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Old 8th April 2012, 21:48   #1
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Default Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

Nothing was fixed till the last moment on the morning of 5th April 2012 although there had been a thought lingering at the back of mind to do atleast a short quick tour and the 4 day weekend was quite tempting to do the same. Thought was to do a quick trip in couple of days thu/fri and chill out at home for the next 2, sat/sun. But frankly, with a hyperactive 6 yr brat who needs always to be controlled and in middle of the starting school days for next grade and a 5 mth equally hyper to be brat in the lap, not much was thinkable in the already rising heat of this summer.

Still the thoughts were getting concentrated on either up to Saputara or Bhandardara. Having never been to Saputara, it was becoming main contender although did not have any high hopes from Saputara given the summer situation. Tried getting reservations on Wed 4 Apr 2012 but the calls did not connect and that brought up 5 Apr morning still without any reservations for atleast a night halt. Finally around 9-10 am connected to Savshanti Resort at Saputara and they confirmed to having availability only for 5 Apr night and next 3 days full. They quoted all incl 2100 with discounted rate without the meals. Well, something was better than nothing. So right away firmed up the plan and got packing and readying for the tour. Immediately also thought if Saputara does not work out well in this blistering summer and if no further acco becomes available, will head out to Daman and check acco there and then head back to Mum as per the impromptu plan as it will firm up on way.

Checked out route map on Google and made mental note of how to go about, was pretty plain and simple as such and set the routes in the E72 gmaps with legs of Powai-Saputara, Saputara-Daman and Daman-Powai.

The final route map came out to this after the entire tour, thanks to google maps and my handy E72.

Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip-powai-saputara-daman-powai-google-maps.jpg

Leg 1: 5 Apr - Powai - Nashik - Saputara (A[/F] - B)
Leg 2: 6 Apr - Saputara - Daman (B - C)
Leg 3: 6 Apr - Daman - Devka - Jampore (C - D - E)
Leg 4: 6 Apr - Jampore - Powai (E - F[/A])

The Log of the tour:

Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip-powaisaputaradamanpowai-log.jpg

Last edited by parsh : 8th April 2012 at 22:16.
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Old 8th April 2012, 23:12   #2
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

So off we started getting ready for the quick tour, with packing stuff, foodies, water bottles et al and finally taking out the car at 10:53 AM from stilt. And as soon as we take her out realize the fuel needle reads less than half the tank mark. So off we head to Vikroli Gulati PP and tank her belly to the brim and back to Gandhi Nagar jn and then onto the Eastern Express H/W. Cruising easily in not so much of a traffic on that holiday we make it easily to Mulund Toll and then start cruising onto the NH3 effortlessly, alas, the trucks don't want to give way as the truck traffic is just kind of overwhelmingly overflowing on that beautiful NH3 and rendering all the cruising useless, somehow, managing to squeeze in between and get past them. I feel like banging my head why on earth could I not start off early morn at 7 am. But then, Der Sahi Durust Sahi and things start soothing out later on. The grudge against these truckwallas is that they block all the 3 lanes and making life miserable not even allowing to overtake from any side and leaving it to their mercy as to when they will leave any lane empty/passable. Even in the Kasara ghat, the situation was quite traumatic at certain time as a couple of huge trailers were trying to make their way and that too blocking the lanes inadvertently. Nevertheless, we make Nashik pretty well by about 1:40 PM. Spend some time scouting for famous Nashik chiwda and malai pedhas and a decent but non-crowded rest/dhaba for lunch stop. We manage to grab a couple of packets of the Kondaji Chiwda, the so called famous Nashik Chiwda (if famous Nashik Chiwda is any other one, kindly let me know, intend to pick up when next there) but literally come out of Nashik hoping to catch a next good lunch base ending with no lunch stop yet.

Finally, at the outskirts after the population is ceased on the way find probably the last dhaba as it may be, Hotel Saini Park. With only a few Policewallas and a family having lunch there, we take a chance to stop there. It seems to be a good decision to stop there. Although the rice and dal were just so-so, the tava paratha (maida, would have preferred wheat) and freshly made delicious bhendi fry and shevchi bhaji sumptuously fill our bellies.

The summer is seen to have settled very well already with the condition of the surroundings with barren views most of the way. Most of these snaps on way have been clicked by my 6yr old brat and few by my better half from inside the car while on run and definitely not by me while managing the drive.

