My India trip has been as hectic as I imagined, but with a new book released on the heritage of my hometown of Kolhapur, I had an impetus to explore and shoot. We narrowed down our short list to the village of Bahireshwar, just 20 odd km from home. The challenge was to get out of home in the wee hours of the morning; challenging because there are 5000 chores to be done before midday, and my crazy wishlists send that well-oiled machinery into a spin.
After a couple of false starts and changed plans, we finally managed to set out early Friday morning. The main attraction of this village is a temple built in the middle of a pond. We took the route along Rankala lake, and the landscape changed as soon as we got out of the big city into the tree-and-sugarcane-fields-lined road into the villages. Naturally, I wanted to stop and gush. Driving on a narrow road, my first opportunity to stop was at this picturesque bridge.
There was a curious ruin of an ancient idol in the water that we couldn’t stop to investigate because we hadn’t even reached Bahireshwar yet.
Some questions and answers later, we were charting a path through the heart of the village, to the famed pond and temple. What a sight we were greeted with! If I ever wanted a genuine rural experience, this was it.
A backdrop of verdant hills, pristine water, blooming lotuses, kids splashing about, the odd buffalo, and a tiny temple the centre of attraction, with a proper modern bridge to cross over. This temple is dedicated to the reclining Vishnu, and that is all I know about it.
Once we had our fill of the view, we headed back home, first stopping in the village for a photo walk and a bit of shopping. We bought 2 beautiful ghongdi, which are a coarse blanket/rug used by villagers to keep warm that softens over time. The local children had their share of amusement, escorting me from one house to another, inviting me to their homes for tea, and offering me numerous photo ops along the way.
All this excitement before 9 am, and we were all set for a sumptuous breakfast of Phadtare’s misal and solkadhi.