Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh): Pooja, daughter of Tanhaji Budhawale, the country’s first woman who has set out to visit 12 Jyotirlingas of the country on a bicycle, reached the city on Sunday. Twenty-eight-year-old Pooja, who hails from Pune (Maharashtra), started her journey from Kedarnath on October 8. Her journey will culminate in Rameshwaram.
Pooja has so far visited 3 Jyotirlingas; Kedarnath, Kashi Vishwanath and Omkareshwar. After visiting Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain on Sunday, she left for Nageshwar and Somnath located in Darukavan, Gujarat. She will complete the journey through Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu at Rameshwaram. So far, she has covered 2,200 km, while her total journey would be 8,000 km. She cycles about 100 to 150 km per day. Pooja is a yoga teacher and an athlete who came out with the message ‘Yoga is my Karma, unity is my religion'.
Impressed by her dedication, Nandlal, a journalist from Katni, also took a pledge to cycle with the railway employees every week. This journey has been recorded in the India Book of Records, whose certificate will be given after the end of the journey.
Pooja is the first woman cyclist in India who has set out on a cycle to visit 12 Jyotirlingas. On reaching Ujjain, Shahid Hashmi, president of the Rotary Club of Ujjain, secretary Dhirendra Raina and Gyanendra Sharma welcomed her along with Nalini Langar, Sheela Neema and Urusha Hashmi at the Langar Petrol Pump. Vinay Kumar, Ramesh Punia and Shiv Meena of the Bank of India have also supported her in her journey. Along with Pooja, her associate, Prof Sameer is also accompanying her riding a scooter.
In 2017, Pooja travelled 4,000 km in 35 days from Kashmir to Kanyakumari spreading the message of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ and ‘Pollution Free India’.