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Last edited by parsh : 9th April 2012 at 12:37.
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Old 9th April 2012, 11:20   #3
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

The Drive so far was pretty cool, satisfying inspite of the the truck blocking the roads etc, road pretty smooth all through except for the Nashik pass-thru which was a bit messy due to the flyover construction in progress, but still not so bad especially because it did not have bad ditches and had very rare traffic due to being the holiday.

Freshly made hot food at Hotel Saini Park also freshened us a lot and we were soon on way to Saputara.

Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip-p1100159_1024x1024.jpg

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Finally touched base at Saputara Entry Circle, Nashik End at 5 PM. The summer was showing at its peak even at 5 PM and did not see any respite inspite of being on the Hill Station, though there was a soothing breeze. The lake came forward soon and the first thought was OMG, Powai Lake is like a sea for us No offence meant pls. But those were my thoughts. Blame it on the season and a wrong season at that I guess, the place was quite an eye sore. But we were glad we made the trip here as we got it lapped as one of our destinations and to see how it actually is in the Summer times.

Thought, since we have tentative reservation, lets just roam around and have a peek at the place while there is light, so drove down to the other end Circle towards Waghai. On way saw the small stalls lined up on the right side of the road where one could have small fast food, bhel-puri, fruits etc. At the Circle the signboards suggested some points on both directions, Sunrise/Rose Garden on right and Sunset point on left. Drove towards the Rose Garden on right side of the circle but not much seemed interesting in that blistering heat towards that side. Came back and started driving towards the Sunset point direction. Saw some people boating in the lake.

Finally after taking quite a round-about (I realized later) landed on the bridge below the Saputara Sunset Point. This point can be reached directly and shorter way from the first Circle too.

Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip-p1100177_1024x1024.jpg

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Presently, the slope widening work was going on blocking the road up to sunset point table-top parking (did not know before I straightaway drove up without worrying about parking which was a bad decision, seems like a few days still to go) and hence the vehicles could not be driven up to the sunset point table-top parking. So the vehicles were being parked from midway of slope. And this is a pretty steep slope gradient for a small part of 30-40 feet, in case you get stuck midway be ready to control properly and with presence of mind. And I did have to stop abruptly mid-way on this very slope as I came to the point where widening work was going on right ahead without any barricades, the boulders dug out from the hillside, the cars parked on either side and bad gravel patch on the road. So it was only my car stranded literally on the 30-40 degree gradient mid-way, posing the dangerous situation of slippage having poised right on the big gravel patch. Nevertheless, did some back and forth slowly and turned her from facing upward to completely downwards and drove down to the bridge that is on level where the car parking had already come upto by now. Parked there and we got down to do the walk up the steep slope to the sunset point table-top.
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Old 9th April 2012, 11:40   #4
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

Taking a view of the valley and the rope-way as we climbed up the slope, just near the top.

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The present parking lot with the table-top inaccessible

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A pack of brats, we are too(2) cool

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The first table-top is where you get to enjoy Camel, Horse rides on the nearly flat table-top and also some muchies including roasted corn etc. We did not care about those but wanted a nice calm place so up we headed to the second table-top.

Way up the second table-top, less frequented by people, atleast that time, and quite a serene place to be.

Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip-p1100205_1024x1024.jpg

Moonscapes were already showing up even without the Sun showing any signs of setting, it was just the pournima the next day.

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And shadow play was starting to look pretty good too.

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Last edited by parsh : 9th April 2012 at 11:49.
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Old 9th April 2012, 11:58   #5
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

Upper table-top offers some really serene, pleasing views and I am sure it must breathtaking in the monsoons, maybe another trip for that later.

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The Sun had still some time to play around so we could adore the rear views a bit more.

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Old 9th April 2012, 12:28   #6
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

Finally, the sunset was all over the place with its glory...it would be much different in monsoons but this too wasn't less enchanting.

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Well, might as well eat up this delicious gems now that its work is done for the day.

