Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

My friend Prasad asked me whether I would like to join them for Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary and it was instant “yes” from me. We gathered at 5:45 AM near Swargate and took Pune-Solapur Highway.

To reach Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary:

  1. Start from Swargate and take Solapur highway.
  2. Cross Hadapsar, Manjri etc. Get return receipt of  Rs. 22.50/- at “Loni Kalbhor” Toll plaza.
  3. Cross village “Yavat” and travel straight till you reach village called “Chowphule”.
  4. From this junction, take right turn to go to village “Supe”. Drive approx 5-6 Kms. After crossing a small ghat you will reach “Supe”
  5. “Supe” falls on this road i.e. “Chowphule-Morgaon” road. If you get confuse, ask villagers for “Mayureshwar Sanctuary”.
  6. From “Supe”. Take right hand road and drive more 2 Kms, we can see small tea stalls on left side and on right side there is entrance for sanctuary.
  7. You can park your vehicle at check post as vehicles are not allowed inside.
  8. Total distance is approx 70 Kms.

Mayureshwar Wildlife SanctuaryWe saw beautiful sunrise as we drove. We also found few birds – Indian Roller, Black-winged Kite, Grey Hornbill, and most pretty and equally shy Grey Patridges. On the way, we had a tea-break. We enjoyed delicious Idli-chutney got by Prasad.

We made entry of our name and check-in time at check-post. The person showed us the 1000-feet view of “Machaan” and we started walking in that direction.

Things to remember:

  1. Binocular, cap, scarf (if).
  2. We were told that camera is not allowed inside so better don’t display your cameras. Keep them in backpacks till you walk for while.
  3. Wear good shoes (no chappals, floaters, sandals) as the path is rocky.
  4. Water bottles, snacks, fruits (are best options as you can have them while trailing).
  5. Don’t talk/laugh/shout loudly as wildlife creatures will become alert and run away from you.
  6. Do NOT throw plastic bags, papers, things in sanctuary. It can be hazardous to Chinkaras.
  7. PLEASE don’t take your vehicle inside. It is best to walk in woods and enjoy being with wildlife than creating nuisance to them.

As we explored the sanctuary, we saw varieties of birds like Eurasian Collared Dove, White-throated Kingfisher, Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark, Shrike, Laughing Dove, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Indian Silverbills, Eagle, Babblers, etc. We waited at few places to capture them. The landscapes too were beautiful.

Indian Gazelle (Chinkara)Finally Indian Gazelle a.k.a. Chinkara gave us its first glimpse. I took out my binos and watched them. Then we found few more herds of Chinkaras. They were very shy and fast-runners, and we could not click much satisfactory snaps. After walk of 3-4 Kms we reached ‘Machaan’. We climbed up and the view from top was awesome. We did spot few more herds from top and enjoyed watching them. We rested there for half an hour and munched apples. We decided to take different route while returning.

And our wise decision paid-off, a Chinkara itself came on the hilltop to check us out. It was really wonderful experience. We clicked few snaps. Later on, we found many Chinkara herds on the way back.

I was really happy to see Indian Gazelle in wild. Their glimpses themselves are rare and we could see them in numbers. Thanks to my dear Bino!:)

We started back before 12 noon and had fruit jam-sandwiches (thanks Sachin for getting them) while returning.

It was indeed an amazing wildlife wander!!! 😀

For more pictures – http://flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157613433903509/detail/

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Read Full Post »

Ananda ValleyI visited ‘Ananda Valley’ with my colleagues last saturday. It was a more of a team building activity than a picnic. We gathered near our office and started at 8:30 AM.

Best thing I like about Pune is – as you drive few kilometers away from city immediately the scene changes, you can breathe fresh air and enjoy nature. It was bit of cold and pleasant atmosphere in the morning. On the way, we enjoyed some garama-garam pattice which I got from Hindustan bakery.

To reach Ananda Valley:

  1. Take Pune-Nasik Highway, Cross toll entry (take return toll of Rs. 31.50/-) at Moshi.
  2. Drive till toll exit.
  3. After Exit look for 2 petrol pumps (BP, HP) on the left side.
  4. Take left after the 2nd petrol pump take the road that goes to Kadus village. You will leave the highway at this point.
  5. Drive more 10 kms to reach Kadus village.
  6. Ask for Dr. Kataria’s Farm i.e. Ananda Valley. After 1 km, look for sign on your right.
  7. Total distance is approx. 50-55 kms from Pune on Nasik Highway(NH-50).

We reached there at around 10 AM. Our booking was already confirmed and the concerned person explained us the details about the activities of the day. There were many other groups from different IT companies. We had breakfast which consisted of Pohe, Upma, Kokam Sharbat, tea, coffee and farm-fresh bananas.

Eco TourOur guide then took us for an Eco-tour. We followed him as he took us to different spots. We clicked some snaps in the garden on the way. We traveled from one direction to another and finally came at a hill. We climbed up and panorama from here was amazing. We could see lake and some greenery of the fields from the hill-top. Then we descended down to climb another mountain. This is a good trek. I found a pair of vulture hovering over us in the sky. They were at great altitude and capturing them in camera was O-O-Q (out of question). 😦

By the time we returned, it was lunch time and we were hungry. We enjoyed delicious Maharashtrian Thali (with Jowar Bhakri, Pithale, thecha and all that stuff). Then we took some rest.

