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Old 3rd October 2011, 22:09   #31
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Default Re: Kaas - God's own masterpiece!

@J.Ravi, @pjbiju and @Kaushik_s, thank you for the kind words.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The triveni-sangam is a place where 3 rivers meet. Unless the boat-guy announces it, you will miss it.

We move towards the Datta-mandir/Shiv-Mandir. The direction is really simple: Take a left at this green submerged tree.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_1801.jpg

We are approaching the coast.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_1813.jpg

This place is not really a island and you can reach it by road, albeit a lengthy road. We 'park' the boat and get off.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0682.jpg

I see a big Nandi. Ah, the shiva-temple should be nearby.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0683.jpg

Surprisingly, there is no obvious sign of a temple anywhere. And then I spot the structure below with 'keep your footwear here' sign. Who would have guessed?
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0699.jpg

The Shiva-temple is actually underground and there is a small narrow tunnel that you need to go through to reach the temple. There is no electricity (load-shedding?) and the tunnel is pitch dark. I use the D90's focussing lamp's light as a torch to cross the tunnel. Couple of photos taken with flash.

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0685.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0689.jpg

We stumble through a similar tunnel and get out from a different door. The footwear is at the first door. I will get it later. I explore the remaining places barefoot.

There is a Ganesh-temple, apparently directly above the underground shiva-lingam.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0691.jpg

Its locked, I manage to click a photo. Looks like made from marble. Never seen a white Ganesha before.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0693.jpg

I get my shoes back and ask the 2 boys (from the boat) if there is anything else to see. They take me to the Datta-mandir. No photos. There is a Shivaji statue nearby.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0706.jpg

God knows who decided to paint the eyebrows and eyes white. It was giving a ghoulish look to the otherwise impressive statue.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0708.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0700.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0702.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0698.jpg

I quickly go down the steps, wash my feet and shoes and then just sit there with my feet in water. Simple pleasures of life!
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0701.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0710.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0712.jpg

Its been some 20 minutes. Time to go back. There's the Nandi again. I use the flash and as expected, the snap shows too much reflected light.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0719.jpg

I try a different angle without the flash.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0721.jpg

The result is worse. The water in the background is washed out (no pun intended) and the Nandi is completely underexposed. Mental note: I should seriously get into HDRs.

A last attempt with better light.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0722.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0725.jpg

Got into the boat and we say goodbye to the coast. Beautiful, tranquil place. Next time I will be here with my family.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0730.jpg

Last edited by SDP : 3rd October 2011 at 22:21.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 23:37   #32
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Default Re: Kaas - God's own masterpiece!

Beautiful log SDP. Thanks for sharing...
It is great to see places on TBHP which otherwise be unheard of or at-least not known even to more discernible travelers.
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Old 4th October 2011, 13:50   #33
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@kbaree, Thank you!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I put my hand outside the boat and water splashes on it. Cold clean water, feels nice. I attempt to capture that 'feel' in a few snaps. A few photos of the hand with and without splash (pun intended ) follow.

I liked this one with the calm water as the background. Anyone from fellow TBHPians into Palmistry?
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0742.jpg

The watch is a distraction. I remove it and try again.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0743.jpg

I see a few windmills atop a hill.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0751.jpg

That's the Bamnoli temple.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0752.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0753.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0755.jpg

That's the same house I saw earlier. I don't know why, but cars somehow don't look out of place in such surroundings.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0757.jpg

I like the pastel shades of the temple.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0759.jpg

The Bamnoli boat-club is approaching fast.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0760.jpg

Trivia: During the smalltalk while on the boat, I came to know that the boat consumes just 1.5 lt diesel for the ride to Datta-mandir and back!

04:50PM -> Back to Bamnoli after one hour fifty minutes. This was supposed to be a one and half hour ride. Got the much needed rest for the feet.

Mental note: Next time, do the boat trip even later in the day and try to catch the sunset while being on the boat. That would be awesome.

I start back towards Satara. Seems like the weather god is undecided about his next show. So its cloudy for a few minutes and then the sky clears up only to make way for a light drizzle and overcast sky again. I stop at a few places for clicking snaps.

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0763.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0764.jpg

The backwater looks beautiful.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0765.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0769.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0770.jpg

That's Bamnoli. See the Bamnoli temple standing tall?
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0775.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0776.jpg

Is that Tapola? Light green colored land on the top-right?
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0781.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0778.jpg

05:26PM -> I reach Kaas lake. Have tea at a mobile-stall and pick up a plate of pakodas.

