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Old 5th June 2009, 14:07   #1
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Arrow Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!

Note: This trip was done by me in January 2002 with my friend Makarand (not a member here) while we were students and this was written at the time, on returning home. Breaking the article in few posts for the ease of reading.

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Gearing up:

This trip (Mumbai-Pune-Mahabaleshwar-Ganpatipule-Goa) was my first venture, Makarand had experience of one bike trip across the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka & Goa. We finalised our basic plan in the month of August ‘01. In the month of November, we decided details of route, overnight stays, and then I prepared final plan of trip consisting details each day’s route , kilometres to be covered that day, lunch halts etc.

We booked our rooms at M.T.D.C. Mahabaleshwar & Ganpatipule well in advance. I was keen on fuelling the bike on BPCL stations only, for two reasons, viz. consistency in quality and mainly to use my petrocard card so that we’ll reduce our cash carrying. I sent an e-mail to BPCL and asked for list & addresses of their stations on our route. BPCL was very prompt in replying and providing the same. I got the bike ready for trip by my mechanic two days before. We were carrying few extras just in case, like couple of drive-chain joints, headlamp bulbs, and engine oil. There had to be only one sack as rider can’t carry anything on his back, so we used one 70 litre hover sack made by Great Outdoors. With this preparation I alone drove from Mumbai to Pune where Makarand & myself were meeting and which was starting point of our trip.
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Old 5th June 2009, 14:17   #2
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WoW old vintage travelogue !!!, that too on a bike, bring it on man
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Old 5th June 2009, 14:27   #3
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Post Day 1

29th December 2001 : Pune to Mahabaleshwar.

After attending my cousin’s marriage and a good festive food, on the first day of our trip, we started from Manohar Mangal Karyalaya (Mehendale Garage), Erandwana, Pune at 3:10 p.m. , me driving the bike. After 5.5 k.m.s we joined N.H. 4 and topped our 12 litre capacity fuel tank on BPCL station, giving us range of 432 k.m.s. Continuing on N.H. 4 we crossed “Katraj” and “Khambatki” ghats before reaching Wai diversion which comes on right hand side after 80 k.m.s. from Pune. Driving in the ghats was a pleasure by itself. Before crossing the tunnel at Katraj ghat we took a bird’s eye view of Pune City. The left side valley at Katraj ghat is a place for botanical observers as it has got large variety of different plants. In ghats our bike never failed short of power to keep it pushing up against gravity. Until Wai diversion the road was good and we had changed our seats meanwhile , Makarand doing the drive now. As we left N.H. 4, the road became narrow and was in bad condition, though not bumpy. After 13 k.m.s we were in Wai town, my clock was showing me 5:35 p.m. Wai is known for old temples on the bank of river Krishna. Here we visited one of our friend’s house and obviously had some ‘pet-pooja’.

We started from Wai town at 6:20 p.m. and headed towards Mahabaleshwar, famous hill station from Maharashtra at altitude of 3000 ft. from sea level. Now it was my turn to drive again climbing “Pasarani” ghat. The sun light was fading away and I had to switch on the head-light in few minutes. The road from here was narrow and never strait. It was complete ghat section of 43 k.m.s till Mahabaleshwar with sharp and blind turns. En-route we crossed Pachgani, a city famous for cool whether and good residential schools. As we drove nearer to Mahabaleshwar we were feeling change in whether. It was getting more cool. To catch the coolness early there was automatic temptation for raising throttle. There wasn’t much traffic and we were rarely passing by any other vehicles. We climbed this section in total dark. At entry point we had to take entry passes on the check post. We arrived at M.T.D.C. Hotel at 8:00 p.m. , where we already had a booking. They had good arrangements.

Pics taken next morning:
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 5th June 2009, 14:44   #4
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Post Day 2

30th December 2001 : Mahabaleshwar to Ganpatipule.

