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Old 20th August 2011, 12:05   #1
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Default 2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue

It all started on a Wednesday, when browsing through http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...s-temples.html (Monsoon Break : Hills, waterfalls and temples!) by nix1976in, the idea of doing a weekend trip covering 2 fantastic falls was conceived.

Here's a pic of what we eventually covered:
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-3places.jpg

The Background:
I had heard about the Thoseghar falls many times, but there was a mental block that its too far away. May be we will take a rental Innova to Thoseghar one day. That 'one day' never came.

As far as Gokak falls are concerned, I was blissfully unaware of them till last year. In fact came to know about Gokak falls from the same thread http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...s-temples.html (Monsoon Break : Hills, waterfalls and temples!) last Aug. Absolutely loved the snaps and made notes about it and then completely forgot about it. Age is catching up fast and may be some grey cells died .

Thoseghar itself was perceived to be far, and Gokak was even further away. My experience in staying in random Hotels (especially in India) has not been very pleasant. May be, me being a fan of horror movies in general and slasher movies in particular has got something to do with it . But then your range gets severely restricted without a overnight-stay.

Two years back, having 2 small kids had always meant proper planning and advance bookings et al. But chose not to do a hotel booking this time around because of 2 reasons:
1> As per advice received, this not being a heavy-tourist season would mean that getting a hotel by walking-in would not be too difficult.
2> Recently did a long solo drive on NH4 (Mumbai-Pune-Nipani-Tarkarli) and that had boosted the confidence that even in the worst case scenario of not getting a hotel room, I would be able to drive back all the way to Mumbai.

The kids have grown up a bit, so you can be slightly adventurous without feeling guilty.

<To be continued>

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Old 20th August 2011, 17:55   #2
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Default Re: 2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue

The Planning:

In the past, planning a weekend trip used to start at least 2-3 weeks in advance. This was primarily because I am a planning freak. The usual research on Google-maps and Wikimapia ensued and made notes of the major milestones, approximate travel time etc. The plan started out with just the Thoseghar falls and Gokak falls on 30th and 31st July 2011 respectively. The possibility of a Mumbai-bandh on Monday (1st Aug) meant this could as well turn out to be a long-weekend. So the planning was flexible to include Amboli on day-3.

Initially we were planning to stay in Satara. Shared the tentative plan of doing Gokak falls on day-2 and AshishPallod suggested to stay in Kolhapur instead. It made sense, more options plus closer to the destination on day-2. With the help from AshishPallod and HVKumar's post, finalized 1-2 hotels to stay in Kolhapur. My wife has never been to the Mahalakshmi temple in Kolhapur. With the plan to stay in Kolhapur, the Mahalakshmi temple was added to the plan.

Did a little bit of more googling to find if there is anything else that is really nearby and can be covered. Chalkewadi windmill farm was added to the plans. Chose not to cover Sajjangad or Kas in this trip. There is always a next trip, right?

So the plan firmed up as follows:
Sarurday 30th July -> Start from Mumbai around 4:00AM. Strop for breakfast around 8-9AM. Reach Satara and from there to Thoseghar around 11AM-12 noon. Spend as much time as needed at the Thoseghar falls, Chalkewadi. Start from Thoseghar back to Satara and then onwards to Kolhapur. Stop for lunch at Satara or somewhere on NH4. Reach Kolhapur before sunset and check into a decent hotel. Freshen up and if time permits, visit the Mahalakshmi temple on the same day.

Sunday 31st July -> If Mahalakshmi temple is not covered on Saturday, visit it on Sunday morning. Checkout from the hotel and join NH4 southwards towards Karnataka border, Sankeshwar and then local-road all the way to Gokak. Spend as much time as the heart desires at Gokak Falls and then start the long journey back to Mumbai around 2-3 PM in the afternoon. Reach Mumbai hopefully before midnight.

The better-half dislikes these 4:00 AM kind of start times. But I convinced her that we need to get out of the Pune-bypass rut before the day-traffic starts. I also had the possibility at the back of my mind, of a early morning jam on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway Khandala section due to trucks and trailers.

