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Old 29th August 2016, 13:59   #781
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Default Re: Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!

Here is the main attraction of this fort -

I have visited / trekked / climbed a number of forts. Seen some of the magnificent forts in their grandeur and some in utter ruins; awesome locations; engineering marvels; self-contained fortresses etc. etc.

During the such visits, I could visualise the king on his horse back, with his retinue, going from one village to another - must have been an imposing sight; administrative skills, care for his kingdom, sheer courage in fighting superior(ly) armed enemy et al.... golden era gone by?

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Thought I will present you all an almost 360 degree view..... but this silhouette was excellent (even if I say so myself), but for the people thronging there. There was a continuous stream of visitors and the scene was shifting due to rolling clouds .... (the way people pose for selfies in such places gets my goat ; can anyone remove them from the frame, through image editing software, and upload the edited picture, please?)

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Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-65-king.jpg
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Old 30th August 2016, 15:55   #782
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Default A tale of two forts.......

Some random pictures ....

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Being a heritage structure, it warrants better upkeep. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem so...

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I mean, the overall area was spic and span, but the structure itself requires more attention....

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By now the clouds have cleared, and it is getting hot - time to return...
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-75-monument.jpg
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Old 31st August 2016, 13:37   #783
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Default A tale of two forts.......

A couple of shots - rather unique, if you agree -

A. Monument in memory of the king's faithful dog
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B. A beautiful inscription - the way the devanagri script is chiseled in stone, speaks volumes of the artisans who must have constructed it....
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-76-inscription.jpg

No time to dawdle when going back (especially, there is a worry if there will be a big queue on the return trip down, as people have started trickling in)
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Old 2nd September 2016, 15:35   #784
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Default A tale of two forts .....

This is the (in)famous TakMakTok point......

As per local tale, this is the place from where punishment (throwing them off the cliff) was meted out to the prisoners (who had committed heinous crimes). A sheer drop of 2000+ feet.

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-77-suicide.jpg

Warning board says not to venture beyond that point - however, there is another spot, with a walkable trail and fenced off cliff, from where you can view the valley.

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Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-78-suicide.jpg

Because of the strong sunlight and zoom, all pictures turned out to be hazy
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Old 7th September 2016, 15:28   #785
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Default Re: Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!

This part shows a profile of the fort. Really majestic and no wonder why it was made the capital...

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-81-fort.jpg


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And these are the steps you have to climb to reach to the top... you can see the people climbing the stairs in the above pictures, and the ramparts of the fort (wall) in these -


Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-80-fort.jpg


Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-82-fort.jpg
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Old 8th September 2016, 16:12   #786
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Default A tale of two forts....... concluded

Time to head back, after a wonderful time atop....

Some stories taught in school are still fresh in my mind - even after 40+ years!

One of them is the story of a master sculptor Jakanachari, cutting his hand off because of a blemish in his creation.

I remembered that story because of this anecdote related to Shivaji Maharaj -

Samartha Ramdas Swami was a great saint was the Guru of Shivaji Maharaj.

One day, as the king and His Guru were inspecting some construction in the royal palace, the king thought, "Indeed I am a great king, how well I take care of all my subjects!"

The Guru, in His Omniscience, read His disciple's thoughts and decided to correct his thinking immediately.

There was a huge boulder nearby.

Ramdas Swami asked some of Shivaji's soldiers to break it.

When the rock was broken, everyone witnessed an incredible sight.

They saw a small water-filled cavity within the rock, and there was a little frog in it!

As soon as the boulder was split, the encaged frog jumped out, breaking free.

Ramdas Swami now turned to Shivaji and asked, "If you feel that you are taking care of everybody in this kingdom, pray tell me who was taking care of the frog trapped in the rock?"

The king realized his mistake and felt remorse for his egotistical thinking.

He realized that it was God Who had created everything and took care of all His creation.


BTW, Shivthar Ghal cave is not very far off from Mahad, and is also worth a visit, especially now. The waterfall plummeting from the top of hill near the caves is an excellent sight and the entire area resonates peace and tranquil.....

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Old 20th September 2016, 19:35   #787
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Default The second fort....

This part of the tale is in total contrast to the earlier one.

This was done in the peak of summer, where the scenario is bare and brown....

Hot sun beating down as opposed to the exhilarating drizzles...

And, if the earlier route culminated in using a winch, this one involved ???? (to be revealed later!)

The trip began thus -

An early morning start
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-1-early.jpg

The early bird waiting for its worm
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-2-bird.jpg

Sleepy villages
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The landmark on this route
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-4-dam.jpg

The flower which blooms during this period, lights up whole hills if one is lucky enough to see it in full bloom
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-5-flower.jpg

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Some interesting formations - man made? Readers who have traversed the complete thread can match the location when shot in rainy and see what transformation has taken place...

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-8-cave.jpg

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-9-balance.jpg

And, the bridge to nowhere! Actually, this leads us to the destination...
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-10-bridge.jpg

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-11-bridge.jpg
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Old 21st September 2016, 11:11   #788
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Default The second fort....

In fact, the destination at this point of time was something else. But that is a different story. As the location is really 'offbeat' and goes back a long way in 'history', will skip that part for now.

After completing the visit, the next in line was a beach followed by our destination.

Are you one of those who like to drive / ride alone?

Do you want to test your skills as a driver (only driving skills - this is not about speeding)?

Does driving on winding ghats makes you smile with pleasure - you know, a lonely road, twisting, turning, climbing, falling, forests et al?

And does your car / bike really gives you what you were looking for - the 'oneness between man and the machine'?


Well, there is a road to do all this and cherish the drive / ride. A distance of about 35 kms. Sparse traffic. Hardly any signs of (human) in-habitation - if you are lucky, you may be able to catch sight of the odd person walking. And an excellent vista of nature.....

