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Visit To Khandala, Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar, Ganapatipule & Mumbai - Travelogue Maharashtra @ Content Writer

By Mr. Debashis Bose, Contributing Traveller

We reached Mahabaleshwar at 05.20 PM. for night halt and stay.

30-10-06 :
Today's programme for local sightseeing is by Govt. Tourist bus leaving at 09.30 AM. One after the other, we had been to Handicraft Centre, where there were lots of handicrafts mostly of wood made by local artisans. There were Chikkies also. Next, we went  to Pratapgarh, a fort built by Shivaji. Inside the fort there is a temple known as Bhowani temple, named after the goddess, whom Shivaji worshipped. Here, Afjal Khan, representing the then Sultan, was murdered by Shivaji.

The story goes like this - it was decided through ambassadors of both, that they shall meet at a place with the condition that both of them will be without arms and with an open mind. But, none of them kept their word. Afjal Khan tried to hit Shivaji with a weapon that was hidden within his robe. Shivaji killed Afjal Khan with the help of a nail of a tiger. There are cemetries of Afjal Khan and his body guard, and a tower under which lies the head of Afjal Khan. There is a big statue of Shivaji also.

Next, we went to Loadwick Point, on top of a hill, named after the first British General of Mahabaleshwar, there is a monument built in his memory. There are Needle-hole point, which looks like the head of an elephant. An Echo point is also there. Then, we went to visit a strawberry farm. There we found strawberry flowers in full bloom and some fruits also. There's one stall for strawberry juice and ice cream with strawberry.

Elephant's head - Mahabaleshwar

Elephant's head - Mahabaleshwar

Our last places of visit were two temples of Otibaleshwar and Mahabaleshwar, after whom the name of this place was derived. Our tour by bus ends at 06.30 PM and we took shelter in a lodge.

Western Ghat Hills - Mahabaleshwar

Western Ghat Hills - Mahabaleshwar

31-10-06 : We got ready and left the lodge for the bus-stand. We had our breakfast there and left Mahabaleshwar by bus at 09.45 AM, and reached Ganapatipule at 04.40 PM. Later on, we went to the beach and to the temple of Ganapatiji. We took shelter in a lodge.

Temple of Ganapatiji - Ganapatipule

Temple of Ganapatiji - Ganapatipule

Sea Beach - Ganapatipule

Sea Beach - Ganapatipule

1-11-06 : We left for the beach before sunrise, to witness the sunrise but there were clouds on the east. We had Darshan of Ganapatiji and went round the temple, known as 'Porikroma,' - the road goes round a hill and the hill has taken the shape of Ganapatiji, by nature itself at the base over which the temple has been constructed.

2-11-06 : Some of us went to the temple to worship at 05.00 AM. We had our breakfast, and left Ganapatipule by a Tata Sumo at 11.05 AM, and reached Ratnagiri at 11.40 AM. By the same vehicle, we visited Potit Pawan Mondir, Temple of Bishnuji and Lakshmiji, the birth place and residence of Tilak, Bhagawati temple and Fort built by Shivaji. We also visited a museum, that was a palace of King Shiva Raja, who was exiled from Burma (now known as Myanamar). We reached Ratnagiri Railway Station at 02.45 PM, and took rest at the waiting room.

Arabian Sea Through The Fort Wall, Ratnagiri

Arabian Sea Through The Fort Wall, Ratnagiri


3-11-06 : Scheduled departure time of our train for Mumbai, was at 12.20 AM, but she was running late by one and half hours. Anyhow, we arrived at Lokmanya Tilak station at 09.48 AM. After taking shelter in a lodge, we had our lunch, and left for sight-seeing. One after the other, we had been to Ballard Pier, Green Gate, Mumbai Natural Historic Society, Nariman Point, Commercial Complex, Assembly House, Air India Building, Natural Centre for performing Arts, Marine Drive, and then we went to Malabar Hills. We also went to see the Hanging Gardens, Boot House etc.

Next, we went to Gateway Of India and nearby, there were two statues of Swami Vivekananda and Shivaji. Finally we reached Juhu Beach and back to the lodge.

Boot House, Mumbai

Boot House, Mumbai

The Famous Marine Drive, Mumbai

Marine Drive, Mumbai

4-11-06 From Gateway of India, we started by a launch for Elephanta Caves at 12.15 PM. There at the cave no. 1, the statue of Lord Shiva was very nicely carved. In other Caves, carved statues were beautiful. The sculptures of the Elephanta Caves were built between 450 to 750 AD, on an area of 5000 square metres, and there are 28 pillars. We returned to the Gateway of India by launch and then we went to our lodge, picked up our luggage and headed for Lokmanya Tilak station. Our train for Howrah, Jnaneshwari Express started at 08.35 PM.

Elephanta Caves

Elephanta Caves

Gateway Of India, Mumbai

Gateway Of India, Mumbai

5-11-06 : Whole day and night was spent in the train, discussing our experiences.

6-11-06 ;
We arrived at Howrah station, one and half hours late, at 4.15 AM. We were back at our Home, Sweet Home.

About Contributing Traveller: Mr. Debashis Bose is a 72 year old retired Railway employee whose hobbies include travelling & tourism, photography and amateur radio. He is a nature lover and prefers to visit little known places as opposed to big cities with the aim of enjoying nature in abundance. Before going on his regular tours with family and friends, Debashis spends time in studying different places and collecting information about them. On returning from the visit, he prepares a travelogue, with sketch map & photos, so that he can inspire others to visit these places and enjoy nature. [email protected]

Trip Continues From - Shirdi, Nasik, Matheran & Lonavala, Maharashtra

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