Friday, December 23, 2016

Goa.. "Fun Capital of India..!!"

Goa .. Indeed is fun capital of India.. I came back from Singapore and immediately next weekend we were planning to take a long trip to Goa for 4 days. Initially I was planning to leave on Thursday Night 1st Dec but due to demonetization effect (Long ATM queue's to withdraw cash) we left on  Friday Night 2nd Dec. I booked a Hotel (Estrella Do mar) in Goa near Calangute beach.. So we started around 7 Pm from house.. boarded Bus from Nigdi Bus stop in Pune. 


Reached Mapusa Bus Stop (Nearest Bus Stop to Calangute.. Baga beach) at 9 am in the morning next day. Check time in our hotel was 2:00 Pm (Not sure why its too late...).. we went to the hotel kept our luggage in their luggage room. Best thing about Goa is.. Hire a two wheeler and you are a free bird.. go anywhere you want without any dependency on Cabs/Autos/Buses etc. etc. So we hired an Activa just outside our hotel for 300 bucks per day.. I had to give my I-card as a security... What Now... First Stop...  Anjuna Beach!!!!

Anjuna Beach.. its nearly 7-8 Kms from Calangute.. we three were very hungry after long bus journey and then coming to Anjuna. First thing Breakfast at Guru Bar.. its was nice palce to chill out and a awesome beach view. Next we headed to Anjuna beach.. White Sand .. Blue watre .. what else you need?.. Thourughly enjoyed the Sea, Sun and Sand. Manu (my lil daughter) and Anki enjoyed a lot paying in water.. after some till we were on our way back to Calangute.. Its was around 12:00 Noon and we were not sure what to do next.. got a call from Hotel that our room is ready.. Hurrrraaaayyy.. Thanks to kind staff. We checked in and get rid of salt and sand :) .. Took some rest and headed to Saturday Night Market @ Arpora. This market was full of foreigners and looking at prices of stuff being sold.. they were the target customers.. still Anki bought some earrings.. you got to bargain your heart out.. Called it a Day after some Shopping!!


I woke up early in the morning and went for a walk at Calangute beach.. beach was quite in the morning... listening to the sound of sea waves and playing with water is such a serene experience. Churches of Goa.. we planned to visit atleast one church this time. After having a breakfast we headed to church of our lady of the immaculate conception (Difficult to remember this..had to google while writing Blog :) ) . I have seen this church in various bollywood movies and was very curious to visit it. Church is in Panaji and around 18Kms from Calangute.. it took 1 hr to reach this Place. Explores the church.. it was huge and exactly the way shown in movies. We headed back towards Calangute and after having lunch we went to Candolim beach.. Candolim is also one of the famous beach of north goa .. got one beach shack and enjoyed the sunkissed beach.  Manu had gala time playing in sand.  Later in the evening .. enjoyed a quick dip in hotel swimming pool.. and ended our day with a quite Candle (and moon) light dinner  at anjuna beach.. amazing experience!!!


Vagator Beach .. it's around 10 Kms from Calangute.. its very quite beach with very less crowd.. One very good thing about goa beaches is presence of life guards everywhere.  Spent around two hours .. swimming in sea.. running on beach ... building castles .. what fun!!! Later we headed back to our hotel.. today Anki went to swim again in hotel swimming pool and took swimming classes from the coach present at hotel premises. We explored the local market and went to Baga beach to watch sunset... Baga beach was very crowdy.. after watching sunset we headed to Anjuna beach again .. did some shopping and ended our day again in the same way as yesterday.. Dinner in Moonlight over the beach..!!


Last day.. :( .. since checkout was 11:00 Am .. we woke up and packed our bags.. kept bags and luggage room and headed to Arambol Beach..its 25 Kms from calangute and it took around 1.5 Hrs to reach here. We got one beach shack.. 200 Bucks and not time limit.. cant get better than this.. so this is what we did for next 6 Hrs.. SunBath .. Eat.. Swim in Sea.. Repeat!!! :) Best day of the 4 days (for me ;))... So finally we started back ... had a late lunch midway.. later we went to the same CCD in candolim where we came 7 Years back during our honeymoon.. headed to hotel.. gave back two wheeler.. picked luggage and got Taxi to O Coquiero circle.. Boarded the Bus at 7:00 Pm ..ending our memorable Trip!!!

