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Old 4th December 2009, 19:41   #16
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Originally Posted by SamuraiJack View Post
Awesome! haven't heard of this place.. any more information that you can pass on would be great.
Lonar is 150 km from Aurangabad (which is the center for visiting Ajanta and Ellora). It is usually combined with a trip to these places (unless you are a team-bhp member ). There is a MTDC resort in Lonar, which can be booked online or through their office/agents. There are about 8 rooms I think and it is literally on the rim of the crater. Decent place to stay with decent food. Best time to go is winter and end of monsoon. In the summers it is baking hot think 40C plus and more.

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Amazing snaps.. now waiting for the travelogue to come..
This is the travelogue

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Really nice please continue with more pictures and narrations!
Thanks! Takes time to sort the photos. Will continue on the weekend.
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Old 6th December 2009, 07:01   #17
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Settling down at the MTDC we quickly coordinated a meeting with a young college student called Anand Mishra, young student contactable through the MTDC office, who acts as a guide but is so knowledgeable that he also helps out visiting global scientists and researchers (from NASA etc).

After a nice meal and lounging on the balcony of the MTDC restaurant listening to crickets chirp and thousands of stars light up the sky, we retired to our room in anticipation of the next day.

Bright and early at 6 am the next day, Anand shows up
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And we begin our descent into the crater
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Which is also home to many abandoned temples (and a few living ones), dating back to the times of emperor Ashoka, and the Chalukyas.
The style of temple architecture is called Hemadpanthi architecture
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The temples have beautiful carvings on them
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Anand explained the nuances of each ( How many legs do these three men have?)
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along with a very interesting dance routine which showed off how a shadow could have seven reflections, including one on the sanctum sanctorum
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Continuing the descent we came across some more deserted temples,
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including one which housed a zillion bats whom we flirted with for a bit
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And another one with a beautiful idol of Rama which was a sight to behold
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We continued down the wooded paths
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Making some friends along the way
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And finally came to the strange green waterfront of Lonar lake
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which was truly a sight to behold...
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Old 6th December 2009, 07:33   #18
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Lonar lake is more than a km in diameter and close to 5 kms in circumference.
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In order to complete the trip before the blazing sun came up, we started the walk along its perimeter but not before stopping to admire

the myriad shades of green
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and some really spooky mushrooms
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The path led towards the main temple which is a living one
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Anand (who never ceased to surprise us) whipped out a chemistry kit
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And showed us the highly acidic nature of the water
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We stopped for occasional photos of the green shaded water which is home to living algae
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And finally came to the tower of the main temple
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where we would rest for a bit...
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Old 6th December 2009, 18:43   #19
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Genesis, a good place to wind up. Pictures says place is pretty intrersting. Keep those pics coming and TFS.
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Old 6th December 2009, 19:52   #20
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Great pics and narration. Keep up the good work!!
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Old 6th December 2009, 19:56   #21
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Nice pictures and narration. Planning for a visit to Aurangabad. Feel motivated to add Lonar to the itenary.
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Old 7th December 2009, 05:35   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainthreat View Post
Nice pictures and narration. Planning for a visit to Aurangabad. Feel motivated to add Lonar to the itenary.
I would highly recommend spending a day in Lonar, or at least making a day trip reaching early morning (which is a bit hard given it is 150 km from Aurangabad).

Would even more highly recommend engaging Anand (his contact details are m:+ 91 9850499792 or anandguide1 at rediffmail.com). The guy is amazing.

Scientists from Nasa who he helps for 2 to 3 months in a year send him research books, posters etc to help him keep learning about geological nuances. They come here to research the geological properties of the crater since some of it is supposed to have characteristics similar to the moon. Anand is completely self taught, very humble, full of life and took the trip to another level. Very hard to believe that he grew up in the one horse, small town of Lonar. It was a pleasure just to get to know him.
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Old 7th December 2009, 06:56   #23
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where we would rest for a bit...
Refreshed by water (and some unhealthy Halidram snacks) it was time to reclaim some childhood moments by managing to climb up the tamarind tree

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chewing on the sour leaves, while taking photos from a newly discovered vantage point

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seeing charms that people had tied to the tree for wishes

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getting glimpses of a feathered friend who was taking a glimpse of us

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before moving on towards the temple structure

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to see a tiger (which is incredibly similar to one in Ranikhet (the bell temple on the way to Choubhatia orchards if anyone remembers)

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And some incredibly crazy magnetic phenomenon on the rock outside the temple (the two photos are taken less than 4 inches from each other but see the magnetic orientation)

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before continuing our way down a narrow eerie path where the trees seemed completely bent out of shape

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as watchful eyes monitored our progress

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and ruined structures added a mystical twist

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reminding us how easily something grand can be reduced to a heap of stone

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We emerged from the thicket onto the narrower side of the lake where the algae was stronger

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and the earth very different

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which told us that we had emerged into a whole different ecosystem of the lake...
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Old 7th December 2009, 10:52   #24
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which told us that we had emerged into a whole different ecosystem of the lake...
Suddenly the land was fertile and we saw a herd of buffaloes ambling towards a clutch of green

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Going closer we came to a banana plantation

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Where we got talking to the owner and learnt that everything comes up and down by foot since there is no mechanized transport into the crater

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Spent some time in the banana plantation

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Photographed some birds
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And a family chilling in the cold water

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Under the watchful eyes of elders

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Moved back towards the rim, and came to a small temple

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Where we were blessed by seeing a squirrel at Lord Rama's feet (sudev: This is for you )

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Before toiling up the steep path back

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And surfacing for a final look at the crater

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After a quick lunch and freshen up at the MTDC ( a 4 hour walk takes it toll), it was time to check out and discover some other secrets of Lonar...
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Old 10th December 2009, 07:25   #25
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After a quick lunch and freshen up at the MTDC ( a 4 hour walk takes it toll), it was time to check out and discover some other secrets of Lonar...
Navigating the small bylanes of Lonar

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We arrived at a deserted temple, where some children were playing on the ruins

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They initially ran away when we approached

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But later warmed upto us

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Going closer, we realised that the slightly shoddily repaired front of the Daitya Sudan (dating back to the 6th century)

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Took away from the majesty of its side view

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And the amazing back portion
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And was done to preserve its former glory, after it was excavated from under the earth (where it had been buried to hide it from invaders)

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Examining it closer, we found a beautiful layered architecture

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With exquisitely carved pillars

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Decorated with erotic carvings similar to Khajuraho

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Ganeshas

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And other gods

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Being Independence Day, we got a Jai Hind out of the kids

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before proceeding further to discover another magical place from which came a fountain of life...
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Old 10th December 2009, 08:03   #26
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Lovely. Very well narrated!
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Old 10th December 2009, 09:33   #27
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Great narrative! We are inspired enough to head down there again!

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to see a tiger (which is incredibly similar to one in Ranikhet (the bell temple on the way to Choubhatia orchards if anyone remembers)

Attachment 240457
One guard in Tadoba once told us the reason why such tiger statues are installed: apparently they are installed at the spot where a tiger killed a man/woman. Heard a similar thing in Uttaranchal when i was riding through Champawat so i guess there is a ring of truth in this granny's tale!
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Old 10th December 2009, 10:15   #28
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Lovely place ready for discovery by all - superb narrative and story pics.
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Old 10th December 2009, 12:34   #29
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amazing travelogue. Great one. I'm googling to see how far it's from pune right away...
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Old 10th December 2009, 12:50   #30
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Love your travelogue! Your images and narration is sheer poetry!
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