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Showing posts from September, 2011

Monsoon Expedition: Mahuli Fort

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My feet are happy. Scaling the tallest peak of Thane was no easy feat, but it was the most adventurous trek I’ve been on this month, and surprisingly my feet did not ache. Armed with only water that we weren’t sure will last till the end, but well equipped to document anything that we may stumble upon, we began our journey on one fine bright sunny morning, with the peaks hiding in the clouds.
A fine, bright sunny morning lasts for a very few minutes in the northern Western Ghats, however. Very soon it began to grow hotter and humid on the ground below the tall peaks – where lay a temple – the first and the last stopover for anyone who trudges Mahuli.

Over here, a few yards from the temple, runs a small stream teeming with life. With Guppy fishes swimming in the cool shades of Cattails and dragonflies occupying the tallest summit amongst these reeds, there were very many tiny damselflies along the banks that caught my attention. One of the cutest was the Golden Dartlets, Ichnura auror…

Monsoon Expedition: Manikgad Conquered

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This is the finale of the Saga (!) of the expedition we led to Manikgad in August, and came home defeated but satisfied with the findings. In order to achieve what was unachievable three weeks ago has now been dealt with – we successfully trekked through the adversaries Manikgad cast at us, and climbed with all might and glory that I could gather after hauling my mass up the hills – to where the throne lay empty. It was a long and arduous trek, mainly because the paths were unused and many lead away from the fort. And let’s just not get to the weather for a change.

In summary, the weather was clear, hot and humid for a few hours while we trekked through the pits of the mountains. There was not a single puff of air and the humidity was very high. Yet life here was blooming in every nook and corner. Once we reached the plateau region of the mountain – a step nearer to the fort – the weather changed, and it began to rain. It rained heavily for a while and reduced to a little spray in the …

Jummapatti Nature Walk

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So my last post may have sounded very pessimistic, as if I had some personal enmity with the rain, but that’s really not the case. To make up to it I visited Matheran again. Well, not exactly Matheran but a village called Jummapatti on the outskirts of Matheran. Jumma is the name of the village, and patti means a settlement. Here is the account of the walk (that turned out to be pretty long), which I wouldn’t call Monsoon Expedition as it was just an exploration through tree plantations and a trail already trodden. And here I will also rant about something sad that has happened to a small town called Neral.
WWF - India, MSO had organized a nature walk at Jummapatti for all young and old and everyone in between interested in getting to know the monsoon biodiversity as well as enjoy the beauty of it in different forms such as waterfalls, cool breeze and green fields.

The walk was especially interesting to me because I wanted to know if it ever stops raining at Matheran. And it does. Ce…