Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Maharashtra Year End Tour/Trek


To begin with we were six, namely Hamsa, Jayashree, Gururaj, Purushottam, Raghavendra and I (Rohit). We hit Khollapur via Rani Chennamma Express, which landed us there late in the afternoon.
From Rohit, Hamsa, Jayashree, Raghavendra, Gururaj, Purushottam

Places visited:
Day 1 ~ 2 - 2009-12-25 ~ 2009-12-26 - Bangalore -> Khollapur [Lakshmi Temple] -> Khed
Day 3 - 2009-12-27 - Khed -> Mahad -> [Raigad Fort] -> Mahad -> Poladpur[halt]
Day 4 - 2009-12-28 - Poladpur -> Mahabaleshwar -> Panchagani -> Poladpur[halt]
Day 5 - 2009-12-29 - Poladpur -> Neveli -> Ganapathipule[Beach + Temple][halt]
Day 6 - 2009-12-30 - Ganapathipule -> [Jaigad Fort] -> Ratnagiri[Pawas] [halt]
Day 7 - 2009-12-31 - Ratnagiri[Pawas] -> [Bhagavati Mandir] -> [Aquarium] -> [Ratnagiri Gateway Beach] -> [18 Hand Ganesh] -> [Lokamanya Tilak Residence] -> [Thiba Palace] -> [Batia Beach] -> Ratnagiri [halt]
Day 8 - 2010-01-01 - Ratnagiri -> Taral -> [Vijaydurg Fort] -> Devagad -> [Light house] -> [Devagad Fort] -> [Devagad Beach + Crematorium] -> Nandgauv -> Kanakavali -> Sawanthwadi[halt]
Day 9 - 2010-01-02 - Sawanthwadi -> Amboli -> [Hiranyakeshi Temple] -> [Swayambu Siddivinayaka Temple] -> [Amboli View Point - kawalesad] -> [Nangartas Water fall] -> [Amboli View Point Mahadeva] -> [Amboli Water Falls] -> Belgaum
2010-01-02 ~ 2010-01-03 - Belgaum -> Bangalore.

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Total Expenses - INR 4,300 Inclusive of Travel, Food & Accommodation per head.

Day 9

2010-01-02 – Sawanthwadi, Amboli, Hiranyakeshi Temple, Swayambu Siddivinayaka Temple],Amboli View Point – kawalesad, Nangartas Water fall, Amboli View Point Mahadeva, Amboli Water Falls, Belgaum

From 2010-01-02 - Amboli Falls - Purushottam,Hamsa,Jayashree,Gururaj,Rohit,Raghavendra

From 2010-01-02 - Amboli - Raghavendra,Purushottam,Hamsa,Jayashree,Gururaj,Rohit

We could not make it to Amboli the previous day, we had to settle for Sawanthwadi, Amboli is about 31 kms from Sawanthawdi.
From 2010-01-02 - Amboli - Rohit,Raghavendra,Purushottam,Gururaj
On reaching Amobli, we tried contacting our old driver. But in vain, the locals said he had moved out. We then managed to contact Ravi.
From 2010-01-02 - Hiranyakeshi Temple
We had met him and his family during ous last visit to this place. What’s interesting is Ravi’s Beautiful sister. However she did not appear all that beautiful this time.
From 2010-01-02 - Swayambu Siddivinakaya Temple

We had the costliest breakfast at Kamath, the only pure veg restaurant in Amboli. Single idly + Vada costs INR 30. We started our touring at 930 hours. We first visited Hiranyakeshi Temple, nothing much had changed, except that the water level had reseeded and the place had clear waters this time.
From 2010-01-02 - Swayambu Siddivinakaya Temple

