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Old 10th February 2010, 10:04   #31
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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.
Thats true no point doing a day trip. I think we will go and stay at the same place as you did.
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Old 10th February 2010, 10:52   #32
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and into a raging bullfight...
Craaack...The sound of clashing horns (and skulls) and thundering hoofs resounded through the air as three WWF contestants went at it hammer and tongs.

The lady who owned two of the bulls tried to regain control, but was royally ignored as they showed moves that would put the undertaker and khali to shame.

The battle royale continued until her husband mustered the courage to come rushing in again to try and beat some sense into them.

Here are some action sequences...

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In retrospect, maybe they were inspired by the magic of this sticker...

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But finally they patched up and made peace with each other

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...

Last edited by genesis : 10th February 2010 at 10:53.
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Old 11th February 2010, 07:31   #33
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"There is gold in em mountains", said the grizzled prospector to Gregory Peck in the cult movie Mackenna's Gold. Memories of that scene flashed by as grizzled Shantaram said to me, "Ya Jangal Madhe Sona Ahe" (There is gold in em jungles!). He was referring to a prized feature of Dajipur Sanctuary, a particular kind of leaf which is used to produce drugs for arresting cancer and which to a new kind of poachers were worth their weight in gold.

Shantaram was a character. A forest guard with over 20 years of experience, white moustache, bloody eyes, sickle hanging from a wooden holster at his side, he had shown up in the evening when a tempo traveller with around 8 BPO/KPO types arrived and they apparently had enough "contacts" to get the sanctuary opened for them on a day it was supposed to be closed. Things moved fast and the group that I had been trekking with got into the resort's jeep while I went in the tempo traveller with Shantaram and his new wards. Into the jungle we went ...

Jeep
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Road in sanctuary
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There is no way my innova would have made some areas of the track but the tempo traveller grunted its way up, with the running boards getting stuck once in a while.

Initially it was quite funny. The new group had no idea where they were. "Where are we?", "What is the name of this jungle?", "What is this place known for?" For people who had driven the whole night to come from Pune, it was quite astounding. I also became the translator using my broken Marathi (Raj Thackeray, spare me) to convert Shantaram's missives into English.

Then it got irritating. We stopped at one place to go down a tiny track to a watering hole. Just as Shantaram advised us to be quiet, one of the girls in the group went..."Ew! My shoes, I dont want to go down here". I guess whatever bison may have been around scattered away way before we came and the pattern kept repeating itself. Shantaram and me glanced at each other.
The watering hole was dry and muddy but we could see footprints around it.
As we walked back, he stopped and showed us a big fat paw print, not a leopard, it was the print of one of the 5 tigers in the jungle. It was welcome relief from the irritation and quite a thrill. In addition some of the awesome mountain views we got lifted my spirits.

Jungle track
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Watering hole
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Tiger Paw
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Konkan View
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It was time to move deeper into the jungle...
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Old 11th February 2010, 09:08   #34
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eww my shoes?? Lol
Guess you ran in to other wild animals as well other than the bisons. It can get pretty annoying!
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Old 11th February 2010, 13:12   #35
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what a scene dude, you are lucky!!! please continue cant wait.
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Old 11th February 2010, 15:54   #36
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eww my shoes?? Lol
Guess you ran in to other wild animals as well other than the bisons. It can get pretty annoying!
Your comment brings up an interesting point which I have been thinking about for a while. Interested in viewpoints (there is no black and white)

The first group with whom I was trekking the previous day and morning were (if I may take liberties) solid middle class, science, commerce graduates, one working in a shipping firm, one working as an insurance salesman, all from non IT backgrounds (you get the picture?). They were so rooted to the earth, level headed, feet on the ground, in tune with nature, amazing bonding between them, great conversations about the nature of life and its twists and turns and just a pleasure to be with.

The second group was (taking liberties again) from a KPO, BPO background, snazzily dressed, listening to music from ipods and cellphones, one of them happily sozzled, conversation revolved around pop music, barista's, pubs in mumbai, pune etc. Exactly zilch respect for nature and the land they were on.

