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#HERITAGE #MILESTONES: #Treasures in #Mumbai (All are real and existing)

Milestones are Grade 1 Heritage Structures put up by the British to mark distance in miles from the city centre. Mumbai’s City Centre then was St. Thomas Cathedral, which is still standing beautifully at Kalaghoda.

Google Map http://bit.ly/1dAf9Oc - Milestones are marked in red squares.

All photos are clicked by us.

St Thomas Cathedral Church 18°55’54.78” N 72° 50’1.71”E.

1) BURIED CANNON: Just behind this “India Wines” Wine shop’s door, on the footpath - there is a real Cannon, which is out of use and said to be buried by Indian freedom fighters. Next to First Milestone.

Coordinates:18°56’39”N 72°49’46”E.

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2) I MILESTONE (FIRST):On the footpath, just outside the S.P. Jain Centre of Management.

Coordinates:18°56’40”N 72°49’45”E.

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3) III MILESTONE OPPOSITE BHATIA HOSPITAL: Third Milestone with 3 written in Roman Numeral III. Is opposite Bhatia Hospital.

Coordinates:18°57’54”N 72°48’46”E.

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There is one more 3 Milestone with three written in English as ‘3 Milestone near Gowalia Tank & August Kranti Park.

4) ‘3 MILESTONE: The only Milestone with English numeral 3. This one is near Gowalia Tank, August Kranti Park. Standing next to Central Bank of India ATM.

Coordinates:18°57’49”N 72°48’34”E.

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5) IV MILESTONE AT N.M. JOSHI MARG, near Chinchpokali:

Coordinates: 18°59’11.0”N 72°49’54.0”E

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6) V Milestone on MADHAV RAO GANGAN STREET:

Coordinates: 18°58′30.5″N 72°49′33.5″E

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7) VI MILESTONE OPPOSITE CHITRA CINEMA:

Coordinates:19°0’47”N 72°50’40”E.

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8) VII MILESTONE NEAR KABURTAKHANA: Near Antonio D’ Silva School.

Coordinates:19°1’11”N 72°50’22”E.

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9) VIII MILESTONE IN SION: Coordinates:19°02’13.4”N 72°51’42.3”E.

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There are 16 milestones in Mumbai, some missing & unknown. I will find them and upload here. You can visit them too!

Also check: GAS PILLARS & FIRE ALARMS FROM BRITISH ERA

Some good to-do pending projects.

USEFUL LINKS:

1) Alphabetical list of ancient monuments in Mumbai by Archeolgical survey of India.

2) Check the Heritage Information System on www.mmrhcs.org.in 

#Panorama from #Nakhind’s eye of the needle!

#Panorama from #Nakhind’s eye of the needle!

The whistling mountain of #Nakhind

1-day Sunday: 17th August 2014 to Nakhind near Matheran.

The blog is divided in 3 parts:

1) my experience.
2) how to go ? - includes map, rickshaw driver’s & guide’s contact numbers.
3) expenses.

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The weekend had many holidays, wasted sitting at home. So I decide to up my spirits by climbing a less frequented spot.

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↑ Destination within the clouds. All I know I have to go up ↓

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Nakhind is a mountain that has a ‘nedhe’ in it’s rocky walls. Nedhe in Marathi means a hole. It is like eye of the needle. The best part is the eye of the mountain is carved by the strong gusty winds blowing here at the top, since eons.

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↑ The Nedhe is just discernible 

Imagine the force of the wind here, that it has been able to erode the full chunk of a mountain wall! And I sat here inside this natural aperture, soaking in the view and the wind. It was literally, mind-blowing. On one side there are mountains and on the other is a stark contrast. Only plains and not a single hill as far as the horizon.

When the wind blows in a certain angle, I am sure the mountain whistles!

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↑ The view from the Nedhe of Nakhind ↓ 

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↑ Chanderi in the front, with Mhaismal behind it, as seen from Nedhe of Nakhind ↑

The gradient to ascend is steep and slippery. It is more muddy than rocky. Large plantain leaves scatter along the narrow path and make it all the more slippery. Nakhind should not be done if its raining heavily. Though climbing it doesn’t require any technical equipments, descending down on the wet slippery terrain is treacherous.