I walk over to the lake. Its quite crowded.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0786.jpg

I sit down by the lake and finish the pakodas.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0788.jpg

In another 10 minutes, I start from there. Its getting late. Couple of shots during this leg.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0793.jpg

Doen't that car look lovely in that setup?
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0796.jpg

Last edited by SDP : 4th October 2011 at 14:05.
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Old 4th October 2011, 15:47   #34
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Default Re: Kaas - God's own masterpiece!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Anyone from fellow TBHPians into Palmistry? [/b]
Attachment 820967[/center]

Ok,
i will try,
its your left palm,
you are very good in photography and one day you will be awarded best nature photographer in India or atleast on bhp,
if you keep writing like this one, you have better chance to receive Booker prize,
you will come back to this place next year with your loved ones.
Next year, show me your right palm for further investigation.
Dakshina please!!
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Old 4th October 2011, 16:57   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
Ok,
i will try,
its your left palm,
you are very good in photography and one day you will be awarded best nature photographer in India or atleast on bhp,
if you keep writing like this one, you have better chance to receive Booker prize,
you will come back to this place next year with your loved ones.
Next year, show me your right palm for further investigation.
Dakshina please!!
Ashish,
That is truely hillarious! I am sitting in office with a wide grin on my face. I was pretty sure, I would get caught on the 'left hand' part.
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Old 4th October 2011, 20:35   #36
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Default The sunset

05:58PM -> I crossed Kaas plateau on my way back. Faced a 5 minute traffic jam at the plateau where all vehicles came to a standstill because of 3 cars parked incorrectly. I see a LOT more people on the plateau now and the police are struggling to enforce vehicle discipline.

The last hour or so, there are quite a few dark clouds gathered in the sky and the sun is no longer visible. I keep on driving without any real expectation of a great sunset.

06:15ish PM -> The sun (behind the clouds) is behind me and I am moving towards Satara. And then the sun decided to surprise me again, for the second time in the same day. It started showing me a trailer of a good sunset in the rear view mirror. Are my tinted windows playing a prank with me OR is it really the sun who has started painting the sky with some fantastic shades?

I finally stop to investigate.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0798.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0802.jpg

The sun makes an appearance.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0804.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0807.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0811.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0812.jpg

The rays scatter around the clouds.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0813.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0814.jpg

This is too much. I was not expecting this.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0815.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0816.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0817.jpg

I click a few snaps with my car in the frame.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0818.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0819.jpg

The show is far from over.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0821.jpg

Mental note: Next time, sunset on the plateau itself.

After some good 10 minutes of enjoying the spectacle, I finally get back in the car and start towards Satara.

The rest of the drive is uneventful, except for an Alto who seemed to be in too much of a hurry and was protesting with a honk everytime I used to brake to avoid bumping into the ANHC right in front of me. I let him pass.

As I start descending towards the 'bogda', I can see the city on my left in the valley. Its getting decently dark and I am in the mood for capturing the city in that light. Surprisingly in the city, there are no lights on. Wow, is Satara observing earth-day today? Without any lights, there is no point in clicking a snap. So I drive on without stopping.

06:42PM -> I reach the 'bogda' and take a left into the city. Its even darker now and still no lights on in any of the shops. Ah, there is a power-cut.

I drive through the darkness, stop at RajPurohit for 5 minutes for Kandi pedha. RajPurohit had a inverter/generator and is doing brisk business. I ask for Kandi pedhas and the guy at the counter gives me one. I ask if there are other varieties. He says no, just one type. I pick up 2-3 packs. The price is a bit on the higher side for such a simple sweet. Anyways. Its not too sweet, and the taste slowly grows on you.

In another 2 minutes, I reach the hotel. Its 7:00PM and the odo is showing 328.4KM.

<coming up, a weird night>

Last edited by SDP : 4th October 2011 at 20:42.
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Old 5th October 2011, 15:32   #37
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07:00PM -> I reach the hotel.

Apparently power has been restored in the city. I go to my room, freshen up. I see in the mirror. I look visibly tired, the eyes are sunken and the face is about to drop to the floor. The cool breeze throughout the day and lot of driving with open windows has taken a little bit of toll and I am feeling a bit feverish. Need to have early dinner and then pop in a paracetamol before hitting the sack.

07:45PM -> I leave the hotel for dinner.

