Gajanan Maharaj is considered to be the reincarnation of Lord Ganesha and Lord Dattatreya, and has great respect to the people of the district.
The temple complex is built on the Samadhi (tomb) of the Sadguru and is considered to be the largest temple complex in the Vidharbha region. The old temple structure was remodeled and rebuilt over an area of 650 acres in the year 2012. Everyday, thousand of devotees visit the place from different parts of Maharashtra. This temple is considered to be as pious as the Shirdi Saibaba Temple. The main temple has a beautiful idol of the Maharaj at his “Samadhi Sthal”. It is advisable to avoid Thursday for Darshan (holy visit), as that is the day with highest number of visitors in the temple complex. One has to wait for hours before actually getting a glimpse of the saint.
The temple is open for all and there is no special VIP line for the privileged one. This is because the saint during his living days believed and taught that all men are equal. There is a 12 member trust, who have the management and administrative responsibility of the temple complex. The trust is known as the Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan. To avoid excess crowd, they have arranged for two types of Darshan, one of which is “Mukh Darshan” and the other “Samadhi Darshan.” For Mukh Darshan, devotees can avoid entrance to the main Samadhi and see the face of Sadguru Maharaj from a distance, through a glass window.
For Samadhi Darshan and puja, visitors may have to wait in the line or 1 to 3 hours. Whoever comes to visit the temple are offered free lunch by the temple authority. This Sansthan has taken up various social upliftment projects in fields of education and devotion. The district has got two well known engineering and management colleges under their wings, with the aim to deliver quality education for the youths.
Anand Sagar Project is one of their devotional projects, which has been built just beside the main temple. The whole area of 650 acres had been converted into ashrams, dormitories, lunch rooms, meditation halls and libraries. The project’s name is given by the large picturesque artificial lake present beside the temple complex.
The lake is surrounded by beautiful manicured lawns and gardens. Tourists have the pleasure of enjoying toy train rides within the campus. Canteens and sitting arrangements are being provided for a day’s outing to groups willing to book them. The temple authority has also kept provisions for wheelchair and perambulator, to help the old and the toddlers. The overall experience is worth experiencing.
How To ReachTrains are available to the Akola Station and few to the Shegaon Station. Auto service is further available from the Shegaon station to the Maharaj Temple. From Akola, regular bus services are provided by the state government, which may take around 1 hour to reach with a fare of Rs 40/- per person. Many local taxi stands are present near the station for a day’s trip to this beautiful religious tourist spot.
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