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Old 26th July 2011, 22:49   #1
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Default 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

I use our company transport to go to the office every day. And the reason is very simple. Escape from the stress of having to drive in the madness of the rush hour in Hinjwadi. So we have a group of friends in the bus, belonging to three different companies. And that is because the bus service is shared by all the three companies. That is BUS POOLING. A cool way to save some fuel and remain stress free. It also ensures that you arrive at and leave the office on time.

In the morning, most of the folks are asleep in the bus. In the evening, it is a different story. There are frequent celebrations in the bus like birthdays, anniversaries etc. We also play cards in the evenings. Anyone coming back from vacation brings something for the bus comrades. The camaraderie that exists in this bus does not exist in any other bus of our company. These reasons are more than enough to dump the car for the commute to the office.

As a part of our celebrations, we also plan a few trips during the year. Sadly, not all of them materialize, but some do.

Last year we made trips to Neelkanteshwar (Neelkanteshwar, Pune : A great one-day destination; mostly unexplored.), Tikona Fort (Back to mother nature and a piece of history Part II - Family Trek to Tikona Fort) and Purandar Fort (Back to mother nature and a piece of history : A family trek to Purandar Fort).

And so this year, as soon as the first drops of rain spashed down on Pune, we started our monsoon plans. A couple of places were discussed and we zeroed in on one place - to go and explore the origins of the river Bhima and its surroundings.

Well, the place is Bhimashankar. This temple is abode to one of the 12 Jyothirlingas in India. A place of pilgrimage. Bhimashankar is also a place where you can find Malabar giant squirrels. The place got its name from the temple and from the name of the river Bhima which is believed to be originating from this place.

We abandoned the idea of taking our cars since that would split us into three or four smaller groups. So we hired a Force Traveller for the trip.

The road was quite good, all the way from Pune to Bhimashankar via Manchar. But boy, the ride is surely jumpy in the traveller especially at the back on uneven roads. It is quite a good vehicle for the smooth highways.

We started at around 7:00 a.m. from Pune. Stopped somewhere along NH50 for our breakfast. Reached Bhimashankar by around 11:30 a.m. with a few stops in between to take in nature's beauty that surrounded us.

We visited the temple and then went in search of our own piece of paradise.

It was quite sad to see the way the bus stand/parking lot had turned into a slush pit with garbage thrown everywhere. I wish the govt. did something to sensitize the localites and the visitors to keep such places clean. Well, if only everyone cared to keep the space outside of our houses/flats clean!

We had our lunch by a stream and reached back Pune by 6:30 p.m.

The pictures will speak now.

When someone says "crystal clear" - this is what they mean.
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030283.jpg

The first waterfall
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030207.jpg

The organic fruit stall
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030202.jpg

Mangoes...
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030209.jpg

Juicy Jamuns...
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030205.jpg

A modern day farmer...ploughing the road??
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030167.jpg

The garlanded falls
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030198.jpg

Our vehicle and the standby driver
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030174.jpg

Flowers at our breakfast stop
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030155.jpg

The temple (one of the 12 Jyothirlings of India)
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030222.jpg

The temple top
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030220.jpg

The waterfalls again
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030206.jpg

A temple close-up
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030225.jpg

Temple close-up
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030227.jpg

Temple close-up
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030226.jpg

Flowers for offering at the temple. I thought they were plastic flowers. Not sure what kind of flowers they are, but they seem to be growing abudantly in the region
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030231.jpg

For sale in the shops lined up along the stone-paved path to the temple
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030233.jpg

Watch your shoots, Big Tree
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030242.jpg

From the shops
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030234.jpg

Our own greed pad
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030251.jpg

People saw a Malabar giant squirrel near the temple. Unfortunately, I missed meeting the giant squirrel. The squirrel had decided to end its ramp walk by the time I returned with umbrellas. I had come half way and then remembered that nobody was carrying umbrellas. So I went back to the parking area to fetch the umbrellas.

Last edited by pjbiju : 27th July 2011 at 11:24.
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Old 27th July 2011, 10:40   #2
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

Now that we had found our green turf we decided to have our lunch.

Our dining room
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030252.jpg

With the dining tables
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030254.jpg

Nature's spa
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030258.jpg

Rolling stones gather no moss, but they sure can be slippery
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030259.jpg

Wild berries, watching over the stream
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030275.jpg

More of the stream
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030284.jpg

More of the stream
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030286.jpg

A perfect place to pitch a tent
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030288.jpg

Another shot of the berries
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030277.jpg

Testing the waters
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030291.jpg

This was the stream that gave the "crystal clear" shot.

Everyone had fun in getting into the stream and spashing water onto others. The water was clean and cold. There was nobody else there. We finished our lunch and made sure that we did not leave anything back, so that the place remained as clean as when we had found it.

Emobodiment of "Going green with envy"
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030292.jpg

A final look at the stream
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030293.jpg

And then we had our wild encounter - a chamaeleon
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030294.jpg

Trying to scare me off. Actually I had to get close to it to take pictures.
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When the scaring tactics did not work
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030296.jpg

Posing for the final shot
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030299.jpg

And then we moved onto our next destination
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030308.jpg

The waterfall
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030304.jpg

Others already at the bottom of the falls
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030307.jpg

A beautiful and strange flower en-route
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030306.jpg

Last edited by pjbiju : 27th July 2011 at 10:55.
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Old 27th July 2011, 11:01   #3
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

And then the second wild encounter..
Can you identify the snake?
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030331s.jpg

The falls
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030309.jpg

The Grand Canyon
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030310.jpg

Falls, up-close
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030315.jpg

All in one frame
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030318.jpg

Green
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030332.jpg

Green shoots of life
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030339.jpg

Off-roading. This one had a hard top.
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030343.jpg

More off-roading
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030344.jpg

On the expressway
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030345.jpg

Cruise control
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030346.jpg

The snake
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030331.jpg

From our own infinity pool
2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River-p1030357.jpg

We did not feel it was safe to get into the pool at the bottom of the falls. We found another spot which was safe for us to get into the water and have fun.

