Posts Tagged ‘Explore Pune’

Road to heaven...

“Sometimes the road traveled turns out to be more beautiful than the destination…”
This holds true for Mulashi and Tamhini. I call this lovely path as “Road to heaven…

To enjoy monsoon season, Mulashi and Tamhini are THE destinations.

I have been to Mulashi twice. First time was thorough enjoyment in rains and waterfalls. I did clicked snaps in rains without taking proper precaution of my camera. Thank God…my faithful camera survived! 🙂
Second time, it was photography shoot and getting wet was big “No-No”, as we didn’t want to take risk with cameras. Personally, I enjoyed first trip more but I am going to write about second as it’s the recent one. We started at 7:00 AM and proceeded to Mulashi.

To reach Mulashi-Tamhini:

  1. Reach “Chandani Chowk”.
  2. Take Paud road. There is small ghat stretch i.e. Pirangut ghat.
  3. Reach Paud village and take road to Mulashi.
  4. After crossing Mulashi village, Tamhini ghat starts.
  5. Right hand you can see backwaters of Mulashi Dam.
  6. Go up to Dongarwadi village. Total drive is approx. 60-65 Kms.
  7. Caution: Take care if there are very heavy rains while you are in Tamhini ghat. Try to return back soon. Due to heavy rains the road gets literally submerged under water and there is possibility that you get stuck up in ghat.

We crossed Chandani chowk and drove towards Paud village. Atmosphere was very pleasant and there were light showers. We took a tea break at Paud village. From here, we had break journeys i.e. we waited at each point which we thought as spectacular.

At Mulashi, the sky turned very cloudy which made the environment bit darker. The backwaters appeared silvery and it was out-standing.

We continued further. As we drove towards Tamhini, it was like if we were moving towards the rains. Tamhini was amazingly awesome. Lush Green wooed us. The road covered by greenery on both sides disappeared in clouds. Mountains were covered with dense fog. We waited there for long and captured the nature in our eyes as well as lenses.

We were clicking some pictures and sweet song of ‘Malbar whistling thrush’ stuck our ears. We waited for while to listen to this melodious song. Other birds, which we found, were Black-shouldered Kite, Baya, Drongos, Green bee-eaters, etc.

There were many waterfalls, small and huge. We waited at few and took some milky waterfalls shoots. (In first outing, we fully enjoyed in waterfalls and had loads of fun in water). Green fields soothed our senses. Farmers were busy ploughing and sowing rice paddies.

We crossed Mulashi Dam and went up to Dongarwadi village. Heavy rains were started. It was already lunchtime and we were in search of some hotel. Finally we found one small hotel, which was almost closed. We requested the owner to cater us some food. He agreed to make ‘Pohe‘, ‘Onion Pakodas’ and ‘Omelet-bread’ for us. After serving few Omelets, he cunningly gave us an excuse that “Majhi kombadi palun geli. Aata andi nahit.” (means – his hen ran away and there are no more eggs) 😦. He served us stale bread and tasteless ‘Pohe‘ but we were in no mood to protest. When hunger speaks it is always better to eat what you have (read as ‘get’). It was raining like cats and dogs by then. We enjoyed hot tea sips.

Wonderful atmosphere made us forget to look at our watches. We noticed it was time to get back. We started our return journey and reached Pune by 5:00 PM.

Remember… Mulashi + Tamhini = Monsoon!!! 🙂

Note: To see more snaps check out – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157601017832119/detail/

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Ever since I got my car, I always wanted to take my Uncle for drive. I asked him where he wish to go. He instantly expressed his desire to visit “Jejuri”. I was not very surprised as I was well aware of his curiosity to see different places.

Before we proceed, let me tell you some thing about this uncle of mine. His name is Dr. J.A.F. Roodbergen. He is a Dutch, age 83, double PhDs in Sanskrit language to his credit. His passion to learn Sanskrit brought him to India in his early twenties. He stayed in Deccan College (Pune) and completed his first PhD. Then he returned to Amsterdam and completed another PhD from there. He taught Sanskrit for about 20 years in University of Amsterdam. He has been coming to India for past four decades. He is now writing books along with his guide and co-author Dr. S. D. Joshi on Panini sutras in Sanskrit. Now he comes to India every year from June to November and works on this project. ‘Sahitya Akademi’ publishes these books. We can call him “Half-Indian” as he spends half of the year in Pune. We were neighbors for 3 years (1999 – 2002) when he was in Pune then. My roommate (Pradnya) and me befriended him. He used his PC as typewriter and I have spoiled him a bit by showing him ‘other’ uses of computer like watching movies, playing music and chess. We have watched many classic English movies together and enjoyed excellent music from Sufis to pianos & instrumentals to electronics guitars. We have indulged ourselves in endless discussions from traffic on Bajirao road to Indian government, and culture differences to old India. Even though we have parted as neighbors long back, our bond has stood and grown strong with time. For the world he is renowned Sanskrit Scholar but for me he will always be my dear Uncle. 🙂

