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Old 29th May 2010, 12:28   #226
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Stop thread!!

All followers of this thread - you are being redirected!!


Come back here via this route http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post1434291 (Monsoon Masti On 15th August.)

You won't regret it.

Man, what a change in the scenery - water is god's gift to man....
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Old 29th May 2010, 12:44   #227
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same place on 15th august 2009.


Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-59.jpg
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-66.jpg
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-3.jpg


konkan from top [same place and picture as vrprabhu posted in the last post].
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-70.jpg


@vrprabhu,

Please continue the thread.
More will come in this monsoon from my side.

Remember, future kaas meet.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 29th May 2010 at 12:57.
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Old 29th May 2010, 13:19   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
same place on 15th august 2009.

@vrprabhu,
Please continue the thread.
More will come in this monsoon from my side.

Remember, future kaas meet.
pude jaatho, saheb.... karan kai? ammala ajoon lamb jayache! (MODS - Please forgive my trangession of the language! Marathi log - male marathi evdaych maithi aheth!); yes, kaas beckons me again!

The difference is even more starkly evident now, is it not? I wonder to myself if and when I will be back.

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-back.jpg

We make one more mistake (on hindsight) - no more stops till Gandhar Phale. So down we go, no stops till Bhirwadi (at least that was what the route in Maharashtra Times said) - so no pictures of the sight we saw - only the words to describe them. Hope it is sufficient..

We see the scenery change in front of our eyes. Semi-barren land; tall trees - but very few leaves; very few signs of inhabitation; looks more like a place which has been hit by a calamity!

We are speeding up now, as the road is improved, and not many ups and downs, but the lack of humanity is evident and curious.

After about 30 odd minutes, we see the first signs of a settlement - NH17 is nowhere in sight. The villagers say Bhirwadi is ahead, and have heard of the caves. Great!. Next 5 - 10 minutes bring us to Bhirwadi, where a slight confusion is created about the road, Mahad, Raigad and the caves.

I am the time keeper, right? And wiki maps is clearly outlined in my head - we have to reach NH17. So we heed my head and the advice of one villager who said (correctly) keep going ahead to reach NH17 and take the right towards Mumbai.

Shortly, lo behold - the black ribbon of NH17 is seen (not before some confusion when we spot a bridge to our right, and wonder where the river sprang from?)

We climb on to NH17 - plenty of traffic now. Proceed towards Raigad. Take a small halt and conference - rope way visit to Raigad is dropped and the caves win.

Everyone is clear about the route now - just keep going ahead, you can't miss them - it is visible from the highway itself......

And yes, they were!
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Old 30th May 2010, 13:04   #229
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Seems VRP is busy. Time to start on the Matheran leg.

Seeing my Ambarnath photos, my wife couldn't believe such places exist near Mumbai. Her concept of Mumbai was 3 hours of traffic jam on the Adi Shankaracharya Marg between Gandhi nagar and Powai lake.

So I thought let me surprise her over the christmas weekend. I went down to the fort area and walked in to the office of MTDC. It was more like a shed rather.
Soon I booked a cottage for 2 nights in Matheran.
The only pain in reaching matheran is the local train part till Neral.
We got the share taxis from Neral till the part of Matheran where they are allowed to ply till. Nearby we checked in to our cottage and decided to walk to the city centre.
After a sumptuous meal, we decided to to just amble along walking all around.

Let the photos do the talking.

The rail was shut down that year. Some landslides broke tracks at many places. Hence we wanted to check out atleast the station in Matheran. Nice to see a locomotive (though not in use)
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So what are we doing in the station, though the trains weren't in service? Yeah. We played the goat.
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That's the MTDC resort. The best part is the proximity to the share taxi stand. And it's far from the city centre. So it is nice and quiet. And on a clear christmas night, we saw a million stars in the sky.
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That's the cottage we stayed in. It had a nice foyer or veranda (not to be confused with the ghat). It had easy chairs there and we pulled them out in the night and lay there watching stars for a long time.
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And we saw so many visitors. One of them here. We ordered milk and biscuits and fed these guys.
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Initially they were a bit shy. Later they behaved like ramp walk models.
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Old 30th May 2010, 17:28   #230
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This thread is turning into an awesome collection of locations in Maharashtra. Voted 5*. My congratulations to MX6, vrprabhu & T-BHP's NatGeo Man, AP. I have one query to you guys. Some years ago, I received a forwarded email which had beautiful photos of trekking to a place called Ratnagadh (or is it Ratnagiri or Ratangadh?). I had been wanting to go to this place from the moment I laid my eyes on the photos. Could you pl. furnish some info. on the location & the trek (how many days, whether guide is required,etc). Pl. ignore this if this is OT. I am attaching some of the photos in that mail (copyright to respective owners). Thank you.
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Old 30th May 2010, 18:56   #231
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@NN,

We are taking of the same mail! I have seen those snaps that you posted. T
hats how I also came to know about Ratangad.

