Shegaon, the home of Shree Sant Gajanan Maharaj’s resting place, is not just another place of worship. The immense efforts undertaken by the Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan in the form of developing a rich landscape called the Anandsagar now draws tourists too.
Shegaon is located at a distance of about 45 kilometres from Akola city - an important centre of commerce in Buldhana district, but more prominently, The house of Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj. Gajanan Maharaj was first seen in Shegaon on February 23, 1878, as a young man of extraordinary qualities. He attained 'samadhi' on September 8, 1910, leaving behind a rich heritage that draws millions of people annually to Shegaon. Over the years, not limited to only puja activities, the Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan, which is in charge of the temple, has also undertaken several social service projects, providing education, medical assistance and empowerment facilities for those in need.
Some of these projects include The Sant Shri Gajanan Maharaj College of Engineering which is one of the most sought after institutions for students aspiring to professional degrees in electronics, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering; English medium school for children from the town and surrounding villages; a school for mentally challenged children; The Warkari Educational Institution which was created with the aim of preserving and enriching the 'Warkari' culture of Maharashtra; a rehabilitation centre for the disabled; etc. Its other projects include supply of potable water and fodder for animals in drought affected areas, prompt financial assistance to areas affected by natural calamities and vaccination camps.
The institute's recent, most popular and most ambitious project though is 'Anandasagar' – a landscape garden spread over an area of 325 acres with a lake with lawns, temples, meditation rooms, an amusement park and even an island. The park was made public in 2005 and work is still on on several features, including the proposed replica of the famous Vivekananda Kendra in Kanyakumari.
Mini Railway is one of the most popular rides here. It's a very small train that originates directly from a fairy tale. Stepping out of the station, it gives its passengers a kaleidoscope glimpse of the park through Anandasagar — the Lotus Pond, the Akhara, the beautiful Ganesha, Shiva and The Navagraha temple — all of which are seated in a refreshingly lush green. More than 60,000 trees were planted at the time of the park's establishment and they have been taken care of unblemished.
For those arriving at Shegaon at odd times or in the morning, six buses ply between the temple, bus terminus and the railway station. The buses of the institute also ply between Bhakta Niwas and Anandsagar. The service – a 15-minute drive – is provided free of charge.
Distance from Mumbai: 560 km