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Posts in the ‘Travel’ Category

The greatest benefit of being a fitness freak was experienced when i could manage a ( First ever in my life ) trek and climb to the fort at Rajmachi effortlessly !
Your endurance can be checked by how long can one sustain the activity ( like in this case it was a walk to and fro for about 20/24 km in mud and rocks thus an uneven terrain carrying load of rucksacks without any injuries ).
Another brilliant trick to gauge your fitness is how fast your heartrste comes back to normal after a rigorous cardio activity like in this case an uphill climb ) .

Here’s a beautiful account of our “Fireflies Rajmachi trek “by our group member Nishant .

A Million Fireflies at Rajmachi

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Archeological site

Archeological site

Patnadevi or Chandikamata Temple near chalisgaon is a archeological site amidst gautala Forest .

Today braving the Mumbai Rains ( read.. lashing rains) we set out for a adventure . Yes … Adventure it was … 374 km journey (one way) in the pouring rains n returning by evening was a daunting task . But that didnt dither us from starting by 4.30 in the morning to chalisgaon which is near Jalgaon .

It was pouring and pouring and pouring to the point that by 7 in the morning i was loosing the adventure spirit and wanted to turn back home . But that decision was ridiculed by You Know Who ( read; Husband dear) . So we kept going ..

But the nature’s beauty that unfolded in front of us in Kasara Ghat was worth that risk . Plush green mountains, floating clouds and Peek a Boo waterfalls wete driving away the fear of lashing rains .

We kept on going for some more time till chandwad … And Abrakadabra … No Rains …. Not a drop …. Heaving a sigh of relief we crossed Malegaon, chalisgaon .. and reached this holy place .

Patnadevi Temple is in Gautala forest .. Built more that 150 yrs ago in Hemadpanthi Style just like Ellora . The way to temple is a picturesque trail in forest . We saw a dear n lots of birds like drongo, kingfishers .
Reaching the temple through a riverbed you see a nice stony staircase that leads to a
big Mandap balanced on stony columns with Devi Chandika blessing the devotees. In front of the temple is a huge stone Deepmala ( its kind of column with troughs for lighting oil lamps or Panatya in marathi ) , and also a Nandi ( as its said to be a parvatimata mandir ) .

Its kind of in shambles but one can see the glory of the bygone era with the broken scuptures , and parts of columns and walls that are still preserved there.
we didnt have much time to take in all the beauty of the lovely forest so missed the viewing of pitalkhora caves also. Theres a government Rest House which accomodates tourists for overnight stays .

So after Darshan we set out again for our journey back home . The roads are fantastic so we were very confident about return journey but it again turned scary with terrible rains after Nasik city . Anyway as true mumbaikars we were unfazed by the menace of rains and reached home safe and sound with ligering memories of the forest , temple and the ruins .


Hundred of lil turtlings 🙁
Peeking out of sand ..
Making their way to top ..
Then starts the journey towards sea … Flapping .. Sliding … Resting ..
Slow and steady.. …
Unsure of way …
But atlast succeed on riding the waves ..
Then again it’s not done ..
These lil ones have to go deep inside the sea
in search of their food…
then they can rest ….
yet again to start
struggle of survival ..
Only to return for nesting n
laying eggs at the same place where they are born …
Velas , Maharashtra , India

Brochure final

That majestic dome of Sacre couer
Dominates Montmartre sky,
Those pristine White walls,
Make it shine in the dark.

With ornate columns and frescos ,
This beautiful Basilica sits,
On top of a lovely hill ,
Like a crown on goddess Pari.

Those winding steps and cobbled pathways,
Embracing the jade gardens,
Lure silkenly,
to the doors of the heaven that is Paris.

That carousal ,those souvenir shops
Those artists… sketching,
Makes Montmartre unforgettable ,
when funicular takes to the top

Enjoying the winding steps,
Or Strolling with beloved,
rendezvous is magical,
At Sacre couer by the day .

Or is it the Sacre coeur at night,
That enchants the lovelorn minds,
Such a rendezvous Creates slaves ,
of Sacre coeur’s beauty for a life.

ethereal beauty of Paris glittering afar,
twinkling Eiffel against silver dusted sky,
Castes a spell to cherish,
In the deepest of hearts .

