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Old 8th February 2010, 13:23   #16
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and I should just contain myself and reach my destination...the Bison Resort At Dajipur...
"Park Band Ahe. Reservation Ahe Ka?" (The Park is closed. Do you have a reservation) asked the bored forest guard manning the barrier gate at the entrance to Dajipur. I summoned up my rusty Marathi and mumbled something to the effect that I had talked to Naresh Yadav, the manager of the resort. The big bamboo pole was lifted and I was granted permission to enter the promised land.

The term 'Resort' can be a bit misleading. The place is a sprawling property with a large old dak bungalow type building which has around 4 double bedded rooms and two 10 bedded dorms. There is a fairly large kitchen and sitting area in the front area of the bungalow. Extremely basic functionality, a bit rundown with renovation lagging due to a dispute between the owner, mtdc and the forest department. But the location is prime, right in front of the lake and at the entrance to the national park.

Mr Naresh Yadav ("who had promised to "adjust me" once I arrived since the place was full), was a nice gentleman, who sized me up and said, I have a double room kept just for you! Turns out that during the New year time, they dont fancy having single young men around in case they get drunk and create a ruckus. Either I did not look young to him, or the wedding ring on my finger helped but I think it was the quickly triangulated fact that we had grown up in the same area in Mumbai. Elated that the sleeping bag would lie consigned in the back of the car I quickly freshened up and had a piping hot vegetarian thali served by an old 'mama' with a shuffling gait.

Mr Naresh also gave me the not so elating news that the actual park was closed on the 31st and 1st (to avoid the same potentially drunk youths) but he would see what he could do to 'adjust'. But until that could be done, he hooked me up with a young group of trekkers from Mumbai and guide who would take us for a short trek to a nearby lake in the evening.

At 4.00 pm the guide Uttam shows up and takes the group through some nice trails to the top of a small dam overlooking yet another lake, an area with some beautiful flowers and finally to the edge of a mountain from where we can see the magnificient vista of the mountainous region (konkan Kada) which divides Kolhapur and Sindhudurg.

Lake
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Flowers
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Konkan Kada
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Soon it is getting dark and it is time to head back to the resort and we are thankful that we have a guide to take us back.

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...
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Old 8th February 2010, 14:55   #17
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Ok. Wai or Daijipur? I'm confused now. Was planning to take my family on a surprise picnic to Wai. Looking at the water water everywhere snaps, I'm thinking again. More such photos, then I'd plan a trip to Daijipur and keep wai for another time!
From Pune, I would only recommend a overnight trip to Dajipur. Staying overnight also allows you to go for a safari into the forest early morning or late evening. Day trip would be too hectic.

All I can say is that Dajipur is an incredible place. Just be prepared for slightly run down accomodation (comfortable and more or less clean) and great simple home cooked style food.
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Old 8th February 2010, 14:59   #18
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From Pune, I would only recommend a overnight trip to Dajipur. Staying overnight also allows you to go for a safari into the forest early morning or late evening. Day trip would be too hectic.

All I can say is that Dajipur is an incredible place. Just be prepared for slightly run down accomodation (comfortable and more or less clean) and great simple home cooked style food.
most of my trips are min 2 days, unless it's to the mall!

And run down acco and simple food is what I look for. You got me all excited there with news about a Bison Safari!
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Old 8th February 2010, 18:10   #19
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Soon it is getting dark and it is time to head back to the resort and we are thankful that we have a guide to take us back....
Back at the resort, it was time for some chai pakoda with my new friends, a very close group of friends, all a couple of years into their first jobs after graduation, some married, some being forced into marriage , and all with very strong points of view. After some spirited conversation excused myself, went to my room and curled up with a book.

Grabbed a dinner of hardcore "pithla bhakar" (cant translate to english other than bhakar is a roti made of jawar and i dont know what pithla is) and was watching some families start making preparations for a bonfire.

The moon was bright and almost full, the air was crisp, so on a whim decided to take the car out for a spin to Phonda a small village/town 13 km down the ghats.

What followed was pure driver nirvana. Darkness lit up by moonlight, curving roads, windows open, scant traffic, great music, drifting down the bends I reached Phonda, a one street town with some stalls, a beer shop, lots of pan merchants, and the piece de resistance: a shack restaurant which was selling Chinese food!

The nepali face at the open counter inspired a desire to have some non veg and I asked him to pack me some chilly chicken to take back fully aware that this was a high risk tactic (chinese food and phonda dont quite jel together by any stretch of imagination). He was quite fascinated knowing that I had come from Dajipur to take a parcel!

Drifted back up the curves again to Dajipur covering the 13km in a short time, unpacked the food (it was simply delicious), ushered in the new year listening to my ipod and then gently drifted off to sleep...

Had to wake up bright and early for a morning trek to a local temple at 7.00 am...

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A daylight view of phonda ghat

Last edited by genesis : 8th February 2010 at 18:24.
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Old 8th February 2010, 18:18   #20
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Great pics i must say!!! wating for more....
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Old 8th February 2010, 18:52   #21
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Lovely narration and amazing pics. Keep it coming....
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Old 8th February 2010, 19:11   #22
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Genesis, I am hooked to this thread. As I was wondering how did you venture in to places where you saw some trails with an innova, you explained the hardship you faced to get the vehicle back on the road. I can understand the exitement and the sense of accomplishment once youa re back on the road.

