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Old 28th August 2012, 01:18   #16
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Default Re: An unplanned long-weekend trip to Bhandardara-Igatpuri

SDP, Nice travelogue, Wonderful narration with the pictures, It gives the feeling to the readers that they are at that place while reading.

The pictures are mesmerizing & your "DUMA" has got stunning Looks

Thanks for sharing

Cheers

Josh

Last edited by joshuakeys : 28th August 2012 at 01:22.
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Old 28th August 2012, 12:05   #17
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Default Re: An unplanned long-weekend trip to Bhandardara-Igatpuri

Hello SDP,

Another long weekend, another trip... lucky you. Two weekend trips in single month Seems your new XUV (Duma) is motivating you to enjoy the outdoors at their best. We just finished enjoying your Panchgani Travelogue & you are now treating us with very nice set of pictures from Bhandardara.

So when & where are your next trips in month of September scheduled? Any place in mind?

Anyways very nice set of pictures here & the information provided is very useful. Just a quick question - can the stretch of bad roads there be negotiated by small car like Maruti Wagon R?

Thanks,
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Old 28th August 2012, 12:43   #18
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Default Re: An unplanned long-weekend trip to Bhandardara-Igatpuri

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmosedici View Post
Nice Travelogue. I have been to Bhandardara quite a few times. ...
The water is very less in the Pravara River this time. I have seen it coming up to the wall and overflowing a couple of years ago. After you cross the river, there is one road which goes further up towards the right (a steep climb). If you go a bit further on that road, you would get a nice arial view of the river and the surroundings, that view is to die for.
...
Thanks Desmosedici. Would definitely check out the road that you have mentioned. Thanks for the tip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuakeys View Post
SDP, Nice travelogue, Wonderful narration with the pictures, It gives the feeling to the readers that they are at that place while reading.

The pictures are mesmerizing & your "DUMA" has got stunning Looks

Thanks for sharing

Cheers

Josh
Thanks Josh for the kind words!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
Hello SDP,

Another long weekend, another trip... lucky you. Two weekend trips in single month....

So when & where are your next trips in month of September scheduled? Any place in mind?
...
We do around 2 trips every monsoon. Looks like, this season, there would be a couple of more.
September is Kaas month. So a weekeend trip to Satara-Thoseghar-Chalkewadi-Kaas-Bamnoli is definitely on the cards. Last year, my family missed the Kaas trip. So they are quite excited about it this time.
We 'might' squeeze in a day trip to Khopoli-Lonavala-Khandala-Pawana circuit. Let's see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
Hello SDP,
...
Anyways very nice set of pictures here & the information provided is very useful. Just a quick question - can the stretch of bad roads there be negotiated by small car like Maruti Wagon R?

Thanks,
Yes Jignesh, by all means. All sorts of vehicles do visit Bhandardara, including humble Alto. Seeing quite a few Alto there, I cursed myself for not doing this trip since last so many years.
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Old 28th August 2012, 15:19   #19
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Default Re: An unplanned long-weekend trip to Bhandardara-Igatpuri

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
Just a quick question - can the stretch of bad roads there be negotiated by small car like Maruti Wagon R?

Thanks,
Done Bhandardara in a M800, Old Honda City, Swifts and Wagon R. Dont worry and this is the best time to go. It will be lush green. Better book your hotel and then go.
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Old 28th August 2012, 22:48   #20
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Default The Wilson dam again

We start back from Randha falls around 4:15pm. The siteseeing for the day is over.

After a leisurely 30 minute drive, we reach the Wilson dam again. There is nothing to look forward to if we go to the hotel room so early. Instead we choose to relax in the dam vicinity itself. In hindsight, dam, it was a good decision!

I got some break from the driving and we had good fun.

A snap of the dam from the bridge.
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Posing with the XUV with the imposing dam as the backdrop!
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"You can't see me" - John Cena
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My better half having fun with the kido.
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I try to capture the dam with a car on the bridge.
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We start climbing back to the Shendi village.
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Next time, I am going to park the XUV there -on the bridge- and then walk for 10 minutes to reach this vantage point.
Pretty sure I will get some memorable snaps.
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Last edited by SDP : 28th August 2012 at 22:56.
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Old 28th August 2012, 23:27   #21
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Default The Wilson dam again - Part II

See that other road turning right? Apparently that takes you to a small garden right below the dam.
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Shendi!
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The smaller lower bridge is on the garden-route.
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We climb up a few meters and park at the same spot where we parked post lunch.
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I switch to the telephoto lens.
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The telephoto lens allows me to peek into that house in the valley. That's the same house which has a enviable location.
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Old 29th August 2012, 09:10   #22
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Default A quick visit to check out the MTDC resort and a windy evening

5:30pm -> We finally head towards hotel Amruteshwar where we have booked a room. Its about a km away from our last stop at the Wilson dam.