I am in no mood for the Shiv-Sagar next door and have not seen anything decent from Powai naka onwards till the hotel. So I decide to check out the other side, towards the Satara ST stand. I am not a foodie, so I am just looking for a 'will-do' place. Less than 100 meters away, I see a hotel called Manali with the tagline "Assal Satari" (authentic Satara food). The hotel is clean, menu has good number of options.

The waiter comes to the table with a few pieces of jaggery and roasted groundnuts, apparently a local tradition of welcoming guests. I order a veg-thali and start munching the groundnuts and jaggery, its a good combination. Some 4-5 minutes later, the waiter reappears with the thali. The thali has 2 chapatis and 2-3 katoris of vegetables/dal among other things. He puts the thali in front of me with all the katoris on the near-edge and the chapatis on the far-edge.

Now, I do understand that how a plate/thali is to be served changes from region to region. At the same time, all those practices are followed when you visit a relative or a friend and NOT necessarily when you visit a hotel. So I think, the waiter must be in hurry and placed the plate the other way round (we always have chapatis on the near-edge of the plate). I turn the thali 180 degrees and start.

Then something interesting happened. The same waiter after serving somebody else passes by my table. He notices the new orientation of my plate and he rotates it back to its original position! He then tells me very nicely: that's the way you should have it. I feel like a 5 year old boy, getting a lesson in table-manners from his parents . Although a soft-boundary was crossed, since the gentleman was quite cordial about the way he did it, I did not mind. The food was OK; again, very good chapatis.

In another 15 minutes, I am outside the eatery. I decide to take a walk and explore the nearby area. I continue on the same road and see the Satara ST stand after about 100 meters. The area is abuzz with activity, a couple of lodges, lots of sweet shops advertising Satata specialty kandi-pedha. Should I buy more kandi-pedhas from one of these shops? I am trying to lose weight, so I avoid the temptation, next time may be.

I take a leisurely walk back to the Hotel where I am put up for the night.

<to be continued>

PS: Satara has street lighting only on some of the major roads. By-lanes are by default not lit. So wandering around at night is not advisible.

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Old 5th October 2011, 21:40   #38
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08:30PM -> I reach back the hotel room.

Put the TV on and one of the local channels is showing "Bodyguard". I have not seen the movie, have just read the review on TheVigilIdiot. So I instantly recognize the scene where a RC helicopter is chasing Kareena. Then Salman Khan rips out the door of a SUV (Fortuner?) and throws it at a bad guy, with similar ease with which you and me would throw a Frisbee at a friend. Then he is fighting with his eyes closed, purely based on his 3D hearing, a la Jean-Claude Van Damme in Bloodsport. Its a continuous string of 'awesomeness'. By this time, I am ROTFLMAO. I always wonder, what is the IQ-group that the makers of such movies target?

I can not take it any more, I switch to another local channel which is apparently trying to promote tourism in Satara. Its showing video footage of the Thoseghar fall and the amateurishness is glaring. I mean, even if I have to show a 5 minute clip to my sister, I would at least edit out footage where the camera is mistakenly on and is shooting the feet of people and other randomness. Anyways, at least the background music is soothing, so I leave the channel on minimum volume and doze off.

Around 02:30AM, I wake up and I am not able to go back to sleep again. After trying for some time, I finally get up and put the TV on. I am wide awake now and flipping through channels desperately trying to find something interesting.
And then unexpectedly there is a loud shriek, quite similar to a dog howling, but longer. I dismiss it as a stray dog. But, there was some element of 'human' in that shriek. Then I start wondering: it sounded like coming from the building in which I am and not from outside. Somebody turning into a werewolf?
It was definitely high-pitched, so definitely not male, may be a woman or a child.
While I am reaching the conclusion that the shriek was indeed from a human source, I hear it for the second time, a shorter one this time. Definitely human and definitely from inside the hotel! Then I hear some voices and movement in the corridor. Sounds like somebody had a nasty nightmare or a fit and somebody else is helping her. Should I open the door and check it out, possibly offer help? I couldn't gather enough courage, and stay put .

More flipping through the channels and I settle down on a episode of some crime series that I have never seen before (Castle). Fantastic episode, beautifully woven mystery and extremely logical. After finishing the episode, I check for hot-water in the bathroom. No luck. Its about 4:30AM. I want to get a bath and leave the hotel around 5:30AM. I keep on checking after every 15 minutes. After 4-5 tries, still no luck. Finally around 06:00AM I decide to go out and enquire about it. I open the door and there is no light in the really long corridor. I somehow lock the door in the mobile's light and come to the stairs (I am on 3rd floor). There are a couple of helpers sleeping on a sofa-set. I decide to go all the way down to the reception. A dim light at reception and its apparently unmanned. The main door is wide open. The night shift manager is sleeping on the floor behind the reception desk. No point waking him up, I walk back to 3rd floor. One of the helper guys have woken up by now. I ask him for hot water and he replies: 6:30.

I patiently wait till 6:30AM. In the mean time, sun rises outside. I am happy that the weird night is over. I get ready, pack my bag and reach reception for check-out by 6:50AM.

PS : The checkout experience was really bad and left a nasty taste in the mouth. This being a happy thread, don't want to talk about it now. Would briefly cover it at the end of the log.

<coming up: bird watching early in the morning and Sajjangad>

Last edited by SDP : 5th October 2011 at 22:09.
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Old 6th October 2011, 15:26   #39
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Day 2 (25th Oct 2011)

07:10AM -> Checked out from hotel and started towards 'bogda'.

Its too late to go to Kaas for the 2nd time. I decide rather to spend quality time at Sajjangad, Chalkewadi and Thoseghar.

While going towards the 'bogda', I keep an eye on any decent restaurants for breakfast. Its Sunday morning, the sleepy town is slowly coming alive. I see a couple of small hotels, but they look like they have just opened. I shelve the plans for a early breakfast and drive on.

After crossing the bogda, I stop at a beautiful place for a few snaps.

The direction of the light is not in my favour and sky comes out white-washed.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0830.jpg

I pan to the right and the result is slightly better.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0833.jpg

That's my car seeking wisdom under a banyan tree.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0834.jpg

Such is the power of the morning light that even simple mountains and trees look exquisite.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0835.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0836.jpg

Then I see a farm and a lot of yellow flowers lining the road.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0837.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0838.jpg

Ah, there are sunflowers also.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0839.jpg

Till now I was clicking from the car with a zoom lens. But the sunflowers look quite inviting. I park the car and walk towards the farm. (I have to be a little careful lest I would step into something awful )
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0841.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0842.jpg

I see a kite flying pretty low.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0840.jpg

A sunflower. Overexposed! I mean the shot and not the sunflower .
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0843.jpg

Tried to isolate it better and correct the over-exposure.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0844.jpg

More shots follows:
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0846.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0847.jpg

Is this 'jawar' or 'bajra'? Someone knows?
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0848.jpg

Have a closer look.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0849.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0850.jpg

Some flowers.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0851.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0852.jpg

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A few parting shots.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0855.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0858.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0857.jpg


Last edited by SDP : 6th October 2011 at 15:31.
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Old 6th October 2011, 20:08   #40
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A little bit further, I stop again. There is a colourful field by the side of the road.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0859.jpg

I get closer, but still could not figure out whether it is some grain or some vegetable or something else.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0860.jpg

See that tree on the right side? Fall-colours?
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0863.jpg

Spotted a green bee-eater.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0866.jpg

I am getting closer to Sajjangad.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0870.jpg

After ascending a bit, I see the fog-blanket again.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0873.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0874.jpg

The road towards Sajjangad/Thoseghar has a valley on the left and small bushes on the road side.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0875.jpg

I see a few birds on those small bushes/trees on this stretch. This one seemed to belong to the dove family.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0876.jpg

This one quite beautiful, but very alert. Did not allow me to get closer for a better shot.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0881.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0884.jpg

I must have stopped at least 10 times during this half KM stretch to watch and click birds. The kind of flexibility and freedom that you have when you have started early is to die for.

Another one.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0891.jpg

One of the flags on Sajjangad.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0893.jpg


08:00AM -> I park at the Sajjangad parking and start climbing the steps.

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_1048.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0908.jpg

Here are some interesting flowers that I notice while climbing.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0898.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0900.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0901.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0903.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0906.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0914.jpg

Last edited by SDP : 6th October 2011 at 20:17.
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Old 6th October 2011, 22:34   #41
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There is a small temple along the way.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0923.jpg

Another bird.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0922.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0924.jpg

Finally, I reach the first 'maha-dwar' (major gate) called 'Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahadwar'. One of the few pictures where I am happy with the CPL's performance.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0927.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0928.jpg

As I approach the gate, I saw two people jumping to the side.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0929.jpg

Of course, anybody with 2 horns has the right of way.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0931.jpg

Watch your head here.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0933.jpg

A few more steps and then there's the second 'maha-dwar' (Shree Samartha Mahadwar). Loved how the CPL deepened the sky in this snap.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0934.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0936.jpg

The timings.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0937.jpg

Map and detailed information.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0938.jpg

"More input" - Johny-5
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0940.jpg

Spotted a new bird.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0945.jpg

Beautiful colours.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0946.jpg

The final arch, finally in sight.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0941.jpg

The flag of the Marathas.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0948.jpg

Views of the valley below.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0950.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0951.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0952.jpg

Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0953.jpg

That's the road to Thoseghar.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0954.jpg

Urmodi dam.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0955.jpg

A closer look.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0957.jpg

Sajjangad's parking. I thought I was early, but my Alto is the last vehicle parked just ahead of the orange coloured bus.
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0958.jpg

I try the telephoto and get really close to the Urmodi dam. What is this structure anyway?
Kaas - God's own masterpiece!-dsc_0961.jpg

Last edited by SDP : 6th October 2011 at 22:39.
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Old 7th October 2011, 07:02   #42
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Default Re: Kaas - God's own masterpiece!

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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
As I approach the gate, I saw two people jumping to the side.
Oh god! Two people?
I was toying with "two guys" and "people".

Please read the line as "I saw people jumping to the side."

Last edited by SDP : 7th October 2011 at 07:09.
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Old 7th October 2011, 21:58   #43
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Default Sajjangad


Snaps taken while exploring the Sajjangad
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Some old structure.
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The main temple where the 'samadhi' of Shree Samaratha Ramdas Swami is located.
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The temple is beautiful and pleasantly cold. No photos allowed. The idol is at the ground level and the 'samadhi' is just under it. I sit in the mandap for 2 minutes. There is an elaborate puja going on in the small narrow room under the ground level (where the samadhi is). I walk up to the steps that lead you down and see devotees in 4 neat lines chanting mantras. Men on left, women on right. I have no intention of disturbing them. One devotee notices me and gestures, asking me to come in. I climb down 3-4 steps and sit down at the only empty place in that small mandap. I feel like a complete misfit, as I do not know neither the mantras nor any other things that they are singing. I just close my eyes and sit with a straightened back. The whole place smells amazingly good and fresh. In another minute or so, the puja comes to an end. Then everybody meditates for next couple of minutes. Complete silence, eyes still closed. I feel rejuvenated! Someone starts distributing prasad. I stretch my arm and a huge serving of delicious 'sheera' lands on my palm. The prasad is really well made and garnished with dry-fruits and safron. I have not had anything since morning, the prasad tastes even more delicious.

Accommodation arrangement for the devotees.
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Bhojanalay.
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Ramdas Swami.
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Followers of Ramdas Swami.
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A few more structures on Sajjangad.
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Finally, a clean restroom. This could arguably be the only clean restroom across the 5 places I visited: Kaas, Bamnoli, Thoseghar, Chalkewadi and Sajjangad. So a must visit place.
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Last edited by SDP : 7th October 2011 at 22:09.
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Old 7th October 2011, 22:43   #44
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Default Sajjangad: continued


A few vistas, clicked from Sajjangad.
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That's the Urmodi Dam again.
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A ST bus coming towards Satara (from Thoseghar side).
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Aren't you fed up of seeing the Urmodi dam again and again in this TL? I promise, this is the last one!
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He he.
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I finish the photography session and find a place for breakfast.
My company for the breakfast: the Prime, the Telephoto and the Reversing-ring.
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I start back. Notice this bird on the way back.
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See that last snap? That's one of the 'shlok' written by Ramdas Swami. A loose translation: Understand what others are thinking and act in accordance with that. Keep on evaluating and judging people in different ways!

I was zapped for a moment. Now, I know that Ramdas Swami was not a typical 'saint'. From whatever little I know, he was quite progressive, believed in building a strong body, believed in discipline and self-reliance. And he was the mentor for Shivaji Maharaj and played a huge role in his life.

The 'shlok' above, isn't that what we learn as part of 'people management'? He has written it a few hundred years back! Salute to a great intellectual!

Last edited by SDP : 7th October 2011 at 22:51.
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Old 8th October 2011, 06:11   #45
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Default Re: Kaas - God's own masterpiece!

A final note on Ramdas Swami.

Seems like he was extremely intelligent and had sorted out his priorities really well. A story goes that while getting married, just before the final ritual , he ran away from the marriage.

If that is not a sign of superior intelligence, then I don't know what is!
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