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The climate while I climbed it was cloudy and humid. The sun peeping from behind the clouds in between sapped my energy, partnering with the humidity. But this was a blessing in disguise. The terrain was not all that slippery and it rained heavily at the top, after the climb.

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The forest of Karvi plants are so thick here that though it rained, the path didn’t become extra slippery. The path though narrow does not have immediate deep valleys besides and is barricaded by the straight stems of Karvi plants. So a slip here is bound to be arrested by the vegetation. Remember, the stems will be dry & crackling especially in summer. But the terrain will not be slippery then, as it is in the rains.

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↑ Nakhind, finally! 

All said and done, but the jungle added suspense to the atmosphere here. While descending, you try to break with your shoes or jump over an obstacle. A moment before you decide at the critical point the plan of your next action, is when the cicadas in the jungle will reach their crescendo call and it is as if the music director of the movie is adding this terse musical piece to the movie, of whom nobody is witness to! You will feel you are going to fall as the chirping of the cicadas reaches the apex and you are at the edge of a treacherous point and then you jump or skid holding your breath, landing in safety once again on the slippery ground, when the cicadas stop all of a sudden in their disappointment.

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HOW TO GO?

Base station: Vangani - Take the back-side exit (towards CST) & there is a rickshaw-stand immediately outside the station.

Base village: Vaghini chi wadi 1.

Length of the trek from Vaghini chi wadi 1 to Nakhind top = 2.73 km.

Route: Vangani > Bedisgaon - Vaghini chi wadi 1 > Vaghini chi wadi 2 > Nakhind top - Nakhind Nedhe.

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Time taken from Vaghini chi wadi 1 to Nakhind top = 3 hours ascending & 2 hours descending.

Gradient: Steep & slippery in rains.

Rickshaw driver Haroon 98603 85025 dropped me.

Ram is the guide who can accompany you to the top & get you down. He is reachable at these numbers: 99218 85869; 95277 99357; 97658 38871.

Vaghini chi wadi (translated literally means village of the tigress), though no tigers roam these jungles now.

These are twin hamlets with the same name. One of them is at the foothills, where the tarred road will end & the rickshaw hired from Vangani, will drop you in 20 minutes. The other of these twin hamlets, is nestled in the hills, reachable by foot.

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↑ Vaghini chi wadi 2 ↑  

The path is muddy & vehicles cannot go up here. The 1 is at the foothills & the 2 is in the hills.

Bedisgaon is the village between Vangani & Vaghini chi wadi 1.

From Vaghini chi wadi 1, the tarred road ends & the muddy path starts. It goes through paddy fields & then you will find yellow arrows painted on the rocks pointing the way to Nakhind.

Guide if needed may be hired from either of these twin hamlets. The way is easy through dense forest & the yellow arrows painted on the rocks will boost your confidence. Yet you may lose your way in the dense forest.

Bhagirathi waterfalls greet you from the hill in the front and many picnickers frequent to it.

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↑ Bhagirathi Waterfalls near Vaghini chi wadi 1 ↑

Nakhind is seen as two fingers held straight - the index & the middle finger. The nedhe is below in the middle finger. This Nedhe, the eye of the needle is barely visible from the base of the Nakhind.

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↑ Do you see the NEDHE now? ↑ 

While returning, you will find rickshaws waiting on the tarred road of Vaghini chi wadi 1. Alternatively, you may note down the driver’s number who drops you there. The driver will ask for return fare from Vangani though. But better to have a vehicle waiting, than walking to station, especially after a long trek.

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EXPENSES in INR:

Rickshaw from home to station = 20/-.

Return train ticket to Vangani = 50/-.

Rickshaw from Vangani to Vaghini chi wadi 1 via Bedisgaon = 80/- for 3 passengers.

Breakfast = 30/-.

Guide = 100/- per head (but guide services were not hired).

Return rickshaw to Vangani = 80/- for 3 passengers.

Rickshaw back home = 30/-.

Total = 190/-!

All done TTMM - Tu Tera, Mein Mera = all expenses & responsibilities on our own.

Some flora that added sparkle to the trek:

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↑ The yellow part of this wild turmeric flower is fragrant! ↓ 

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Shot from Nakhind, Chanderi is in the foreground erupting in the clouds & Mhaismal in the background. The view from the windy top will take your breath away!