En-route, the Duma crosses another minor milestone - 1500kms on the odo.
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In 15 odd minutes we reach Hotel Amruteshwar. But rather than unloading there, we decide to check out the MTDC resort first. The MTDC resort is about 100 meters ahead. We park there.
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There are couple of boards with information.
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The guy who wrote this needs to be flogged in public for murdering a beautiful language. I mean -" You are the most beautiful spot."
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Reception has put up a board outside announcing no vacant rooms. I ask if their restaurant is accessible to non-staying guests as well. The reception guy replies in the affirmative and with that we finalize the MTDC resort as the dining place for tonight.

From where our car was parked, there is a good view of the valley and the hills beyond. But the govt. organizations think differently. They think - Ah, there is a good view from here. Let's put a huge garbage-bin right over here so that people can enjoy the view.
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6:00pm -> Now there are no more excuses. We go to the Hotel Amruteshwar, unload the baggage, freshen up.

Here's a snap of the 'better' rooms, with a place in front to put a couple of chairs and sip on hot tea. Our room was in the back, no such luxuries. We get out of room in less than 30 minutes.
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I had noticed a place just outside from where there was a nice view of the lake.
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There was a partially built resort which has gotten tangled with some approvals.
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We settle down at the top of the flight of stairs.
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The temperature has dropped significantly by now. Additionally its quite windy by the lake side.
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We enjoy the cold through jackets and munch on some namkeen and biscuits.
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That's where we were seated. Pure bliss! After a hectic day of sight-seeing, this is what was needed for the body and mind.
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After some time the chill becomes uncomfortable for the kids and we head back. That's our car parked in the hotel's parking.
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7:00 pm -> We are back to the hotel.
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View of the Shendi village from the hotel.
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7:45pm -> We go to the MTDC resort for dinner. The approach road was poorly lit and even the Yashanjali restaurant looked shady from outside.
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The food was decent. The staff was courteous. We finish by 8:45pm and head back to our room. Its been a long day. We retire to bed early.

Last edited by SDP : 29th August 2012 at 09:31.
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Old 29th August 2012, 19:01   #23
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Default The night at Hotel Amruteshwar

The night at Hotel Amruteshwar

After a long day, I would have loved a hot shower. Unfortunately, no geyser in the bathroom. Hot water available on request through a gas geyser installed in the common area and that too available only in the morning.

As seen in a picture in the previous post, the roof of the hotel was made of cement sheets. The room felt damp. The walls showed some wet patches, a clear sign of leakages. The bed was definitely damp. The bed was of a double-bed size (not queen/king size). I ask for and get a additional cotton mattress, a bedsheet and 2 blankets.

The hotel has a dormitory which they offer on per cot basis. There was a large family group housed there for the night and boy, were they loud! They continued yakking well beyond midnight and the sound level went down only around 2 am coinciding with a power-outage.

I dozed in and out of sleep through all that noise. Finally around 2:30am I got up with a splitting headache. The room is pitch-dark and I need a headache tablet. Mental note - pack a torch next time. Somehow with the help of the light from the mobile's screen, I find one tablet. Gulp it down with water and sit down waiting for it to take effect.

Around 3:00 am, there is a commotion outside our room. Apparently one tourist group of around 6-7 guys have reached the hotel, woken up the hotel-boys and are looking for a place to stay/sleep. There are no rooms. Finally the hotel-boys arrange some mattresses and those guy lay down directly in front of our room.

Sometime later I drift into a snooze, only to wake up around 6 am in the morning.

Last edited by SDP : 29th August 2012 at 19:11.
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Old 29th August 2012, 19:34   #24
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Default Re: An unplanned long-weekend trip to Bhandardara-Igatpuri

Good one there SDP. We were there last year during summer. While the vistas were still amazing, I was cursing myself for making it there during such a dry season. But we were still in luck.

A couple of the dam gates were open and we foudn a way to the valley side (there is a 'park' there) to get thoroughly drenched. I will try to dig into the external hard drive and put up a few pics of the place you say you have not visited. Of course after you finish your fantastic TL!
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Old 30th August 2012, 08:59   #25
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Default Day 2 - Morning photoshoot and breakfast

Day 2 - Morning photoshoot and breakfast

The hotel staff was responsive and arranged buckets of hot water promptly. By 7:30am, everybody else besides me is ready. While I get ready and finish the packing, the others sneak out to yesterday's spot.

