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Old 16th September 2014, 08:40   #16
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

10:30am: We started from Ghatandevi and stopped immediately at Manas Resort for a quick refresh.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-img_20140823_104415635_hdr.jpg

Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-img_20140823_104406426_hdr.jpg

After that, we headed towards Ghoti -> Bhandardara.
As usual found beautiful landscapes marred by transmission tower/cables.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_1706.jpg

Earlier visits make you wise. This time I avoided going through the Ghoti village and we were on the Nashik-Aurangabad highway very soon. The road was in bad shape at many places and we were happy to leave that stretch behind when we took the right towards Bhandardara.

As we moved towards Bhandardara, the surroundings seemed quite different from last time. No fog, no rain like last time. Instead clean green carpet and white clouds in the sky. It was a bit hot, but still comfortable.

11:30am: After an hour on the road, we took a break near a waterbody.
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The water was a bit muddy, but the kids had fun chasing a couple of small crabs.
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Fellow BHPian and friend desmosedici was also supposed to be in Igatpuri during the same 2 days and had started from Mumbai around the same time. Somehow he and his friends didn't find a suitable place to stay in Igatpuri and headed to Bhandardara instead. As luck would have it, while we were taking a break near the stream, their cars passed by and he noticed my car. He actually stopped to say hi, but couldn't spot us. Here's a pic he clicked from the City that he was driving.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-desmo-click.jpg

Last edited by SDP : 16th September 2014 at 08:43.
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Old 16th September 2014, 08:57   #17
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

We did catch up with Desmosedici (the man, not the machine) just before reaching Bhandradara and had a quick chat. They were heading to Yash Resorts.

12:30pm: We reached the MTDC resort at Bhandardara and claimed our room.

That green patch at the right-bottom of the frame, that was my parking spot.
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That's where we stayed for the day. We could see the lake from here.
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My daughter was still not feeling well and I took the help of a resort caretaker to walk to the Shendi village and get a medicine for her.

While she and the others settled down, I quickly explored the surroundings.
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I don't remember seeing that jetty-like structure last time. May be it was under construction that time.
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The resort has nice thick tree cover.
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A few steps lead you down to another couple of suites which have a even better view of the lake. Next time!
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A cloud floating low.
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That's the Ratangadh pinnacle, beyond the lake. (Information courtesy: Dodge_Viper)
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Could spot the dam's wall.
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A few steps took me back to our room.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_1739.jpg

Last edited by SDP : 16th September 2014 at 09:14.
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Old 16th September 2014, 15:11   #18
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Does that place look familiar?
You bet it does





Great travelogue, thanks for sharing . You have a great car & a lovely family. Nice to see the SDP team having so much fun.
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Old 16th September 2014, 16:22   #19
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

Great pics SDP.
Hope your Jog falls plan also gets executed soon.
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Old 16th September 2014, 20:58   #20
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

Great Pics and as usual amazing travelogue SDP.

And i forgot to mention earlier, while coming back in the evening from the Randha Falls, i should have let you go ahead and followed you. Duma's headlights in that heavy rain was magnified in the IRVM and it was blinding me. I was purely driving on calculated judgement. In hindsight, i felt i should have followed.

But yes, the Duma was looking menancing. Couldnt click any pics since i was driving.
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Old 19th September 2014, 11:10   #21
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

Awesome snaps and the places you visited. I love monsoons and believe that the best time to visit Maharashtra is during monsoons. It simply transforms into a fairytale world. I've been to different places in Maharashtra during monsoons but can never have enough of it. You're lucky to be there and experience it. Also, I love XUV 500.
A quick question- Did you feel the need of AWD at any place or moment? specifically in slippery and off road conditions?
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Old 19th September 2014, 11:19   #22
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
That's the Ratangadh pinnacle, beyond the lake. (Information courtesy: Dodge_Viper)
Just realised later, its actually called khutta pinnacle.

Brilliant writeup and photos as always
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Old 20th September 2014, 08:58   #23
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by amansanc View Post
Excellent pics Sanjay. The road to Malshej is indeed great!! We guys also enjoyed the drive when we went for the meet in August. Lovely weather. Great roads. Perfect!
...
Thanks!

In fact, after missing the group drive to Malshej, I was more keen to go there and experience the place.


Quote:
Originally Posted by majumon View Post
Brilliant photos with the most soothing natural beauty. I really liked the many shots taken just before your break at Orchard resort with the mountains on either side, waterfall and dash of beautiful green patch. The whole article was so green and makes me very envious, dying to go on some drives.
That spot before the Orchard resort was the highlight of the drive. Absolutely stunning place. We were surprised to see a right towards Lonavala somewhere before that spot. Then overheard another guy saying - the valley that you see from there, the road that traces the valley on the right-hand side apparently takes you all the way to Lonavala via the Amby valley route.

