Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Europe Travel - Germany,Italy,Switzerland

Hi All Travelers,

I am back this time with my Europe tour for first time. Here I will be covering few cities in Europe which are very famous and tourist attractions.

1. Germany : Stuttgart,Berlin
2. Switzerland : Interlaken, Jungfrau (Top of Europe)
3. Italy : Venice,Rome

Before we begin our journey few tips:

1. Plan your visiting countries journey well before
2. Accordingly decide the route and places to visit.
3. Then decide which Euro-rail pass suits for you
4. Enjoy the ecstatic places

Don't forget to have a good passport and money holder with you all the time. Do never ever leave it anywhere.Euro's are accepted almost everywhere. You can also carry VISA or MASTER-CARD for safety. You will find Indian and Chinese hotel in almost all parts of Europe.

One of good ways to see the places is to take city guided tour bus. It will cost around 10-20 euro's but will be really helpful. You can hop on and hop off at any stop and can really explore the city.

My visits to all the cities were for only one day. So I used to find all the places I wanted a week before from internet. You can always get locker, shower, tourist information facility at railway station. Follow Lock, WC, i symbols to reach there.

About train journey, I must say that it is the best in class. You can plan for connecting trains with difference of few minutes. Trains are very spacious, clean and accurate.

Cautions of India citizens:
1. Follow the queues. Nobody will complain if you don't but no need to show Indian attitude.
2. While walking or driving keep right.
3. Don't throw any garbage and don't spit

Enough of talk now. Rest you can see by yourself. Enjoy!!!

Mercedes Museum





Porsche Museum 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bhimashankar Trek via Shidichi Vat

Hi All Trekkers,

I was planning for Bhimashankar Trek via Shidichi Vat trek since long but was never successful until 18th of July when finally it came true for me.

Bhimashankar Temple is located in the village of Bhorgiri 50 km north west of Khed, near Pune, in India. It is located 110 km away from Pune in the Ghat region of the Sahyadri hills. Bhimashankar is also the source of the Bhima river, which flows south east and merges with theKrishna river near Raichur. The other Jyotirlinga shrines in Maharashtra are Parli, Tryambakeshwar and Grishneshwar. Regular pilgrims near Mumbai visit Bhimashankar from Karjat via Khandas. The Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary located here is a popular weekend getaway from Mumbai and Pune.

I and Rajiv planned for this trek on Saturday 17th July. Abhijeet joined us later. Rajiv came to Karjat from Nerul while I and Abhi took Sinhagad Express to reach Karjat by 8.15am on 18th July.

We reached Kashela by MSRTC and Khandas by a six converted to unlimited sitter. Half of mine and Rajiv's body was hanging outside for that 12km journey.  

We planned to go by Shidichi vat but all villagers and trekkers around fooled us by saying it is dangerous and could not be completed in Rainy season. We thought to give a chance. We found one group from Pune who knew this route and followed them as guide was charging too much.

Apparently group leader was confused about the way and started   asking every villager in the way. So we took decision making in hour hand and took help of one villager and headed towards destination.

Abhi and Rajiv were little conscious about us finding wrong way. But I was confident about finding correct way due to previous experience. One more time villagers threated us about the risky way but still we continued.

We met two people on the way who knew the route exactly so now we were relaxed. As we progressed , we found that it is the steepest way to top. We did find first Shidi after half an hours trek. Fortunately it was new and was replaced recently.

Few tricky rock patches and two more Shidi's took us to top and we realized that we just covered half way. :( Now the other route to top i.e Ganapati ghat also joined our route and number of trekkers increased a lot.

We took breakfast break and then continued towards new discovered top. Due to lack of stamina I was slowest while Abhi was very fast ( We knew afterwards that he was chasing someone ;) ). Within 4 hours we reached the Bhimashankar temple. 

We ate lunch(Misal,Bhaji and Tea),took Kalas darshan, bought some Prasad and boarded return bus by 3pm. MSRTC safely( only Abhi got some ST prasad on hsi right ear) dropped us at Shivajinagar.