Special mention of Goan shokeepers who were very helpful.. giving change of 2000 Rs Note... :)


Monday, May 11, 2015

Hampi .. "Architectural Marvel!!"

Hampi.. i have seen picture of famous "Stone Chariot" long back in some travel magazine... googled its and found out about Hampi. Then in one of the episode of Roadies i saw this town and since then i always wanted to visit Hampi. Sooo .. one fine day we planned to go Hampi on a four day trip, partners in crime My wife Anki, my one and half year old daughter,  my bro Aniket and Anki's Bro Pallu. This would be my longest road trip when i am driving my i10 car. I searched for routes and finalized to take solapur road... than to Bijapur and Hampi.

Day -1

Friday Morning sharp 4:00 Am we started our journey, it was august but this year (2014) due to elnino effect there was very less rainfall during July/August period. Took first tea break @ sunrise (6:00 Am) after driving 100 Kms. Pune - Solapur road is in good shape except some rough patches and one bottleneck railway crossing. Don't rely on google maps ..i took one shortcut but it was very bad decision as road was in very bad shape and it took 1/2 hr to cover 10 Kms. Soon we reached Maharastra- Karnataka border and had our breakfast (idly-sambhar) @ a hotel just after entering Karnataka. We reached Bijapur our first destination at around 10:30 Am.

GolGumbaz ... .huge dome of which  this building was visible from 6Kms before reaching Bijapur. Parked our vehicle in the parking.. stretched my legs after long drive.. Aniket took tickets and we started capturing snaps as we reached one of the wonders in India. I mean that dome was Hugggeeee... our jaws were open after seeing it and i wondered in that period how come such building was made. We explored Golgumbaz and best part was whispering gallery... if three people clap their and it will sound like entire stadium is clapping...  Marvelous Engineering. It took around 2 Hrs to explore the big building. There is a museum as well in same premise and its worth a visit.

We left from Bijapur and took road towards Hampi, first we had Lunch and then i continued with driving again. As we reach towards Hampi whole landscape start changing,, you can see big boulders lying everywhere. I booked a river view double cottage in Mowgli Guest House located in Anegundi. Anegundi is actually on the other side of river and it is required to take ferry to reach Hampi.  I was bit worried because i read that during Monsoon season ferry's are not available due to swollen river, but to our luck it didn't rained here as well. So we reached our Hotel at around 5:00 Pm after driving 600 Kms. View from our cottages was awesome.. there are paddy fields infront of cottages and beyond that Tungbhadra river. We had coffee and  ended our day by trying some  global cuisines,, since is close to Goa.. it always full with foreigners.  To please them various hotels serve different cuisines from various countries.

Day -2

We woke up early, my ankles were still in hurting after driving so much. But to my relief Hampi has various options and it was not required to take my car for sightseeing. We went to the spot from where we can take ferry, it was around 2 Kms walk from our hotel. Took four tickets 10 bucks per person, once ferry is filled.. it took only 5-6 minutes to cross the river. We all were very hungry,, there were couple of road side food stalls,, we had Idly, Uttapa, Dosa, Bhajji and what not... that stall was run by one uncle-aunty . Food items were very cheap and we ate like we dind't had food for past 30 days :). From the same shop we took four cycles on rent (50 rs per day for each cycle).  First we got our cycle seat adjusted from uncle per our height,, took a Hampi Guide booklet and reached first spot "Virupaksha Temple".  Its a huge temple dedicated to lord shiva... Me and Pallu..took out our cameras and started taking snaps of beautiful carvings on Gopur's, Its an impressive stone structure,, inside temple there is an Elephant,, if you give him 10 Rs,, it will give that money to his owner first and than keep his trunk on your head so that you can get a photo clicked in this pose. My daughter manu was big time scared after seeing that elephant keeping his trunk on my head,,, so we all Me Aniket and Pallu got our pics clicked in this Pose. Explored the temple,, came out to took our cycle and saw Pallu's cycle got puncture. Oh Oooo.. Pallu and Aniket took cycle to uncle's place and get the puncture fixed. 