That route would be fun too. May be some time in future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latentpotential View Post
As usual, an amazing travelogue. Bookmarked for future reference right away.
I have some questions, but will ask them offline when we next meet up.
Thanks. Any time! Didn't we meet yesterday?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmosedici View Post
Great Pics and as usual amazing travelogue SDP.

And i forgot to mention earlier, while coming back in the evening from the Randha Falls, i should have let you go ahead and followed you. Duma's headlights in that heavy rain was magnified in the IRVM and it was blinding me. I was purely driving on calculated judgement. In hindsight, i felt i should have followed.

But yes, the Duma was looking menancing. Couldnt click any pics since i was driving.
It was really a pleasant surprise to bump into you at Bhandardara!

The stock low-beam sucks big time. Can't see a thing in low-light and rainy/foggy conditions. The Morimottos are brighter than the stock bulbs and do help. Unfortunately sometimes it causes a bit of inconvenience to others ahead of me. May be I should lower the angle further down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Great pics SDP.
Hope your Jog falls plan also gets executed soon.
Thanks Suhas. The season is almost over. Term exams are very near. Looks like I have to wait for Jog falls till next season. But, that's OK. Too much fun is also not good. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVS1806 View Post
Awesome snaps and the places you visited. I love monsoons and believe that the best time to visit Maharashtra is during monsoons. It simply transforms into a fairytale world. I've been to different places in Maharashtra during monsoons but can never have enough of it. You're lucky to be there and experience it. Also, I love XUV 500.
A quick question- Did you feel the need of AWD at any place or moment? specifically in slippery and off road conditions?
I didn't feel the need of the AWD anywhere as I am careful. Its a fairly bulky vehicle and not a 4 wheel drive. I hardly ever leave the tarmac. Even on narrow roads with oncoming traffic, with mud on the side, I ensure that at least one front wheel is on solid non-slippery surface. A friend has managed to get stuck in the rut just next to the road while taking a U turn on a narrow road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge_Viper View Post
Just realised later, its actually called khutta pinnacle.

Brilliant writeup and photos as always
Thanks KD for the correction!


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
You bet it does
...
Ah ... nice!! Mobilio I recollect. Seemed to have missed the BMW one earlier.

My favorite is this one:
Name:  bmw3series05.jpg
Views: 815
Size:  71.6 KB

I think its the same location.

Quote:
Great travelogue, thanks for sharing . You have a great car & a lovely family. Nice to see the SDP team having so much fun.
Thanks for the kind words!

Last edited by SDP : 20th September 2014 at 09:20.
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Old 20th September 2014, 09:59   #24
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Does that place look familiar?
Oh yes, it does. Review shoot for 3 Series and A-Class and few other times also.

Lovely capture of rain soaked ghats SDP.
This time of the year green looks truly artificial.
Overall haze in pictures is the only issue and that can be sorted during post processing.

Lovely, truly lovely. Couldn't help doing this correction without your permission.
My sincere apology.

Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-sdp2.jpg
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Old 20th September 2014, 10:58   #25
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Oh yes, it does. Review shoot for 3 Series and A-Class and few other times also.

Lovely capture of rain soaked ghats SDP.
This time of the year green looks truly artificial.
Overall haze in pictures is the only issue and that can be sorted during post processing.

Lovely, truly lovely. Couldn't help doing this correction without your permission.
My sincere apology.
Apology? huh?

Sir, that's a brilliantly processed image!
That too from a JPEG. Respect. Wonder what magic you could do with it if the RAW was available.

I suck at post-processing. Let me repharse that. I have not really experimented much with post-processing ...with a proper software and all. I do some basic cropping, straightening, color saturation and mid-tone adjustments in Microsoft Picture Manager . Learning at least Lightroom if not PhotoShop is on the cards for ages, but lazy me has not been able to find time for it. But that processed image is an inspiration and fueled the desire to learn post-processing all over again. Thank you!
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Old 20th September 2014, 11:24   #26
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
I think its the same location.
Yes, very much it is.

You have at least 10 pictures in this thread to take it to a different height. So go for your post processing trip.
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Old 20th September 2014, 14:07   #27
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

Continuing with Bhandardara trip..

After a quick unremarkable lunch at the MTDC resort, we returned to our room. It was almost 2pm. It was still bright sunny outside. Should we go out for sightseeing? Nah, we changed into more comfortable clothes and hit the sack instead. As luck would have it, the climate changed about the same time. First came the cool breeze, then dark clouds, then light drizzle and finally full-on downpour. Sleeping in the middle of the day, lying on the bed, the tired body nicely tucked under warm blanket, fully drawn curtains to create that night feel and the sound of rain on the roof... pure bliss. The simple pleasure of a siesta, you won't understand unless you become a harassed parent of a couple of hyperactive kids.

After about two, two and half hours of rest, I got up. Outside, it had stopped raining and everything was looking nice and clean. We have come so far from Mumbai, shouldn't we explore a few places here? With that thought, I woke up the rest of the gang. After some protests, everybody got ready and we headed towards the main attraction, the Wilson Dam.