We left M.T.D.C Hotel at cool 8:50 a.m. and started on descending road towards Poladpur where we were to join N.H. 17. This was a wonderful morning with very scenic road, sharp, descending and total blind turns, here also condition of the road was not so good. But who cares when you are surrounded by excellent nature, thick green valleys on one side and high rock cliff on the other side. This was “Ambenalee ghat”. I was driving and Makarand was on the look out of spots for good nature photo snaps. We did stop on some bends to capture morning and mountain glory of the nature in camera. En-route we saw from distance the historically famous “Pratap-Gad”. This fort and the valleys were witness of many sharp battles the Great Shivaji Maharaj fought. The ghat is about 35 k.m.s. As we came down, the typical smell of trees from konkan attracted our attention.

We had a stop for our morning tea and continued to Poladpur which is 39 k.m.s from Mahabaleshwar. There was half hour breakfast halt at Poladpur where we reached at 10:25 a.m. It took us one and half hour to cover these 39 k.m.s including few stops for photos. Here we entered the Kokan and also joined Mumbai Goa N.H. 17. Makarand took the driving seat from here and we headed south.

N.H. 17 is very good and we cruised at comfortable speed of 70 k.m./hour. On this road there are many small ghats. We intended to, but it was not possible to stop every now and then, to note the names and distance of each ghat section. I tried to write the details on the log-sheet couple of times while on back seat but ended up in spoiling the log-sheet.
We reached at Parshuram after 62 k.m.s from Poladpur at 12:25 p.m. Just before that, is “Lote-Parsharam”, the chemical industrial zone of MIDC. There is a spot here, from where one can have a really fantastic view of “Vashisthi” river. The `Parshuram Mandir’ is 1 k.m. off N.H. 17 on the left hand side. One has to go down several steps to reach the temple. The temple is spacious and is well maintained. We spent half hour there and proceeded to Chiplun where we reached at 1:20 p.m. and had a lunch break. Here we topped the fuel tank also. It was 249 k.m.s since we left Pune on day 1 and getting average of 44 k.m.s/litre was more than we expected. From here Makarand took back-seat.

It was 2:10 p.m. when we left Chiplun. After 21 k.m.s we were at Dervan; 3 k.m.s off N.H. 17. The well known sculptured “Shiv-Srushti” is at Dervan. The sculptures are very real and life like. The life story of `Shivaji Maharaj’ unfolds as one goes on looking at these sculptures. The wonderful statue of `Ramdas Swami’ immediately attracted my attention. Photography is not allowed here, so we couldn’t take any snaps.
We took off from Dervan at 3: p.m. ; after another 60 k.m.s we left N.H. 17 at Khed and took road to Ganpatipule, famous place having Ganapati Temple on the sea-shore. This is quit a good road with no major inclines but lot of turns. Ganapatipule is 30 k.m.s from the point where road to same diverts from N.H. 17.

We were in Ganapatipule M.T.D.C. Hotel at 4:55 p.m. We immediately got ourselves fresh at our room, had a cup of tea and went for darshan in Ganesh Mandir. We did one pradakshina also which is 1 k.m. around the Mandir. There is a small hill immediately behind the Mandir, which is of a shape of Shree Ganesh. Entire hill is supposed to be the Ganapati idol. Hence the pradakshina around the hill and Mandir is a custom. I took snaps of sunset from the beach and returned to M.T.D.C. Hotel for some snacks.

It was dark now and we decided to venture around Ganapatipule on the bike and did just that. It was nice to roam in a starry night and moderate cold in pollution free atmosphere. The extra oxygen gave us the fresh energy. While wandering we reached Bhandarpule beach which is very clean and has great view from uphill. The sand was really glittering in moonlight. We decided to come back next morning to have some photographs and returned to Ganapatipule for dinner.
Attached Thumbnails
Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-gpule-ak1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-gpule-beach1.jpg  

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Old 5th June 2009, 15:01   #5
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Post Day 3

31st December 2001 : Ganapatipule to Panjim.

This day, as per plan, we had to cover 280 k.m.s to Panjim. I had washed and checked the bike previous night, it was ready to take on the day. We checked out from M.T.D.C. Hotel at 9:25 a.m. and went to Bhandarpule as decided the night before. After getting some good snaps here, we started our third day journey and joined N.H. 17 again from where we had left it at Khed.