Next we explored a hill next to Virupaksha temple.. it has couple of small temple structures and beautiful view of Hampi from the hill. There a temple of ganesha called Kadalekalu Ganesha,, it a huge monolithic stone statue of Lord Ganesha. After exploring the hills,, we moved further to see old hampi market.. it has lots of stone shops and a big pond at center. After exploring it we reached Krishna temple.. very beautiful temple with worth a watch small stone statues everywhere... there very beautifully carved pillars made of black stone in the main structure. After our exploration we came out and now i lost key of my cycle... :(. We sat there and came up with Plan.. I was already running out of Cash and i asked security guard of the temple about nearest ATM. He said i can find ATM only in Kamlapur,, around 4 Kms from Hampi... i took Aniket's cycle in search of ATM. Pallu/Aniket were looking for key or any other option with the locked cycle. O God that 4 Kms cycle ride was  like punishment bcoz road was uneven... and it was peak afternoon. After searching everywhere i found one SBI atm which was working and took out cash... as i reached back to Krishna Temple.. i saw Anki and manu waiting for Me. Aniket and Pallu broke the lock of cycle and took the cycle back to uncle's place. After sometime we all were on boat crossing river. I was worried as we didn't explored even 25% of Hampi with only one day left.. 

Day -3

Next day... only target was to cover rest of Hampi.. so dropped idea of cycle. This time we hired an auto,, auto driver was guide and he settled for 400 Bucks for a day tour. So we started from where we left yesterday..First Place we visited was Narsimha Temple ,, the shiva temple,,Underground Temple,, Sister Stones,, Lotus Mahal,,Hazar Ram Temple,, Queen's Bath,, Elephant's Stable and Puskarni. One after other each site was awesome,, each had its own history and stories and our guide explained it well. Last stop for the day the most farthest and the most famous Vithhala Temple. Our driver stopped us at the parking outside,, from here there are battery operated vehicles which takes you to the Temple. All the battery operated were driven by women's,,, so finally i reached Vithhala temple.. and finally i got to saw Stone Chariot. That whole complex was very huge... me and pallu took countless pics of the place.. Took some rest here and went back to the parking. Auto driver dropped us at tungabhadra bank and we reached our hotel. Ended our day with Chilled Beer and Awesome food.

Day -4

Last day .. again a driving day as i need to get back to Pune by evening. We started very late,, checked out of hotel at around @ around 7 am.  Soon we reached highway and paid toll tax on one of the toll,, quickly i realized that i was on wrong road... took the Hubali road instead of Bijapur. Turned our vehicle and soon we were moving towards Bijapur.. i had option of either to visit Aihole, Badami or Pattadakkal while going back. We opted for pattadakal,, 132 kms from hampi,,, took exit from bijapur highway at kushtagi. Road is very confusing without any signboards and it looks like we are moving in circle ,, but finally after getting help from local people on directions we reached pattdakkal. 

Like hampi it is also world heritage site,, famous for group of temples. All the temples are dedicated to lord Shiva. Stone color is bit reddish and all the temples looks very beautiful,,  Main temple has very huge nandi outside and Shiva linga is alo very big inside the temple. We sat there for some time and soon started for our way back towards Pune,, after hell lot of driving we reached Pune ... we reached Pune around 9Pm.. as we entered Pune it was raining heavily.. I guess Monsoon was here.. what a Relieffffff!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Kerala... God's Own Country...

Kerala... as they say "God's Own Country".. We wanted to visit Kerala on our Honeymoon  itself but couldn't go due to shortage of leaves . After almost one and half years of our marriage we planned a Trip to this Beautiful Place. This time we took a package from KTDC for around 45K bucks. Let's begin the wonderful journey to this beautiful place -