Fresh morning.
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Beautiful clarity.
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A brief (?) photoshoot.
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8:30AM -> We head towards the MTDC resort again. This time for breakfast.
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That's the Yashanjali restaurant. Looking less shabby during the day time.
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Poha, idlis, upma.
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I wolf down my share and start exploring the resort on foot.
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Old 30th August 2012, 21:34   #26
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Default Day 2 - A small trek in the morning

9:00AM -> All are done with breakfast, and we start to explore the MTDC resort. The resort has got a beautiful location just by the lake shore.
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Surprise, surprise. Through the gap between two trees, we spot the Wilson-dam.
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Let's go there. We walk for some 10 odd minutes and reach the dam-entrance. It has restricted entry. By the side of the gate, we climb down these stairs through thick vegetation.
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Now we are at a level lower than the dam's top.
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There's nobody there except us. We enjoy the exclusivity of the view.
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One can see the common tourist stop on the left.
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In hindsight, we were standing very close to the location of the Umbrella falls.
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We climb back the stairs and search for another viewpoint. In another 5 minutes, we find a viewpoint which is at a level higher than the dam's top. It is also on the other side of the wall.
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The lake looks beautiful from here.
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Symmetrical dogs!
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We can go back the way we came, but we choose to go by the lake shore.
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Boats.
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We walk further and besides the boats, we see the dam as well.
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After little bit of off-roading, we reach the MTDC resort premises again.
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It was a nice little morning walk cum mini-trek.
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Its 9:45AM. Time to head back to the hotel and vacate the room.

Last edited by SDP : 30th August 2012 at 21:44.
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Old 30th August 2012, 22:44   #27
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Default Re: An unplanned long-weekend trip to Bhandardara-Igatpuri

Oh, i also forgot to to mention that there is a kaccha road very next to Anandvan Resort which goes just next to the lake for quite a while. That road is fully empty except for a few villagers so next time you can also try that road. Head out over there at around 7AM, it will a bit foggy but you will surely enjoy that scenery and peace.
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Old 31st August 2012, 02:47   #28
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Default Re: An unplanned long-weekend trip to Bhandardara-Igatpuri

Wonderful pictures and lots of details, SDP! Like someone said, I was like, on a virtual tour to this place. Really enjoyed it. 'Duma' looks great with that green background. After looking at Sathya's pictures, I have also tried to picture mine in the similar ways, posted on my FB haven't got a chance to post it on t-bhp yet. Credit to Sathya and his friend
A well written travelogue, keep sharing more images of Duma while you make more such trips.
Drive safe!
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Old 31st August 2012, 07:57   #29
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Default Re: An unplanned long-weekend trip to Bhandardara-Igatpuri

Thanks, SDP.
An excellent travelogue, wonderful pics. Felt as if one was having the trip along with you. Your DUMA looks sizzling, the rainy weather brings out the blood red beautifully.
And congrats on crossing 1500 trouble free miles.
Wish you many more happy motoring miles ahead.
Thanks for posting.
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Old 31st August 2012, 22:07   #30
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Default Towards Ratanwadi

Original plan for the day was just the Amruteshwar temple at Ratanwadi. Panjare waterfall got added to it after seeing a picture of it in the MTDC dining hall. Its on the way anyways, so not a big deal.

10:15am -> Right at the Anandwan resort gate, there is the entry point for the Kalsubhai-Harishchadra Gadh wildlife sanctuary. We pay an entry fee of 70 Rs and enter.

Right at the entrance, we see another over-loaded local transport. Although I am scared about the safety of the passengers, I secretly admire that Mahindra's load-bearing capacity.
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This route from Shendi village to Ratanwadi (through the sanctuary) is around 22-25kms long. Looking at the road condition, it would easily take us 1-1.5 hours. We put on some soothing music, lower the volume and enjoy the drive.
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The road is wet, foggy and the air is cool. Who cares about the road condition?
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The area gets very high rainfall, there is one of the biggest dam and lake. But still some people need to carry their drinking water on their head for quite some distance. I chuckle at the irony.
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This route drives around the Bhandardara lake from the other side and the lake gives you company for most of the route.

You can see the wall of the dam, the MTDC property and the partially built resort in the pic (where we enjoyed the view last evening).
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The whole drive is beautiful. I am just going to shut up and let you enjoy the snaps.
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Objects in the mirror are clicking photographs.
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We notice a few stopped vehicles and a small waterfall just ahead. We also stop.
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This is amazing! How does one explain the 3 different shades of green in the same field?
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The waterfall is actually the overflowing water from someone's rice paddy. While we are looking at the source, something dives into the water and emerges back in a split-second.
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Its a kingfisher!
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I have this hunch that the recent photos are not focused. I check the last few snaps and my hunch is confirmed. I check the settings, nothing seems to have changed. I take another test shot. Still out of focus.
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Finally, I find the problem. Its the Auto-Manual switch on the lens that has been flicked by accident. I correct it and repeat the test shot.
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Last edited by SDP : 31st August 2012 at 22:12.
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