After joining the highway we had a breakfast halt at Hatkhamba and didn’t stop for next 151 k.m.s except for changing driving seat once. We stopped for lunch 1 k.m. before Kankavli at 1:10 p.m. and pushed on after exact 1 hour halt.

After hitting Goa border at Pernem, we had to stop at security check-post of Goa police. Here the police checked our bike documents and licences and then only let us enter Goa. Thank God, after a long bike journey we were not looking terrorists and we got the entry.

We topped the fuel tank at Pernem, which we thought will be enough for next three days in Goa. At 5:10 p.m. we were at the house of Mr. Gulvani, my relative, at M.G. road Panjim. We had covered 280 k.m.s from Ganapatipule at this point.

After getting fresh we went to Miramar to join my uncle’s family who had reached Goa only one hour after we had reached. It was 31st December’s night. Goa is known for it’s enjoyment and fun. On year-end occasion it was just an event. Makarand, myself and my two cousins went partying until wee hours of morning at Anjuna. We had our early morning cup of coffee in Barista at Panjim and went home.
Attached Thumbnails
Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-gpule-beach2.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-way-ak1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-way-mg3.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-way-mg1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-mandvi-bridge.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-31dec-anjuna.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-31dec-barista1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-31dec-barista2.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-gpule-beach3.jpg  

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Old 5th June 2009, 15:22   #6
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Post Day 4

1st January 2002 :

We met my uncle’s family who were also visiting Goa from Pune, at Kala-niketan, Panjim, and started our day together, we two on our bike and they in their car. We went to Shree Mangesh Temple at Ponda which is 15 k.m.s from Panjim. On the midway we saw a small accident but we were able to get across towards our destination. Shree Mangesh Temple has very good amount of open space and is quite tall. Myself and my cousin Rajas got our arms tattooed here. We both had a picture of `Bajarangbali’ on our right arms which lasted for next two days.

After half hour we started back for Panjim but to our surprise we found the road fully blocked. We were able to see more than half k.m. of road ahead, vehicles not moving an inch. We waited like that for next 25 minutes but the picture was same, moreover some errant motorists were adding to the jam by pointlessly pushing their vehicles in empty spots. So we took a decision to turn back and to reach Panjim via Margao which happens to be approx. 50-55 k.m.s drive. So we lost half the day and reached Panjim around 2:30 in the afternoon and had a lunch.

In the evening we visited Aguada fort in Mapuca. This fort is situated on the cost and has sweet-water source inside the fort. ` Aguada’ in Portuguese means a water hole. Perfect name for this fort. While returning we went to Calangut beach for some time.

My parents and other family members had reached Goa in the late evening this day and they were staying at Mapuca Residency, G.T.D.C. We all had a dinner at my cousin’s house at Mapuca and returned to Mr. Gulavni’s house at Panjim where we both were staying.

The jeep is not ours, my friend couldn't resist to take a pic with it.
Attached Thumbnails
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Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-jeep-mg.jpg  

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Old 5th June 2009, 15:48   #7
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Post Day 5

2nd January 2002 : Molen National Park.

This day was the most exciting day. Makarand & I a had plan of the day in Molen jungle. We two started from Panjim around 9 a.m. towards Molen running 2 hours behind schedule. Molen is 60 k.m.s from Panjim, near Goa- Karnataka border. The N.H. 4A cuts through the sanctuary. The sanctuary is 240 square kilometres and has great deal of flora & fauna. We were equipped with a camera (not SLR though) and a 20X50 binocular. At Ponda we took road to Belgaum and crossing Tiska, we reached forest department’s office at Molen.

Here the forest guard was the only person and we found him of very helpful nature. He provided us information about the forest. One has to take forest department’s passes for self, the vehicle and a camera. While Makarand completed these formalities I took pictures in `Nature Interpretation Centre’ situated in this office. One can see huge bones of Elephant, scull of Bison among other things kept here. We were in no need of our helmets in the forest and the forest guard allowed us to keep them in department’s office.

