Gagangiri Maharaj Math is renowned as a spiritual destination for domestic and foreign travelers. The Math is located in the midst of dense forests and thick green vegetation at Dajipur near to Kolhapur. Shri Gagangiri Maharaj was a Hindu Sanyasi (Sage) following the Nath Sampradaya. You can find more details about his life and teaching at the official site http://www.gagangiri.org/about.html.
Shri Gagangiri Maharaj hailed from Patankar family, but was revered and worshipped as Emperor Chalukya Pulakeshi. Swamiji moved all over India and Himalayas in his youthful days and did penance at many places. The princely ruler of Kolhapur chanced meet Swamiji at Bhopal and requested Swamiji to accompany him to Kolhapur. In 1932 the Raja of Kolhapur had been to Dajipur jungle for hunting. Swamiji who had accompanied him stayed back in the jungle, where he lived from 1932 to 1940. He spent these years in meditation and deep reflection.
We were on our return leg of self-conducted Konkan tour in May 2004. Tarkarli was our last destination per original plans. We had still three days left in our hands and we decided to take a detour via Kolhapur. We chose the route that goes via Gaganbawda and turned right from the Goa-Mumbai highway. The road was very well maintained and lined with rows of green trees on both sides.
After crossing the ghat we saw the huge rock formation and Maharaja’s math on the summit. We were told that Maharaj is currently residing in this math and is giving darshan. We were also advised to avail of prasadam at the math. It was 12:00 noon and Kolhapur was another hour’s drive away. So we decided to take the halt at the math.
The parking lot of the Math is at the bottom of the rocky peak seen in the photo. One is required to walk up-hill to the math. In line with Swamiji’s title of Emperor Chalukya Pulakeshi, the Math is built like a fortress on the top of summit. There are a few canons on the boundaries of the math. A family of monkeys was resting near the canon.
The math is a two storey structure and there is a statue of Maharaj in the meditation hall on the upper storey. Lot of people had gathered at the math to meet maharaj. Since the morning session was over, we were asked to avail of prasadam and wait for the afternoon session as Maharaj was resting.
One gets a beautiful 360 degree view of Sahyadri from the upper storey of the math. There are two ghats that descend into Konkan and one can see them from two sides of hall.
After about an hour’s rest, Swamiji came out for afternoon Darshan. We offered our prayers to him and then moved on towards Kolhapur with calm and quiet mind.