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Old 21st October 2010, 20:52   #16
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We are now heading for Murud-Janjira. It is decided to give Kashid a miss for oily reasons.

At one point we ask a gentleman for direction. He says – take a right turn after 10 kms. How can anybody be so precise – we think. I note the trip meter reading. Guess what? It was 9.8 kms! The male species is 1 up in the experiment. Of-course Nitin and Amit take credit for it. In between there were episodes where both sides gave pass.

Around 5 pm we arrive at Murud. We hire a boat go to the fort.




Ladies and Gentlemen we now present to you the unconquered fort of Murud-Janjira.


Entrance of the fort. It is cleverly designed. From distance it is hard to locate. The curves nicely overlap each other, hiding the stairs. One of the reasons why it remained unconquered.



Inside the fort.






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Old 21st October 2010, 20:54   #17
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Some more snaps of the fort.




Two water tanks.




Closer view of the water tank.







Last edited by fi.robin : 21st October 2010 at 20:56.
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Old 21st October 2010, 20:58   #18
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We explore the fort while the boat waits for us at the entrance. It occurred to us that we four are the only people on the fort, making things even more special. Sad that reducing light means we can’t spend much time here.

By 6.30 we are back at the shore. We ask for direction to Harihareshwar. No surprises here, but no points either. At one junction we enquire again. A lady comes to our help but I prefer cross checking. Wrong move. I get a deal from Ketaki.

Soon a Scorpio overtakes us and stops at a distance. When we move to overtake it the driver asks – are you going to Harihareshwar?. We nod. You can follow us, we are going in the same direction – comes the reply.

It is dark now. Following the Scorpio is easy. Driver is driving with care as road is broken at various places. There is not a soul on the road. Add rain, twists and ups and downs to it. And the wild imaginations. While we follow the car we are cautious too. We only saw the driver and windows are too dark to get hint of any family member inside. Ketaki thinks it is a ghost. We take snaps to confirm that it isn’t (ok just kidding ).

After a long time a vehicle comes from the opposite side. The light from the vehicle casts a shadow of a girl at the rear glass of the Scorpio. Amit says – They may have kidnapped the girl, we should still be cautious.

Getting over the imagination, I think the Scorpio was god sent. Without it we would have surely reached somewhere else. There was no one on the road to ask for directions. I saw atleast two snakes crossing the road. Frogs hopping in the light of the car was a common site. It was one of those driving moments that I will never forget in my life. We passed not more than 5 vehicles in almost 3 hrs of driving. We thanked the driver of the Scorpio and moved on.

It is not a ghost.


But it may be drunk .


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Old 21st October 2010, 21:01   #19
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Scorpio left us some 5 kms before Harihareshwar. Driver told us that the road ahead is straight and good. We also enquired about hotels. According to him we should get good hotels near the bus stand.

Soon we reach a T point. We are in Harihareshwar now. We read the markings – temple left, MTDC resort right. We chose MTDC and take a right. Around 500 mts later there is a fork in the road. Confused we ahead back to the T point and procede towards the temple. It is raining heavely and there is not even a dog on the road. We reach a dead end. There is a ST bus standing. We figure this could be the bus stand. Harihareshwar is a very small place. Bus stand is actually a small open parking area.

Amit and Nitin go out to check a Hotel. I could see only one hotel. It is just 9.30 PM but feels like midnight. We book two cottages for 1300/- each with AC.

After settling down we go to the restaurant for dinner. Tasty Konkani food awaits us.


August 27: In the morning there is no rain and we spend peacefull time at the beach.

View of our cottages. The inside design/colors left us thinking the whole day. I guess it was under renovation. but it is close to the beach.
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Old 21st October 2010, 21:02   #20
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Closed path. We still cross it but don’t go in the water. Sea is rough.














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Old 21st October 2010, 21:03   #21
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Old 21st October 2010, 21:05   #22
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Around 10 we get ready for breakfast. I stick to my regular stuff – egg and bread. There is pav instead of bread. Others have the traditional Misal Pav and Idily. Today’s plan is to go to Ganpatipule. But there is a hitch. We are short of cash. Problem doesn’t stop there. There is no ATM in Harihareshwar. What – no ATM? The nearest ATM is in Shrivardhan – 16 kms from here. We had passed this place the previous night.


The same road looked scary the previous night.


We figured that there are two ways of going to Ganpatipule. One required crossing water in a ferry. We choose the other – through NH 17. The good thing is that we have to go to Shrivardhan anyway.

Did I mention that this trip was dynamic by purpose. Well, even before we touch the highway Amit thinks we should visit the Raigarh fort. That is it then. We connect NH 17 after lunch. According to the map we have to take left near Mahad. We ask a gentleman for direction – take left after 4 kms. I note the odo reading. It is 3.4 kms. I would still call it close.How do they do that?Amazing! Male species is 2 up now. Amit and Nitin again try to take the credit.

There is no rain uptill now today. We reach the base of the fort by 4.30 pm and it starts raining. One can go to the top using the ropeway also. We are the only 4 tourists , but ropeway will take us to the top. One rope way cabin can accommodate 4 and there are 2 such in one batch. It is off season and so they have to wait for 8 people to gather. Fortunatley mechanics and workers are frequently doing rounds so we don’t have to wait too long.