Oh! there’s beauty , art n culture
At each and every corner,
That proclaims Sacre Coeur,
wonder of the wonders…

New folder

This is about a place Luray Caverns in Virginia USA where we visited in April.
This is a very beautiful ,natural formation in the belly of the earth . There is a science behind this natural wonder about minerals getting deposited over years n years by dripping water.
These natural caves were found by two brothers in 1878 when they were out in woods .The stalactites hang from ceilings n stalagmite are reaching towards top .They are usually in limestone caves and are formed due to the dripping water with minerals .
This was a very beautiful yet Kind of a eerie world with stalactites n stalagmites forming valleys and peaks , columns , draperies in the cave .
The uniqueness and being a natural scientific wonder was a reason enough for us to visit it with our kids .We would have surely missed one of the greatest n most beautiful natural marvels if We had not visited these caves in Shenandoh valley .

Thousands of years..
dripping water ,
minerals in it
make this never seen before site

In the belly of the earth ..,
needles n columns
of stalagtites
hang from the ceilings n
stalagmites from ground
trying to reach up..

Together they make the cavern
a miniature of rough earth …
Valleys n mountains ,
Columns n sheets
looking like draperies …
all over the huge chambers

Orange, peach, White, blue n grey
splashed all over
in myriad shapes n sizes .
Mirror pools ,
Illusions of mountains
peaks below water ..
Add to it’s mystique..

Worlds only Great stalacpipe organ touches the soul
with it’s haunting melodies
all this leaves us spellbound ,
Saluting nature ..
It’s creator

Luray caverns ..
Shenandoh valley , Virginia

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A poem on water …

Reflection of a full moon from silver inky sky bobbing on tiny ripples of river .. watching this from a balcony of a floating house , getting lost in those rhythms …listening to the wildest roaring sea just few yards beyond this … You have to see it to believe it !! (Poovar , Kerala)

Oh, this is the most beautiful yet very unique destination in Kerala ! When we decided  to go to Kerala we thought of going to less traveled destinations ..Ashtamudi n Poovar!
Ashtamudi is 70 km from Trivandrum or now known as Thiruvanantapuram airport  which is an international Airport too .  We had hired a cab to reach our resort with floating houses . As we started our journey it was a total change for our eyesight which was more accustomed to suburban chaos of cars, buses, traffic, hutments, hoards of people … But along the way we saw tall coconut trees , sprawling rice fields , dense greenery ,waterbodies  , big bunglows . It showed natural n economic wealth of the region .
With traffic n short breaks we reached the resort in about 4 hrs on   lake . Ashtamudi lake is second largest lake in Kerala n the backwaters are breathtaking . As we settled in our rooms girls got busy fishing from the balcony of a floating house . But the whole fishing  experience was spoiled when within few minutes they caught a big fish which started fighting for life and they felt immensely guilty about killing a fish . So they quickly ran to get a bellboy who unhooked the fish n dropped it back in water .After this first and last attempt at fishing the girls were quiet…lamenting about the whole episode.
we went for lunch at a restaurant which was floating too ! We all Had sumptuous Kerala meal . Next day morning we went to a house boat island tour . It was a nice backwater ride along many small islands . It was a great opportunity for birdwatchers . We could see kites, eagles, kingfishers , waterhens among other birds . Watching them dive in the water to catch a fish was a  very beautiful sight indeed .
One more interesting visit was to Chinese fishnets . These Chinese fishnets are mainly used to catch prawns . We went to a fishnet after dark where local fishermen were working . It was a quite a job to drop that heavy fishnet n pull it back and collect the prawns n small fishes .
We got so used to soft sways of water in our floating house that when next day we started our road journey to Poovar we had this funny swaying feeling even on land .
Poovar is also around 4 hrs road journey ( we got stuck up in roadblocks by some protesters )  But all fatigue n boredom of traffic is lost as you board a speedboat that takes you to your island resort . The beauty of Poovar is ethereal .It is an estuary. There’s a river that has a calm current gently flowing then a sand stretch for around 30 to 40 ft  and a roaring , wild sea beyond. Sometimes you are mesmerised by some site n remain eternally grateful for that . I had such a moment on a full moon night at Poovar as I described it at the begining.
Next  day we went to kanyakumari  which is just 80 km away . We went to the Rock Memorial n Vivekanamdapuram . Both of us have our fondest memories here at  puram  when we had attended youth camps ( separately). Our Oldest n dearest friendships blossomed there . We relived the past by going to our dormitories, dining hall , meditation rooms ..it was very nostalgic trip for us .
Oh, we returned to Mumbai  with a heavy heart via same Thiruvanantapuram which is just 30 km from Poovar . We were still swaying on water , had roaring sea in our ears , reliving maitri camp days when landed in Mumbai !