Day 1 & 2 -  We left from our office's early as we need to catch shivneri bus to Mumbai. Reached Pune station and got the bus at around 2 Pm and reached Panvel Railway station at around 4:30 Pm. Our Train Garibrath Express was at 6:30, 2 hrs to go... Now what... Anki gave a look at me as always we reached the station way before. We had some snacks and had our new time pass "Chewing Gum  Chabao... Gubbare Phulao..." competition. After some time we updated our FB status and soon there was an announcement for the arrival of our Train.   Train was on time and we boarded train, interior of the train was different from typical Blue color.  Our fellow passengers were nice and friendly. We did some gupshup and went for a good sleep later. Woke up next morning at around 9Am in train, Konkan Railway is just amazing our train was in goa at that time. Most of the day, i explored my brand new camera which anki bought me from US. At around 7Pm in the evening we reached Ernakulum station and i called our driver uncle from the platform. He told me he is at another platform so we went there, i saw some guy in 40's holding a big chartsheet on which below lines were printed .. " Welcome!!! Mr. Jyotin Prachand to Kerala" ... :) we went up to him and soon started our journey to Munnar.  We had Mallu Dinner on the way and driver uncle showed us some waterfalls on the way. As we were reaching Munnar... i looked out from the car window.. everything was covered in fog and then i saw tea plantations.. i was like "Wow... ". At around 10:30 Pm we reached our Hotel "Tea County" ... Hotel room was royal with a private balcony... after hectic day we took a good sleep.

Day 3 - Munnar... i was finally in Munnar... when i was in bangalore we were planning to visit munnar but since we didn't get any bookings in buses so we went for coorg.  I was always fascinated by this place... we wokeup in the morning.. had delicious breakfast and started to our first spot  "Eravikulum National Park".. after a while we left our car and went to the ticket counter. There is this thing in kerala that you need to pay extra bucks for the camera... its irritating and this rule is everywhere even in the parks. I have visited various places .. even in the "Kanha National Park" there are no such rules. Anyway we took tickets for us and our camera... then we boarded minibus arranged by park authorities for the tourists which took us up the hill and we were dropped at a point. Ok... when you here National Park... you will think of Deers,,, various birds,,, monkeys,,, etc etc. but don't expect too much. This Park is famous (only) for a endangered species Nilgiri tahr which you can easily spot. I took some snaps of Nilgiri Tahr. We reached back to the main gate and started for our next spot... Tea Museum. In Tea Museum we saw a small motion picture about tea.. i found it very interesting. Then we visited the museum where we were shown how Tea is manufactured and we saw various kind of Tea's. We came out of museum full hungry... driver uncle took us to a nice hotel where we pack our stomachs with various delicacies. After lunch we went to a dam which was around 10 Kms from Munnar... view from Dam was awesome we explored there and while coming back to our hotel we also visited a flower Garden. Again you need to take ticket for your camera as well,,, but it was worth it. There were huge variety of flowers in that garden... i took snaps of most of them. Later at around 6Pm we reached our hotel back. After dinner we explored munnar town on our foots. 

Day 4  - Thekkady ... after visiting queen of hills we left for the king of jungle. At around 8Am we left from munnar to thekkady.  Complete route till Thekkady was scenic... we stopped on the route for... waterfalls... foggy Ghat Section... Tea Plantations and Spice Garden. Spice garden was most interesting one... here as well tickets for you and your camera :(... The lady showed us various types of spices... how they are grown... their usage and lot of scientific ... botanical might be right word...yess lots and lots of botanical stuff. We both bought some good stuff from that garden and later noon we reached our hotel "Aranya Niwas" good thing about hotel is it's in core jungle and the room had one complete wall as glass with full view of jungle (bit scary at night but fun :-) )... and bad thing since it was in jungle we wese not allowed to leave the hotel after 6Pm. So we could not explored  much of Thekkady Town... so we passed our time in gaming room where we played carom then table tennis and later with swimming.  

Day 5 - Usually you might expect jungle ride to be by road but in thekkady its boat ride. And this is proper national park so all the stuff you missed in eravikulum national park will be here. We took the tickets for boat.. there were special boats for the tourists staying at KTDC. We started our boat ride.. we all were wearing life jackets which is mandatory. Spotted various kinds of birds,, Deers,, Wild Boars and Elephants.. Boat ride was cool and i took lot of snaps. We rushed to the hotel and had breakfast... later we left for kumarakom. On the way, we stopped for some waterfalls and after around 3 1/2 hrs of journey we reached kumarakom. Kumarakom is famous for bird sanctuary and our hotel "waterscapes" was most beautiful hotel we stayed in our journey. There were small canals all around and our hotel room was above one of them and in front of our room was Vembnad Lake. We had lunch in the hotel... than spent our time in and watching house boats. Anki took ayurvedic massage and later at evening we spent our time playing carom.