Rope disappearing in the cloud.


Rope way mechanicals.


Snapped from cloud 9.
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Old 21st October 2010, 21:06   #23
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At the top we are approached by a guide. He quotes 200/- . Thinking it will make his day we hire him. He is a gentle man. Polite in his ways. He starts with the history.

We usually don’t hire guides, but a little history doesn’t hurt, esp. for a man who has failed numerous history tests in his life . I don’t remember much of what the guide said except that Shivaji Maharaj had 8 queens and 6 lived in that fort. Also that the fort burnt for full 12 days when it was attacked. I am interested in history now .











It is a big fort.
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Old 21st October 2010, 21:08   #24
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The main gate. The Shabha hall had a capacity of 6000.


the lonely tree. Hardly visible.


Shivaji Maharaj.


Through the gate.


We are good at it .


There are a few families who are allowed to stay on the hill near the fort. They are the descendents of the original people who lived here in that era. Now they offer Kandha bahjji (fried onion) and other cooked food to the tourists. We are the only tourists here too ;.

It is a perfect weather for Kandha bahjji and tea. Those who go trekking in monsoon in these parts will know what I mean. While we wait for our bahjji.







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Old 21st October 2010, 21:09   #25
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We decide to halt at Mahad for the night. There a few options on the higway. Kuber Palace was a decent place. Rs 1400/- per night, AC wala room . The next day was for Velneshwar and Ganptipule.

28th August: We start after breakfast. I saw a Reliance bunk yesterday, just a few blocks away. The attendent greets us, but there is no petrol, only diesel. We go to the adjacent BP bunk. I was insisting on Reliance because of better fuel quality. Sadly most of the outlets just sell diesel.
We had hardly driven 5 kms when we got a call from the hotel. Amit managed to bring the room key with him. We take a you turn. The guard collects the key. I wave to the manager apologetically, he responds as if trying to say – no problem.

We drive on NH 17 till Chiplun. We get a chance to see my wife’s school and a few more wonders of Chiplun (like the Reddy pertol pump). The road is broken at places, but the overall things are beautiful. We take a right for Velneshwar, it is another 52 kms from here. The road is good and beautiful. We are used to it now

Just before Velneshwar we pass a resort. It is quite big but there is hardly anyone to be seen. We decide to have lunch here. While the lunch is being prepared we play with Bunty and Babli.







Baby rabbit. It is so soft to touch.
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Old 21st October 2010, 21:11   #26
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With tummy full we head for Velneshwar. The reflection from the sea is too strong for naked eyes.






Maui Jim moment. Maui Jim has a story but first the pics.





Amit and Ketaki speak Marathi well. I can understand quite a lot but I am a bit shy when it comes to speaking. Speaking Marathi is not easy. To pronounce certain letters, the tounge is to be rolled differently then the same letter while speaking in hindi. Nitin’s Marathi is limited to – wah! Kai bavalat distay aahe.That too in a sining tone. It tranlates to “Wah! How stupid you look.” He picked it on the first day of the trip. His tutor – Amit, who else .

At the beach.


I told you we are good at it. They are not posing for pics. This what they do whenever they can and they can do it all day long.




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Old 21st October 2010, 21:13   #27
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We spend around an hour here in Velneshwar before starting again for Ganpatipule.

The road that we drove on.






Rai bridge. Everybody here knows this.
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Old 21st October 2010, 21:14   #28
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The drive till Ganpatipule was uneventful but beautiful. We notice a pair of towers which could be part of a power station or a steel plant, visible throughout our journey from Velneshwar to Ganpatipule, only changing in direction. Both had powerful sets of lights which blinked at regular intervals. We named it –The Coolest Thing.

We deicided to check out the MTDC hotel on the beach. It is a prime location. Bang on the beach. The problem is MTDC has a strong liking for fungi cultivation. Amit was sure he didn’t want a room which had fungi growing in the toilet. For me – I didn’t want fungi on the pillow atleast. AC rooms were pathetic with paint peeling off due excess water seepage. Perhaps the legacy of the corrupt govt. officials. Non AC rooms were better. Thank god we take our bed-sheets along whenever we travel. But still the damp smell can dampen your spirit.

We spend the evening on the beach. Much beyond the sunset, watching The Coolest Thing.

First view of the sea as we approach Ganpatipule.




View from the balcony


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Old 21st October 2010, 21:15   #29
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29th August: 9 Am check out time meant a relatively early start. It had started raining yesterday after dinner and it is still raining. Our destination today - Tarkarli.

Ketaki felt a drop on her feet. It seems to be coming from below the glove box. Strange, the AC is suppose to drive all the moisture out of the car. I check to confirm. The mat is not wet. May be it is just a few drops (It did not reoccur once we crossed to the other side of the Western Ghats). I guess the AC vent in the glove box was open. The moisture in the glove box nowhere to go dropped below.

Our road to Malvan.








Water falls alert


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Old 21st October 2010, 21:17   #30
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The road to Malvan is familiar now. The inner roads having flowers of various chromaticities.

Road side flowers.








Still don’t believe? Watch this.


If you still don’t believe then make a trip to Konkan in monsoon. It won't disappoint you.
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