Around 50 km from Pune lies Jejuri, the main centre of worship of Khandoba, also known as Mhalsakant or Malhari Martand or Mylaralinga. Khandoba or Malhari Martanda is the deity of several Maharastrian families, including warriors and priests, as well as farmers and herders. The temple is located on a 758-m-high hillock, which is rich in lime deposits that are the primary building material for the noted Shaniwar Wada Fort, the central seat of the Maratha empire.


The Bhandara festival held here sees close to six lakh visitors flocking to the temple town. It involves the showering of haldi (turmeric) as the devotees make their way up the hill. The route, in fact, gets a pretty yellow hue because of this tradition. The “sonyachi Jejuri” or golden Jejuri takes places three times in a year. An idol of the deity is taken on a yatra (journey) till the nearby Karha river, where it is immersed.


To reach the temple, you have to go through seven arches and then go down some steps. It has a generous courtyard with walled compounds. There are 63 verandahs (roofed porches) in the complex. It is designed like a fort with three entrance gates and this is why the locals call it 'kot', which means fort. All devotees have to enter from the northern gate.

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