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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Edition 1: Pataleshware and kas plateau

Pataleshwar Mandir

This small 8th century temple is located in the heart of the city at Shivaji Nagar at Jangali Maharaj Road . It is a perfect example of rock-cut architecture. This wonderful temple resembles the grand rock temple at Elephanta but unfortunately was never completed. The Pateleshwar temple includes a “cave” in its vicinity and thereby it is also known as, “Patleshwar Cave Temple”.
The rock-cut cave is actually a Shiva temple wherein most of the rocks date back to 700-800AD. The rock has been cut into pillars, seating areas and similar rooms. The temple is fairly simple with just a few ornate carvings on the black rock. The heart of the cave includes, a cube-shaped room about 3-4 meters on each side, which also includes a lingam. Along with lord Shiva there are statues of Sita, Rama and Laxmana. This makes this place visited by a large number of Hindu devotees, specially devotees of lord Shiva and his bull, Nandi.
Just near to Patleshwar Temple is Jangli
Maharja temple dedicated to Hindu ascetic who died here in 1818. There is also a museum which exhibits a grain of rice, with 5000 characters engraved, recorded in Guinness Book of World Records. The temple opens daily from 08:00am till 05:30pm. Many local rickshaws operating, are the easiest way reach Patleshwar Cave temple.

Valley of flowers in Maharashtra
Few sundays back we had inspiration and straightaway headed towards a destination very popularly known as maharshtra's valley of flowers. This Place is called Kas near satara. around 125km from Pune. My family shares my wanderlust so they jumped onto it. We had an inauspicious start with one of my tyres having six punctures. Thanks to tubeless technology we did not have to dirty our hands. Its been ages since i am hands on in every sense. I only manage... just joking as still i do prefer doing things hands on professionally. sorry for deviating.
It was sunny morning , but as we crossed shirval, it started raining and we could see clouds hanging around hills on the west. we knew we were destined for a monsoon drive...
After doing a bit search around for way in satara city, we reached the famous tunnel leading to sajjangad. we took right to the road climbing the hill . after turns and twists, we saw the greandeur of kas plateu. Its a flat hilltop plateau not very wide. On both sides you have valleys with big lakes. The weather was great with drizzle and clouds. Gentle but cool breeze to refresh. The flowers have just started blooming of various colors. we just lazed around. what more you need in life with such weather, great location, loved ones around, good music, good food packed, ....
We then started drive towrds kas lake. the road is great with thick forest, winding turns, ups and downs, small villages. We started climbing and entering thick fog. At one point it was almost zero visibility. There were very few vehicles operating with full lights on upper. We reached lake amidst fog. we could only see 6ft water ahead. and then suddenly it all changed. within 2 mins the
entire clouds evaporated (if i can use this word). and we could see lovely landscape, lake, forests all around and few other people also enjoying this show. We then drove to bamnoli on koyna backwaters . the road is amidst thick jungle and turns scary at a point. But
wonderful. weather added to the moment.
We returned back after enjoying numerous stream,
waterfalls aside the road. we had lunch at satara (guy took almost hr to prepare very good food).
Suddenly we had a brainwave to go to mahabaleshwar as we were out of stock of honey we use daily. They a call from
mahabaleshwar never can be avoided. we followed satara
mahabaleshwar route. its another great journey. ghat is very winding and narrow at some point. thankfully road is good. (only problem with stray dogs, hens, cows to be avoided).
Mahabi was great as usual with rains. its rains something there. crowd was sparse thanks to swine flu.
After refreshments and shopping at Mapro we reached back by twilight. one highlight or return journey was a semicircluar rainbow we saw. i have never seen such panorama before. as we left rainy satara district and entered sunny pune, we saw this. the colors the range , the size etc and the backdrop was awesome...hopefully you will like my first and maybe last attempt to pen travellogue. I myself find it bit cliche but when i comeup with original i will attempt again. They say picture says thousand words in prose. Here are the pics.
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