I found it interesting that the industry you work in can make such a difference...
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Old 12th February 2010, 21:10   #37
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-duplicate post please delete-

Last edited by genesis : 12th February 2010 at 21:27. Reason: mods: duplicate post - please delete
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Old 12th February 2010, 21:21   #38
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It was time to move deeper into the jungle...
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On the way we stopped at a few places for some more views

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While the birds watched our progress

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Until we came to a large clearing at the edge of which stood a watchtower

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At the top of which I caught up with the saner group of friends.
We scanned a very large waterhole for any signs of life

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But given the noisy demeanour of the other party, our hopes of finding anything soon faded into the sunset

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And we finally headed back to the resort in the fast moving darkness...

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Old 13th February 2010, 04:01   #39
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good pics there genesis.

from the looks of it, the shahu talav shrinks in size every week! it was twice this size in Xmas!
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Old 13th February 2010, 14:41   #40
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Hey Great pics!!!

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Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
good pics there genesis.

from the looks of it, the shahu talav shrinks in size every week! it was twice this size in Xmas!

seriously, the way we are loosing water its not funny. poor animals
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Old 13th February 2010, 17:57   #41
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Excellent pics and extremely well narrated travelogue. This is nice to read your travel to a forest in western part of India in the same time that I'm writing mine about travel to forests in the eastern part. Cheers buddy. Great going.
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Old 15th February 2010, 09:45   #42
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And we finally headed back to the resort in the fast moving darkness...
Back at the resort, over a hot cup of tea, one of the members from my previous group hands me his camera and says, "Look what we saw".
Captured in the pixels was a family of gaur, which they had chanced upon at a stop. Apparently they were so sensitive that even the clicking of the camera spooked them away, so I had to comfort myself that there was no way my raucous high heeled group would have been blessed with such a sight.

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-photo from a friend's camera-

It was time to cheer myself up, so there I went zigzagging again down the Phonda ghats, headlights carving the darkness, surrendered myself to the warm comfort of the Nepali cook's fried rice and chicken chilli followed by a walk down the fast emptying streets of the town and another winding drive back.

Alarm set for 4.15 am, left the sleeping resort at 4.45 am and was back in Mumbai by around noon. It was a fairly uneventful drive other than lighting up some early morning backsides doing bhoomi pooja (worship of the earth) and a particularly peculiar breed who insisted on doing yoga poses at the edges of the state highway.

Fond memories of Dajipur make me certain that I will be back in April/May when water is at its lowest and animals at their visibility highest. Until then it is time to ring the bells and bid adieu to a magical place where every now and then time takes a break and the world stands still...

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-fin-
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Old 15th February 2010, 12:32   #43
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Your comment brings up an interesting point which I have been thinking about for a while. Interested in viewpoints (there is no black and white)

....

I found it interesting that the industry you work in can make such a difference...
Genesis, Actually it is otherway round. Industry sector is not to be faulted here. It is the people (with some preference) who make the choices to be in that sector and behave in a way accepted in that
sector. Demographics (age group related dynamics) & peer pressure also play critical role in people's behaviour.

There are people in BPO/KPO who are also middle class (economically), with very mature behaviours, respect for the nature, good knowledge about animals, photography etc.

Bottom line is We become what we practice to be.
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Old 16th February 2010, 11:20   #44
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Bottom line is We become what we practice to be.
Very well said sir .

A few years back my folks had been to Dajipur and their bus almost brokedown. According to them the 30 minutes during which the bus was being repaired was one of most scary minutes of their lives because that was time when there were no cell phones .

Keep up the good work, lovely pics.
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Old 16th February 2010, 11:26   #45
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Very well said sir .

A few years back my folks had been to Dajipur and their bus almost brokedown. According to them the 30 minutes during which the bus was being repaired was one of most scary minutes of their lives because that was time when there were no cell phones .

Keep up the good work, lovely pics.
@mayurpalav: Thanks!

Actually Dajipur is still a zone where you may have a cellphone but it rarely works.
You have to go to high ground, angle it a particular way and then your BSNL has some chance of catching 2 bars. I ended up using 1 Rs coins in the red phone at the resort canteen!
It was a blessing to be able to stop the thumbs from hitting the sync button for 2 days!
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