Earlier we hadn’t been to Swayambu Siddivinakaya Temple. The flowing waters here had tiny fishes which gave us tax free pedicure.
From 2010-01-02 - Amboli
We spent considerable amount of time with the fishes and left to Kawalesad view point. We took a long walk and explored the places we missed on our previous visit.
From 2010-01-02 - Amboli Kawalesad View Point
The greenery was lesser compared to our previous visit during September, however it’s still beautiful, any day better than Mahabeleshwar.
From 2010-01-02 - Catterpillar
Namgartas Water fall was amazing, by then it was lunch time.
From 2010-01-02 - Near Kawalesad Viewpoint
We had made preparations to cook in the open. Our cooking attracted a few Gaurs.
From 2010-01-02 - Near Kawalesad Viewpoint
I managed to capture them on my 50mm Macro lens. We next hit the Mahadeva view point, it was pretty good, on our previous visit this place was fogged out.
From 2010-01-02 - Near Kawalesad Viewpoint
Amboli Road side water fall was almost dry; we did not spend much time here. We had to catch the 1700 hours bus to Belgaum.
From 2010-01-02 - Near Kawalesad Viewpoint
We had sufficient time to have dinner and boarded a Rajahamsa to Bangalore.
From 2010-01-02 - Near Kawalesad Viewpoint

From 2010-01-02 - Near Kawalesad Viewpoint

From 2010-01-02 - Near Kawalesad Viewpoint

From 2010-01-02 - Near Kawalesad Viewpoint

From 2010-01-02 - Nangartas Water fall

From 2010-01-02 - Cooking Amboli

From 2010-01-02 - Unexpected Visitors

From 2010-01-02 - Bisleri

From 2010-01-02 - View Point Mahadeva

From 2010-01-02 - Near Mahadeva Viewpoint

From 2010-01-02 - Mahadeva Viewpoint

From 2010-01-02 - Amboli Water Falls

Day 8

2010-01-01 – Taral,Vijaydurg Fort,Devagad, Light house,Devagad Fort,Devagad Beach + Crematorium, Nandgauv ,Kanakavali,Sawanthwadi:
From 2010-01-01 - VijayDurg Fort - Rohit,Jayashree,Hamsa,Gururaj,Ragahvendra,Purushottam

We again had trouble reaching Vijaydurg, we ended up changing a lot of busses. Vijaydurg fort like most other forts was sea facing.
From 2010-01-01 - VijayDurg Fort
The waters were clear and blue. The fort's pretty big, we took a little walk and soon left.
From 2010-01-01 - VijayDurg Fort
There is a Light Flashing Unit, not sure if it was still operational, we guys climbed over to the top and monkeyed around for a while. There was some kind of special pooja being offered at a local temple there.
From 2010-01-01 - VijayDurg Fort
Gururaj and Hamsa managed to get Lemon rice and tea. The preparation had onions and I had to settle just for Tea.

On reaching Devagad we hired a couple of autos to take us around sight seeing. With no good restaurant nearby we ended up eating bakery items. The bakery owner happened to be from Karnataka. We were quite surpised to meet a lot of Kannadagias.

We first visited Devaghag Fort and Light house which are in the same premise. We also visited the Lighthouse and understood quite a lot. The officer in-charge there was from Karwar who was earlier posted at Karwar – Devabagh Island. He told us about the colour codes followed by each light house and their significance. He also told us about the number of revolutions of each light house is maintained a constant. And that this was an international standard followed. The range of Devagad Lighthouse is 50kms.
From 2010-01-01 - VijayDurg Fort

We next went to Devagad Beach, the beach was clean and hardly had people around; On seeing the cleanliness the guys had plans to scrap Amboli and camp here for the night. After I took a walk around I figured out it was a Crematorium, due to differences we scrapped the plan and headed off to Amboli.
From 2010-01-01 - VijayDurg Fort - Raghavendra

Day 7

2009-12-31 – Pawas,Bhagavati Mandir,Aquarium,Ratnagiri Gateway Beach,18 Hand Ganesh,Lokamanya Tilak Residence,Thiba Palace,Batia Beach, Ratnagiri [halt]

Day 7 was a busy day. We started our day at 4 am! We had plans on attending the Maha Mangalarthi at Pavas.
From 2009-12-31 - Ratnagiri - Bhagavati Mandir Fort
Only Raghavendra made it in time. We next headed off to Ratnagiri.
From 2009-12-31 - Ratnagiri - Bhagavati Mandir
We went around in a couple of autos, sight seeing. Since it was 31st we were planning on celebrations. Our initial plan was to camp on Bhatia beach, due to differences in the group we dropped the idea.
From 2009-12-31 - Flower in Bhagavati Mandir Premise

