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Old 7th February 2010, 11:51   #1
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Default Hiding Tiger, Snorting Bison: Dajipur, Maharashtra

It all began with a few mysterious pictures on team-bhp. A picture of a lake, some hills, and Cougar(Roy's) gypsy standing over a magnificent panoramic vista...
Could this really be Maharashtra?

Fast forward 3 days...

"You are doing what for New Years?" said the voice on the other end of the line.

In retrospect, the idea of driving 8 hours to reach a place with scarce accommodation, slightly alleviated by the vague promise of "full hain, but aa jao adjust kar lenge" (We are full but come over we will 'adjust' you), sounded a bit daft.

But the person behind the voice (my usual navigator) was many thousand's of miles away in the land of the brave and the free (and 26 inches of snow) visiting her sisters, and here I was free to do daft things in a newly discovered bachelorhood (well until she came back...) and live the life of the wild and carefree.

"But where is this Dajipur?" she asks. Umm...you go to Kolhapur from Mumbai, go right, drive some 100km and you are there. (I did not tell her that if you drive a 100 more you reach Goa!)

"Okay, I guess you will go anyway, just drive carefully!"

"Permission" obtained from the high command, I shoved my already packed backpack into the innova, threw in a sleeping bag just in case the 'adjustment' did not happen and on the morning of Dec 31, headed out bright and early, returning on the 2nd of Jan exploring a magical place which included sights like

This
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This

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And This

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...
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Old 7th February 2010, 11:59   #2
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Excellent teaser there. A solo ride to Dajipur ?

waiting for more
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Old 7th February 2010, 12:19   #3
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Ah, Genesis,
You have done it what i am just dreaming.
fast the forward moments please.
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Old 7th February 2010, 12:34   #4
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I will be glued to this thread. After a long time some one has visited dajipur near my home town. I was planning this trip for long time but then never made it possible. We need more snaps .
uday
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Old 7th February 2010, 12:36   #5
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Nice start. Could you give us a little more details as well, cost et al.
And bring on the pics baby.
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Old 7th February 2010, 12:58   #6
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The clock on the dashboard shows 5.20 am as I photograph the sleeping watchman who snores away oblivious to the engine of the innova growling next to him. Since the flash does not have any effect, a physical nudge persuades him to open the gates without the slightest hint of shame and I head out with the ipod playing the old favorite..."Born To Be Wild". ..

Miles are crunched, playlists are punched, a huge container truck overturns on the other side of the road in the ghats completely blocking it, the tollbooth guy tries to give me eclairs instead of hard cash and I reach Virangula (around 8km after Khambatki Ghats and 20km before Satara) at around 8 am to partake the culinary joy's of Maharashtra.

The fiery misal tempts but not wanting to burn a hole in my stomach so early in the morning, i eye what the 'real' Maharashtrians are having for breakfast and settle for the upma and a hot cup of chai. (Marathi lesson of the morning: Uppit =Upma). Breakfast over, 20 mins gone (some day I will learn to drive on drip feed like hvk), the highway beckons and I hit the outskirts of Kolhapur by 10 and stop at the underpass...to ask the locals about the road to Dajipur.

Go right, go straight, take a left at Rankala, then ask for Vashi Naka. Last I checked, Vashi Naka was near my house in Chembur, Mumbai, but then they were the locals. The only problem I soon discover is that Kolhapur is being dug up and the lefts and rights dont quite hold.

After navigating a few one ways, I fill up diesel and find the elusive Rankala, (which to my chagrin is a HUGE lake in the middle of the city), hang the left and am soon making my way past the sugar cane carts and chasing state transport buses on the highway to Radhanagari.

But I am no longer alone. The mild mannered gentleman who helped me with directions needed to be dropped off at a village school on the way to Dajipur...

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Sugarcane carts

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The ubiquitous ST bus

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Time for school

Last edited by genesis : 7th February 2010 at 13:00.
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Old 7th February 2010, 13:33   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis View Post
am soon making my way past the sugar cane carts and chasing state transport buses on the highway to Radhanagari.
Those sugarcane carts are heading toward Bhogawati co-op sugar mill.

