Posts Tagged ‘Mulashi’

Reverse monsoon (November rain) is not a pleasant thing anymore. Moreover as it was accompanied with storms, cyclone Phyan and what not. Rains made the days dull and lazy. Weekdays were spent in the office and then came weekend.

My friend wanted to capture clouds/fog for time lapse in Mulashi-Tamhini and I decided to accompany him. (Don’t ask me about time lapse stuff, i dont know any technicalities of it but i can now understand and identify it visually. )

‘Mulashi+Tamhini+rains’ equation is always delightful and also we both didn’t meet for quite some time. These reasons were good enough to catch up. We started at 5:30 AM. Plan was to reach there before sunrise but we couldn’t speed up much, many thanks to worst road condition.

 Somewhere near Mulashi, we found a wild cat crossing the road. We slowed down to watch it. It stood up to see how are we to focus lights in its eye, it gave us a dirty look and walked away. It was still dark morning. As darkness began to vanish slowly we found the road to be foggy and road-side puddles gave us evidences of rains. Few miles later, we stopped the car and my friend showed me 1st new bird of the trip. It was ‘Pied Crested Cuckoo’ (मराठी: ‘चातक’). It was busy enjoying its morning breakfast. It is said that Pied-crested Cuckoo sights are sign that monsoon are in. This is migratory bird which travels from South Africa to India. He waited for while and proceeded ahead.

We halted in Tamhini ghat for sunrise. Lord Sun slowly rose from back of the mountains, generously spreading its rays on the earth, fading away all the darkness and making the morning pleasant and worth while. We took some snaps and drove till Plus valley. There was no fog and clouds rising from valley so my friend was not able to capture time lapse. There were few rain showers in the mid.

We came across an animal which was killed by the road vehicles. The animal was ‘Small Indian Civet’. It was sad to see this rare-cited animal  getting killed in such inhuman way. 😦

We traveled some more and waited at a spot.  We did hear some calls of birds and giant squirrel ‘Shekru‘. And also tremendously beautiful pair of Scarlet Minivets had caught our attention. He parked our car at road side and went to woods. The pair also had their baby with them. I must say Scarlet Minivet male with its red and black color is one of the most colourful birds I have seen in India. The female is none less and is yellow-black with some patches of grey on wings. We silently stood at trees. I was seeing them for first time and all I wanted to do is watch them. Needless to say, thanks to my wildlife expert friend who knows all about birds, wildlife and immediately identifies them.

Another attraction was loads and loads of colourful butterflies. I enjoyed seeing and clicking them too. We started our return journey at 11:30 and took a ‘Quick bite’ break while returning.

Mulashi-Tamhini and its wildlife treat is full of many such surprises and too irresistible to miss.

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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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I got mail from my friend Ajit (whom they call C.O.O of Wanderers group) that Wanderers is arranging Island Adventure Program in Mulashi. It will be overnight stay on an island in the middle of River Mula. The mail instantly triggered my desire.

I decided to go for River Island camping on 24th May 08. This was last batch of the summer season as monsoon was approaching.

The group gathered at Hotel “Kinara” on Paud road. I met Ajit after ages. As in, we were in touch through all hi-tech media i.e. Mails, SMSes, etc. Meeting personally is always a feeling of pleasure. I got to know few people out there. The group was heterogeneous with people from different fields like a music teacher at school, a business development head of a mechanical designing firm, some geologist, a botany Ph.D student, and obviously few IT guys. Ajit introduced me to Omkar (another pillar of Wanderers group). There were few cars, bikes and rest in “Vadaap” jeep. “Vadaap” is typical Marathi word for to-and-fro transport service in rural areas with nominal charge and comfort. I was placed in Ashwin’s zen. We all started for River Camping Island in the afternoon. And the adventure began….