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It was getting dark and we decided to head back to town to find our abode for the night there. It was 7: 29 PM by the time we walked down to the bridge where we had parked and started off from there. Drove back to the same Waghai End circle and came back all the way to the Nashik End circle. Couldn't notice any directions for Savshanti (did not deliberately call in order to see if we can find it, thinking anyways we had a tentative reservation there). Checked at Aaakar near the circle for acco and they had availability but just seemed to be too much unnecessary cost, Rs 6000+Taxes and 20% disc incl meals, well for us for a night all those facilities did not matter, so thought of again searching for Savshanti. Saw the big Hotel Anando board at that corner and headed to the road left at the circle. And Hotel Anando was there right at the Nukkad, the steps leading up to the reception and rooms. Liked it at first glance. Went up and asked for acco and Mr Shaikh said they have Delux and Super Delux ones available at discounted rates of 2000 and 2200 resp without meals and 2400 and 2600 with meals excl taxes (normal rates on their charts were 2200 and 2600). Checked out the room, it was a climb one floor up from reception on left side directly facing the lake and immediately liked it and checked into it. Actually I must have been blinded in that night, there is a board at the first circle and Savshanti is 2nd one right inside the road to left from the circle, coming from Nashik, but this I came to know as we started driving around in the morning.

All this while, I forgot to click any night shots of the place. We had other emergency on hand, well, my wife's chappals gave way on way to table-top and we had somehow managed to do upto now. It was already past 8:15PM and so we had to rush to find a chappal shop soon before market closing. Drove to market where the stalls were seen earlier and saw there is no chappal shop there. Got to know it is on the side road before these stalls directly opposite Hotel Shilpi and so we retreated and went in that side road. There was a decent organized market but many of the shops had closed barring a restaurant, toy shop, a Gujrati handicraft gift articles shop and thankfully a chappal shop. Found a decent chappal without any luck for bargain at that closing time, paid 150 bucks and drove back to hotel.

Nice dinner was awaiting us at the hotel and I must really praise the meals as I did not expect such a high quality of cooking and also the quantity. The meal included, papad, big platter of salads, veg soup, veg kolhapuri, paneer makhanwala, dal fry, full bowl of sheera, tava paratha, jeera coriander rice, ice cream. All in all, worth every taste bud and ofcourse penny.

After the meals, junior wanted to try his hand at the pool and we had quite a ball at that, the pool table is kept right there in the restaurant on the podium on a side.

All in all, it was a worthwhile trip even if the monsoon magic was missing.

With the bellyfull of delicious meal, it was time to retire for the day and we bid goodnight to Saputara.

Last edited by parsh : 9th April 2012 at 13:18.
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Old 9th April 2012, 14:14   #7
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

Even if the trip was nice, especially the Ghat drive and the serene atmosphere, it was evident that not more than a night and a day could be spent there. So the plan for 6 Apr morning was to get up early and get out asap, drive around a bit and head to Daman. Tried connecting my Reliance NetConnect+ at night but its dismal performance left me with no information other than the route I had saved on E72. So it was like hit Daman, see whatever could and depending upon situation take a call if to stay there or head back to Mumbai.

So we were ready on 6 Apr by 9 AM with all things packed etc. Headed down to breakfast and checkout. Asked to get the checkout formalities done by the time we finish the breakfast.

Another great meal at the breakfast with Aloo Paratha with nice fresh curd, Veg Cutlets (4), Poha, Upma and Coffee. What more does Marathi man wants? Trupt Aatman. Just one word, WAW!

The hotel room proved to be quite cosy and with a decent view to the lake.

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The hotel restaurant and pool table

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Junior has some pool time too.

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Asked for checkout and the bill was 2800 all incl. Now it really felt like a great deal and not just good especially with the nice room with a view and sumptuous meals at both Dinner and Breakfast.

View from top of stairs near Reception at Hotel Anando.

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The way to the sunset point right in front of hotel going to left.

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After some photoshoot around and elder junior having some fun on the slides in the hotel garden, left for the drive around.

Last edited by parsh : 9th April 2012 at 14:25.
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Old 9th April 2012, 14:38   #8
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

The Nageshwar Temple on the road to sunset point

Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip-20120406-10.08.32_1024x768.jpg

Jungle has become pretty barren leave aside the red leafed trees. What are they called? Spotted them on way through the Waghai ghats as well.

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Nashik End Entry circle, Hotel Anando board, it is on the road leading left

Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip-p1100340_1024x1024.jpg

The road leading inside the town, right side is the Aakar, Lords Inn hotel.

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The Saputara Lake from the road side

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Distant mountain ranges

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The roadside fast food and fruit stalls

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Approaching the Waghai End Exit circle

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Last edited by parsh : 9th April 2012 at 14:41.
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Old 9th April 2012, 14:52   #9
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

Drove around a bit from the Waghai Circle and towards sunrise point road.

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Before the sunrise point hill, there is this nicely sculpted Jain Mandir, views of valley from behind are also really nice and monsoons must be bringing glory to it.