<plan finalized. D-day next>

Last edited by SDP : 20th August 2011 at 22:57.
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Old 20th August 2011, 21:43   #3
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Default Re: 2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue

D-day - Saturday 30th July 2011

Because of the anxiety of the trip, I had a shallow sleep and got up 3-4 times during the night. Everytime I had woken up, I had heard the sound of heavy rains seeping through the bedroom windows. Finally, got up at 3am and started getting ready. Wife got up 5 mins later and we looked outside the window. Seemed like the rain-gods had poured some extra blessing on the city over the night and we could see mega-size puddles outside.

What if we get stuck somewhere? Should we actually venture out in such a weather? Afterall its a trip with very little investment in planning, no booking done etc. So not much to lose. Standard heart v/s head dillema. The head says 'NO', the heart says 'Let's Go'. After a short debate, we (or was that I ) opted for the heart's decision. There was a distinct possibility of hearing 'I told you so' later in the day, but I was mentally prepared for it :-)

Apart from the heavy rains, it was a near flawless start of the day, with the kids getting up with no tantrums at such an odd hour and everybody ready in about an hour's time.

4:20am -> Loaded the car with bags and started from Mulund.

Its raining heavily. In about 10 minutes we cross the Airoli toll naka The traffic is noticeably slow for this odd hour. Reached the junction in Airoli where you join the Thane-Belapur road. There is about a feet of water under the railyway bridge. Vehicles are crossing one at a time. Cautiously crossed that junction. The rain started lashing harder. The progress is slow. Just before Mahape junction, the same situation. The entire section of road is submerged in at least 1 feet deep water. Better-half in the backseat is getting tense. The debate reopens and I seriously consider taking a U-turn and going back. I reassure her that just because its pouring in Mumbai does not mean that its the same situation in Pune-Satara-Kolhapur. This was the 4th consecutive Saturday when I was doing the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and had noticed that once you descend from Lonavala, the rain becomes tame. Told her that experience and crawled forward.

In the next 5 minutes, we are somewhere around Turbhe and my Alto's horn stops working. Brilliant!

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Old 20th August 2011, 22:45   #4
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Default Re: 2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue

A little bit of flashback.

Preparing the car for the trip:
We have a 2004 Alto which has recently crossed the 50K mark. It has reached a stage where at any point of time, some or the other small thing is not working optimally. Begining of the year, the coolant had leaked once and the car was getting hot. Went to Spectra-Ghatkopar for getting it fixed and they told me that even for running-repairs, I need to take an appointment. I vouched not to step into Spectra ever. After a exhorbitant quote from Powai Auto Works, got the job done at a local mechanic. Then there was the issue of the brake fluid level dropping and the hand-brake signal glowing. That was in Feb-11. A 250ml bottle of DOT-3 brake-fluid became a permanent resident in the can-holder of the car (and amongst friends it had become a joke that my favourite drink is dot-3 ). Got that problem fixed and it went away for a few months, only to resurface sometime in June-end.

Anyways, since the 50K service was due, got the servicing done by a local mechanic 2 days before the trip. (Spectra had called up a week back about scheduling an appointment for the 50K service and there was some wicked satisfaction when I told them that I will get it done from somewhere else.) A front shock-absorber was also replaced as it was making too much of a noise. He also checked the brake-cylinders for leakage and did not find anything. He just topped up the brake fluid and dismissed it as the lining getting thinner. Some of the loose screws of the dash, doors and speakers were tightened and almost all of the rattles went away. I was quite happy with the service and repair job. The tires were replaced in June. So overall the car was in a as-good-as-it-gets shape just before this trip.

So that's why the horn giving up within the first 25 kms of the journey came as a surprise. With the back-seat already tensed up because of the heavy downpour and potential flooding, decided not to disclose this malfunction. Made a mental note to get it repaired somewhere in Satara. I am such a heavy user of horn (I prefer being deaf to dead) that even after knowing that the horn is not working, the thumb was doing its job of pressing the horn every now and then.

5:05am -> We are at Kalamboli, the starting point of the Mumbai-Pune expressway. It has taken us around 15 minutes more (50% more) than usual. But its OK. We are in no big hurry.

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Old 20th August 2011, 23:37   #5
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Default Re: 2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue

Its still dark outside and the rain is thick. Proceeded cautiously on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Last year's Bosch wiper blades are doing a mediocre job. The windshield is fogging up every now and then and a blast of cold air from the AC is clearing it up. Progress is slow, mostly in 80s. Luckily, no queue at the Khalapur toll-naka. Zoomed past the food-court only to meet the stand-still traffic at Khandala. It was painful watching trailers crawling at 10km/hr in the "fast"-lane trying to overtake another monster doing 8 km/hr. It dawned in the mean time, but a curtain of fog robbed us of a view of the Kune falls from the expressway.

