Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Dhab Dhab gire waterfall

I had to go to Pune on 28th of june. I was to take the deccan express which is scheduled early morning. I had been told that it was raining pretty heavily in pune and I therefore knew what I can expect on my journey. As soon as I crossed the urban areas , the land occupied by building and constructions were taken up by open green patches. Within half hour the clouds became generous and started off pouring. I did a weird thing to the surprise of the other co-passengers. I wore my raincoat and kept the window open. No one had an objection to it as I was the only person occupying an 6 seater bay. We passed lands that looked like green ribbons with darker green paths in between and also beautiful hillocks. The best part was when we were approaching lonavla and khandala. The complete scenario changed as we approached the tunnels and the ghats. As a child the dark tunnels and the landscapes outside it fascinated me . I remember I used to run here and there in the train trying get a glimpse all the beautiful views which these ravines and hills offered. Though I had an window seat I envied the person sitting at the other end because he was getting to see the best landscapes. It was number of waterfalls, green meadows and thick woods. But envy short lived, as I proved to luckier. Many waterfalls were at close quarters to my window side. There were few massive falls which just made me faint with joy. I was attempting to take pictures but train was fast and I could not have put the camera out in the heavy rain. I passed the beautiful wallpaper scenes. I have totally freaked over these waterfalls. I was so tempted to get off there and just walk along the beautiful path. I was jumping off my seat every now and then with every fall passing. The sky was overcast and showed no intention of stopping the downpour. Finally this journey of paradise was slowly ceasing away with the urbanization coming in. This journey was unforgettable one as I was traveling alone for the first time to that destination and also kept myself awake to feast my eyes with those beautiful landscapes though I was feeling dead sleepy. The tree Acacia arabica was also in full bloom with the beautiful yellow flowers.

Monday, June 27, 2005

A trip to Paradise

26th june, a Sunday is one of those days which has made a permanent mark in my memory. After months of stress and tiredness this nature trail came to an rescue. Monsoon is indeed the best time soothe urself and wash away all the tensions and one place that is a must visit during monsoon is Tungareshwar sanctuary.I went along with a group enthusiastic and nature loving group coordinated by Doreen. The rest included Marge, Jayshree, Meera, Naseem, her 2 nieces, 1 nephew ( the youngest and most enthusiastic 5 yrs), Sakina, Harish, my bro dhananjay and sujata. I joining the grp came as a surprise as I contacted them in early morning b4 the trail.We left for the sanctuary from naigaon as the journey is very beautiful. U pass through beautiful green pastures which is indeed enjoyable. We started walking down from the main gate. At the start we saw a golden fronted Leafbird, heard Indian cuckoo too. We were not very lucky otherwise with birds as it rained frequently which made us keep our binocs inside. We passed patches of green and also rocks flowering with chlorophytum and many climbers. The vitis is flowering and therefore attracting a lot of butterflies. I was highly fascinated by the color of the leaves which were maroonish when young. We also came across a Calotropis plant which had around 10 painted grasshoppers on it. The crowd went wild with excitement. All the cameras were out and we could not decide which was the best specimen. PG of different sizes were on the plant. It was simply gorgeous. We also saw housefly mating. As we moved further we passed through farms and farms of the Wild turmeric ( Curcuma pseudomontana) and ground orchid. We also saw big patches of the chlorophytum lily. We also saw Sheval ( Amorphophallus commutatus) scattered all around. One local lady was plucking those and when asked she told us that when cooked it’s a delicacy. We took our first break at the tea stall near the temple. Till the time tea arrived we 4 of us went behind the tea stall to have a view of the beautiful waterfall and the landscape around. From there we proceeded for the biggy that is the waterfall at the top. The whole journey was just awesome as it was raining cats and dogs and the whole place was covered with fog. The level of visibility was also minimum. The trek was pretty long one and time consuming. Ofcourse we didn’t realize the time running and also specially noon time. Rather than being hot it was chilly. The wind whipped through us sending shivers throught he spine. I was getting drenched completely as I had not carried any rainwear on purpose. That was an major reason for my joy as I would not have had a better opportunity to get wet. We saw many birds flying around and hiding in the thickets. The ravines and valleys had a number of waterfalls which were small now but would become huge gradually. I was at optimum level of excitement to pass through the mist and fog. We also passed the waterfall which was quite small now. We drank the water there. We finished our late lunch nearby and returned back. The wind was very strong there and we could see nothing in the valleys or also the paths as it was just pure white. Our next stop on our return was the tea stall at the temple. Our group split there as half of us decided to go to the waterfall to get wet. Initially we walked upwards and realized that we were at an higher level and going down towards the falls from their would be challenging and impossible with kids. So we retreated back from there and walked thru the stream. As we were running short of time we stopped at a small fall and a decent part of the stream. We bathed heart out and returned back pretty contented. We were dead tired and worn out. I have heard of matheran being beautiful and also seen pictures supporting it. But let me tell u this was quite similar that of an Matheran monsoon time.

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