I parked at the exact same stop where we had parked earlier.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_1762.jpg

There is a small tapri there. While wife and kids got tea and wada-pav, I explored a few angles.

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My wife firmly believes that I click more pics of the goddamn car than anything else. I don't argue with my wife, especially when she is right.
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Again by sheer coincidence, fellow BHPian Desmosedici passed by us (this time in a Swift) and we waived at each other. While we enjoyed the view from this side, he and and his friends drove on, reached the lowest point and then started climbing up from the other side. I captured the grey swift from a distance.
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We moved ahead.
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The dam from the bridge at the lowest point in the valley.
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It was getting dark and started to drizzle as well. There wasn't much crowd at the gates which is a popular boating spot.
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Duma in nice company.
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There was more water as compared to 2 years back and it had spilled onto the road as well.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_1771.jpg

The dark clouds almost seemed to kiss the windmills.
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We moved ahead and reached the Randha falls. It was pretty dark when we reached there, so please excuse the shaky grainy pictures. A few pics at the Randha falls.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0002.jpg

We bumped into Raj (desmosedici) again here. That's him with his friend.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-img_20140823_182215761.jpg

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The gorge was filled with water, quite unlike last time.
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The whole place, they are making it tourist friendly. But its all under construction.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_1783.jpg

Desmosedici had told me about a right immediately after the dam that takes you to a higher point from where there is a nice view of the lake. Somehow I couldn't figure it out this time as well and he decided to show me that turn on the journey back to the hotel.

Last edited by SDP : 20th September 2014 at 14:36.
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Old 20th September 2014, 19:31   #28
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

Beautiful captures and lovely sets of greens ! Thats one colour which brings all the sense peace and calm esp when splashed with water !
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Old 20th September 2014, 23:07   #29
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

On the way back to the resort, it was raining quite heavily throughout. Raj was pretty quick in that Swift, maneuvering the potholes expertly. I somehow managed to follow him and he showed me the turn just before the boating spot. I later realized that this turn was very crucial information for my next day's plan. My next day's plan was to do a round trip around the huge Bhandardara lake and that turn was precisely where I was supposed to leave the main road for going around the lake.

During one of the drizzles during the day, we started looking for a plastic bag that had kids' raincoats and wife's windcheater. Couldn't find it in the car. We seemed to have left the bag back at home in Mumbai. So while returning back from Randha falls, when we reached the market area in Shendi village, I bought 2 umbrellas from a shop. We had dinner at Amruteshwar hotel and except a different variety of papad - which was very tasty - it was a very below average experience. The temperature had dropped noticeably by then and there was a slight chill in the air. We retreated to the room soon and called it a day.

Sunday: 24th Aug 2014
After a nice peaceful sleep, I woke up around 6:30am. Everybody else was fast asleep. I peeped outside. The sun was already up and it was a quiet peaceful morning. I picked up the camera and was about the step out to explore the lake shore when my daughter got up. I told her that I am going for a stroll and she also joined in.

Glorious sunrise.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0003.jpg

I thought I understand the meaning of the words 'serene' and 'tranquil' pretty well. But I was wrong.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0005.jpg

Huge calm lake with fog floating just above the water. Not a soul in sight. No sounds except a few birds chirping.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0006.jpg

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We walked up all the way to the end.
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A splash of color.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0012.jpg

You can see the MTDC resort from the jetty. That's the MTDC restaurant on the left, deluxe room block in the middle (we were staying there) and the lakeview cottages on the right.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0014.jpg

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See that house on the left? What a amazing view those people would have. See that orange spot near the house? A close up is coming up a few snaps later.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0019.jpg

The jetty-like structure has a gap in the middle. Its pretty big. You have to watch out if you are taking young kids along.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0020.jpg

That's my angel.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0024.jpg

We climbed back to the resort. By this time my wife and son also had woken up. We told them about the amazing sights we witnessed just minutes back and even they wanted to explore the area on foot. While they got ready for the morning walk, I quickly checked on Duma. He was covered with dew which was glistening in the morning sun.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0025.jpg

Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0026.jpg

The close-up that I promised. Those orange dots are actually tents. What an delightful idea!
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0030.jpg

It was 7:30am already. A few locals were swimming in the lake and a few tourists were already on the jetty. We glanced at the beautiful surroundings one last time and headed back to the room.
Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014-dsc_0028.jpg

Last edited by SDP : 20th September 2014 at 23:29.
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Old 21st September 2014, 12:49   #30
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Default Re: Revisiting the Greenery - Monsoon drives, 2014

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL pics

Nature in its full glory. Your travelogue made me google for distance from Bangalore to these destinations but soon realized they are all 700+ kms & cannot be covered over one weekend. I have still bookmarked this page for my planned road trip next monsoon. Keep the gorgeous pics coming, some more please !!

Cheers
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