Hot Springs of Maharastra
Vajreshwari is located at the foot of Mandakini Mountain, which was formed from volcanic eruptions. Due to its proximity to the volcanic sites there are many hot springs in and around this area. Akloli Kund is famous for Seven Hot Springs. The water that comes out is hot and rich in sulphur and minerals. Akloli Kund is 1km from the famous Ganesh Puri and 2km from Nityanand Mandir. Water channels have been constructed to direct the water from the springs to the temple tanks where thousands of people take a dip in the water.
The town here was originally called Vadvali, though now the Goddess Vajreshwari has had her name adopted for the town. Her name literally means “the lady of the Vajra (thunderbolt)”. The original temple of Vajreshwari was at Gunj – five miles north of Vadavli. It was moved to Vadvali after it’s destruction by the Portuguese.
Vajreshwari is at the foot of Mandakini Mountain, which was formed out of a volcanic eruption and it is this proximity that accounts for the many hot springs in this region. There exist several hot springs here.
There are even more hot springs further afield. It is reported that there are around twenty-one hot water springs, just within a five-kilometer radius of the temple.The Tansa river flows through here, rich with its hot waters. The hot springs stretch for about 7 km in the bed of this river, the most well known ones being located here and at the nearby villages of Akloli, Ganeshpuri and Satvalli. The temperature of the water in the springs ranges from 43 C to 49 C. Into most of the springs the locals will jump at once, though there are one or two very hot ones which they do not enter, until first they have bathed in the cooler springs.
A couple of tanks in front of a Shiva temple trap the water of seven of the hot water springs. Because the waters are laden with minerals, the water appears blackish.
From Vajeshwari one can walk to the hot springs of Akloli village, about a kilometre ahead. Akloli is to the east and Ganeshpuri is to the west.
In all, I have seen it written that there are about 350 hot springs in the Tejsa, Tansa and Surya rivers of the greater Vasai area!
According to tradition, the hot water is the blood of demons and giants, slain by the goddess Vajreshwari.
Owing to the importance of the hot springs, many bungalows have been built near the hot springs and rich people from Bombay go to stay there for a change of climate.
From Vajeshwari one can walk easily to Akloli village, about a kilometre ahead. The springs there are in a wide pleasant valley, clustered round a temple of Rameshwar. Therefore they are called the Rameshwar hot springs. The waters have been gathered into cut-stone cisterns.
Back in 1784 it is written that they were much used both by the locals and by the Europeans. In a report of 1786 it was claimed that, except for its lack in a small element of iron, the water tasted the same as the water of the springs at Bath in England.
The hot springs at Akloli are located on the left bank of the Tansi river. Ten hot springs are found here and a concrete tank is located at each hot spring. The hot water temperature of the individual springs varies from 45°C to 48°C. There are provisions for hot showers too. The water of the Surya tank is the hottest.
A little to the north-east of the temple, in a pretty spot on the river bank, is the nameless tomb of a European officer, who died there in times long past.
Three of the springs are in the bed of the Tansa river, near the temple of Shri Bhimeshvar and they have reservoirs built round them. One of them is called Gorakh Machhindar. Two of the hot springs are in natural hollows in the rock. These springs are usually less crowded than the ones at Vajreshwari. In Ganeshpuri village just behind the main temple is a small Shiva shrine with tanks in front that hold the water of some of the hot-water springs. The hot water is 52°C. Agni Kund is another hot water spring near the village. The quaint little town revolves around the Nityananda Mandir, built to honour the Saint Nityananda who took Samadhi here, in the 1960s. The temple and its surroundings are still serene, and one can sit peacefully without being harassed.
Nityananda used to bathe in the hot springs every morning, and would go to an island in the middle of the river to meditate. He moved to Ganeshpuri from Vajeshwari in 1936. Nityananda meditated on this island every morning, and there are some hot springs that bubble up in circular holes melted out of the black volcanic rock there.
Ganeshpuri was a wilderness then, surrounded by hills. It was believed that cannibal tribes of jungle folk lived in the region. Nityananda selected a location with many hot springs around it near the ancient temple of Bhimeshwar Mahadev, and for the next twenty five years, he lived there and built it into a spiritual centre.
Nityananda called the hot springs “Kotitheerthas” and told the devotees coming to Ganeshpuri to bathe in them.
In the bed of the Tansa river, near the village of Nimboli, are six hot springs, two at a distance of about 175 paces, in stone tanks, and the remaining four springs at a distance of about 200 paces. The water is moderately hot and of a sulphurous smell.
Nimboli is 5 klms from Ganeshpuri. Ask the autowalas to take you to ‘Rakhadi Baba’s homagund’. Near Rakadi Baba’s homagund, there is the ancient Anasuya Mata temple and the hot springs. Rakhadi Baba was a holy man who was always smeared in ashes from head to toe. He addressed everyone, even each and every creature of the jungle, as ‘Shiva’. Now he has disappeared off into the Himmalayas but his fire remains.
Banganga, Nandi Gaygotha
The main hot spring (56.3°C) is located on the south bank and small sprouts (59.3°C) are located on north bank of the stream.