In the afternoon, we enjoyed a bullock-cart ride and also some tatoos and mehendis. We played few games of carom and Fuss ball. Magic show was on but we took no interest in it. It seemed very boring and we just ignored it.

We didn’t indulge ourselves in any kind of actual team building-like tasks or games like other groups; the only reason was our group itself was small and other reason was, we just wish to relax. But we interacted more among ourselves. At end of the day, I felt I knew my colleagues more than yesterday and that was what it mattered for us.

AV is better option for corporate picnics than a family outing. They now have accommodation facility for overnight stay for families. I still feel rainy season will be better to visit as it will be green. This is certainly NOT the place for bird watching and photography.

+ points: Nature, Food, Hill climbing, team building activities.
– points: Less activities in the afternoon, no boating.

We came back in the evening. Ours was different kind of team building outing. 🙂

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Read Full Post »

Ever since I heard about Nighoj, had keen interest to see this wonder. Best part is, this moon-land is very close to Pune. I found out few more interesting places to see around Nighoj. It was summer weekend and we took up Pune-Nagar highway.

1. Ranjangaon

Our day began with sacred darshan of Mahaganapati of Ranjangaon. Ranjangaon Ganesh is one of the eight holy Ganapatis i.e. Asthavinayak. Ranjangaon temple is in Shirur district and on main highway at 52 Kms from Pune. There is beautiful garden developed outside the temple. We had a quick tea break here and then proceeded towards Nighoj. While on the way to Nighoj, we came across birds like Shrike, Purple Sunbird and Black shouldered kite.

2. Nighoj

To reach Nighoj –

  1. Take Pune – Nagar Highway and drive upto “Ghodnadi” river bridge.
  2. Take immediate left turn after crossing the bridge. This is “Nighoj Phata”.
  3. Drive approx. 25 Kms to reach Nighoj village. The road is in OK condition.
  4. From village travel 3 Kms more to reach “Kukadi” river where you can see pot holes.

The entire bank of Kukdi River is turned into moon land of huge pot holes. The phenomenon behind its formation goes back to more than thousands of years. The river flow wears out the vesicular basalt’s upper layer and compact basalt layer of the rock. Then small hard pebbles vigorously swirl in these wear out areas due to flow of the water to create circular pot holes. There is huge gorge or canyon created in the river due to the whirl effect of stones for the ages. These are believed to be the largest natural pot holes in Asia. It is very amazing and interesting place. You just have to see this miracle with your eyes to believe it. There is small temple of “Malganga” on the bank on this river.

Only thing, which hurt, is that we don’t do anything to conserve this beauty. Not many people know about it.

Best time to visit: Summer (March-April). May month will be extremely hot.
Summer is best time to visit this place. As water level goes down, pot holes are easily visible. In monsoon, you merely can view gigantism of pot holes. It is said to be approx. 100 feet deep and 3 kms long. Besides, it can be very dangerous to experience their gigantism otherwise. 😉

I took as many snaps as I could and also some live clippings of whirl effects for my folks. We started back and it was already time for food. We found a shady place and unwind mattresses. We enjoyed home made food and relaxed for some time. We had way to go.

3. Wadgaon Daryabai cave temple

From Nighoj, we went to Wadgaon to see another marvel. Wadgaon is plain plateau, which is rich in calcium/limestone. On the way, we saw flock of Swallows. We reached the place and started climbing down stone stairs to go to Daryabai cave temple. Our ancestors warmly greeted us.

CAUTION – Be sure that you don’t carry any eatables to the Daryabai cave temple. There is entire gang of Bonnet monkeys and their IQ is as good as ours. They know how to snatch away and eat all that you carry from “coconut” to “peanuts” and “Cadbury’s Dairy Milk” to “Center fresh”. 🙂

Jokes apart, about another marvel called “Daryabai cave temple” – this temple is dark inside and has dripping water streams inside which gives birth to stalactite. A stalactite is type of cave formation that hangs from the ceiling or wall of limestone caves. It is sometimes referred to as dripstone. It is called as “Lavan kandya” in Marathi. Each stalactite takes thousands and lakhs of years to form. Unfortunately, people who visit this place break them for fun; get them home and then just throw away without knowing their importance.

4. Takali Dhokeshwar

Takali is a small village in Parner district. We went to this place from Wadgaon Daryabai temple. Around 3 kms from Takali village is Dhokeshwar mountain temple. We took tea and Misal-paav break on the way to Takali village.

We climbed the mountain stone stairs to reach the top. There is a beautiful cave temple on the top dates back in 5th – 6th century. Along with Shivlinga, nandi, it also has idols of Laxmi, Ganesh and Bhairav carved in black stones. We relaxed inside the temple. Cold breeze fade away our tiredness. Another must mention thing here is – the water source near the cave. It has water springs throughout the year. I can say I never tasted the water like that anywhere else. We got our water bottles filled and started climbing down.

Each place we visited in this trip was unique in its own way. It was already evening by then and we drove back to Pune with feelings of contentment.

NOTE: For more snaps visit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157601019246769/detail/

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Read Full Post »

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.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts

%d bloggers like this: