Saturday, December 1, 2012

Jawhar

Pune-Vasai-Arnala-Dahanu
Dahanu-Bordi
Bordi-Surat-Sivassa
Silvassa-Jawahar
Jawahar-Pune


After good in Silvassa we left for Jawahar and reached Sunset Resort in afternoon.




Sunset point. 
 


Jai Vilas Palace from Sunset Point
 


After the sunset we had great dinner. Early morning we started for Jai Vilas Palace

Jai Vilas Palace
History on Internet:  The palace was build by Raje Yashwant Rao Maukne. The stone used for this is syinite which was brought from Kalidhond which is 5 km away from its location . 

The pathway from the main road to the palace is lined with dense growth of bushes on both sides. 


Once you cross the trail a grand palace hidden among the trees welcomes you.
 




The palace has a children’s nursery, drawing room, antique furniture, bedroom, stuffed animals and a large lobby. 

There are several rooms at the palace. The palace has been used in the shooting of several Bollywood movies.




















Khad-Khad Dam : This is one of the major dams near jawhar city




Shirpamal: 5 km from main town, Shirpamal is a 300 year old gateway set up to watch the enemy from a distance. Situated on top of the highest hill in the region offers panoramic view of the valley below. 




Panorama View from the top


Jawhar can be seen in half day. The remoteness and tranquility can be enjoyed as long as you want!!!


Silvassa

Pune-Vasai-Arnala-Dahanu
Dahanu-Bordi
Bordi-Surat-Sivassa
Silvassa-Jawahar
Jawahar-Pune


After 2 day stay in Dhanu-Bordi we proceeded to Surat which was 180 Kms. This was unplanned activity. After eventful day of shopping we reached Silvassa a little late.

The hotel had some turles who had come out to enjoy their day.



Next day we first visited the Vanganga Lake Garden.


Vanganga Lake Garden Dadra
Where:  5 kms from the main town in Dadra
Time to see: 2 hours, Best time to visit early morning, evenings.
Timings: Opens at 9.30/10 This park is closed on Tuesdays



The beautiful jogging path around the garden is refreshing.

The ducks swimming merrily. The rustic bridges, tranquil surroundings, flowers - it's a right mix of romantic mood for anybody!




Vasona  Lion Safari Park
Where: It is located in Vasona, 9 kms away from Silvassa on the Khanvel Road.
Timings: 9:00am-5:00pm (Closed on Mondays)
Time to see: 1 hour


Its small enclosed safari. Its spread over 20 hectares and it houses a lion named Dharam and a lioness named Sonal.

There’s a 20 minutes ride in closed vehicle to see the Lions.

Few peacocks were busy looking for food.


The Royal Family in the moment of peace.



Tribal Cultural Museum:
Where: located in the heart of Silvassa, Chaar Rasta
Timings: museum is closed on Tuesdays




The museum showcases masks, hunting tools, fishing gear, musical instruments, agricultural implements, household kitchen articles and life-size statues of local tribals and their leaders. 




In afternoon we proceeded to Jawahar.

Dahanu Bordi

Pune-Vasai-Arnala-Dahanu
Dahanu-Bordi
Bordi-Surat-Sivassa
Silvassa-Jawahar
Jawahar-Pune

Type: Beach
Base Village: Dahanu
Where: 200 KMs from Pune
Route: Pune-Mumbai-Dahanu
Time visited: November 2012
Shopping: Chikoo Chips (Dried Chikoo), Chikoo pickle and Chikoo chocolates.
Dhanu-Bordi is coastline known for peaceful tranquility. Not very commercialized all you can do is laze around and enjoy the beach whenever there is high tide.


Dahanu



While travelling to Dahanu, all the hotels fall on the left side slightly out of town.. The Dahanu village falls on the right side. Towards the end of the village lies Dahanu Fort. The Fort has a history spanning 400 years, when the Portuguese took over the west coast and segregated the Thane region into two divisions. Headed by Chimaji Rao Appa, the Marathas took over the fort in 1739. The fort still is in amazing condition but has several offices inside. We didn’t venture inside.

We reached Dahnu by around noon and stayed at Pearline hotel.  Dahanu has only 3-4 options to stay and Pearline offers best stay options and quality food.  All the 3 hotels are beach facing. But the beach is muddy at several places and you cannot go too far, hence can be best enjoyed in high tide only. 

The swimming pool at Pearline is well maintained.  It was low tide in the evening and we were not able to go and enjoy the beach.  After enjoying swim in the swimming pool, we had a hearty dinner.



In the morning we enjoyed the beach. Since we got the booking only for a day we proceeded to Bordi.

BORDI
Bordi village and the beach are at a distance of 2 km from Gholvad railway station. There are very few hotels here, Goolkush Hotel, Jayee Resort, Tapovan and Anand Resort, to be more specific. The tariffs of all these are almost the same.  

Anand Resort



Anand Resort the only veg hotel in Dahanu-Bordi area has two options to stay inside the chikoo garden. The older hotel although well maintained is of average quality and need a realistic upgrade. But the food quality is excellent and so is the well maintained orchard with swimming pool.

With emus and different pets around Crazy crab hotel could be good option if you drink and enjoy nonveg. 


After a relaxing day at Anand Resort early morning we proceeded to Surat-Silvassa.

Vasai Fort

Pune-Vasai-Arnala-Dahanu
Dahanu-Bordi
Bordi-Surat-Sivassa
Silvassa-Jawahar
Jawahar-Pune

PUNE- VASAI 180 KMS 4.5 HRS 

VASAI FORT
Type: Sea Fort
Base Village: Vasai
Where: 180 KMs from Pune
Route: Pune-Mumbai-Vasai
Time visited: November 2012
Time to see: 3+ hrs. Car can be taken to most of the points.

