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Old 19th September 2016, 12:57   #1
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Default Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains

The rains have started showing withdrawal symptoms (in fact they have disappeared from most places).

So decided to put together some pictures and words -- courtesy Polo forest, monsoon in full blast and a public holiday (Janmashtami)

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-1.jpg

Right from the start, a fine drizzle was hanging in the air and the morning felt grey and misty. The cooling tower of the Gandhinagar thermal power station, a regular and reassuring sight whenever we are out on long drives, looked majestic draped in mist

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-2.jpg

Actually, it was a revisit. We had been there some five years ago during winter when the forest was untouched and unspoilt. We were the only family there on that day and we were a bit scared. In fact, a school principal whom we had given a lift to even cautioned us against leaving the car alone, venturing into the forests and leaving children alone. The place is not the same anymore

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-3.jpg

Almost all rivers and rivulets that we came across our Gandhinagar-Himmatnagar-Idar route were flowing bank to bank. For most part of the year, some of these remain bone dry. The contrast was indeed striking

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-4.jpg

A photo break. The light drizzle never stopped, so it was the quintessential monsoon drive with everybody looking forward to a great treat from the mother nature

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-5.jpg

A long drive without a traffic jam? Impossible

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It was a tree this time, the poor thing couldn't take the pounding it received from the rain the previous night

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-7.jpg

There was space for a vehicle, but three or four were trying to squeeze through simultaneously. No wonder it was a half-a-kilometre long snarl

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-8.jpg

Finally it was our turn. Couldn't avoid the branches from rubbing against the car. Checked later to find that there was no harm done

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-9.jpg

On NH8. Supposedly the busiest highway in the subcontinent

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-10.jpg

The lone kabab mein haddi on the route

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Tea break. Honestly we stopped because it was Honest. Honests dot most highways in Gujarat and offer decent fare and mostly importantly a fairly clean loo

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-13.jpg

The drizzle waxed and waned and kept the sun and shine away

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-15.jpg

Entering Himmatnagar, the town of courage

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-16.jpg

First close encounter with the bovine kind

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Another one

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A big salute to these bravehearts

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-19.jpg

Too fine a shave, thanks to the monsoon

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-20.jpg

Barren hills singal it's Idar

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-21.jpg

Inside the city. Cows aplenty here too

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-21a.jpg

Horn OK please? Nah. Horns, ear-splitting or not, hardly work with cows

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-21b.jpg

It's better to keep a safe distance, for yours and more importantly the animal's safety and well being

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-21c.jpg

Morning siesta, in the middle of the road

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-21d.jpg

There are situations when patience is truly a great virtue

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-22.jpg

The signature hilly terrain of Idar

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-23.jpg

Fog at its fag end

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-24.jpg

The hill disappearing into the sky

Last edited by sreepathy : 13th October 2016 at 02:17.
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Old 19th September 2016, 13:15   #2
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Default re: Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-25.jpg

After Idar, everything takes a thick green hue, where water, earth, mountains and sky all merge, thanks to the fog that continued to roll

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-26.jpg

It was real donkey work negotiating some stretches

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-27.jpg

The road wrapped in green

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-28.jpg

Can't blame them, a selfie in the middle of the road

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-29.jpg

A grim reminder of the harsh summer

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-30.jpg

No distractions whatsoever

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-31.jpg

The advantages of being an early bird -- no sign of holiday rush

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-32.jpg

Literally ambushed by nature

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-33.jpg

No escape from cows in the forest too. But they were less intimidating than their city counterparts

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-34.jpg

City or forest, buffaloes are buffaloes. Don't mess with them

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-35.jpg

Layers and layers of thick foliage

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-36.jpg

The rolling hills

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-37.jpg

The road winds quite a bit but there were no surprises in store

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-38.jpg

A mountain of burden on her head

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-39.jpg

At places it felt like going through a tunnel, nurtured by nature

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-40.jpg

The road was well marked all through

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-41.jpg

The occasional blips

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-42.jpg

And pure bliss

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-43.jpg

These mountains may not have eyes, but they surely have a charm of their own

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-44.jpg

Our first halt within the forest, which was lush, green and serene

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-45.jpg

An umbrella that matched the nature's palette

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-46.jpg

Green with envy

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-47.jpg

The monsoon had breathed life into the ruins

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-48.jpg

View from the thicket

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-49.jpg

And from across the road

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-50.jpg

Vento cooling its (w)heels

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-51.jpg

Being early had other benefits too -- easy parking. A few hours later there was no place to set foot here let alone park vehicles

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-52.jpg

Eyeing the best shot. Any click would have yielded a decent photo

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-53.jpg

The stream in full flow

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-54.jpg

No clue what it is. Fishing equipment?

Last edited by sreepathy : 13th October 2016 at 02:24.
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Old 19th September 2016, 13:27   #3
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Default re: Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-55.jpg

A road, bridge and a checkdam rolled into one

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-57.jpg

A beautiful curve. A close shot, vehicles on the road permitting

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-58.jpg

And a long one

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-60.jpg

At some places the stream was pretty narrow and shallow

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-61.jpg

The colours of happiness

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-62.jpg

A checkdam that had given birth to a waterfall

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-63.jpg

Multiple jungle trails for those who want to explore the flora and fauna high up in the hills

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-64.jpg

Had a feeling of something strange (or dangerous) hiding in those bushes and trees lining the stream

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-65.jpg

No human soul had the grit to enter the waters. There were a few drowning cases last year. Everyone restricted their movement to the checkdams

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-66.jpg

Going with the flow. On the checkdam with kids

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-67.jpg

And below

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-68.jpg

The entry point

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-69.jpg

Conveniently perched all over to enjoy the spectacle

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-70.jpg

Testing the waters

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-71.jpg

The crowd increasing gradually

Last edited by sreepathy : 12th October 2016 at 02:22.
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Old 19th September 2016, 14:05   #4
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Default re: Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-74d.jpg

Finally taking the plunge

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-74e.jpg

A 'waterfall' is a very rare phenomenon at Polo. Colleagues who went a few days later couldn't see one

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-74g.jpg

Amid a flood of gushing waters. No swimming gear, no one expected such a treat

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-74i.jpg

Lost in his own little world

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-74m.jpg

Bathing in silver streams of falling water. Good enough for a soap ad

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-75.jpg

View from the road

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-76.jpg

Out of water and off to the dam

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-77.jpg

Climbing up after parking the car

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-78.jpg

The catchment area

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-79.jpg

Another view

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-80.jpg

One more

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-81.jpg

The vantage point

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-82.jpg

Weaving webs in the sky

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-83.jpg

Time for a break, for lunch and some posing

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-84.jpg

Lots of leg work, sight seeing, some moderate hiking and serious roaming around later, found a spot that could accommodate both the car and four hungry souls

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-85.jpg

Trying hard to leave a mark

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-86.jpg

It was noon and both sides of the road were taken up by vehicles

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-88.jpg

An official in the forest department had cautioned me that during weekends and holidays they call in cops to clear up traffic. In the morning, thought that was an exaggeration. But by noon it was clear he was right. It had all the makings of a massive traffic jam by the time we were leaving

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-88a.png
Then and now. Five years ago we could take our Alto k10 into the forest. Now, the same stretch is chock a bloc with people, makeshift shops, horses and whatnot

Last edited by sreepathy : 13th October 2016 at 02:40.
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Old 19th September 2016, 14:11   #5
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Default re: Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-89.jpg

Return journeys could be long and boring. But nature had better plans for us

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-90.jpg

Returning by the same route, and the now-familiar rolling hills

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-91.jpg

The skies conspiring to throw us a big treat

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-95.jpg

An army of cows marching towards us. Stood still and let them pass

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-98.jpg

Another herd having its way

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-99.jpg

The fun began. It started pouring cat, dogs and of course cattle too, forcing many vehicles to pull over. But since the roads were good and visibility was ok decided to chug along and enjoy the rains

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-rain.jpg

Had never driven during a downpour and it was quite an experience. The sky was falling down heavy on the vehicle and everywhere eyes could see. There was a blast of water and wetness allover and for some time the earth and sky seemed indistinguishable

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-101.jpg

Didn't push the vehicle knowing its shortcomings (no ABS etc). Played it safe all along -- kept a decent pace, decent distance from the vehicle ahead and no overtaking. But to the car's credit, nowhere did it show any anxiety

Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains-102.jpg

Enjoyed two longish spells of downpour before Gandhinagar. Entered Ahmedabad and not a drop of rain -- strange are the ways of nature

Last edited by sreepathy : 12th October 2016 at 01:56.
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Old 13th October 2016, 12:39   #6
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Default Re: Polo forest, Gujarat: A Janmashtami in the rains

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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