Day 6 - Woke-up early morning as we need to explore the bird sanctuary. We went walking to the bird sanctuary,,, couldn't  spot much of the birds... after lot of exploration we saw a small boat by the river. An old uncle asked us whether we want a ride, we went ahead... from the river he took us to the vembanad lake. Best things was we reached to a spot in the lake where we were surrounded by beautiful water lilly's. After around 1 hr uncle dropped us at place near our hotel, we had breakfast and left for our next destination "Allepy". After around one and half hour of journey we reached the point where we need to board our house boat. At around 12 Noon we boarded houseboat, there were two people in the crew one captain and one cook. Cook uncle was national swimmer once... he told us lot of stuff about water transport used in/around allepy. After around one hour our house boat stopped for the lunch. Cook uncle made very delicious food... we were licking our fingers. From one river to another ... at the end our house boat reached vembanad lake. After exploring the lake at the evening our boat stayed at place for night. Watching sunset was best thing.. i saw fireflies after long time... :).  Woke-up early morning had hot coffee prepared by cook uncle... i swear this was the best coffee i ever had. Soon we were back to the place from where we boarded the houseboat and then in Car. We were moving towards our last destination in Kerala... "Kochi". After around 2 hrs of drive we reached our hotel "Bolgatty Palace". Hotel was a heritage site and was a palace once... Hotel had really nice paintings. After having lunch at Hotel we moved ahead to explore kochi. We saw jew town.. Palace... various churches and chinese fishing nets. Kochi was very hot that time.. later had dinner and went for tight sleep.

Day 7 - Last day was very chill... we explored kochi market first. Later in the noon we saw kathakkali performance. Reached our hotel early and spent rest of the time watching pics of our trip. 
Day 8 & 9 - Wokeup and had breakfast... soon we were at ernakulum station to catch train. Got the train... journey by train was cool next day in the noon we reached Panvel. Got the Taxi from Panvel... reached Pune.

"Kerala" was a very wonderful experience... !!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rajmachi,,, Longesssssst One

Rajmachi... heard about the stories of this trek from my previous Team Lead Sandeep Ratan. I was always fascinated by the endurance required for this Trek, it's really a very demanding one. Four years later finally i got a chance to go on this trek with my team mates in Office. Nilesh initiated for this trek, initially we planned to go for Lohgad as most of the people going for this trek were first timers. Then we had a formal meeting in conf room for the discussion :D.. later it was finalised that we will be going for Rajmachi Trek. Initially there were lot of enthusiastic people for trek and count was suppose to reach 20+ but on the day of Trek we were 10. Me, Nilesh, Praveen, Bhandari, Chits, Paddy, Sushil, Pavan, Sukhi and Mihir. As planned we were suppose to catch local from Akurdi stattion, except Sukhi and Paddy who were suppose to board train from Pune Station.

Woke up early morning at 5am, missed Anki :-( she use to wake me up daily calling from US. But she was travelling to philadelphia over the weekend, so she could not wake me up.I Reached Nilesh's place in indrayani nagar by 6am and we left for akurdi by his car, reached Praveen's place where we need to pick praveen and mihir. We waited for around 15-20 mins as Mr Praveen were taking bath after ages. Finally we reached akurdi on time, Bhandari and chits were already there. Bhandari already took tickets for us, rest of the guys also joined us and we boarded the local at 7:05 am. We reached lonavala, climate was bit sunny and everyone was hoping for rain. First thing we did was to have breakfast bcoz, we knew that once we start trek there will be nothing in between. So ound one hotel and everyone had Masala dosa. We also had sheera, later we left for the trek. After intial confusion we were on right way.