The photos that you took of your ride is awesome and its worth every effort you spent on getting your vehicle there. Keep it coming my friend, we all are waiting for more updates.
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Old 8th February 2010, 19:37   #23
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great pictures and narration, I am hooked!

cant wait anymore!!!
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Old 9th February 2010, 08:07   #24
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Had to wake up bright and early for a morning trek to a local temple at 7.00 am...
"Paisa Paisa Karti Hai, Tu Paise Pe Kyun Marti Hai!", (Money More Money You Always Say, Why Are You Obsessed With Money) the nasal twang of this song starring Akshay Kumar jolted me from my slumber. Apparently there was a wedding in the village and what better time to start celebrating than early in the morning by blasting out music through a tinny public address system.

Dreams shattered, quickly dressed up and went out into open to see the sun rise over the lake and the village kids splash in the cold water like playful dolphins. The beauty of nature easily made Akshay's monetary obsession suddenly pale into insignificance...

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Sunrise

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Splash

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Wipe

With three cups of tea down, the clock winding its way past 8 am and still no sign of Uttam, our guide, we decided to find our way to the temple for the morning trek. Luckily Uttam finds us a few minutes after the start, looking a bit worse from the wear from the previous night's excesses but still with a cheerful smile on his face.

The temple can be approached by a tarred road but he took us through some forest paths explaining some of the flora and fauna along the way.

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The temple, devoted to a local goddess was a simple one, with a very unique landmark of two entwined trees mysteriously gracing the courtyard. The compound allowed for some more views of the mountains but more importantly the height allowed the reception of the ubiquitous cell phone signal to wish the voice on the phone a happy new year.

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Entwined-1

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Temple


It was now time to head back down to the lake...
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Old 9th February 2010, 13:25   #25
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Nice pictures & good write-up, good going @@genesis. Keep them coming
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Old 9th February 2010, 17:35   #26
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genesis, just hooked to it and am impressed , not only with those beautiful nature scenes, but with your off-road endeavor as much as with your really hilarious and lucid narration. So what's the result! am glued for more! come fast buddy, its very interestingly told story!
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Old 9th February 2010, 18:08   #27
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For those looking for the logistics part, the details of the resort can be found at:

Bison Jungle Resort

The tariff is on the site as well as travel details. It is quite cheap and food is very good home cooked simple meals. Alcohol not allowed in public places. The place is much more run down than the site suggests, but livable. Best described as: Things may be broken and shabby but not dirty.

The number on the website is wrong, to get a booking you need to contact M.r. I.P Singh at 02226116699

This cannot be booked through the MTDC website.

At a minimum you need to stay there one night, preferably two. Things to do are trekking, walking, swimming, safari into the jungle (they have jeeps for hire) which I will be talking about soon.
There is a famous religious place called gagan bawda which can be driven to (I did not go there). If you have more time Devgadh beach is 100km away.

Last edited by genesis : 9th February 2010 at 18:22.
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Old 9th February 2010, 18:22   #28
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For those looking for the logistics part, the details of the resort can be found at

Bison Jungle Resort

The tariff is on the site as well as travel details. It is quite cheap and food is very good home cooked simple meals. Alcohol not allowed in public places. The place is much more run down than the site suggests, but livable. Best described as: Things may be broken and shabby but not dirty.

The number on the website is wrong, to get a booking you need to contact M.r. I.P Singh at 02226116699

This cannot be booked through the MTDC website.

At a minimum you need to stay there one night, preferably two. Things to do are trekking, walking, swimming, safari into the jungle (they have jeeps for hire) which I will be .
There is a famous religious place called gagan bawda which can be driven to (I did not go there). If you have more time Devgadh beach is 100km away.
Nice pics!!!!
Thats a great find. Are there other hotels there??
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Old 9th February 2010, 18:26   #29
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Nice pics!!!!
Thats a great find. Are there other hotels there??
There is a forest rest house in the sanctuary but last I checked it had no water!
Nothing else for miles. This is a blink and you will have passed through it small village.

You could stay in Kolhapur around 90km away and do a day trip but then no fun! The bus connections to Kolhapur are quite good.
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Old 10th February 2010, 07:52   #30
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It was now time to head back down to the lake...
Radhanagari lake is huge. The water was blue despite the rough early morning waves. As the waves lapped my feet, the vast expanse brought back memories of Pangong Tso and the crisp breeze gurgling sounds added to the nostalgia. This was amazing!

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The shoreline was deserted other than some bovine creatures ruminating on the future of the milk industry while their friends conducted aerial surveillance

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Also found a frisky little creature who decided that I was the best friend she had in a while

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And proceeded to lap my hands with the same gusto that the lake lapped my feet.

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Lazed around on the banks for a while, drying out the wet trouser bottoms, before heading back to the resort

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and into a raging bullfight...
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