By the end of the narration, if you are unable to locate which is the road, I will let you know

Anyway, to reach the destination, we need to hop of land and board a ferry.
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It is straight forward (actually, reverse) drive down the pier to the ferry. We were right on time, and not much of a crowd.

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-15-pier.jpg

As soon as the waiting cars and bikes board, the ferry takes off, leaving a wake like this -

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This is the engine which drives the ferry...

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-19-engine.jpg

There is one coming from somewhere else...
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-20-ferry.jpg

This is where we are headed to..
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-21-pier.jpg

The beach looks inviting!
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This is the landmark we were told to look out for, to reach our destination
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-23-mosque.jpg

Driving out of the ferry was nothing exciting - all over in a couple of minutes; and this is how the road looked like on the other side, all brown and bare..
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Amidst all this is this guy, patiently waiting for his catch. These birds must have amazing eyesight and reflexes - the water was murky and how anything can be seen through into it is mind boggling!
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-24-lone.jpg
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Old 21st September 2016, 15:36   #789
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Default Re: Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!

Looks like you took the ferry from Dighi to Agardanda, heading towards Murud.
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Old 22nd September 2016, 12:54   #790
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Default Re: Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayurpalav View Post
Looks like you took the ferry from Dighi to Agardanda, heading towards Murud.
Bang on!! Wow - just a couple of pictures of the jetty / pier and you could hit it spot on!!

Was the Khokari Tomb a give away?

Wanted to catch the ferry from Rohini to Agardanda, as we thought the Dighi ferry went right upto to Murud.

But a couple of locals said that Rohini ferry wasn't functional and told us to go to Dighi. Luckily, when we reached Dighi, there was a ferry ready to go to Agardanda.

Got down at Agardanda, had 'naryal pani' (tender coconut water) and went ahead to this point -

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-28-route.jpg


This is how the tombs look like. I had visited Qutub Shahi tombs in Hyderabad, which were fantastic. These appear worse for the wear and not much of maintenance to speak of.

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But, the workmanship is excellent, as can be seen from these pictures -

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-34-mosque.jpg

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-35-mosque.jpg

A little investment in the form of time and money can definitely restore them to earlier glory, I guess.
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Old 23rd September 2016, 13:15   #791
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Default The second fort....

The destination, which by now must be apparent, was the Murud Janjira fort.

It was out in the sea (similar to the Kolaba fort in Alibag). However, there is no alternative except to take a boat ride.

And for that, you have to walk down to a small pier - en-route, this greeted us and reminded me of the days when we anxiously waited for the prints to develop, so that we can relive all the exciting trips we made!!

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-36-nostalgic.jpg

There was a new jetty with a concrete building - however, it was unused!

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-37-new.jpg

You can see both the new and the old jetty in this picture -

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-38-jetty.jpg

Even though there was a sizable crowd, there was a queue of sorts. The boat ride seemed to be organised by localites, and one had to buy a ticket from the small booth.

Navigating a boat must be a tough task - there was almost an accident in front of our eyes - luckily, several small boats got together and prevented any mishap from taking place..

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-39-block.jpg

Curiously, while going towards the fort, a tug was used. It was likely that the wind was not in favourable direction. On the return trip, the wind driving the sail and boat, made an exhilarating sailing...
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-40-sail.jpg

While we were waiting for our boat to turn up, this ferry came to berth (must have come from Dighi?)
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-41-ferry.jpg
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Old 23rd September 2016, 14:47   #792
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Smile Re: Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrprabhu View Post
Bang on!! Wow - just a couple of pictures of the jetty / pier and you could hit it spot on!!

Was the Khokari Tomb a give away?
Actually, I did a Coastal Highway ride during Mahashivratri this year. Mumbai to Kunkeshwar, which is my native place. And the Tomb is obviously a landmark, which is hard to miss.

The ferry between Agardanda and Dighi did not carry 4 wheelers till about a few years back, Only 2 wheelers could be ferried across.
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Old 28th September 2016, 17:13   #793
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Default Re: Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!

Few snaps of how the fort looks from afar.....

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-26-fort.jpg

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-27-fort.jpg

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Any way you look at it, it is a magnificent piece of engineering. I can hardly imagine the amount of planning, design, transportation and logistics involved in its construction. The fact that it stands strong even now, despite constant battering of sea waves, is an indication to the foresight and brilliance of the planners (this picture has the pier on the foreground)

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-42-wave.jpg

The only way to reach the fort is like this -

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-45-fort.jpg
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Old 29th September 2016, 13:03   #794
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Default Re: Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!

Now comes the scary part .....

Climbing onto the boat is easy - it comes to the pier and you need to clamber abroad.

The boat is full - some of us are sitting on the edges (hull) of the boat.

There is no safety gear.

There are three / four people to commandeer the boat, but their interest is to ensure that all on board take up the offer of 'guide services'....

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-47-boat.jpg

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-48-boat.jpg

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-49-boat.jpg

There aren't likely to be any mishaps, and the distance to be covered is small. Still, for some it will be an uneasy sailing, especially since you don't know what happens when you reach the fort.
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Old 29th September 2016, 14:48   #795
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Red face Re: Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrprabhu View Post
Climbing onto the boat is easy - it comes to the pier and you need to clamber abroad.
I had been on that boat to the Janjira fort sometime last year during my Murud trip. The scary part was returning from the fort when you need to board the boat with no jetty like facility. It was more like a jump and with people not understanding the boat dynamics did not want to move from their favourite place to allow others to board.

Such a glorious structure rotting away due to sheer negligence of the government. Inside the fort its even more garbage. Sad state of affairs.
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