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Old 3rd January 2010, 07:17   #16
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A winding path snakes back to the gate
Many a corner remains unexplored
It is time to find shelter
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A colorful character I am
Strong as a rock
Jai Hanuman

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To get to the promised land there is a bar
A call to the forest ranger is made
Paradise found


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The chirping of birds
The murmur of water
The forest provides luxury

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The spirits watch
The body rests
A silent sentry guards
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Old 3rd January 2010, 07:28   #17
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Reading this travelogue is great fun.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 07:35   #18
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An evening drive
Tourists have gone home
Gira falls is pristine


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The water is tempting
Fish food I dont want to be
Moving shadows, imagination or reality?


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A rubber tube finds new purpose
Silvery nets flash
Fisherman ekes out a living


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Deep breaths
Thundering waters
Under the falls, there is fish


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A new angle
A different light
A new perspective


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I stand still
I swiftly move
I am water
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Old 3rd January 2010, 08:33   #19
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Lovely Haiku - rated this 5star for imagination and new experience
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Old 3rd January 2010, 18:20   #20
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Night descends
Rituals of yore
Fire is sacred

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Crackling logs
Beating drums
A story unfolds

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Young faces
Stories about nature
There is hope


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I listen in rapture
I listen in awe
The story captivates


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Music fades
Silence descends
Glowing embers light up my dreams

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Red fire
Morning sun
Smoke on the water

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The road of life is tough
As is the road to school
Trust me

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Curves beckon
A silver streak takes flight
New roads to explore
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Old 8th January 2010, 07:30   #21
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Attachment 255782
Curves beckon
A silver streak takes flight
New roads to explore
The next day, it was time to leave Waghai and explore the Purna Wildlife Sanctuary near Mahal which is an even quieter part of the Dangs. Incredible forest scenery, lovely twisting roads and friendly people. Even had a wierd experience with a lady who talks to god on a regular basis. Haiku follows:


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A one track mind
No end in sight
It is time to explore

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Under the open sky
No temple, no pujari
Hanuman blesses the journey

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The queen of the dangs
Carrying a heavy load
Silent in Purdah

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I was hacked
I was cut to many pieces
I am still at your service

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A roof above the head
A wall to protect
The needs of life are simple

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A splash of color
In the midst of dreary brown
Tribal paintings capture life

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Flowering children
Vivacious yet shy
Capture me if you can


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A welcome arch
Fit for a king
Mahal arrives
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Old 9th January 2010, 12:11   #22
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A welcome arch
Fit for a king
Mahal arrives
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A flash of color from a threadbare shack
Squealing tyres
I know not why I stop

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Hooded snake
What does it protect
The place is mysterious

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Tribal priestess, dressed to kill
She pulls my arm
I meekly follow


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Thatched hut
Beautiful statues shimmer
Shabari met Rama, right here

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She speaks to God
Or God speaks to her
Fantasy or reality?

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A hole in the ground
Next to his lord
Did Hanuman really emerge here?

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A world apart
But we connect
I emerge from the twilight zone
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Old 9th January 2010, 13:10   #23
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this is brilliant! a poetic journey with excellent illustrations!
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Old 9th January 2010, 13:19   #24
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A singular narrative, and intriguing as a result.

Any possibility of more mundane information ( log/distances/accommodation/food).

Regards
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Old 11th January 2010, 07:55   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
A singular narrative, and intriguing as a result.

Any possibility of more mundane information ( log/distances/accommodation/food).

Regards
Accomodation:

Killad Camp Site. Vansda National Park. (3 km before Vaghai)
Contact Forest Ranger Mr. Joshi on 9426855593 for reservations in advance.
Reservations can be done on phone.

200 rs for tent with bedding(no kidding). Common facilities for self cleansing
500 rs for a hut with two beds and tiled private toilet.

No electricity. Solar lights and torch. I used my sleeping bag (it got cold at night). No food but dhaba 3 km away in Waghai.
Caretaker and man friday of the campsite is a guy called Mandu.
(Tell him the sardarji with a bullet from Valsad sent you. That would be Mandeep (epicenter_rulez) and not me )


One can drive in park. You need a big car (innova, scorpio) for ground clearance. 4 Wheeler entry fee 200 rs. Guide comes along. Tip him what you like. My guy took me walking into the forest for a hour plus.

There is also a giant mango orchard belonging to the old king. The caretaker is an ancient guy called Dasru. Tell him you want to just walk to the river and in the orchards. (Technically it is private land in the middle of the forest)

Route:

Mumbai - Valsad - Dharampur (turnoff is around 2km before Valsad, after Atul under the flyover) - Vansda, Waghai-Bhainskatri-Dharampada-Kalibel-
Mahal- Ahwa-Saputara-Nashik- Mumbai.

You could also come back via Valsad and not go to Saputara and Nashik.


Road conditions are excellent. Mostly single laned after Waghai till Mahal (two cars can pass) roads thru forests. (The road to Bhainskatri is old road to Ahwa, near ST bus stand) and is quite desolate. (Most signboards are in Gujarati)

Forest checkposts everywhere but they remain open for private cars

Food:
Small dhabas in small towns(Waghai, Ahwa). Chai shops in many places
Good food. Just dont expect luxury.


Other trivia:
There is a campsite in Mahal also but the guy told me that it is usually full of students from schools who come for nature/environmental studies

There is a century old forest rest house in Mahal (was being painted when I went there) which looked quite amazing. One has to make reservations through the forest department in Ahwa, so it may help to know some babu types for this one.

For those coming to Vansda from Mumbai, there is a road from just before Vapi to Dharampur which is supposed to be a great drive (instead of taking the highway for the Vapi to Valsad stretch.

For an endless supply of trivia about this place, contact Mandeep (epicenter_rulez) whose tips made this trip different
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Old 12th January 2010, 23:27   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis View Post


Route:

Mumbai - Valsad - Dharampur (turnoff is around 2km before Valsad, after Atul under the flyover) - Vansda, Waghai-Bhainskatri-Dharampada-Kalibel-
Mahal- Ahwa-Saputara-Nashik- Mumbai.

You could also come back via Valsad and not go to Saputara and Nashik.
After the spooky encounter with the tribal priestess, I proceeded on the route from Ahwa- Saputara - Nashik to Mumbai since an old friend offered hot tea and snacks at their home in Nashik.

Tea and snacks were great but trying to get past Shahapur on the Nashik- Mumbai road was a nightmare with drunk pilgrims from Shirdi in Sumos and taveras's causing gridlock which I learnt was a regular feature on Sunday evenings.

I pulled over and chilled for over 2 hours (was the only person eating in the local bar, a fact which the two drunk guys at the next table found highly amusing ) before getting on the road again.

Here is the last installment of haiku from the home stretch in Gujarat...

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A stop on a bridge
A mob descends
A camera makes friends

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Little men and women
Poses are struck
Blossoming models all

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The river runs
The road winds
Their path I follow


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Trees reach out and beckon
Road promises an endless run
But it is time to head home


---epilogue

One last verse dedicated to Saputara, the saddest hillstation I have seen in a while

Pot bellied businessmen in shiny flowery shirts
Wives sporting jeans they never dare at home
Bolo Tara Rara...Saputara...

Hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed the journey

-genesis
Genesis - soumya.org

-fin

Last edited by genesis : 12th January 2010 at 23:30.
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Old 26th August 2010, 13:07   #27
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>>> Why is Saputara your saddest hill station?

Btw, enjoyed the Ramzan eat - waiting for more!

Regards
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