All in all, it was a fun filled day. We came back home with tired bodies and rejuvenated minds, once again making us realize that we miss so much in the mad rush of our lives. We need to learn to unwind and appreciate the artwork of the almighty.

-Biju

Last edited by pjbiju : 27th July 2011 at 11:06.
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Old 27th July 2011, 14:43   #4
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

Wow, nice write up and very nice pictures. The location is scenic too. What cam did you use to shoot these pics?
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Old 27th July 2011, 15:25   #5
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

The route we took : Pune - Manchar - Bhimashankar

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We did enquire about going via Wadi but were told that the roads were not good.

If you are not carrying food, you need to buy food or have food before you leave Manchar. Once you leave Manchar, you will not find any place to eat food except things like vada pav, misal pav etc. We saw the boards of a resort close to Bhimashankar but did not explore that option. May be someone who has stayed at this resort can give more details. I cannot even recollect the name of the resort now.

Luckily for us it did not rain until the time we started back. I am told that dense fog can descent on Bhimashankar making the return journey difficult if one stays back late.

Last edited by pjbiju : 27th July 2011 at 15:28.
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Old 27th July 2011, 16:04   #6
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

Nice TL and some awesome pictures there. Thanks for the new "Bus pooling" idea.
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Old 27th July 2011, 16:36   #7
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

@Biju - Lovely pictures and even more better captions.

You mentioned that it was a bumpy ride in the Tempo Traveller. I hope the roads are good for a hatchback ride.
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Old 27th July 2011, 16:47   #8
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

@Biju - Thanks for planning my next trip
Shallow water fun is unmatched. Was the total journey 9 hrs to and fro, without pit stop?
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Old 27th July 2011, 16:50   #9
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
@Biju - Lovely pictures and even more better captions.

You mentioned that it was a bumpy ride in the Tempo Traveller. I hope the roads are good for a hatchback ride.
Amit, the roads were quite good with almost no potholes. I hope it stays that way. You will have a comfortable ride in a hatchback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul_sinha View Post
@Biju - Thanks for planning my next trip
Shallow water fun is unmatched. Was the total journey 9 hrs to and fro, without pit stop?
Yes indeed. Clean shallow waters brings out the kids in every one and you can enjoy without having to fear the depths. The only thing many people could not do comfortably was to get into the water barefooted. Our soles have become so used to the comfort of the shoes/footwear that it becomes impossible to walk on pebbles/stones etc. that we usualy find on the beds of streams.

You can do the drive (to and fro) in about 6 hours comfortably driving at very sedate speeds. You have 4-laned roads till Chakan and then once you turn off at Manchar, there is hardly any traffic. The distance is about 125 km from Pune one way. You can add 30 minutes for breakfast and 1 hour for lunch. That still gives you enough time to enjoy the waters.

We left Aundh at around 7:00 a.m. and were back at Aundh by 6:30 p.m.

Last edited by pjbiju : 27th July 2011 at 17:09.
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Old 27th July 2011, 23:14   #10
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

Quote:
Originally Posted by piper.gates View Post
Wow, nice write up and very nice pictures. The location is scenic too. What cam did you use to shoot these pics?
Thank you. I used a Panasonic LX5 to shoot these pictures.

Last edited by pjbiju : 27th July 2011 at 23:28.
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Old 28th July 2011, 00:22   #11
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

Brilliant pics ! Loved the orchids [?]. Those look so gorgrous ! And of course crystal clear too. Nice to know there are places which are still so clean and green !! Hi-Five !!
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Old 28th July 2011, 09:02   #12
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

Beautiful Snaps, Always wanted to go to Bhimashankar.
Infact there was this one time where we reached halfway.
But it was getting late and so we decided to turn back.
Your crystal clear snaps. Are very tempting indeed.
It's and all rounder trip isn't it. you get temples, some wildlife, beautiful flowers and spectacular waterfalls.
Hope to finally visit Bhimashankar soon.
BTW are the roads good enough for an ANHC?
and BBTW Met up with a friend of yours at Big Flix Viman Nagar Yesterday.
I spoke about Team-BHP and he mentioned your name. and recent posting of Bhimashankar trip. And so i rushed to this thread today to read your lovely TL.
Thanks for Sharing & Drive Safe!
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Old 28th July 2011, 10:05   #13
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

biju lovely pictures capturing the beauty of nature during the monsoons man. The compositions are brilliant like always. Made for a nice soothing Thursday morning looking at those pictures.
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Old 28th July 2011, 11:20   #14
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

good narration, wonderful pics and great place for a one day picnic.

thanks for sharing the experiance with us.
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Old 28th July 2011, 18:27   #15
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips :: Starts off with a trip to the origin of the Bhima River

Excellent snaps with vibrant colors. I would love to learn that. Excellent Narration...
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