30 minutes later we are out of the crippling traffic jam and the sky is opening up.
Exited the Pune expressway at 7am.
Pretty uneventful stretch on the pune-bypass and by 7:25 we are out of the new Katraj tunnel.

The kids are still asleep in the backseat. Its been 3 hours since we started. I generally have breakfast around 7:30 in the morning. Pune outskirts and Satara are still sleepy and we start looking out for a decent place for breakfast. We have been to a McD somewhere around this area in the past. We spot the place again. But we are no big fans of McD's breakfast menu and choose to skip it for something more 'indian'. Too early in the day to get your arteries choked up with grease

8:05 AM -> Stopped for breakfast, forgot the name of the hotel.

Finally, finally, finally the D90 comes out! From next post onwards, less babble, more pictures.

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Old 21st August 2011, 07:29   #6
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Default Re: 2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue

Ordered south-Indian breakfast and settled down.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0626.jpg

Exploring the hotel-cum-shop till the food arrives.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0629.jpg

A good 20 minutes later the food arrives.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0632.jpg

The kids are wide awake now and in good mood.
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Not sure why part of the kitchen was on display.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0634.jpg

Our humble Alto
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Kids were more interested in exploring the hotel rather than having breakfast. There was a children's play area with a slide and all, but it was all muddy.

After a good 50 minutes later, we started back. Yes, 50 minutes for breakfast.

I was a person who used to treat eating as a necessary evil, something that you have to finish fast and move on to more interesting things like absorbing the vistas and clicking snaps. So typically breakfast used to be 15 minute affair. Gobble up large chunks of food and wash it down with a soft-drink or plain water. Never used to mind picking up a take-out or munching on junk-food while travelling as an alternative to proper breakfast/snacks. During bachelor times, had friends with similar thinking.

The better-half has a strong dislike for this thinking. She believes that when you make a trip, you are there to enjoy. You are there to have a break from the daily grind. Even the journey is part of the trip. So just relax and let things happen at a leasurely pace. I agree and that's how breakfast time moved from 15 minutes to 30-35 minutes 10 years back. And then we had finiky kids! That's how, breakfasts are a 50-60 minute affair nowadays. Its not that bad if you take care of this aspect while planning itself.

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Old 21st August 2011, 08:26   #7
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Default Re: 2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue

8:55 AM -> Restarted after breakfast.

Its a bit cloudy and there is a very light drizzle once in while. But things are looking much brighter as compared to the start of the trip. The tension vanished and the mood definitely elevated quite a few notches after the good breakfast.

View from the Khambatki ghat. That's not a road. Most likely a canal.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0640.jpg

In the distance you can see a large waterbody. Not sure if its a lake.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0642.jpg

A closer look at the canal.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0644.jpg

Khambatki ghat is one-way. During my first trip on this road (4-5 years back), I did not realize that its a one way road and left the right lane empty for oncoming traffic
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0645.jpg

9:30 AM -> Crossed Surur. Memories of taking a right from here for Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar came back.

After Surur, the hills on the left hand side have a lot of windmills.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0647.jpg

A closer look at the windmills. The day is still overcast.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0648.jpg

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Old 24th August 2011, 22:26   #8
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Default Re: 2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue

9:56 am -> Left NH4 and took a right into the Satara city.

The stretch through the Satara city was dull. Typical unplanned town bursting at seams.

At a major round-about we stop and ask for directions for Thoseghar. Take a right from the 'bogda' (a small tunnel), we are told.

After the 'bogda', the scenery changes dramatically. The sky opened up.