Shot from Nakhind, Chanderi is in the foreground erupting in the clouds & Mhaismal in the background. The view from the windy top will take your breath away!

Aug 5

Trek from Ambewadi - Hashyachi Patti - to Malang Point of #Matheran

WHAT HAPPENS INSIDE THE CLOUDS?

3rd August 2014, 1-day Sunday trek: Ambewadi - Hashyachi Patti - Malang Point of Matheran = 12 km trek + 3 km more till Dasturi car park of Matheran = 15 km total.

On the eve of trek, I am tossing and turning sides in the bed, expecting heavy rains the next day.

The dawn breaks with clear skies and greyish clouds. My hope of heavy rains in the mountains is crashed.

By 8:30 am I am at base station Karjat, from where a tumtum (6-seater vehicle) drops me to the base village Ambewadi.

I start off on a long trek through paddy fields and a mountain looms large on my right. Keeping it on the right and continuing through the fields, the sky shows favorable signs of change. Good showers are expected.

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↑ Through the paddy fields ↓ 

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The long walk on flat terrain continues for almost 2½ hours, through streams and waterfalls. The gurgle of the waterfalls and the water-logged boots quench my thirst! The rains from above add to the fun.

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↑ Waterfalls and their jacuzzi pools! ↓ 

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I am in the valley surrounded by mountains on all sides. Best is to identify them, know the lie of the land!

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↑ One-tree hill of Matheran, shrouded in the clouds on the right ↑ 

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↑ Louisa Point of Matheran peeps out ↑ 

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↑ The boat-shaped pinnacle of Irshalgad near Panvel ↑ 

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↑ Kalavantin is on the right of the ‘V’ & Prabalgad on the left ↓ 

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↑ Prabalgad ↑ 

The flat terrain changes to a steep ascent, almost 60 to 65 degrees inclined. This is the most tiring part of the trek. For at least 2 hours, the steep uphill gradient tires me. The electrolyte salts dissolved in water rejuvenate and I trudge up slowly along the slope. The jungle around is dense and moist. Sudden bursts of colors in the dark brown soil spurs the photographer within me. The beautiful colors of wild turmeric flowers entice. I don’t know about their fragrance though. As a trekker, I leave only my footsteps behind and take photos for memory. A responsible trekker never throws wrappers, plucks flowers or disturb the animals that add life to his’!

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↑ A wild turmeric flower grows in the buttress roots of the ghost tree ↑ 

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I can see my destination through the foliage. People dwarfed by the mountain and the depth of the valley are seen at edge of the mountain, fenced by a grill at the top. These are the tourists of Matheran, who are enjoying the rains. But they are the worst kind of people. They buy cheap rain sheets and plastic hats and then discard them on the way in Matheran, thereby stabbing the beauty of Matheran, for which they came to it in the first place!

I enjoy my cheese-maggi fried toast for lunch at Hashyachi Patti. There is clean pure drinking water at the tap in this village. Refilling the bottles and the self, I continue further.

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↑ At Hashyachi Patti ↓

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The ascent suddenly becomes steeper and there is a staircase in the valley leading up to Malang Point of Matheran.

With the change in the terrain, the weather also becomes furious. Clouds engulf me, coming up from all sides and there are waterfalls all around me. The wind lashes the raindrops against my face. I spread my arms to embrace this beautiful weather! There is the white of the clouds and the swirling mist all around. I can stay here for eternity, soaking in the wind and getting drenched in the rains and the waterfalls.

I climb up to be welcomed by a tea stall providing hot cups for the tried trekkers.

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Matheran is typical. No other place has its landscape. Dark brown trees bent in a curve, edge the muddy path. The cool mist hangs among the foliage and on the muddy paths. Water flows on the path. Rains continue. Rocks have a greenish tinge with moss and small white flowers growing on them. The muddy path curves to converge on my vision’s edge, only to open another twist in the jungle ahead! This is bliss. I feel cool even when writing about it! An occasional tourist on a horseback passes by. And soon I am shopping chikki in the market place of Matheran.

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Expenses:

20/- rickshaw to station.

60/- return tkt to base station.

120/- tumtum + breakfast & tea.

15/- evening tea.

200/- chikki.

30/- rickshaw back home.