The water is sulphurous. There are fragments of a Hindu temple at the hot spring area, with two broken bulls (Nandis), and two broken lingams. This was called the Satoleshwar Mahadev temple. There are three large and three small tanks opposite the temple. The small tank to the left has hot water and steam rises up from it. The other tanks have relatively luke warm water. Some of the tanks are maintained purely for bathing in. The tanks are watched over by the many herons and drongo birds in the vicinity.
Since Shahapur supplies almost the entire drinking water to Mumbai, this town has been declared a No Chemical Zone.
Dasgaon Hot Springs
One account talks of how one can access the hot spring from the Bombay to Goa highway, 18 klms past Mangaon and 11 klms before Mahad, on a right turn road which leads to the bank of the river Savitri. There, at low water tide, one can take a small boat across the river for 1.50 rupees per person. A short walk along a tree lined path leads one then to the Sav hot springs. There are seven tanks there. The main one has water as hot as 50C. The water is not so hot in the other tanks which are also smaller in size. Like other hot springs in Maharashtra the water smells of sulphur.
There are two hot springs listed for the environs of Dasgaon, which I have read of in old literature, of how this town was well known for the ‘Sov’ and ‘Kondivti’ hot springs. In former times, these springs were popular enough to attract the Europeans from Bombay.
This is from an old report – The traveller who has time to spare should sleep at Dasgaon, where there is an excellent travellers’ bungalow and rest-house.
The boiling spring water bubbles up from deep inside the earth and cascades down into a series of three rock pools. On its journey it gets cooled by a breeze coming from the river. The hot spring water is clear with just a faint smell and taste of sulphur.
There are shelters there available to people for bathing, separate ones for men and women to take a dip in the rejuvenating hot water. There are no charges for taking a bath here.
The origins of the hot spring are sacred and therefore this is a holy place that has to be visited barefoot.
This small village has the springs as its only attraction and lots of people from the surrounding areas come here regularly to bathe in the hot sulphur water springs.
The hot springs are located on the north bank of the creek near the village. There is a large area of marshy ground around the hot springs. Two different sprouts are observed, each spring being in a tank. The main sprout has a temperature of 71°C.
The springs are near the Panhalekaji caves. There are 29 caves there with many sculptures.
Unhavare is situated 20 km from Dapoli. Dapoli was once a British military camp and hence is also referred to as “Camp Dapoli”. Another name for Dapoli is “Mini Mahabaleshwar”. Buses run between Dapoli and Unhavare.
The beaches of Ganatipule and Bhandarpule are near Samganeshwar and are said to be the best beaches on the Konkan coastline with glittering silver sands and shady coconut palms.
Sangmeshwar has a railway station.
Tural and Rajawadi
At Tural, the hot water is 59°C – 60°C.
The hot springs at Rajwadi are 53°C -55 °C. There are two springs there. They are close to the highway. There is a beautiful temple there. Intermittent gas emission in the form of bubbles is observed in the hot water tanks. The hot springs are situated on a riverbank; hence, some of the sprouts are submerged under the river water during monsoon. The hot springs are south of Rajawadi village, about a mile east of the Chiplun-Sangameshwar road and can be reached from Karad Station.
The hot spring has a special mention in the ancient ‘Ramayana’ for it was created by Rama during his fourteen years exile.
The word ‘Un-ap’ means hot water. The hot waters collect in a twenty-five feet square pond surrounded by a red-brick wall. Within the enclosure, close to the edge of the pond, there is are two small Hindu shrines and a rest-house. Outside the enclosure the hot water collects into a cattle trough.
Sunapdev and Nijhardev are two other hot water springs in the same area. They are in the Satpada hills. In the Jalgaon area, hot springs have so far been recorded.at Unabdev, Sunabdev and Najhardev in Chopda. There is a fourth one at Vadla in Shirpur.
An old story tells of how a Moslem employed by the owner of Vardi, used the bricks of Ram Talav to build a step well. From the day the well was opened, a curse from the offended deity of the spring fell on the villagers. They were stricken with guinea-worm, and had to flee from the village. After a time the village was again peopled, and the bricks were used this time to build a village office, a chavdi. No sooner was the office finished than the curse returned. Fever and dysentery broke out. In two years the
village was once more empty and has never since been inhabited.
The new village of Vardi had to be created outside the walls of the old village, and it is believed tthat the offended deity of the pond still angrily guards what are left of his ancient bricks.
In the northern part of the Kinwat region, in the Nanded district, there is a considerable extent of flat land adjoining the river Penganga upon which are situated the hot springs of Unkeshwar (Ushnakeshwar).
These springs are spread over an area of 10 square klms from about one mile south of the Penganga river, with temperatures of between 30°and 42°C.
Unkeshwar village is located in a tribal area on the bank of the river. Tourists specifically come to visit two hot springs here called Mukhya Kund and Surya Kund. They are by a Shiva temple. Human habitation in this area has been found for the past 40 to 50 thousand years.
Salbardi holds an important position in Hindu mythology because legend declares it was the abode of Sita when she was deserted by Rama, and that she gave birth to her two sons Lava and Kusa there. Salbardi is about 8 klms north of Morshi.
Akloli Kund, Thane: See reviews, articles, and photos of Akloli Kund, ranked No.49 on TripAdvisor among 55 attractions in Thane.