I have asked VRP, AP and MX6 to post about this. VRP has his snaps about Ratangad in print.
He said he will do one more and come back with snaps!

There is supposed to be a cave at the top of the hill where one is supposed to spend the night. One is supposed to
cross rivers, valley, weather rains etc to reach the coveted place.

Folks correct me if I am wrong.

Its located at Bhandardara. The closest railway connection is at Igatpuri.

Here is more about the place in wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratangad

Its one place I will do before I die!

Last edited by ampere : 30th May 2010 at 19:03.
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Old 30th May 2010, 19:48   #232
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@ampere - pyare bhai, jaate samay hamein bhi yaad kar lena. I agree with you man, this is one place to do before you hang up your trekking boots!
@VRP - post them jaldi. Thanks in advance.
OT - I love this Forum

Last edited by Nutty Nair : 30th May 2010 at 19:49.
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Old 31st May 2010, 11:38   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Seems VRP is busy. Time to start on the Matheran leg.
Sorry, MX6 - to leave it hanging! Yes - skipped office on Sunday. That's why there were no posts.... he he he he

Had to keep the promise to Sukiwa - post the picture of my new tyres - some other post on Yoko A drives.

Made a 2-in-1 : to ensure that that wife completes her 'angwan' (can't think of a proper english word - more aptly in tamil 'venduthal'!) at Narayanpur.

So : Kanifnath + Narayanpur. 150 kms done and tyres tested and darshan complete

I will finish Gandhar Phale and Mulshi after you complete Matheran...
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Old 31st May 2010, 11:51   #234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutty Nair View Post
This thread is turning into an awesome collection of locations in Maharashtra. Voted 5*. My congratulations to MX6, vrprabhu & T-BHP's NatGeo Man, AP.

I have one query to you guys. Some years ago, I received a forwarded email which had beautiful photos of trekking to a place called Ratnagadh
Thanks, Nutty Nair. That's quite something - coming from an established 'traveller' like you!!

The place is Ratangad. The temple (last picture) is "Amruteshwar". The place is more closer to Nasik than Pune. I remember giving directions to one another query some time back.

To repeat, the routes are -

a. From Pune side - Travel by bus to Sangamner (Chakan - Narayangaon - Bota Ghat - Sangamner) (Almost all buses bound for Nasik go there); Take a bus bound for Igatpuri (Akole - Rajur - Shendi - Bhandardara). Get down at Bhandardara to cross the lake - back of Wilson Dam and reach Ratanwadi village. Amruteshwar is at the base of the Ratangad. Start climbing.

b. From Mumbai / Nasik side - Travel by bus/train upto Igatpuri. Reach Ghoti (Ghoti comes before Igatpuri, if you are coming from Nasik). Take a bus to Bhandardara.

If you have your own transport (jeep would be advisable), you can go upto Amruteshwar by road. The road to Ratanwadi is just before the Dam (when travel from Akole side)

Yes, there is a cave on top plus drinking water even in peak summer! This cave was meant for hardened criminals - so the folklore goes... Plenty of places to visit here - if you are nature / trek lover, then this is paradise. Take my word - I have stayed in the vicinity for four years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
@NN,
I have asked VRP, AP and MX6 to post about this. VRP has his snaps about Ratangad in print. He said he will do one more and come back with snaps!

Its one place I will do before I die!
Ampere, the pictures of pictures didn't work out - no option but to scan. Know anyone in Pune with a high resolution scanner?

If you are so keen (looks more like obsessed, to me :-), no offense please ), I can arrange the logistics for you. See my reply to nutty nair above.

Caution -
a. Do not try to climb during the monsoon - the steps are there in the steepest past and it gets SLIPPERY as hell. But rainy season is most enjoyable ones - everything is lush green!
b. Without proper, chances of getting lost are very high.
c. There are no facilities, except for basic ones - that too at Bhandardara.
d. A trip up and down is a full day's outing - morning 7 AM to evening 6 PM on both our trips. So be prepared for a day's halt nearby.