Total = INR 445/-

Map of my trek route from Ambewadi to Malang Point of Matheran, via the village of Hashyachi Patti:

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So long, till I relish my chikki and the memories of this wonderful monsoon trek, a new Sunday will arrive…

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How to go to #Asave fort at #Boisar?

20th July 2014, Sunday.

It was cloudy, humid and climbing up with raincoats in the rucksack is tiresome. On some stretches, we even wore our hats! The sun had managed to burn holes in the cloud cover above us and kept us thirsty, sapping water from our bodies. It was the wind that sustained us!

The gradual ascent was easy. No steep slopes or deep valleys immediately besides us. We found white arrows painted on the rocks, showing us the direction towards our destination.

On the top of the fort, there are two water cisterns, with clean clear drinking water.

↑ Water cisterns atop Asave fort ↓

There is a big rectangular deep well with steps on one side to climb down into it. The water was almost at its bottom & it was quite safe to explore it using the steps.

We had heard that there is a cave too, & so we decided to descend from the steeper route (not the same one we had taken to ascend). Though we didn’t find the cave, we reached the foothills safely & soothed our burning throats with ice cream cones at Boisar station.

Overall, an easy climb doable in 1-day & enjoyable in rains & suitable weather.

HOW TO GO?

Get down at Boisar & from Boisar west, plenty of rickshaws and tumtums go to Asave fort.

Asave Fort is located in Boisar east, near Viraj Factory situated on the highway at Warangade village.

Cost: 4 people in 1 rickshaw for 100/- & 10/- per head in tumtum.

Get down at Viraj Factory & find a tarred road that is on the same side as the factory is, on the road and enter in. This road will wind by the factories. You will see a muddy path that goes towards the Asave Fort. Take this muddy path and cross the 1st stream that lies between the tarred road and the muddy path. If you are on the right track, you will cross a cement bridge on the muddy path & reach a fork.

MAPS:

Google Map from Boisar to Viraj Factory in Warangade village: http://bit.ly/1nwDYTv 

Screenshot of route from Viraj Factory to Asave Fort’s top:

Asave fort is the tallest hill in this area and there are 2 small hillocks to Asave’s right. Climb these 2 small hillocks to reach the Asave fort. Otherwise, there is a steeper inclined path that directly goes to Asave too. Take the road going to the right at the fork for easy climb towards hillocks OR the steeper inclined road directly to Asave on the left, at the fork.

We took the easier climbing hillocks route while ascending and the steeper narrower direct route while descending.

The one-way up easier hillocks route is around 3 km from Viraj factory to Asave top.

Some lovely FLORA & FAUNA that gave us much delight enroute!

↑ Can you guess what these may be? ↑

↑ Mushroom breathing through its gills underneath its umbrella ↑

↑ Fire ants - 1 bite and you will remember them for lifetime! ↑

↑ Peek-a-boo ↑ 

↑ Cup & saucer plant’s flower ↑

Garden delights! How many insects can you spot?

Garden delights! How many insects can you spot?

Jul 9
Jul 9

How about some rest?

Jul 8
Those who brought the message in the bottle…

Those who brought the message in the bottle…

Jul 4
Bird bath

Bird bath

Jul 1

How to go to Dharavi Fort (Uttan Fort) near Bhayander?

Catch bus route number 1 on Mira-Bhayander Municipal Transport (MBMT) from Bhayander west. Get down at its last stop called CHOWK.

& you are at the top of Uttan Fort! This fort is perfect for the lazy people, who want to do easy things.

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Wikimapia map location of this fort: http://bit.ly/Tz8kr7

You can climb it down to reach the jetty & watch the local boys fishing.
The feel of the place is not of Bombay at all! You will feel you are in Alibaug, Murud-Janjira or Goa.

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Uttan fort overlooks the sea, along with Uttan lighthouse & the church by the sea.

Perfect outing if there is less sun & its breezy.

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↑ A fiddler crab on the Uttan beach ↑ 

Jul 1
Expecting monsoon…

Expecting monsoon…

Cast away

Cast away

Neela samandar hai aakaash saathi, doobe na doobe mera jahaaji, Dole re dole dole dole re…
Anybody remembers this song?

Neela samandar hai aakaash saathi, doobe na doobe mera jahaaji, Dole re dole dole dole re…

Anybody remembers this song?