We shod our camera with new film and entered the forest. It was around 11:00 a.m. As we passed about a kilometre the light became low due to thick forest. There was a trail of jeeps which was supposed to be our path. (use of cars is totally out of question here!) We were stopping after few meters, parking the bike and exploring the nearby area. We found trail signs on the trees left behind by Youth Hostel’s trek team. As we did not had any signs of our own to mark the route, we were not exploring too far from the path on which we were parking the bike. (Makarand suggested to lock the bike every time, in case some monkey knew how to ride!) We were in company of monkeys on the treetops since beginning.

As we proceeded we got to see huge anthills, some of them even as high as 6.5 feet. In a dry stream, we found approx. 6 feet long snake skin, but it was not possible to roll it to carry back home. After couple of hours we passed a fresh water stream where we got to see Butterfly-gathering and Bunch of herons. On the way ahead, we met trekkers from the Youth Hostel, Ahemadabad and one foreign couple studying & photographing birds.

Now the so called path was getting very tough for a bike to ride and sometimes one of us had to get off the bike and other would drive alone through the patch. Few time stones would touch the bike’s bottom though it has a reasonable ground clearance.

We reached at the spot in the deep forest named `Devil’s Canyon’ which was great with its rocky foundation. Last few hundred meters here are not ride able. This is a spot where huge stream of water cuts through solid rocks. The surface of water seems very calm, but in depths water moves ahead with much speed. The forest guard had warned us about this, and department has also put up a warning board here.

From `Devil’s Canyon’ we moved further towards `Dudh Sagar falls’. We had joined the jeep track which runs from Colem (we were coming from Molen) to the falls, cutting through the forest. Now few Mahindra’s roared past us. A lone Toyota passed by us with a wet lower body and soon we found the reason - we had to cross a river! We parked the bike and measured the height of it’s silencer with a stick. Makarand stepped in the river to find out whether our bike will be able to cross through it or not. We carefully chose the line on which to cross the river. I kept the acceleration at full though in first gear and low speed, the blow helped keeping water away from entering silencer. Makarand had me on the camera while I did the stunt.

Few time ahead, and we decided to leave the bike and walk as the path was much tedious and sharp inclines were making it difficult to ride. After walking half hour we were at the `Dudh Sagar’ falls. The water falls from great height and it looks milky white. Therefore it is called ‘Dudh Sagar’.
It was precisely 03:35 p.m. when we left from falls and reached where we had left the bike.

After crossing all the barriers in the forest again we reached the forest department’s office at 05:20 p.m. This day we had gone 26 k.m.s deep in the forest and had approx. 60 k.m.s of wandering inside.

Till 05:20 p.m. we had not eaten any food, only fresh stream water and one chocolate each. So, as we got out of forest and collected our helmets from forest office, we headed straight to the small hotel on N.H. 4A and had some food. Soon we started our backward journey to Panjim and reached there at 07:05 p.m.

We went to Mapuca to attended my cousin’s wedding reception after 8:30 p.m. And stayed at Mapuca Residency, G.T.D.C. overnight with my family.
Attached Thumbnails
Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-molen.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-molen-ak1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-molen-ak2.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-molen-mg1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-molen-dc-ak1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-molen-ak3.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-molen-river-ak1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-dsagar1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-molen-rail-mg.jpg  

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Old 5th June 2009, 18:13   #8
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Adventurous and Thrilling trip..

Waiting for the rest of travelogue!!!
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Old 5th June 2009, 22:48   #9
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Post Day 6

3rd January 2002 : Cape Rama & Betul.

This wasn’t a very good morning for us, we got our bike out of parking only to find flat front tire. After fixing it which took an hour, we went to Panjim at Mr. Gulvani’s home and started our day.

We left home at 12:10 p.m. and had the bike serviced. It was real messy after riding it through forest last day. At Margao where we reached at 01:35 p.m., topped the fuel tank and pushed on towards Cape Rama, and on the way had a lunch. Cape Rama is 66 k.m.s from Panjim.

We left N.H. 17 at Bally after 48 k.m.s from Panjim,and took a right turn towards Cape. Road from here is in bad condition and much lonely. We had to rely on local people for directions as there are no proper direction boards on roads here.

