Thursday, March 21, 2013

Travelogue 9 – Velas-Turtle Breeding-Janjira-Murud– February 16-17, 2013


I was leaving for Idduki, Kerala next week for almost 15 days, therefore there was a huge temptation and advices from friend to stay at home this weekend and rest. However, back of my mind I was thinking if I don’t go to Velas then I could miss watching little olive riddle crawling to shore. Moreover, I was planning to stay in the village for a night that would make up for rest.
Till Friday, noon I was no sure where to take the bus from, in Maharashtra people usually reserved their bus tickets for long trips, which was new to me. I took from Mumbai Central a 00:30 AM bus, and slept as soon as after haggling conductor allowed me to sit in some seat in the back. Few hours on the road, I woke up when head had banged the handle of mirror on left. Bus was hopping from pothole to another, my was hit twice and paining, however as soon I opened the window, I could smell moist soil and very light drizzle may be first drizzle. The refreshing smell was conducive enough  to discourage one getting back to sleep, it’s been almost a year the smells was back, last time I was in UP, traveling Badaun around the election session.  Soon, I picked up Gandhi again, his observation 70-80 years back seems true even today, people struggling to keep afloat.
By the time dawn break, I had hurt my head again and it would pain for at least a week. The first rays of Sun serving reminder the bus was late bus, but presented the beauty of Konkan. Bus was slowly moving on the hills, sea on the left side, in between came Savitri River, emptying whatever it was with left in the sea. I wish I could just get down, sit there relish the poster portrait of nature.
I had missed the morning session of the turtle breeding, when all the new ones are collected and left near the shore to walk their way, I surveyed the crawling marks of mother turtle which had come last night and left its track. The harmful creatures comes, crawls, digs up a hole and lays eggs expecting cooperation from humans to not disturb them. However, we thinking mightiest of all have ruined our own life and theirs too. In Velas social organizations like Kasav Mita Mandal and Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra Manda have done great work for their natural habitat conservation and making local environmental friendly. To an extend now local host the visitors at their home.
   I stayed at Santosh Joshi’s place, small family, masi was really nice showed documents she had collected over the years about turtle breeding and their daughter was involved in the conservation work since class 4. In day I went around, the Velas once famous for Nana Phadnavis, went to rameshwar shiv temple and the farms of my host. One could smell mangos in the breeze as Haapos tree were laden with greens.  Also took dumdum (auto) to nearby village Bankot, near the sea coast it has an old depleted fort Shiva ji Empire.
In the evening, I hurried to the Velas beach to the watch the main attraction of my travel. The cordoned off area had huge crowded, recent popularity had drawn crowd from all over Maharashtra. Anyways it was sight to see six of the tittle ones with tender, slow find they own ways to crawl the sea, its light they seek and sea offers them that bright light.
I was appreciating the beauty and struggle of the little ones, suddenly heard a comment which just pinched me, a kid also vitnessig the event for first time asked his mother why turtle are walking at different speed why not all of them are as fast as the first one, the sick lady replied the faster turtle was good kid, like kids in school those do study and listen to their parent come first and rest are bad and weak. I do not know why I wrote, when I heard this I felt, for kid for all of us, make are children machines in rat race, teach them about fulfilling wants and desires, coming first at any cost and forget that the little of innocence/ignorance may keep us more human.
After watching with delight, life events of freshly hatched turtles, I walked with my newly made friends Murli and Johnson to the dongar (hill) adjust to sea and watch the sun dip at the end of the horizon in the sea.  
If the lunch was best meal in the week, dinner was no less, once again I was lucky to gorge one more new Marathi preparation koshabhi, I presume mix of other veg with tomato. Dinner followed a play and few videos at the Durga temple. Two family at arrived at host’s place, post dinner I went on walk the family of Sandeep bhai, enjoyed with their twin little girls, cute kids.
I had stayed back, one more session with little turtles. Woke up early, probably was one of the first visitor to reach the beach, serene splendor when sun rise in the back and one sit enjoying the waves, I sat there wrote few poems and waited for hatched turtle to come out of pit of sand to be dropped near the shore.  After getting the eyeful of the baby olive riddle, it was time to move.
I took the bus with visitor neighbors – Saurav, his wife (forgot her name) and Sitaram. Now on the list was Jangira, one famous spot on Konkan I had missed, however latter released its over rated. Got down at Vesvi to take a boat for Harihasreshwar with Saurav, Sitaram parted straight for Mumbai.
I dropped the family, at Harihasreshwar, telling them about impressive old shiva temple there gorge behind it. Carried on in dumdum to Srivardhan, from where I had to take bus to Dighi. Almost 1 hour of wait and nothing came, finally jumped in a truck to Dighi, few hundreds meter on the route, tired got punctured; I was already late and had just few maps to guide on unfrequented road to an unfamiliar town. Trucker was disinterested to carry on the journey till the new get the tire repaired, left with no choice waving at each vehicle passing by. My a motorbike stoped, Santosh Dombe, I should never forget you, as you took me next 30 kms to Rajpuri, telling me more places and temples of Shiva. From Dinge we took a boat, boat, me and Good Samaritan.     
In front of Rajpuri, stood the Janjira fort, one takes a sail boat with 50 people to reach the sea fort, i felt this was best part of this attraction. Fort has massive walls, however most the what guide say here are utter lies, therefore I roamed around alone, and was able to shoots in few of their lies too. First one was fort has one gate, it has too and other one is more tourist friendly and half of the construction they pass of as old is new, on can easily see iron rods and cement beams. Coming back on the boats was stirring and entertaining, met an old fellow who has a handicraft shop in front of regal Mumbai, takes all his staff for a one day monthly tour.
Good time, wrote and read a little, met nice people and enjoyed nature.

Travelogue 9 – Velas-Turtle Breeding-Janjira-Murud– February 16-17, 2013

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Ravindra Vikram Singh रवींद्र विक्रम सिंह ரவீந்திர விக்ரம் சிங் રવીન્દ્ર વિક્રમ સિંહ రవీంద్ర విక్రమ్ సింగ్ রবীন্দ্র বিক্রম সিং ರವೀಂದ್ರ ವಿಕ್ರಮ್ ಸಿಂಗ್