Saturday, August 18, 2007

Visapur Pictures

Waterfall enroute Visapur just outside Bhaje
Fortification - Fort Visapur
Plenty of good stuff for stomach on the way.
Disintegrating fortification.

Lohagad from Visapur.
The faint traingular pinnacle is Fort Tikona. Pawana dam to right.
The faint pinnacle is Fort Tung with Lohagad to the right.
Bhaje village and Karla-Malavali valley.
Mumbai-Pune Expressway


We had some time constraints this week. Keeping that in mind, we thought we went somewhere around and not spend much time traveling. This got M,B,GD and me travel towards Visapur 7.30ish.
For people who are looking for directions - To get here :
1] Start from Pune, travel on NH-4. Take the left towards Malavali - Bhaje past Kamshet as you are travelling towards Lonavala. Cross the guarded Railway crossing - bridge over expressway and park your vehicles at Bhaje.
2] Travel from Chandni Chauk to Paud to Jawan, proceed towards Pawananagar and keep asking for way to Lohagad. I havent done this one yet but this is one piece of information I got this time. Try it if you are an adventurer and find the monotony of traveling on the highway boring.

We reached Bhaje 9.30ish. To our surprise, there wasn't a single soul or lovebirds seeking shelter enroute. We continued our journey after modeling for the Liril ads etc. to the bifurcation at the base of Lohagad where we took the left to Visapur. We made it to the top in about 30 odd mins. Again this time we had heavy rains pounding us just after some time as we reached atop. Visapur as such has a huge huge area and take quite some time to cover.

One can spot Tikona to the left, Pawana Dam in between and Tung, and Lohagad to the right in that order from the top. On the other side one can spot the base villages and Mumbai Pune Expressway. For history of this place etc, read the Gazetteer or Google it up.

PS> The locals informed that, the previous week the deputy CM paid a surprise visit to Lohagad with 150odd cops and the cops gave quite a generous beating to the Somras fans out there. Alcohol is banned around here per them. So all you boozers out there, watch out. Cheers :p

Those who wonder what happened to the good old Hotel Lohagad-the only place for the foodies en route : I asked the guys here this time around and I was told that some boozers beat up the old man and his wife and didn't pay for the food etc. The poor couple left the place for their native place Ratnagiri.

Check the complete set of pictures here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Koregad - Korigad - Koraigad Pictures

Waterfalls enroute Ghusalkhamb from Mulshi.
View of the Mulshi Lake. The semi-circular wall is visible.
The tall cloud covered mountains enroute.
Numerous water sources like these empty in Mulshi Lake here
View of the Northern arm of Mulshi Lake.
The steps to Korigad.
One of the numerous wild flowers of Sahyadris.
Fortification - Korigad
A mushroom - I caught it inside a hole in the fortification

Koregad A.K.A Korigad A.K.A Koraigad

This weekend since kuch log were too tired of "Sumo Chalana" we decided we headed somewhere nearby on bikes. We thought about Rajmachi, but then considering that we are bunch of old men we thought of something nice, which got us moving to Korigad.

This fort is past INS Shivaji near a village called Peth Shahapur enroute Ambavane where Sahara Amby Valley is located and belongs to Sahara India. Yes they own the fort believe it or not.

To get to this place from Pune essentially one needs to :
1] Travel on NH-4 to Lonavala / Expressway take Lonavala exit. Take the left to Bhushi Dam/INS Shivaji and continue to Amby Valley. Keep looking for Peth Shahapur.
2] Travel to Mulshi. Just before the dam wall, take a right to Ghusalkhamb [ 40Kms from here ]. The road is not so good, though if you need a taste of adventure scenery and greenery. This is the route. When you hit a T with a Chai shop at corner, take a left for Ambavane and look for Peth Shahapur.
3] Travel past Mulshi via Tamhini, past Dongarwadi, there is a bifurcation for Lonavala. This road is super scenic and Sumo worthy. This road would take you to Bhambarde, from here continue to Ambavane and then to Peth Shahapur.

The depressing thoughts of passing Lonavala traffic early morning and search for some adventure found us travelling towards Mulshi at 8.00 in the morning. We chose option 2 as I had not travelled on this route before. After a good amount of timepass, photography we reached the destination.

Since this is a Sahara property and due to the proximity to Lonavala, you always have some company for climb. Sahara chaps have now put a tarmac road right to the base. There are steps to get to the top as well. The fort is huge as such and has fortification in place to great extent. There is a lake, a temple, few canons and marshy land. One can spot the Amby valley right at the base of the fort.

We got down at about 4.00 discussed our options and decided to head back via NH-4. I had been here with B and PN long time ago, that time some stupid a**s sons of GW Bush had stolen the fuel from our bikes. This time I had some weird lady asking 60 bucks aggressively for no reasons to let us park our bikes. Not that 60 bucks was an issue, though the manner in which the bi**ch demanded it was quite shocking. We had run into a drunk man on the way in the morning, I did the honors of asking him for the directions. He was slurring about how the fort belongs to locals etc. etc. Overall the locals around don't quite have a very nice attitude towards visitors. As for these Amby valley morons, they are clearing up quite a piece of forest here for making roads to the very base of the fort. Soon they'll have red carpet laid up all the way up on the steps. Sahara has about 10K acres or more land in this beautiful valley, their golf courses by the huts of the locals and they are killing it for sure. Must visit before they kill this place completely.

Find the complete set of pictures here.