We enjoyed initial trek a lot, at first we halted at tungarli dam. We had good photo session, there was a guy who was doing fishing at the dam. We troubled him :) took his fishing stick and used it for getting good snaps for FB, Orkut etc etc. We moved on after 10 mins than we stopped at the waterfall, again everyone was full enthusiastic for photographs. We had fun at the waterfall, this was the place were bhandari skid for the first time :). We started the trek again, upwards the mountains, downwards from the mountains, through the grasslands, crossing the rivers , through the jungle,, this trek had every type of section you can imagine. After almost 3 1/2 hrs of trek saw huge waterfall, Nilesh took some snaps and here suhil got his shoe stuck in mud. We made fun of him and after some time bhandari got his shoe stuck in mud again. It took lot of time to get his shoe out, everyone cheered as his shoe was coming out of mud. We stayed near a small water source where bhandari was cleaning his shoe and here he got skid again ha ha :) . He had real badluck that day.

From here we could see both the forts, we moved ahead and after some time we found small snacks shop as we reached rajmachi village. We asked him for the way towards the fort, once confirmed we moved ahead again. Later we reached a temple halted there for a while and started trek again. It took us 6 hrs to reach at the top of fort, it was 3 pm. Last leg the trek was very dangerous, which made us remember our gods.  But at the end it was amazing feeling to reach the top. We stayed at the top for a while and started descending down, after some time we reached the snack shop where we asked for the way. We had Poha and tea at the snack shop, here chits and sukhi were attacked by mosquitos. We coated our skin with mosquito repellent, but it didn't worked. Around at 4:30 pm we started back, as slowly we made our way forward, length of our footsteps was decreasing and breadth was increasing :D.

In last two hours of trek we took break at every 15 minutes, there were loads of funny incidents while coming back. Praveen and Paddy made me remember Vikram/Betal, Sushil who was jumping here and there while going towards rajmachi was half dead by now. Nilesh and Me might have the funniest of all walking posture. Soni brother's (Mihir and Pavan) were leading the trek now, we took rest everywhere possible. Somehow we reached lonavala, had dinner in a hotel and walked till station (this was not easy as it's sounding). Finally reached station, i was praying "God.. please local should be from platform -1" as i don't wanna cross the stairs to reach other platform but to my badluck local was from platform-2. Somehow we managed and got local train, i slept on one of the seat. Each portion of my body was in pain like anything, we reached akurdi station by 11pm Night. Then me and nilesh left for nilesh's house where i parked my bike, took my bike and reached home.It took me almost 15 mins to reach till lift of my building from parking :D,, security guard burst into laugh looking at my walking speed and posture,, damn me. But this trek was really amazing one, everything went as per plan (except loads of body pain which took almost an week to recover completely) :-)


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kanha National Park & Jabalpur

Kanha National Park is very famous national park in india, it is also called as "Land of Tigers". Shooting of many documentries shown in Discovery and NatGeo are done here. So you wanna spot a Tiger,, come Kanha there are lots and lots of them. We were visiting Mandla, native place of Anki and kanha is 90 kms from here.  As there is no direct connectivity to Mandla from Pune, we went till Jabalpur via train where Anki's parents and mona came to receive us. We planned to explore Jabalpur and around on that day, we visited Chousath Yogini Temple first. It's temple on small hill dedicated to Shiva-Parvati and then there are 81 statues of yogini's around the main temple in a circle. Each yogini statue was different from another one, and statue of Shiva-Parvati on nandi in main temple was also one of it's kind. A local guide who was actually a small boy from nearby village explained us the history of the Temple, there is a nice view of scenic bhedaghat from the top. 

Next we went to Dhuadhar waterfall, Dhuadhar and bhedaghat are actually a very special place. Here river narmada pass through the marble mountains, shooting of a very famous song from movie "Asoka" was done here. There is a newly built ropeway on the river, looking at it i thought yeah mann MP Tourism is doing good,,, MP has lot of places that can be developed for Tourism. We enjoyed the ropeway ride on top of Dhuadhar waterfalls, it was a very Nice view. After exploring jabalpur we moved for Mandla. After two days staying in mandla, we left for Kanha National Park in the morning. We reached kanha by 1 Noon, Kept our bags in hotel and had spicy lunch @ Dhaba.  

