But one mischief that stood out for its sly brilliance is the bus keys mix up:
But one mischief that stood out for its sly brilliance is the bus keys mix up:
This place was on our list for quite a few years now. We had seen photos on many travelougues, heard from many who had been there, however, somehow could not make it our destination. This time on the 15th August long weekend we were determined to go on an overmight adventure. We decided to visit "Bhandardara" as well another place quite close from Harishchandra gad.
1. Leave early on Saturday morning. Sight seeing at Bhandardara and stay at a place called Rajur.
2. Leave early on sunday morning for Harishchandra gad and by evening reach Pune.
As simple as the plan looks, it was not to be. We had to face quite a few complications later due to improper information and research from our side.
We reached Bhandardara at around 12:30. Had a pathetic lunch at the MTDC restaurant. In case anyone of you visits Bhandardara, dont even think of this restaurant. Instead a streetside "zhunka bhakar" is better. We had a nice day of sightseeing at Bhandardara though it was raining heavily, we had our times when the skies got cleared intermittently. Bhandardara has a dam and a lake. The lake has a circumference of around 20 kms. It is a pleasure to ride along this route and is just a relish to the eyes and refreshing to the body. Exactly at 10 kms on this route, you find an ancient temple of "Amruteshwar" worth visiting. Some snaps on the route around the lake:
The next day we left early in the morning so that we could reach Harishchandragad as early as possible. From rajur we had to go to a village called "Panchnai" which was the base village for the trek. The route to this village in itself was a pleasure that got us excited. Here are some pictures from the route:
Good trek, a bit tough one, not to be trekked during rains if you are an avid photographer. Perfect trek after september until Feb.
Breakfast at the famous Lakshmi Mishtan Bhandar. Nice rich food.. especially "Badvi Baazi" which is actually to be pronounced as "Bedvi Bhaaji", but due to that spelling we happened to embarrass the waiter a little.
In my office, apart from a day or two off from work, "LEAVE" is restricted to marriages, funerals and ICU admissions. So when I said I needed a week off so that I could go on a vacation with my wife, all I got was a blank look. My reason was "unheard of"; hence no argument ensued. After a couple of weeks of silence, my leave was approved!! Yippee!!
Reema and myself, along with Prichard and Marilyn planned out a week long tour to re-live our college tour experience. Here's what we did..
Day 1 : Fri 14 Jan 2011
We land in Jaipur at about 10.45pm and are collected by representatives of our resort - "Suryaa Villa". The pick-up from the airport was supposed to be charged, but then they forgot about it.
The rooms did not match the grandeur of the elegant looking palatial resort. Seeing walls with blue ceramic tiles up to waist-height, no wardrobes, and two single beds wasn't exactly what I traveled 2000 km for.
Day 2: Sat 15 Jan 2011
Started our day with humongous road-side breakfast - paranthas and lassi.
Prichard and Marilyn were to join us in the evening, so we spent the day on a govt. organized half day tour of Jaipur city.
Prichy & Mari reach at dinner time, and we head to Hotel Om Tower revolving restaurant. Nice setting where you sit on the 13th floor and revolve about the tower's axis so you can have a look at the entire city while you dine.
Jantar Mantar -
Walking among the huge astronomy apparatus we're suddenly surprised to hear konkani conversations around. It was a group of current engicos on their "study" tour. We remembered our college tour all the more.
Nahargarh Fort -
Here we were welcomed by a guide who appeared very filmy. He reminded us of Rajpal Yadav, had a filmy name - Ramkhilavan; and he narrated the story of King Savai Madho Singh II as if he were a porn star. Apparently he lived with two queens at his palace. Nine others were housed in this fort. The story of how nine queens were kept in the same palace without access to each other, and the secret passage which allowed the king to visit one of them every night without the others having a clue about it was meant for general public. But then he took the guys aside for a little boy-talk where he revealed that the king actually had 52 queens of which only 11 had survived. The reason? "Raja saheb ka saamaan thoda lamba thaa". We wondered why a young guy like Ramkhilavan carried a walking stick around until he used it to illustrate the above "fact" to us.
Sympathizing with the poor queens, we move on to Jaigarh Fort to see the world's largest cannon. NO! Not the "saamaan".. a real cannon.
From here we move down to Amer Fort.
Amer Fort hosts a "Sound and Light show" every evening narrating the history of Amer. This is a must see. We didn't have cameras good enough to capture the show.
Day 4: Mon 17 Jan 2011
Chokhi Dhani -
Chokhi Dhani is a village resort with people doing road tricks and keeping you entertained. A very nice place to spend an evening and totally worth the price. Camel/elephant rides, fortune telling, magic shows, weird skill demos, archery, air guns, street dances, artificial caves etc etc topped with amazing food.
Placards stuck all over the place say "Do not encourage tips". But nobody can save you from "Raam Raam Saa" which at this place means "Give me some money".
Every entertainer on completing his piece of art greets you with these words; and appreciation of skill can only be done in cash.
Day 5: Mon 18 Jan 2011
Having seen Jaipur we now head towards Delhi to catch a bus to Manali. Most of the day was spent on the road.
The memorable part was nice Italian food at "Mamma Mia" in gurgaon.