One picture seems to be of another place - more likely Ghatgar - only experienced mountaineers can climb this place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutty Nair View Post
@ampere - pyare bhai, jaate samay hamein bhi yaad kar lena. I agree with you man, this is one place to do before you hang up your trekking boots!
@VRP - post them jaldi. Thanks in advance.
OT - I love this Forum
Nutty Nair, see my reply above! And, one more word of caution, my offer may expire quickly, because my company may relocate me this year....
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Old 31st May 2010, 13:28   #235
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@VRP.
Bring those photos during the next tapri meet. I'll take photos of them using my DSLR.
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Old 31st May 2010, 15:53   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrprabhu View Post

Ampere, the pictures of pictures didn't work out - no option but to scan. Know anyone in Pune with a high resolution scanner?

If you are so keen (looks more like obsessed, to me :-), no offense please ), I can arrange the logistics for you. See my reply to nutty nair above.
Obsessed yes! But not to the point of extinction! The place had a magnetic effect. So what is the best time to go? Are there many leeches around against which one needs to protect oneself?

@NN,

Lets see if we can make a joint visit some time! What say you sir!
Pune gang will join for sure!
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Old 31st May 2010, 16:17   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Obsessed yes! But not to the point of extinction! The place had a magnetic effect. So what is the best time to go? Are there many leeches around against which one needs to protect oneself?
Magnetic - I heard that in relation to temples which says that 'when the calling comes, your feet will themselves lead you there'. So, is there a connection between Amtruteshwar and Ampere?

Best season to go - by end September. The common belief here is that you get the last rainfall during 'Ganpati Visarjan' - so the rains will be less. Why I am insisting this is that, when it rains - it rains! continuously throughout the day, night, next day - the record was five days without seeing the sun while I was there....

Any special worry about leeches? AFAIK, there are a lot of mosquitoes, bugs, creepy/crawly things, but nothing which made us scared / wary.

Since MX6 appears to be busy with his office work, may I go ahead? or, rather climb ahead??

That's what you have to do, if you have to reach the Gandhar Phale caves...
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-climb.jpg
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-climbg1.jpg
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-climb2.jpg
Thanks to all those people involved in building the steps - it made our task easy. Of course, the sun was blazing down and it was hot (remember what I said about jackets going off?). I wore my helmet because forgot to take the cap...

Thank goodness I have a tummy and not a belly and that I jump into my car or onto my bike at the drop of a hat!!

Stopped once in a while - not just to catch our breaths, but also to enjoy the commanding view from above!
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-command.jpg

PS - There is no parking facility available, but for the shade of some trees. So, when you return be prepared for your A-S-S to be fried - that's what happened to us. And, if you want to continue your journey with that, you're welcome!
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Old 31st May 2010, 16:37   #238
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Looking at the steps, I'm reminded of another hidden Gem. Karla caves and Ek vira mandir.
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Old 31st May 2010, 17:17   #239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Looking at the steps, I'm reminded of another hidden Gem. Karla caves and Ek vira mandir.
MX6, how many times were you "never got lost"....

Yes, Karla is also good, but not many caves and I have only few pictures.

The next couple of posts are dedicated to our author of the 'mother-of-all-travelogues' - 1,00,000 kms!! (smartcat)

This is how the caves look like, when you get close. More coming up, smartcat. Hope this satisfies your needs. Are you reading this, BTW?

See, all amenities provided? Including a prayer hall. Zero maintenance
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-up.jpg

And, the guy who designed the first flat / apartment, better confess that he was not inspired by these - luxury condominiums, with peaceful and serene atmosphere, greenery and all round view, right in the lap of nature, blah-blah-blah- whatever the copywriters dreams of!
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-flat.jpg

And a bunch of early settlers, hanging on to their ancestral property at Flat 5. They don't want to upgrade!. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is intentionally coincidental!
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-simians.jpg

Actually, jokes apart, the place was fantastic.

There was water available there, which we were assured was potable - but didn't risk drinking. It was percolation - see how nature takes care of those take care of nature!

I could imagine, how it was in those days to sit here and meditate.. away from all the daily grind.

And, think of these things - in those days no fancy equipments, no gizmos, no computers et al - just imagination, eye for detail and patience!

One mistake, and probably a month's work down the drain.

And they have withstood the test of nature, time and man.

Sadly, there is vandalism here too (many of the places like these appear to have been vandalised and feels so senseless for one man to destroy the hard work and wonderful creation of another.)

PS - As I write this, the skies have opened up. There is a thick curtain of rain outside my window. Thank you, God! All those planning to visiting the places you saw here, start planning!! Happy touring.......

Last edited by vrprabhu : 31st May 2010 at 17:21.
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Old 31st May 2010, 17:28   #240
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You mean it's raining in Pune? Which part? I'm leaving office in 2 mins to catch up with the rains.
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