So coming back, we booked one Sunday for Jejuri. We picked Uncle from his place and parceled some Hindustan Bakery pattice. There were light showers when we started in the morning. We waited in the midway and had our breakfast. The atmosphere was very pleasant as we drove through. Dive ghat is another amazing place on the way. We halted there for while and enjoyed picturesque panorama from here. We reached Saswad and headed for Jejuri.

To reach Jejuri:

  1. Take Solapur highway
  2. Drive up to Hadapsar and take right turn to Saswad.
  3. On the way to Saswad, you have to cross Dive ghat.
  4. From Saswad, take road to Jejuri. Total distance from Pune to Jejuri is around 48 Kms.

Coconut Heap

We reached Jejuri base. There were small shops selling pooja items along with Abir, Gulal, Pinjar and halad (4 different color powders offered to God), bangles, holy threads and devotional CDs, etc. One shop had heap of coconuts very beautifully arranged. Everyone has their own way to show the creativity and art within. 🙂

Jejuri is one of the famous temples in Maharashtra. Popularly known as ‘ Khandobachi Jejuri ‘. The God of Jejuri is “Mhalsakant” or “Malhari Martand”. This is more popular among the Dhangar tribe and known to be their deity. Dhangar is one of the oldest tribes in Maharashtra. The temple is situated on a small hill, called as Jejurigad and can be seen from the approaching road. We climbed over 200 steps to reach the top. It was bit tiring for Uncle considering his age. Pradnya and me supported him while climbing. The beautiful surroundings made climbing efforts much easier. We could see many “Deep Malas” (Light stands made up of stones) on the way. These are known to be oldest “Deep malas”.

The temple on hilltop is very beautiful. The idol of Khandoba is attractive and is sitting on a horse with weapons in hand and ready for fight. The deity is also called the fighter god. There are two eye-catching bells in the temple. Devotees apply and shower turmeric powder (bhandara) which paints the whole arena into golden yellow, a color they associate with the power of the sun and one suggestive of Khandoba’s solar origin. The people shout the ritual slogan “Sadanandacha Yelkot” which means Khandoba’s everlasting bliss. Jejuri gets its another name from this bhandara as “Sonyachi Jejuri” which means “Golden Jejuri” in Marathi.

The weapons like a sword, a damaru (drum) and a paral kept inside the temple have historical importance. Sword holding competition is held here every year on Dasehara Day. Temple dome and surrounding area is also worth seeing. There is also a pathway to “Kadepathar Jejuri” uphill temple, which goes through mountain.

Jejuri also has significant importance from historical point of view. It is said that after years of separation Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj met his father Shahaji Raje on Jejurigad and discussed the strategies against Mughals. This place is blessed by sacred feet of Shivaji Maharaj.

Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb tried to destroy this temple for second time in 1690. However he was frustrated when the Mughal soldiers while trying to attack the temple disturbed the nest of hornet. The hornets harassed the Mughal soldiers and they had to lift their siege and spare the temple.

We took darshan and then took some snaps. The view from here is very scenic and pleasant. We climbed upstairs. “Peshawe” lake is seen from top.

We started descending. While stepping down, melody of ‘Sambal’ (Marathi name for a musical instrument) caught our attention. We waited for while and enjoyed it. We returned back in the afternoon.

Jejuri is worth a dekko. I am thankful to my Uncle whose urge to see Jejuri took me to this amazing place.

Note: You can also add another destination “Morgaon’s Mayureshwar Ganapati” to this trip. Morgaon is 15 Kms from Jejuri.

For more snaps visit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157603772384044/detail/

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Mor” means peacock and “Chincholi” means dense tamarind trees in Marathi.

