Sunday, May 15, 2011

Theur and Aga Khan Palace

It is said that God Brahma meditated at Theur to subdue his wavering mind but Govt of Maharashtra makes sure that visitors to Theur continue to waiver in their mind before they reach the famed Ashtavinayak that is the hallmark of Maharashtra religious map.

We drove along PuneAhmednagar road passing by Hyatt, Four Point and Ibis. The road was nicely tarred and despite sparse scooter and truck traffic on Sunday, ride was enjoyable. After seeing the toll gateway, we decided to turn back and saw a board ‘Theur’ with direction pointing on the right side. We asked white attired villager who told us that we would reach within 15 minutes. I was elated by getting an opportunity to see my first Ashtavinayak with effortless ease and fortune. The road winded past villagers that housed buffalo raring centre. I am not sure about difference between 'Bajari' and 'Jondhala', but wonderful sight of one of these crops was delightful. Road abruptly changed the quality as we approached well designed bungalows on either side of the road and from this point, there was no road but just hard rocks embedded between potholes and remnants of tar that must have been laid few years ago. The steering wheel turned on its own and with dust being thrown around from the side of the ‘road’, it was like driving Himalayan Car rally. Our car tyres must have lost part of their life in this few years. Trucks coming from opposite side and SUV plies with careless ease. We decided to turn back as we did with the toll gate at Nagar.

It’s interesting if word ‘Banyan’ Tree was derived from ‘Baniya ’ community. But these huge trees give spectacular environ for the garden of Agakhan Palace. Opportunity to lose out on Theur was compensated by the visit of Agakhan Palace. Visiting those rooms that interned Mahatma Gandhi and seeing the room where Kasturba breathed her last with seat of Mahatma Gandhi left intact, does make anyone go back to those poignant moments so is the information about Mahadev Desai – personal secretary and Sarojini Naidu. Why such a place would charge Rs 100 for foreigners compared to Rs 5 for Indians defies my logic. But this is still better than Taj that charges 100 times to foreigners. Pity, we didn’t carry our camera but this gives us another opportunity to visit again and this time studying more about the architectural heritage of this building. What is the English word for ‘Jambhool’ or ‘Jamun’ fruit in English? This thought still haunts me after picking up these from Aundh fruit market.



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