September 11, 2008

Monsoon Magic

Continuation of my post titled:

Lonavala, and Karla Caves


2. Valvan Dam

Hardly 2 kms away from the heart of Lonavala is the area from where it is a peaceful walk to the Valvan Dam. The huge Dam is fed by the Kundali river. The large water body has a beautiful greenish-blue tinge to it. Photography is not allowed.

On one side at the bottom is a neatly kept garden adorned with a wide variety of colourful flowers and other plants. The Khopoli power station sources a major portion of its water from this Dam.


3. Whispering Woods and Shivaji Udhyan

The Reywood Whispering Woods with a park has sprawling gardens, tall trees and spacious open spaces. It began to rain as I reached these woods. Without an umbrella or any rainy wear, I got partly soaked in the showers. For some reason, I decided to cut short my walk in the Whispering Woods.


4. Bushy Dam

Pulling off my sneakers, it was fun wading uphill to the Dam through the overflowing waters of the Bushy Dam but it was not easy to walk bare feet through the stony paths. Though swimming is not allowed at the Dam, a few did manage to pass through the barricade and jump into the deep waters for a swim.

Soon it started raining cats and dogs. The downpour revived many memories of rainy days of the past. It was a pleasant time listening to the blissful sounds of the rain with a good cup of tea in a nearby shack.

At one point, even though the showers were continuing relentlessly, I decided to walk back fully aware I’d be drenched in no time. I liked the feel of the rainfall on my face as I lifted it ever so slightly, and shortly I was fully soaked in it like parched earth does after a long summer drought. At times, rainfall can be celebratory and the feeling of getting drenched in it is sublime!


5. Bhaja Caves

The Bhaja caves are also Buddhist caves similar to Karla Caves with the same Chaitya style but on a smaller scale. It was another climb of half hour or so to reach the Bhaja caves through a pleasant drizzle. I understand why people enjoy trekking in the rainy season.

Close to the main entrance are some stupas, few inside and most of them outside the caves. Close by was a small natural waterfall where a group of youngsters were chilling out in the cascading waters.

The view from the top of the surrounding hills that were the stronghold of the erstwhile Maratha rulers is delightful. Far in the distance in the opposite hills, I could see two forts: Visarpur Fort and the Lohagad Fort. A trek to the top of Lohagad Fort and return is something that I have been longing for a while, but for lack of time I had return to Mumbai next morning. So that will be another trek, another day...

~~~

The return journey of approximately two hours by a luxury Volvo bus to Mumbai through the Pune-Mumbai expressway was comfortable. Beautiful scenery of green hills and vast fields can be enjoyed all the way back, however, upon reaching Panvel, I felt it was like getting back into the concrete jungle. The spirit of Janmashtami was being celebrated on the streets of Mumbai and they were delightful sights.


Lonavala is not directly connected by Air but it is well connected by Rail and Road links. The railway stations of Lonavala and Khandala have the trains from Mumbai (110 Kms) and Pune (66 Kms). Trains halt at both Khandala and Lonavala. The Mumbai-Bangalore National Highway connecting western and southern India passes through Khandala-Lonavala.


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18 comments:

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Lovely snaps once again!

The Udhyan is so beautiful,and the last pic is mesmerizing in its lush greenery.

I usually do not like monsoons,but your pics truly make them magical :)

Cuckoo said...

OMG !!!

Now this is NOT just a coincidence, this is something else, Celine !!

Ha Ha... I can't believe it. Check my latest post. In fact I checked in your Bushi dam photo for some common faces just in case...

You know what I mean. :-)

indicaspecies said...

Sameera,

Thank you. Glad you liked the pictures.:)

I think you are referring to the geometrically arranged garden near the Valvan Dam. I love monsoons, and make a trip to India almost every year during that season.;)

indicaspecies said...

Cuckoo,

Haha..I'm just back from checking your post. Both our posts on Bushy and Valvan Dam published on the same day. Coincidence!?

I wonder if you went to Bhaje caves and if that will be a separate post on your blog.;)

Priyank said...

Hey Celine,

Valvan Dam - no photos allowed? And you actually obeyed that... LOL

I went to Bushi dam only once and its too crowded. There are many forts on the adjoining mountains and the day treks are very pleasant.

And finally, not all long distance trains halt at both Khanadala and Lonavala. From Pune there are frequent local trains to Lonavala.

cheers, Priyank

indicaspecies said...

Priyank,

I am a law abiding citizen.:P
So do not have pictures AT the dam but you see the picture of the neat garden? That was NEAR the Valvan Dam area.;)

Thank you for the info on trains. Re: the forts, I know of the Rajmachi Fort, Visarpur Fort and Lohagad Fort. I did not have time to go those places. Perhaps next time.:)

AJEYA RAO said...

Amazing pics...I will be going to Mumbai early next year and your post has inspired me to complete my most awaited trip to Lonavala without anymore delay. :-)

Lakshmi said...

What a coincidence ! I just saw Cuckoo's post and felt nostalgic as well..though I havent been to these awesome places..just the route itself triggered all the memories

Deepak Gopi said...

Hi Celine :)
Happy onam.
How are you? Long time no see.
I liked all the pics esp of that bird it is very cuteeeeeeeeeee.
@deepak- those pics are from google.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Hi dear,please accept this award from me :)

http://thehavensaccolades.blogspot.com/2008/09/i-love-your-blog-award.html

indicaspecies said...

Ajeya,

Thank you. I am glad this inspired you and hope you have a good trip to Lonavala.:)

indicaspecies said...

Lakshmi,

Yes.:)
It's a coincidence that Cuckoo and I put up a post on Lonavala together.

indicaspecies said...

Deepak,

Glad you liked these pictures. All of them belong to me..haha!
Your pictures from google are lovely. I hope the owners of those pictures are aware that you have put them up on your blog.;)

indicaspecies said...

Sameera,

Award? Aw! That sounds good. I'll be right over to you, thank you.:)

Shantanu said...

This are usually the places I vacation the most, since it is only about an hour's drive from where I live. We haven't yet visited Bhaja Caves; architecturally seems similar to ones in Karla. Actually, there are a few such rock-carved caves in the heart of Pune city, called the Pataleshwar.

indicaspecies said...

Shantanu,

I read about Pataleshwar online, thank you.:)

Lonavala is very close to Pune, so you are lucky to enjoy so much of greenery in the monsoons. Do pass by Bhaja Caves. The place is better maintained than Karla caves and the view of the rolling green hills from Bhaja caves is splendid.

The Trooper said...

Bombay-Pune is a really beautiful drive in the monsoons, especially by the old road, not the expressway. It's all green and pretty, with little waterfalls along the road. Love it :)

indicaspecies said...

The Trooper,

Thank you for your visit here, and the kind words. I completely agree with what you say.:)