Bafati uncle met us there, he was our guide in Kanha. He is also known as "Birdman of Kanha" bcoz of his vast knowledge on Birds. I was very impressed by his knowledge, his capability to identify birds is just amazing. He arranged for a vehicle for us which was a open gypsy. Ticket for one time entry for single vehicle was 1500 bucks, we also read "to do's and no to do's" in the Jungle. Some of them were very interesting, you cannot step down from your vehicle, you cannot give food to animals, don't take pics while flash of camera on etc. etc.   most interesting was if an animal attacks you.. still you cannot attack back, It is their territory. Me, Anki and Mona had a debate on that jungle rule, Bafati uncle was making fun of us he said you cannot do anything.. tiger will come.. he will select which one to eat and take you wid him :).

Entry time in kanha was 6 - 12 in morning and 3-6 in eve, we were making entry at 3 pm.  We entered through the main gate and with our vehicle almost 30 more vehicle's but kanha is so huge and there is web of so many small paths in kanha, your vehicle will be alone most of the time. I just loved the flora and fauna of the place, huge bamboo trees and various other trees on which Bafati uncle and driver of our vehicle gave us brief knowledge. As we  moved in jungle we found deers, deers and deers, place is full of spotted deers. Bafati uncle told us that more than Tiger kanha is famous for "Swamp Deer" or "Barahsingha". We spotted it as soon as we entered, this is one of the species which has got special protection.

After sometime we got separate from other vehicles and moved on different track. Suddenly Bafati uncle told driver to slow down gypsy, he heard call of peacock, this term "call aa  raha hai" we heard hundred of times in our two days stay :). It means any small animal making an alert sound after seeing an predator mostly "Tiger". Driver stopped the gypsy we were enthusiastically waiting for a glimpse of tiger. After some time we heard BIG roar from the jungle, this was the confirmation that there is Tiger out there. That roar was loud and we got scared hearing that, it indeed was a voice of King. We waited for 10 mins but could not see anything and then Bafati uncle pointed direction saying something is moving there. It was tiger but it was very far, we could hardly see him. Driver told us that there is another pathway, tiger might be close from there and may  be if we are lucky he will cross the road from there. Bafati uncle agreed and we moved in that direction. We reached there and just after 5 mins of waiting we saw the king of jungle came toward us and he crossed the road just 2 metres ahead of our vehicle. It was pleasure watching that animal in his territory. I took lot of pictures and a short video. Tiger was moving on the road then and we were slowly following him, after 5 mins he then disappeared into the jungle searching for food. Bafati uncle told us that he is a young male and about 3 yrs old.

Mann that was like dream come true watching a tiger like that, we were so happy. Later we spotted Asian Deer (Sambar), Bison and many other animals. Also spotted lots of birds, bafati uncle gave lots of information on each one of them. We were back to our hotel by 7pm, we watched small documentry arranged by MP tourism.  Next morning we woke up early as we wanted to enter kanha asap. Entered in kanha at around 7 am, explored various routes of kanha and heard roars from jungle at one point. There was call of langur, we waited for some time but moved ahead after some time as we could see nothing. We spotted fox, barking deer that day. We were back by 12 noon, told good bye to bafati uncle and after some time we were on our journey towards mandla. Kanha journey was very special and that "Tiger" really made our trip.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Shivneri - The "Origin"

Shivneri – One of the most prominent forts of Shivaji era. This is the place where Shivaji Maharaj was born and got his name from “Shivai” temple situated on the fort. Mona (Anki’ Sis) and Aniket (My Bro) both had vacations so they came to our place. We enjoyed Ganesh Chaturdashi procession on Laxmi Road, sound of dhol tasha makes you mad. It’s just amazing when 50-60 dhols rock in sync, your legs automatically start shaking. Later we decided to go on some one day outing, the only place that came to my mind was Shivneri.

