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     Vajreshwari and Ganeshpuri Temple visit on a

       Monsoon Weekend Trip out of Mumbai

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
                                                                                                                - St. Augustine

The religious tourist spot of Vajreshwari is about 72 kms from Mumbai, off the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway.

If you are driving to this place, cross Dahisar Check Naka, go further and cross Pritam's Dhaba, and speed up all the way to Vasai road. Keep an eye on the right side of the road for directions to Vajreshwari as shown in the picture. (if, on the left side of the road, you see a BPCL and IBP petrol pumps in quick succession, you know you have missed the right turn and take the next U-turn you find on the highway). After taking the right, there is a beautiful, scenic (and lush green in monsoon) drive of about 16 kms.

Once on this road, you might also want to pay a visit to Bhajanson's Cattle Farms. Bhajanson's is a very popular fresh milk supplier in Mumbai and has shops in almost every suburb of Mumbai selling everything from fresh milk, pure ghee, to shrikhand! The Bhajanson's cattle farms, sometimes also called Bhajanson's dairy farms, are very well maintained, have a decent garden, and as a friend of mine remarked - "the cattle all looked so healthy and pretty, it seemed as if they have just been manicured and pedicured!" There is also a shop where you can buy yourselves some snacks like samosas and other stuff, and definitely a whole assortment of milk products from piping hot badam milk (my favorite!) to even thandaai!
My blog post about Bhajanson's Cattle Farms has some interesting photos and a detailed writeup and directions to reach the place.

Once on this road, after about 15 kms, you need to take left for Ganeshpuri - Nityanand Swami's ashram and a couple of temples. Also a couple of nice hot-water springs. In fact, in and around the Ganeshpuri and Vajreshwari temples you will find many hot water springs - just ask a local! These hot springs are quite rich in sulphur content, and can help in healing many skin ailments.

Hot Springs around Vajreshwari - in case you are interesting in some real good hot spring experiences, you may visit the Vajreshwari temple, and proceed left further on the road towards the river. Cross the bridge on the river, and proceed to the Shiv Mandir. There are at least seven hot springs around the Shiv Temple, with the temple premises itself having three of them! The other four are a little walk back from the Shiv Temple, crossing a small gully towards the river, and are right on the banks of the river. They are all concretized and/or tiled large bath-tub like structures, so leave behind the apprehensions of muddy ditches. The  approach to the hot springs, and the crowds therein leave a lot to be desired though!
My blog post about the Vajreshwari hot springs has more details and photos.

When you are done with Ganeshpuri, come back on the main road, and continue further towards Vajreshwari - now only about a km away.
 
Vajreshwari temple was constructed by Bajirao Peshwa after he had won the Vasai fort from the Portuguese. The Goddess herself is an incarnation of Godess Parvati, who was called upon to help save from the wrath of the Vajra, the invincible weapon of Lord Indra - the king of Gods.

The temple is on a small hillock - and you get a spectacular 360 degree view of the surrounding greenery. Most of the fields in the surrounding areas, are cultivated with rice crop in the monsoon and is a treat to look.

Some views from the temple:

The temple from one of its sides:

Note the hillock at a distance, with the nimbus clouds shrouding it:

And there happens to be a old dilapidated light-house right opposite to the steps leading to the temple:

There is also a nice river further up along the road from Vajreshwari. On the Y-section just after Vajreshwari, take the left, and carry on to the river, and enjoy the drive through the greenery and rice fields.

The official website of the Vajreshwari temple is http://www.vajreshwariyogini.org/index.htm.

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