After 18 k.m.s from Bally we reached at Cape Rama fort. We roamed on the outer walls of the fort. Overall condition of the fort is not much good. View of sea and `Kankon beach’ from here is fantastic.

From Cape’s fort we went to Kankon beach. Here we had to go approx. 200 meters down very steep decline on our own as there was no road ahead. It’s like coming down a small cliff. Kankon beach seems totally untouched by outside world. I can write pages about its natural beauty. Since it is unexplored by regular tourists, it has retained its naturalness.

Betul is 8 k.m.s from Cape, when we reached here, it was sunset time. Betul was looking very beautiful in twilight. It has rocky nature and we spotted many crabs which were as big as 5-7 inches in diameter.
Soon we left Betul and decided to take a small route to Margao which was not on our plan. It was not on our maps also. We consulted some local people and via couple of small towns reached Margao. It was total dark and we headed straight to Panjim.

After dinner at Mr. Gulvani’s home we went to Mapuca to meet my family as the next morning we were leaving Goa for our respective destinations. Before we came back home late night we stopped in Barista at Panjim for a last cup of cappuccino in Goa.
Attached Thumbnails
Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-cape-ak1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-kankon-beach2.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-kankon-beach1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-kankon-mg1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-way-ak2.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-kankon-mg2.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-betul1.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-betul-ak1.jpg  

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Old 5th June 2009, 23:10   #10
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Post Day 7 & Day 8

4th January 2002 : Panjim to Mahad.

On 7th and 8th day, only plan was to reach Mumbai. We started from Panjim at 10:12 a.m. At Pernem we topped the fuel and oil tank and didn’t stop till Kankavli, except for at Goa - Maharashtra border check post of Goa Police. Where they again checked documents and made us part with a Rs. 50/- note for no reason. We reached Kankavli at 01:05 p.m. where we had refreshing stop and lunch.

We left from here at 02:25 p.m. and reached Chiplun at 06:10 p.m. We only stopped all this way only to change our seats for driving. We had some food at Chiplun. As per our plan we had a overnight stay here but we decided to go further. It was time to get some fuel which we got here.
We left Chiplun after halt of 45 minutes and reached Mahad at 09:20 p.m., where we decided to call it a day. Our bike has literally eaten kilometres this day. We had covered 401 k.m.s on this day.

We checked in a hotel on the highway. My father’s friend, who stays at Mahad, came all the way to meet us and accompanied us for dinner. We promised him to visit his place next morning, on the way to Mumbai.

5th January 2002 : Mahad to Mumbai.

We went to my father’s friend for the morning tea and left from there at 09:20 a.m. On the way we had a late breakfast stop at Nagethane after 80 k.m.s at 11:10 a.m. Finally we reached my home in Mumbai at 01:30 p.m. after 170 k.m.s from Mahad.

Totally we covered 1,901 k.m.s in 8 days, without any major breakdown. My bike lived up to our expectations and took us many great places.
Attached Thumbnails
Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-way-ak2.jpg  

Mumbai - Mahabaleshwar - Goa on a Shaolin!-way-ak4.jpg  

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Old 6th June 2009, 11:39   #11
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Nice trip report!! Kudos to your bike!!

How did you manage to carry the luggages along with pilllion rider??? I mean, how did u manage the space on a bike?
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Old 6th June 2009, 14:35   #12
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wow, cool travelogues bouncer, shows the fun you had on that trip, some of the superb scenes and pictures shared by you, and also to say your bike lived to the expectations and served perfectly, even we friends are planning a trip on our bikes in coming months.
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Old 6th June 2009, 15:55   #13
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Very nice report and pictures. The nature seems so unspoilt and pure. How about doing the same trip again, and maybe click similar pictures to see how the places have changed. Very nice indeed!
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Old 6th June 2009, 19:42   #14
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Wow! Cool report. Interesting to see that you have done this trip with your bike.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 6th June 2009, 20:54   #15
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Hi Bouncer, it is a fabulous travellogue. did you visit a place called "Marleshwar" some 40-50 KM from Ganpatipule ?
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