An impromptu visit to Narayanpur was possible because of my cousin who came to Pune last week. My parents were pondering on a place to visit when Narayanpur flashed across our minds almost simultaneously - guess this is what is called Gods will. We left Pune in the afternoon and took the New Katraj tunnel and reached Kapurwahal, a few minutes from Shirwal. Here a huge arc on the left side of the road (if coming from Pune) indicates the way to Shree Kshetra and the new Balaji Temple. (There are two other routes to Narayanpur from Pune: One from Kondhwa and the other from Hadapsar. These can be clearly seen from the map below. Further, Saswad is well connected from Swargate Bus Depot and taxis and Narayanpur is about 10 k.m. from Saswad.)
The road is really scenic and its beauty was decorated by some showers that welcomed us. I had not driven on this road, nor did I know that the Purandar Fort was just a few minutes drive from the Narayanpur Temple. (On the lighter side my third standard geography book with the talukas of Pune flashed before my eyes on seeing the mile stone indicating Purandar). However, we did not venture out to the fort and headed straight to the Dattatreya (दत्तात्रेय) temple. The temple was clean and the preparations for Guru Purnima were on full throttle. There was not much of crowd to view the Padukas of Lord Dattatreya, which according to the Shree GuruCharitra (श्री गुरूचरित्र), was placed here by the Lord before leaving for his Samadhi.
A very old temple of Lord Shiva next to this temple. The stone carvings inside the temple, especially the carved ropes on the octagon shaped pillars that were holding the Garbha Gudi, reminded me of the Kamakya temple of Guwahati. The Shiva linga, as usual, was below the floor level. The size of the Shiva Linga in this temple is smaller than those present in the modern day temples. It is so small that there was a glass placed on some flowers to ensure that mischeavous devotees do not touch the linga. There was no lighting, and a small oil lamp was placed beside the linga; the flowers ensuring that the lamp does not run out of air.
After the darshan we came out from the side entrance (shown above) for a circumbulation of the temple campus. On reaching the back side of the temple, the hill ranges of which the Purandar fort is a part of became visible to us. We then walked back to our vehicle and left for the Balaji temple. However, due the heavy crowds and the rain, we decided to head back to Pune.
The rains however did not follow us to Pune. The scenic nature of this place in this season is making me plan another trip; possibly to the Khandoba Temple, at Jejuri which is near Saswad.