We reached on river bank. There was an option for raft or boat. I choose the former. Ajit gave us few instructions (like don’t carry valuables on rafts, etc) and insisted that most of us would opt for boat option as it will be easier and faster. Everyone will get chance for rafting tomorrow. Even then I and Ashwin told Ajit that we would wait and be the last ones to enjoy rafting. We ported our sacks and cameras in boat so that they will be safe. I didn’t want to take any risk about my camera. In mean time, I was able to spot some “Pied Kingfishers” near the bank. Finally all crossed the river and it was our turn. We climbed the raft. Ajit was the sailor. In the mid, Ajit gave light jerks to the raft to let us enjoy “roller-coaster” ride and it was real controlled adventure. This controlled adventure became uncontrolled when suddenly the tied side-drum of the raft got distracted apart and in no time the raft was upside down. For the moment, it was like all finished. My mom’s and bro’s faces flashed in mind and there was some different feeling altogether. There was an instant feeling which taught me importance of my life and living. We were drowning in the middle of the river. Of course we had life jackets and life savers for rescue but in such situations your brain stop thinking logically. Among 3 of us, I was the only one who was a non-swimmer.

Ajit and Ashwin held my hands and assured me that they were there for me and not to get afraid. I was feeling uncomfortable due to the water which ran inside my nose, throat and ears.

We 3 came safely out of water. To our astonishment, one of our expert life savers also recovered our caps from river bottom. The other went to chase the floating drum of raft but it went beyond the limits. We came to the bank and someone noticed that I had my mobile in jeans pocket. My mobile went for a toss. It was literally filled with water. It reminded me of water game with Rhino tusks and rings which I played when I was a kid.

All that happened for last one hour was just beyond imagination. Now I was aware of Island “Adventure” Program. 😉

We landed on the beautiful island. It was huge 17 acres out of which 4 acres was usable area. We were also told that there are wild boars, insects, snakes, Pythons…thanks to Ajit for giving this scary information. This place was developed by Ajit and Omkar. There was a kitchen shed, sleeping hall which could accommodate 50 people and rest rooms. Few other things were a camp fire place, meditation hut, meeting area and a net court for playing multiple games like badminton, dodge ball, etc. The sleeping hall was covered by the insect-repellent powder. Each minute thing was very well taken care of. All these structures were built using bamboo and dried bamboo leaves. All I could say is hats-off to the duo that made this.

We had evening tea and Pattice. I went to other side to find some more birds and click some snaps. Found drongos, small king-fishers, red wattled lapwings. As sun began to set, the sky looked amazing and so was the ambience. There was no electricity and each area had hanging burning lanterns which added to the beauty of this place. It was the best late evening which I have ever experienced.

We had introduction session at meeting hall in the evening. By that time it was time to cook dinner. We decided to cook dal-rice khichadi and onion-tomato-potato sabji but looking at the sizes of utensils we had, finally we cooked something which was combination of khichadi and sabji. It took hours for cooking. Thanks to our stove and in-time shortage of kerosene stock. After all the hook and crock our food was ready. We all enjoyed it and it was worth the efforts. We had papad, pickle to go with it and Jalebis as sweet dish.

Then it was time for camp fire. A beautiful night, a camp fire, sky above and group of friends! It was performers’ paradise. It was a perfect time for all songs, mouth-organ songs, jokes, antakshari and mimicry. We lied down on a mattress with the roof of sky. We went to sleep past 4 am. No one actually slept so there was no question of getting up. We were supposed to do yoga but no one was keen to do. I went for short walk in morning. We had tea and prepared some sandwiches. Then we went to river walking. We were in water for 2-3 hours and had loads of fun. By the time, we returned it was time for departure. We packed our sacks and came back by boat. I turned around and looked at island for last time. I was in love with this place for sure. We had nice lunch in a restaurant in Mulashi. I returned with wonderful memories with me.

Aah, I missed something. As the drum broke there was no rafting for the rest campers. I was among very few campers who got chance to do river rafting…with all that adventure!!!!!!!!! 😀

NOTE: For more snaps visit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157605249014435/detail/

More info about River Island Camping watch out this space – http://islandcamping.googlepages.com/

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