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With a round of the town, came back to the Waghai End Exit circle.
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Old 9th April 2012, 16:30   #10
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

The Waghai End Exit circle point, Waghai is 51 kms as per the board and all of it is Ghat and as the drive ahead showed a very enjoyable Ghat except for a few glitches where the bridge is under construction on the river...drive safely though and do not get lost in the surroundings

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Some colorful soothing to eyes at the exit, nice orange Goganvel and spiked yellow flowers

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immediately after the Saputara exit, just a stop on shoulder on the corner to peek into valley and view of the road

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nice huts setting in the valley

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the snaky road down into the ghat immediately after the Saputara exit

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nice village setting in the valley

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the road to be caught down in the valley after the first ghat section ends

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Last edited by parsh : 9th April 2012 at 16:31.
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Old 9th April 2012, 16:52   #11
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

The drive through the Ghat is indeed immensely pleasurable and could be a bird watcher's paradise, however, we had no time right now to explore that but decided to enjoy the drive all the same.

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The Red Leafed Tree...

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quite a few Zendu farms too on the way

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on way quite a few pleasant green corridors bring much desired relief from the blinding sunlight

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Finally landed on Daman's doorstep thru Vapi

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Last edited by parsh : 9th April 2012 at 16:54.
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Old 9th April 2012, 17:58   #12
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

The little one asks now where? We say lets drive to wherever...and we head off to explore Nani Daman

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But alas, the Daman Beach and Kadaiya area just make us go away

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We don't drive beyond Kadaiya village to explore and return from there.

BUT, we do find something interesting as we start back; some cool monsters in disguise, and then suddenly we start seeing them at many places like guardians among the trees.

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So is the Devka Beach an eye-sore and repulsive to even think about jumping onto it, still people were present on the beach in quite a few nos in the shanty stalls there for some fish and energizers ( you know what I mean, its barred on the forum) and we can make it why because this is the only place nearest to Gujrat where some energizers are banned and so it is logical...so back we retreat to find something worthwhile.

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Till now our bellies have been content with the heavy and delicious dose of breakfast from Anando but now a little bit of craving started to creep in and so started another hunt for a place edible enough for the kid. We retreated back and forth and found Hotel Dariya Darshan restaurant. It was completely empty except for us, which was logical given the time was nearly 3:45 PM . Got down to table and ordered some quickies, Veg Hakka Noodles and Egg Fried Rice and Tava fried Pomphret. Hmmm, man it really turned out to be another good stop, wouldn't call it excellent per se but nice meals for sure and we feasted upon it to fill our bellies decently, had some munchies in car in case required on way.

From there got directions to better spots of Moti Daman, Fort, Jampore Beach and off we went down South to the bifurcation of Nani and Moti Daman.
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Old 9th April 2012, 18:25   #13
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

Driving along, we come across the Nani - Moti Daman connecting bridge and head off to the Fort on the Moti Daman Jetty. Actually there are 2 forts. The Nani Daman fort is small one on the Nani Daman Jetty and on the opposite end of the bay in-between, there is the bigger Fort at Moti Daman Jetty. People can commute between the two via boats or through trains or via the connecting bridge we came thru by vehicles or on foot.

Vehicles go as far as upto the Jetty wall.

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The bay, harbor, jettys and the train link bridge.

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The distant 2nd Fort Gate to come to Jetty. Another way is to come thru the road that goes on right between the white pillars seen here.

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Old 9th April 2012, 19:02   #14
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

The New Light House standing tall outside the fort on the shore.

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Sun still shone brightly high, so had reason to believe had decent time on hand to check out the fort inside and then run across 5 kms to Jampore beach to enjoy the sea and sunset.

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Outer fort walls, some inner structures and also the Old Light House inside the fort still stand strong, testimony of time.

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Fishing lineup

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Seemed like a majestic fort in its hayday but in shambles now dirtied by the you don't know whos, housing mostly government offices and residences inside.

You can drive inside the fort towards the Old Light House in fort

Ruins of the fort further ruined by the non-maintenance and non caring attitude of the people.

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Old 9th April 2012, 19:12   #15
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Default Re: Powai - Saputara - Daman - Powai, 5-6 April 2012 Zipped Trip

Ruins still standing strong and tall. However the spiral stair seemingly fitted afterwards inside to climb up the tower does not seem to stand though and you have to make way up to top meticulously and make sure not to cut with the stair iron or even the rusted sharp opening square frame atop to get on the top.

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