@ Genesis,
nice narration.
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Old 7th February 2010, 13:37   #8
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great going, reminds me when we went to tarkali we had taken this rout, need more pic, I miss kolhapur.
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Old 7th February 2010, 14:29   #9
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Great! You're on the move again - though the travelogue comes one month behind schedule. Do make up for it by posting quicker!
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Old 7th February 2010, 16:39   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
@ Genesis,
nice narration.
Thanks! Decided to be a bit more verbose this time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by udaydesai View Post
great going, reminds me when we went to tarkali we had taken this rout, need more pic, I miss kolhapur
The route is quite scenic. I did not stop over in Kolhapur, but first impressions were that it is quite a nice laid back town. On the list to go back again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Great! You're on the move again - though the travelogue comes one month behind schedule. Do make up for it by posting quicker!
Aye Aye Captain! Your wish is my command!


Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis View Post
But I am no longer alone. The mild mannered gentleman who helped me with directions needed to be dropped off at a village school on the way to Dajipur...
Continuing...

Mr Rao turned out to be quite an interesting companion. The conversation wheeled from local politics of Sharad Pawar and Narayan Rane, to the price of sugar, to the economy in the US, to the dead pixel on the screen of the laptop his son had gifted him and by the time I dropped him off on the road near his school, he probably understood how ABS and airbags work!

Alone once more, it was time to put pedal to the metal and keep swallowing the blacktop

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Soon the road started winding upwards and it was time to mentally downshift, with numerous stops to take in the terraced scenery and every now and then venture off road whenever some tire tracks appeared to tempt the heart

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Just past Radhanagari, I saw a sign for Radhanagari dam and turned in, only to be greeted by massive gates and security which politely told the curious to keep out. On asking if I would get to see the lake from the road ahead, he nodded yes. I later found out that he was being extremely modest!

A few kilometers up the ghat road, seeing some tire tracks cut into a field I turned off the road and on a whim followed them in. The flat field turned down a hillside, rose up again, the path became rocky, boulders started to clang the underside. A sixth sense told me to keep going on, while common sense told me that I would have a really tough time getting back up this trail in a two wheel drive, which on top of it was a RWD.

Slip sliding down, the path crossed a few hills and then suddenly opened out in a golden plateau and presented one of the most breath taking sights I have seen in my travels (and i have travelled a fair bit!)

In the midst of absolute silence and a quite breeze, there was the Radhanagari lake in all its glory

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Spent a good 30 minutes there doing a fashion shoot with the car,

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until it was time to head back and most importantly try and get back on the road...
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Old 8th February 2010, 01:39   #11
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Beautiful - those are quite some tracks you took
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Old 8th February 2010, 02:19   #12
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Genesis, your last post was at 16:39. Now it is almost 10.5 hrs and we haven't heard from you. All well?

Write fast..Can't wait any longer...
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Old 8th February 2010, 03:22   #13
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Maharastra has some of the most unexpolred views i feel. Amazing Genesis we are waiting
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Old 8th February 2010, 12:16   #14
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Quote:
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until it was time to head back and most importantly try and get back on the road...
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Clunk, Scraaaatch, Clunk...
15 minutes later, there I was, all covered with dust, hands as reddish brown as a new bride as I stood at the side of the track wondering how I was going to navigate the incline with the loose soil and smooth boulders, some of which had already lovingly caressed the delicate undersides of my silver chariot.

All the terms from a few months of lurking on the 4x4 forum came flooding in:
torque, 4h, 4l, diff lock, lsd, articulation....unfortunately none of these would be of help since the innova had none of those, especially torque, and no co-passenger to put some weight to help the RWD. Wait! I did have a tow rope...but no vehicle in a few miles to tow me!

More importantly, I could subconsciously feel the eyes of the 'voice on the phone' drilling my back with the 'I told you so look'.

Time to swallow pride, my shoulders bent and head low, I pried some boulders from their comfortable positions and with a combination of this, an angled approach and a few love bites from the bushes to my front bumper, managed to claw my way back up again.

This exercise repeated itself one more time, and then finally I was back on the main road, all thrilled with myself that it had turned out fine, but also quite aware that it could easily have gone wrong...

The time was well past 1pm, hunger pangs were gnawing and it was time to pick up speed. But each corner held a beautiful surprise with the water getting closer and closer, forcing me to stop and clamber down the roadside

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until I realized that I was in a land that had 'Water Water Everywhere'

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and I should just contain myself and reach my destination...the Bison Resort At Dajipur...
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Old 8th February 2010, 13:14   #15
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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!
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