Bhagavati Mandir was the first destination, the view over the sea from here's too good. Adjacent to Bhagavati Mandir is a rocky cliff, due to time constraints we didn't scale it.
From 2009-12-31 - Adjacent Cliff to Bhagavati Mandir
Raghavendra was always fascinated with fishes, we visited a local Aquarium, next Ratnagiri Gateway Beach - it's a nice place to walk during dusk.
From 2009-12-31 - Ratnagiri - Lokamanya Tilak
The beach has a cemented platform to walk. We next visited the 18 hand Ganesh temple, however it was closed for lunch break, we could peep in through the window and a partial glimpse of it. Our next destination was Lokamanya Tilak’s Residence, nothing interesting just a place with historical importance.
From 2009-12-31 - Ratnagiri - Thiba Palace, Notice a small tilt in axis, it was because this shot was taken off a moving auto :)
We next had the best lunch at Mithali. The hotel staff were Kannadigas and we were well served. Everyone thought we were a bunch of crazy idiots having come all the way from Bangalore visiting Ratnagiri. Soon after lunch we headed to Bhatia beach. The beach was littered on the initial stretch as we walked further it got cleaner. We had plans to camp here for the New Year’s eve but dropped the idea on fear of police and drunken public. We later settled in a lodge facing the Bus Stand.
From 2009-12-31 - Flowering plant at Batia Beach
Next morning we were to board a bus at 530 hours to our next destination..
From 2009-12-31 - Rocks surrounding the Batia Beach

From 2009-12-31 - Awesome view of Batia Beach

Day 6

2009-12-30 - Jaigad Fort ~ Pavas (Ratnagiri):
From 2009-12-30 - JaiGad Fort - Purushottam,Raghavendra,Jayashree,Hamsa,Gururaj,Rohit.

Next morning we again took a walk along the beach and left to Jaigad Fort. Due to improper planning we ended up whole day at this fort.
From 2009-12-30 - Blind Cat @ JaiGad
To get there was a pain even. We had to get there via 3 intermediate destinations; we even had to travel in an overcrowded Tata Sumo.
From 2009-12-30 - Dragger
By the time we made it it was noon. Due to too much travel we moved at a snails pace. We had plans of a boat ride to the adjacent beach.
From 2009-12-30 - The group
We had to cut down as we had run out of time.

By now we were bugged up seeing forts, we had seen enough, on the way we ran into Customs Inspector’s office.
From 2009-12-30 - JaiGad Fort Walls
We dropped oir luggage and went around sight seeing. The fort was built along the rocky beaches facing the sea and had a great panoramic view of the adjacent sandy beaches lined with ‘Gaali mara’ tree.
From 2009-12-30 - View from JaiGad Fort

Next we headed to Ratnagiri. We did more of travel than sightseeing for the day. In the bus one of the locals convinced us to halt at Pawas.
From 2009-12-30 - Adjacent Beach
Little did we know it was free accommodation; footwear’s not allowed beyond the verandah. The room was clean however we found a king size lizard, the girls were over reacting on seeing him. I managed to get him hiding behind a photo frame and got them back into the room.
From 2009-12-30 - Dragger in Foreground;Virgin Beaches in the Background

Day 5

2009-12-29 – Ganapathipule:

We started quite early and headed off to Neveli (Ratnagiri District). Our plan was to hit Gangapathipule. We were informed that there were no direct busses. On hitting Neveli we waited for an hour; not a single bus showed up. Raghavendra losing patience tried his luck with Lorries. It was indeed a good idea, but it was a loaded lorry with construction grade jelly. The girls took the Drivers Cabin, the guys had to beat the dust and harsh sun in the open back. The drive lasted an hour and half.
From 2009-12-29 - Ganapathipule Beach

Ganapathipule was not crowded unlike the other places we had visited so far. The beaches were clean. When we took a dive the weather was cloudy and chilly. The beach has a long sand line and you got to walk a long way to get water at your chest level. Soon we freshened up and got to Ganapathipule temple. The temple here has no kind of intricate carvings and appears too simple.
From 2009-12-29 - Lorry ride to Ganapathipule; Raghavendra Posing

After dinner we took a walk along the beach. I wanted to experience the Royal Beach entry via MTDC beach resort stairway. We sneaked into MTDC and took the stairway as planned, we did not run into surprises.
From 2009-12-29 - Ganapathipule Beach side view