Love the 'blue' of the sky.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0651.jpg

Staying in Mumbai, over a period of time one tends to forget that the sky is blue and not grey.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0653.jpg

A lush green hill.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0655.jpg

The road from Satara to Thoseghar is well maintained. No potholes, no surprises.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0657.jpg

Some function at a nearby ground.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0659.jpg

A farmer working in his field.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0664.jpg

He saw me clicking. Waived at him and he waived back with a smile.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0663.jpg

The left side of the road has this beautiful valley.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0665.jpg

The road has some nice quotes.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0666.jpg

Training centre?
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0668.jpg

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Old 24th August 2011, 22:36   #9
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Default Re: 2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue

A closer look at the establishment below:
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0671.jpg

Sajjangad just 2 kms away (but not on the itinerary in this trip).
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0673.jpg

The valley with the green carpet is mesmerizing. I lost count of how many photos I clicked in this stretch.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0674.jpg

One bad thing I have noticed is the transmission towers and cellphone towers goofing up a otherwise untouched landscape.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0675.jpg

We were stopped at a police check-post. Since we have anyway stopped, got out for a photo-op.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0685.jpg

If we wouldn't have gotten out, we would have missed this beautiful view of the Urmodi dam. A lucky break!
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0677.jpg

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The dam on one side of the road and this beautiful valley on the other side. Perfect setup.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0682.jpg

We have not even reached the Thoseghar waterfall and the road itself is so beautiful. I am loving it!
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0683.jpg

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Old 26th August 2011, 22:06   #10
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11:00 AM -> Reached the parking lot at the Thoseghar waterfall.

I believe we reached early. There are only 4-5 vehicles in the parking lot. One of them is a police van. A alone guide approached and starts telling us how the area is vast and how we need to walk for 25-30 minutes to see the upper part of the fall etc etc. We ignore him, but the people from the next vehicle hire him. As we started towards the fall, noticed that 2 policemen started with us. Then we realized that these guys are there to ensure that no untoward incident happens. Good intentions!

The path to the waterfall, has been laid with steps and a railing. Quite thoughtful. This ensures that everybody follows the right path and doesn't venture onto any shortcuts which could be potentially dangerous.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0688.jpg

A 5 minute walk and we get the first glimpse of the main waterfall and the observation platform.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0691.jpg

The other 2 falls are on the right side of the platform.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0694.jpg

The flow is not much. May be it hasn't rained much in this area since last 4-5 days.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0702.jpg

A whole bunch of snaps with this and that lens follow:
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The mountains wearing a nice green velvet dress.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0713.jpg

2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0719.jpg

Wish I could go there and get drenched.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0720.jpg

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The rusted board by the forest dept is an eyesore. The guy under that umbrella has a digital camera and a small HP printer! Instant service!
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0739.jpg

The policeman in yellow raincoat keeping an eye on everybody.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0742.jpg

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Old 26th August 2011, 22:45   #11
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Suddenly the light drizzle and the cloud cover vanished and the entire scene bathed in warm sunshine. Everything looks even better now. Another session of photography ensues

2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0744.jpg

2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0745.jpg

2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0746.jpg

Started walking towards the area from where you can see the upper part of the waterfalls.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0751.jpg

Halfway through the walk, saw this enticing glimpse of the main waterfall.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0757.jpg

We cross a narrow iron bridge.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0759.jpg

Another 2 minutes walk and we reach the place.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0764.jpg

Water plunges 50-60 feet from here.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0771.jpg

See those guys down there? From there, you can have a fantastic view of the plunge. Unfortunately that area was out of bounds.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0773.jpg

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We start back and take a different route to return to the parking lot.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0780.jpg

Saw a farmer in 6-7 inches of mud.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0784.jpg

Besides the small board saying "dhabdhaba" (waterfall) and a small tapri hotel at the edge of the parking, there is nothing else. One of the few 'untouched' tourist places.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0787.jpg

We walk back by the main road to the parking lot.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0790.jpg

Rice paddy just next to the parking.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0796.jpg

Its around 12 noon. There are a lot more vehicles in the parking now. BTW, do you see my entire family in the snap?
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0800.jpg

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Old 26th August 2011, 23:20   #12
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Started back towards Satara and in all the excitement forgot that we wanted to go to Chalkewadi also.

We stop at the next place where we see a small shop and ask for directions. He says we have come the complete opposite way. He also suggests another place if it is windmills that we are after.