Morachi chincholi is a small village which is around 85-90 kms from Pune on Pune- Ahmednagar highway. This information does not catch your attention unless and until you read next lines. Yes, this village is now a peacock sanctuary which shelters more than thousands of peacocks.

Peacock in Morachi ChincholiI and my friend were very desperate to visit this place. We started early in the morning as it is the best time to see peacocks. We came to ‘Malthan phata’ and had to turn left to reach Morachi Chincholi. We took a small tea break there. We packed some wadaa-paavs with us. The road was not-so-good and not-so-bad condition; covered with green fields on both sides. We got to see many birds like Brahminy Myna, sunbirds, cattle egrets, Jungle Mynas, Jungle Babblers, etc.

As we entered the village, we could clearly hear peacocks mewing. We parked our car at road side and went walking to near by fields. We saw few beautiful peacocks in the fields. It was just ultimate – peacocks in their natural habitat. We met two young school-going local boys. They agreed to show us more peacocks. We followed them through the fields. We did find few peafowl. We tried to click but in vain as they ran very fast. More we went nearer, faster they ran.

We were able to trace few peacocks on tamarind trees. After all the intense efforts, I got one snap of peacock as I desired. See image above.

These villagers are protective and conservative about the peacocks. Peacocks too are very familiar with them. We saw a woman fetching water from the well and she was accompanied with a flock of peahens. There are sources of food and water kept in tubs for the peacocks in the fields. It seems some NGO from Pune works for this cause.

We decided to return back and were thankful to our young friends who spent their time with us. We offered them some money for buying chocolates but they denied accepting it. Then we forcefully offered them those wadaa-paavs which we got and they accepted.

While returning back, a village woman asked us for lift till Shirur phata. Her name was “Babbai”. She was very talkative and happy that we came to see birds all the way from Pune. Yeh, Pune is far off city for them. As we exchanged our cell number with her, she invited us to visit Morachi Chincholi again and promised us that she will then cook jhunaka-bhakri for us. Believe me, she called us for next consecutive Sunday mornings to ask whether we have any plans to visit on that weekend. If at all, I visit this place again, I am morally bound to meet this simple village woman called “Babbai”.

We came back in the afternoon with wonderful memories of this Indian beauty. Yes, what we get in Asia is typical “Indian blue peacock”. Peacocks are found in many different colors across the world e.g. White, Brown, Green, Pied, etc. but none of them look as graceful as our “Indian blue peacock”.

How to reach –
Route 1:

  1. Take Pune-Ahmednagar highway and travel till Shikrapur village approx. Distance is 30-35 Kms.
  2. Travel few meters and ask for Malthan phata.
  3. Take left from this Malthan phata and travel straight for some kilometers.
  4. Ask local people for Morachi Chincholi.
  5. You need to take another left turn which comes straight to Morachi Chincholi.  Village ‘Ganegaon’ falls in the mid which is 7-8 Kms.
  6. Travel ahead from Ganegaon to reach Morachi Chincholi. Approx. distance from Ganegaon is 9-10 Kms.

Route 2:

  1. Take Pune-Ahmednagar highway and travel till Shikrapur village.
  2. After Shikrapur, travel more 200 mts and take left turn for ‘Kanhur Mesai’ village.
  3. Kanhur Mesai village is approx 17 Kms from here.
  4. From Kanhur Mesai, Morachi Chincholi is approx 2.5-3 Kms.
  5. Total drive is approx 25-30 Kms.

Route 3:

  1. Take Pune-Nasik highway and travel till ‘Rajgurunagar’. Distance is 40-45 Kms.
  2. After Rajgurunagar, take right turn to ‘Pabal’ village.
  3. In Pabal, from Jain temple travel straight to reach Morachi Chincholi.
  4. Morachi Chincholi is approx 20-25 Kms.
  5. Total drive is approx 60-65 Kms.

Best time to visit: Early morning or evening in the months of June to September (basically Monsoon season)

What you get to see: Lots of peacocks in their natural habitat along with other birds like Brahminy Myna, Jungle Babblers, etc.

Note: You have to carry our food and water. No facility in the village (unless you know someone like Babbai 😉 … )

Other updates: A trust called ‘Jaymalhar trust’ can provide accommodation for night halt for Rs.500/- per day and also dinner/lunch for Rs.50/-. They have developed a cement platform for feeding peacocks. The peacocks daily visits the platform before sunrise and after sunset.
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