Shivneri is approximately 100 Kms from Pune near Narayangaon on Nashik road. As we don’t want to go by public transport we decided to go by my bike and Anki’s scooty. We left in the morning around 8 Am, after 15-20 mins of driving we stopped at hotel in Bhosari. Had breakfast and got some snacks for the journey and then we moved ahead. Nashik road is quite nice road for Drive and Anki was in full excitement as she go to drive this much. Remembered the days when we were in our school, Anki and Mona use to come in summer @ vidisha to visit her maternal grand mother. We four use to go for a walk daily in eve till nearby Hanuman Temple. 

We reached Narayangaon, had stopped for a while and left nashik road to move towards Junnar. Shivneri Fort is hardly 10 Kms from Junnar. We reached base of fort by 12 Noon. Parked our vehicles, and started our trek. Actually its a easy walk till the top as there is proper way, this fort is preserved well. There are lots of gardens on the fort, first of all we visited the Shivai Temple situated at the fort. You can view Lenyadri Hill from here, Lenyadri is one of the Ashtavinayak Shrine. We reached the top where birth place of Shivaji Maharaj, its small stone structure having two floors. It felt great to visit the Place.

We stayed at the top for a while, enjoyed the scenic from the top. After some time we were on foots for our return journey. Had Nimbu-Soda on our way back and reached parking. Return journey was also smooth, faced bit of traffic near chikhali. Reached Pune at around 10 Pm, quite a nice experience!!!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

King of Forts - Rajgad!!!

"Rajgad" is indeed king of all forts in Maharstra, King himself lived here for more than 25 years. Monsoon, just thought of this word itself refresh you. In summers i used to have one window open in my office pc for IMD(Indian Meteorological Department) Site. Just to follow when monsoon is coming, once arrived, when it will reach Pune. My collegues use to tease me, "Hey frog is waiting for rains.. :-)". Coming to the trek summers crossed, monsoon came and my planning started. Me and Vikas planned to go for Rajgad Trek, Anki and Deepali (Vikas's Wife) also agreed for the Trek. As planned it was a day Trek. We were suppose to leave early morning and planned to be back by Night.

Me and Anki left from our vishrantwadi house and reached shivaji nagar, Vikas and Deepali were suppose to join us here. After 10-15 mins they came and we went ahead with journey. Forgot to mention we were going to Rajgad by bikes.  One way to go Rajgad is by bangalore highway but i choose diffrent route which goes via Pabe Ghat. We took sinhgad road and moved towards khadakvasla, had breakfast on way. After 45 mins of drive we saw some fencing near road in which very huge birds were running here and there. Those birds were ostriches.... it was ostrich farm!!! We never thought in our wildest dream that we gonna see ostriches that day,but yesss that's the fun of exploring new things you will always gonna get surprizesss . We took pics of every Ostrich present in that fence.. :).

We moved forward,, after an hour of driving we reached the ghat section. Climate was awesome and surroundings were lush green, we halted for a while to clicked some pics. We were on our bikes again, descended down via circular roads. Aftere some time we were at point where way to Torna fort was on right side and Rajgad on left. We asked local guy for the route towards base village. On his direction's we were on our way towards base village, on the way we saw one small roadside hotel. Had tea and "garma garam" kanda bhajji on the hotel, we asked a fellow traveller that how much time trek will take. He replied atleast 3 hrs to reach there and you should stay at fort at night as it won't be possible for you to come back today itself. Me and Vikas looked at each other our plan was "tai tai Phissss" even before trek was started, basically due to lack of planning and we enjoyed route so much that forgot destination. 

Neways we thought we came here for trek, we will trek. We reached the base village, parked our vehicles. We started our trek, this time destination was not fort but "Time". We had three hours so we decided we will trek for 1 1/2 hour and will return back. We had loads of fun while trekking,,played fultoo Antakshari Vikas/Deepali in one team and Me/Anki in other. Had some photo sessions on our way, Trek was nice and easy. It was drizzling  and we were all wet.We completed  1 1/2 hrs and started descending down.  After some time we were back to our bikes and moved back towards Pune. We took bangalore highway while coming back as it was getting dark. We stopped at a dhaba on our way,we had all kinds of "Bhajji",, Paneer Bhajji,, Mixed Bhajji,, Chilli Bhajji,, Potato Bhajji etc etc. Those were really delicious. Reached Pune by 10 Pm. Missed the fort but all and all it was a nice outing.