We take the advice and turn into a small side road. Another 2-3 minutes and we see a few windmills.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0802.jpg

A closer look. I challenge my wife if she can read the name of the windmill manufacturer. It was too small from where we were watching and even I was not able to read it . While processing the photos, zoomed in and saw "Vestas" written on the windmill. Never heard of Vestas. Heard of Suzlon and RePower on CNBC.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0806.jpg

The road is getting narrower and there are lots of potholes. So we decide not to venture any further on this road. Stopped the car and stepped out to enjoy the breeze.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0810.jpg

The kido is sad as she is not able to locate her footwear in the car and doesn't want to step out of the car without wearing her sandals.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0813.jpg

A couple of minutes later the strong wind brings in a layer of clouds/fog and the windmills disappear. We start back after another 10 minutes.
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Stopped at a few places en-route Satara for snaps.
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The telephoto lens allows me to get closer to 2 distant waterfalls.
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I think, that's the Sajjangad on the right. Need to confirm.
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Very decent road.
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A huge fallen tree. Must have stopped the traffic for at least 5-6 hours when it happened.
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Back to the 'bogda'.
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Last edited by SDP : 27th August 2011 at 00:13.
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Old 27th August 2011, 10:01   #13
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Default Re: 2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue

An we enter the Satara city, I start looking for a small garage (remember the horn that is still not working). We do not really want to 'search' a garage. If there is one on the way that we spot, we plan to stop. We stopped at one place, but the guy does not undertake any jobs besides servicing . Less effort, more money. People have got their priorities straight.

No luck with the horn. We push forward

1:22 PM -> Rejoined NH4 after exiting the Satara city

The day is getting hotter. The exhaustion from morning finally overcomes the excitement of seeing this amazing place and the three on the backseat doze off.

I start looking out for a decent place for lunch besides the garage.
2:06 PM -> We stop for lunch at Karad (Hotel Annapurna)

Goddess Annapurna at the hotel.
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The hotel looked good from outside. Inside is below average. Food is OK.

3:05 PM -> Back on the road after an hour of lunch

An occasional shower, sparse traffic. Steady speed of 100+. Love the grip of the new bridgestones. An hour later

4:04 PM -> We leave NH4 and take right for Kolhapur

In another 10 minutes, we reach the Kawla Naka (weird name because means crow). There is a statue of Rani Taramati at this circle. We take a left.
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4:15 PM -> Hotel Opal
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2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0838.jpg  


Last edited by SDP : 27th August 2011 at 22:56.
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Old 27th August 2011, 22:50   #14
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Default Re: 2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue

After about an hour, we start for the Mahalakshmi temple.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0842.jpg

We ask for broad level directions at the hotel reception, and he recommends that we not take our car and instead take an auto. Turned out to be one of the better advices I have received in my life. Traffic in Kolhapur is crazy. We take and auto, and the guy is actually driving decently. But the number of other autos and bikes/scooters that randomly cut across is alarming. I mean, I drive through bumper-to-bumper traffic in Mumbai everyday. But the recklessness in Kolhapur is something else . Even in the auto, I am sitting at the edge of the seat and really scared about the auto hitting somebody. Luckily, the adventure gets over in 15-20 minutes and we are at the temple.
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I have been to this temple earlier and absolutely love the intricate work on the walls.
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Apparently the temple is a few hundred years old.
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There are 4 grand entrances to the premises.
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A set of 'deepmalas'.
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Old 27th August 2011, 23:46   #15
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Default Re: 2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue

30th July. Its Saturday. On top of that its Amavasya. So the crowd at the temple was really thin. We got the darshan without any queue.

Even then it took me 3-4 attempts for the following snap with nobody else in the frame.
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2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0873.jpg

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A few painted pieces break the monotony of the brownish black.
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The temple has 5 'shikhar's (domes). I was told that from any angle (except aerial), you can get max 4 in the frame.
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The shop was a riot of colors. The snap does not do justice to it. Even after adjusting the mid-tones (I use the MS Office Picture Manager for PP), could not get the colors right. While clicking, a CPL would have definitely helped to saturate the colors. Next time.
2 days, 2 states, 2 waterfalls and 1025 kms without a horn: A travelogue-dsc_0897.jpg

We return to hotel around 7pm. Although some 2-3 good restaurants around the station area were recommended, because of the heavy and unruly traffic, I was not keen on venturing out too far. Also, its been a really long day. There is a place called Tandoor just 1 minute walk away from Hotel Opal. Looked promising from outside. We have a early dinner at 8:15pm. Looks like a popular place among locals. The place got jam-packed in next hour. By the time we leave, there are around at least 2-3 families waiting outside. The food, service and ambience is good. Definitely recommended. Here's a pic that I clicked the next morning.
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We go to bed around 10:15-10:30ish.

End of Day 1.

Last edited by SDP : 28th August 2011 at 11:42.
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