History as on internet:  

The fort of Vasai was built in 1414 by Sardar Bhandari Bhendale. In 1530 Sultan of Gujrat captured the Fort but in 1534 it was conquered by Portuguese. With strong ramparts, the Fort is decagonal with bastion at each of the corner. There are entrances to the fort from both seaside and landside. In 1737, the Marathas tried to capture the fort, but failed. Later Bajirao Peshwa chose Chimajiappa for the mission. He planned for it and decided to attack from swamp side of the fort. They broke the rampart on the northern side. The army broke inside but unfortunately mines burst late and many soldiers died. The fierce battle continued over two days.  The ammunition ended, over 800 Portuguese lost their lives and finally the Portuguese had no option other than to surrender to Chimajiappa.

Shopping: Vasai is famous for Sukeli - preserved Bananas, which is sort of soft dry fruit like Anjir.  (Around 7-8 dried bananas are wrapped in banana leaves which was around Rs60 probably around 0.25kg ) Available in the main market.

Vasai fort is just not like any other fort but a huge area with several structures inside. Located in old vasai,  the fort is along the coast.  Apart from few church buildings, ammunition storeroom, residence of soldiers, there isn’t much to see around. It takes around 2 hours to see the fort completely and you can roam around in car to most of the spots. 

Statue of Narveer Chimajiappa lies on the left side on the way to the fort.


After the statue, turn side for Archaeology department office.  The staff is friendly but they unfortunately they don’t have any guides. The main roads are all tar roads and you can see various building by driving down.



Just adjacent to Archaeology office is dilapidated building probably a church.



Another huge church lies opposite of Archaeology office.




One more church is locate few meters away in a narrow lane.

The double floored structure reminds of once hustling town with several buildings magnificent architecture.



The 4th church worth seeing is one with ‘charkri jina’ or round staircase. Not sure but this church is said to have a huge bell in the tower above which Chimajjiappa brought it and installed in Temple of Menavali near wai. 





VASAI-NALASOPARA-ARNALA (20 KMS)
After Vasai Fort visit we proceeded to Arnala. Arnala is a small fishing village about 20kms from Vasai or 17 kms from Virar. The fort is on a small island which houses a village.  The road to the beach was extremely narrow occupied by fisherman with huge dry areas for fishes on both side. There was absolutely no space for car park. Couldn’t really see any passenger boats and all were mostly fishing boats. Since this was family trip I decided to skip and proceed with next destination- Dhanau.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Khandas-Bhimashankar Trek

Type: Trek/Long walk
Base Village: Khandas
Where: 135 KMs from Pune
Route: Pune-Karjat-Kashele-Khandas
Time visited: October 2012
Time to climb: 5+ hrs.
Difficulty Grade: 2 Endurance: 3.75

Note: This might be difficult especially in rains as lot boulders in the way and the trial goes through several streams which might be gushing with full force in heavy rains.

How to reach: Travel by Singhagad Express to Karjat. From Karjat catch a state transport bus to Kashele (20 kms/30-40 mins journey). Catch a van/vadhap till Khandas (20/person, 20 mins ride). Once you complete the trek catch a state transport bus from Bhimashankar back to Pune (4 hrs journey/110+ Rs ticket)  unless you want to stay in Bhimashanakar and climb down again to Khandas.


Trek routes
1) Ganesh ghat: A km away from Khandas after the bridge take a right turn for Ganesh ghat. The Tar road ends after another km or so and rough road goes all the way to start of the trail. From Khandas the distance should be of
around 35/40 mins walk. After crossing Ganesh temple the route traverses the Padar fort towards Bhimashankar upper Plateau. Overall it takes around 5+ hours.
2) Shidi ghat:-As per internet, this is a tough route but well defined one through steep climbs up and down and you have to cross the ladders affixed into rockfaces. I was told that you have to take a left after the bridge from Khandas. By this route it said you could a tleast save an hour's time...

Both routes meet before the final steep climb. See below.

Singhad reached Karjat at 8.10AM. Although a sunday there was still a huge rush. After a yummy but oily vadpav we headed for Karjat ST stand which is a km away. A bumpy 35 min ride took us to a village called Kashele. From kashele it was another bumpy ride till Khandas.


Fresh tea and some chocolates marked the beginning of first trek in spring. 


Through the Khandas village. 


All along the way you can see padar gad at extreme right of a huge mountain.


A 40 min walk along a dusty tar road took us to base of the ghat.

The silent victim of an accident? 



Once the ghat starts the green tranquil surroundings welcome you.


There is a old hoarding describing the details of the jungle. All along the trial directions are nicely given minimizing the risk of loosing the way in the jungle.


First milestone- Ganesh Temple.
Refreshing butter milk tones down the scorching heat.


Traverse- Keeping Padar fort on the left.


Second milestone- The well.



Creeply crawlers on the way...  


Through dense dark forest


Wild mushrooms in fanatasy red.
  

Third milestone- Meeting point of Route 1 & Route 2.
Second point where you get butter milk or tea!
Need to gather all energy for the hardest and steepest climb from here on...

Beware of the monkeys in between who try to steal anything you are carrying.

Padar fort view caught between breaths on the right as you start climbing.

  
And down below on the base plateau some inhabitants busy in their own world.



Some relaxing stretch through dense jungles after a tedious climb, but a break before the final steep climb again...

As the darkness engulfes the vast valleys, its a sense of pride and achievement on another successful milestone...