Day 6: Tue 19 Jan 2011
We reach Manali at about 7.30 AM. Manoj, the guy who was supposed to pick us up is not to be seen. Worse still, he doesn't pick our calls. Worried we might freeze important parts of our body, we start walking towards the hotel asking for directions from the few people we could see around. 2 kilometers trek up the slope in snow with luggage on our back was quite an experience. A cute dog saw us walking and accompanied us until the hotel. We decided to name him Manoj.
At the hotel Flamingo Resort, we were greeted by Tuleram Khargosh, the receptionist/waiter/manager - a very hospitable man who fed us to the brim with the complimentary meals everyday. For some reason, he liked to be addressed as "T.R."
Our first activity at Manali was skiing at Sollang Valley. Not yet having adjusted to the sudden drop in temperature, our stamina wasn't at it's best, so we were done with skiing pretty soon and most of our time here was spent clicking snaps in the snow.
What amazing landscapes! Don't aim. Just shoot!
Our new friends on the trip .. Rohit and Samiksha. It was 12 AM and their anniversary which called for some celebration.
Day 7: Wed 20 Jan 2011
We wake up to a cloudier, colder morning and the water heater can hardly give us any hot water. That's because Tuleram's assistant has just broken ice in the overhead tank and the water's gonna take some time to start flowing.
After breakfast our driver takes us to Manikaran hot springs in Kullu. Two and a half hours drive but absolutely worth it. A pool of hot water!! The sight in itself was such a relief. We jumped into the water and didn't get out for over an hour. :-)
Day 8: Thu 21 Jan 2011
Warm sunny morning! We could do without warm clothes. It was our last day in Manali, and the day for local sight seeing.
Vasisht Hot springs (Manikaran was much better)
Back at the hotel, pack up and we catch the bus back to Delhi.
Day 9: Fri 22 Jan 2011
Reaching Delhi at 6.00 AM is quite scary, especially when we don't know the way to where we're going. But we did find our way to Goa-Sadan without much hassle.
Dilli Haat -
Very nice place for food.. Authentic food stalls from a number of Indian states. I had the best chicken momos I've ever had.
The Kashmir stall served Gushtaba which was delicious too.. but a little expensive I'd say.
It was the end of the tour for Prichy and Mari who caught their flight to Goa after this.
We rode on a bus to have a look at the Qutb Minar.
Evening train - Rajdhani Express to Bangalore
Day 10: Sun 23 Jan 2011
Food was on the house in Rajdhani. So we ate, watched 3 movies and relaxed. Easy day.
Day 11: Mon 24 Jan 2011
Back to work :-(
You wanted to be the king of the land
And all I've made you is a pawn in my hand
The devil and I play a game of gore
And here is how we keep score
Taking turns, we play with your mind
And whom you obey, gets one point
You build me a temple and I'm in the lead
You crush it to dust and I recede
You build me a mosque, but all in vain
'Cause then the devil strikes again
You make, you break and make and break
And truly believe it's all for my sake
You snap and swear and cry in pain
Until it's too much for you to take
Perplexed, you look for guys to blame
And kill your brother in my name
It's not about the points any more
This, for me is a matter of shame.
I walk through your mind, trying to make a mark
But sometimes the door's shut and the room, pitch dark
The devil smiles at me from the inside
I humbly move on and let him reside.
You think you're smart and voice your views
You think you get to decide and choose
While it's just a game I play with the devil
And whoever may win, YOU LOSE.
Sorry dude... No hard feelings
Labels: Bangalore Engicos
Had been to Kailas Gad on saturday. Not many know about this fort mostly because it is surrounded by more famous forts. It must have been only a watch fort during Shivaji's time because it does not seem strategically important considering that it is surrounded by Loh Gad on the Lonavala side and Sinhgad on the other side.
A road going right from the base of Tamhini Ghat takes us to a village named Waghwadi from where the trek starts.This road goes along the backwaters of the Mulshi Dam which is what makes a trip to this fort a refreshing experience. Also from the top you see the whole view of the backwaters surrounding the fort on three sides.
Here are a few snaps of the trip.
Some classic photography on the way
The bikes....The enfield looks the best as always :)
A Classic view on the way to Kailas gad. We could not resist waiting here for a while. Besides since we had cousins Digital SLR with us it was worth waiting.
The lush green mountains just made us feel refreshed already.
Whole group except for the Photographer...
Nice view half way from the fort. Mulshi Backwaters.
Beautiful view of the Kailas Gad. We had to still climb the mountain seen in the snap.
The queen of the fort we called her. She does not look less beautiful than Katrina Kaif. Thats the beauty of SLR. I was a little afraid that after clicking the snaps she would ask for her modelling fees. some 100 Rs per snap or something. We had clicked quite a few snaps of this lady.
Have you seen a flying Human? No it is not Milkha singh. It is our own SLR owner.
Finally the tired, exhausted group with a thought in the mind that we need to still travel 90 Kms.
All in all not a difficult trek, but a very refreshing one. Or you can say can be a romantic trek rather than a hectic one.
Had visited Aurangabad on a weekend in May on my new unicorn. Was a great experience and I proved myself the quote that "Four wheels move the body while two wheels move the soul".
We were just two of us on two different bikes to attack Aurangzeb in his own city.