Our native place is a village called Morkhandi in Bidar district in Karnataka. It is believed that this place is the same as Mayurkhandi, the capital of Rashtrakutas. It is mentioned that Rashtrakuta king Amoghvarsha shifted his capital from Manyatkheta (present day Malkhed) to Mayurkhandi (present day Morkhandi). The villegers are definitely not aware of this history. Morever there is no evidence to be seen that the village could have been a place of capital for such a powerful dynasty except for one reference. There is a very old temple just outside the village. This temple is in Hemadpanthi style of architecture. No one seems to know about this temple. Presently it is in abandoned state.
The village is also famous for the Shiva temple. The present history as known to the villagers is that nearly 200 years ago, one of our ancestors was despatched from Badur (in Neelanga taluka, Latur district) to look after the area. He could not construct the house in the area. One night, during his sleep, he got a drishtant to build a Shiva temple on the hillock. He constructed a temple there. From then onwards, the village prospered.
This village is barely 5 kms from Basavkalyan. This city is holy for Lingayats as mahatma Basaveshwar belonged to this city.
Nearly 2 decads ago my ancestors sold off everything in the village and we lost contact with the village. It was always in our minds to visit the place and have a darshan of the temple. Things did not materialize.
This time, we made up our mind to visit our ancestral place as Varun was also born. Dada (my grandfather) was very enthusiastic about this trip. Even though due to his old age, he was unable to travel. He gave instructions about whom to meet, what to do, etc. All the preparations were made and the trip was planned.
The village is situated very near to Mumbai - Hyderabad national highway. It is nearly 30 kms from Umerga. It is nearly 250 kms from Hyderabad. It lies in Karnataka. The boundary of Maharashtra should not be more than 2-3 KMs from the village. One way to reach the place is via Latur. From Latur, take a bus to Umerga or Basavkalyan. From there, village is accessible. Another way is from Hyderabad. From Hyderabad, take a bus to Basavkalyan.
7:00 AM Reached Parbhani - Seema’s function
Ashwini, Janhavi, and Varun along with their grandparents went to Parbhani from Pune one day in advance. I bought a new camera and joined them a day later. i.e. on 25th.
There was a function for Seema - Ashiwni's sister in law. We attended that function.
All of us met Dada. He could not balance himself. He could not sit upright comfortably. All of us were enthusuastic about the trip. Varun and Janhavi were playing in the house. Dada was not enjoying it. This proved to be the last time when we met.
7:00 AM Took Bangalore Express from Parbhani
The next day morning, we boarded Bangalore express to Udgir.
11:00 AM Udgir
The train reached Udgir around 11:00 AM. PD Deshpande uncle had come to receive us on the station.
12:00 PM Lunch at PD Deshpande uncle’s house
He took us to his house. We were offered a very good meal. After having the meal and chatting with PD uncle, we started for Morkhandi. PD uncle had arranged a vehicle for us.
1:00 PM Started for Morkhandi
Route from Udgir to Basavkalyan is very tedious. Travelling nearly 80 odd kms took us nearly 3 hours. En route, we saw an imposing fort. It turned out to be Basavkalyan fort. From Basavkalyan, roue to Morkhandi is just 5 kms.
4:00 PM Reached Morkhandi - Darshan
We went straight to the temple. The temple is old. It was constructed by one of our ancestors. We had darshan of the diety. The temple has few old idol sculpturs placed. It was very nice feeling. There was a beautiful garden on the east side of the temple. The well in this area is old with constructed stone wall.
Near the last step, there is a small stone. This is where, Dinkarrao, one of our ancestors was killed while getting down from a horse.
After having darshan, we went to see our old house. It was sold long back. It lies in shambles today. It was a sorry sight. We went inside the main house. Bhalchandra uncle was present. He talked to us for some time. We saw the entire house. It is in very bad shape. People who stay there cannot afford to repair it.
My great grand mother belonged to an adjacent house in Morkhandi.
6:30 PM Started for Gunjoti
We started for Gunjoti which is nearly 30 kms on the highway. This is the place where my grandmother belonged. My grandmother's brother (Bhaskar mama) stays there.
8:00 PM Reached house
This house has changed a lot since I visited last nearly 30 years ago. A good dinner was prepared by Varsha aunty. All of us had a dinner. Then we talked for some time. Finally we slept in a room. It was very cold in the night.
8:00 AM Darshan in a temple
In the morning, we went to a temple just next to the house.
10:30 AM Lunch
We had a very good lunch. It was too early by the normal time. We saw house of Krupavati maushi. She was my grandmother's close friend. Bhaskar mama took us to his field. We had darshan of a Hanuman temple in the field. We collected some tamarind. We bade good by to Bhaskar mama and started our journey to Tuljapur.
11:00 AM Started for Tuljapur via Naldurg
We saw an imposing fort. On reaching nearby, we learnt that it is Naldurg fort. I wish I cold spare some time to see Naldurg and Basavkalyan forts. From Naldurg, we went to Tuljapur.
2:00 PM Darshan at Tuljapur
We had a darshan of Tulja bhavani. This is our family diety.
5:00 PM Reached Solapur
By evening, we reached Solapur at Appu mama's place. Yogesh had opened his store. All children like his store as there are chocolates kept there. He must be losing a good amount of revenue due to the children who visit him.
6:00 AM Train to Pune
Next day morning, we caught Intercity express to Pune. The train reached Pune by 11:00 AM.
11:00 AM Reached house in Pune
Finally we reached house.