After all this hectic trek I saw Khidakya play in Sudarshan Rangmanch from 7-9 pm and the went to Relatives home for rest. Hot water bath was never felt that beautiful :).

Hope you liked our journey. Now enjoy the pictures.

Shridhar Purandare

Monday, July 5, 2010

Trek to Purandar fort

Hi All,

Welcome to my blog. Here I will take you to journey to my own fort i.e. Fort Purandar :)
After long time I enjoyed fresh air,wind,rain and nature. It was awesome experience to travel on bike to the fort.

Purandhar fort stands 4,472 ft. above the sea (1,387 m) in the Western Ghats, 20 miles southeast of Pune. It actually consists of two forts - Purandar and Vajragad (or Rudramal). The latter is the smaller of the two and is on the eastern side of the main fort. The village Purandar takes its name from this fort.

Here is lot more information about the fort.

Now enjoy my journey through my pics ...

For any information do contact me ..

Shridhar Purandare

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bhigwan Bird Watching

Hi All,

This was the first time when I enjoyed watching 10s of different and beautiful species of birds specially Greater Flamingo, that too not far from my home in Pune.

Bhigwan is a small dusty town on the border of Pune and Solapur district in Central Maharashtra. Bhigwan is located on the Pune-Solapur Highway. The distance between Pune city center and Bhigwan is 105 km. One can travel to bhigwan by various means of transportation.

How to Reach Bhigwan ?? 1) State Transport Buses bound for Solapur and onwards from Pune take you to Bhigwan in 3.5 hours. The obvious advantage of ST bus, is that one need not drive. However Bhigwan is a vast area. The birding spots are as far away as 10 to 15 kms from Bhigwan main town. So this mode is not convenient. Some of the Solapur/Chennai bound fast trains stop at Bhigwan. There are couple of trains which start from Pune at early dawn and will take you to Bhigwan by early morning ( 2 hour travel time). Check time table for the details. 2) The next possible option is obviously personal car or vehicle. This mode of transport is the best. In personal vehicle one can carry complete Photography kit. for example,laptop can be carried to download images when cards are full etc. However there is one issue with the car or personal vehicle. Important birding locations are located at about 10 kms from Bhigwan. The roads are very narrow. For example road from Diksal to Bhilarwadi Sugar factory (The main Birding road) is very narrow. It is simply not possible to do free birding as one can not halt the car on this road arbitly. Also the Babhli bushes are having thorns which rub against your precious car outer surface damaging the paint of car. So if you are taking car here, forget about the paint. One has to park vehicle at convenient parking spot and walk. Road to Dalaj-Kumbharwadi area of Bhigwan is bit car friendly. 3) For the more adventurous guys, two wheeler can be used to reach this place from Pune. Though bit unsafe, the distance can be covered in less than 3.5 hours as the road is flat with medium traffic. Two wheeler is very convenient to cover the vast Bhigwan area. However one should not take two wheeler on road/way in marshy area around water body or river.

We are not experts hence do not know the names and origins about the birds. Its just that we like to see birds in their natural habitat.Following blog explains and contributes to most of my blog content. You can find lot of information and bird names there. Very well written blog by Vivek Kale.

Now enjoy our immature pics.

If you need any information or want to plan a trip there , you can contact me.

Shridhar Purandare

Malvan bash

Hi All,

I am back after long intermission with my next travel blog. This time its about the best beaches in India. I am not overstating. I have seen Coastal Karnataka, Goa and all of the Konkan but hardly found such a fine coastal line.Here I am talking about Malvan.Malvan (Marathi: मालवण) (also written as Malwan) is a town inSindhudurg District - southernmost district of Maharashtra. The pristine water, Malvani Hapus(Alphonso) mango, best in class hospitality, luxuriant sea food, snorkeling and corals are few of the attractions in Malvan.

Malvan is about 460 kms away from Pune. Journey started from Pune with Kolhapur,Gaganbawda and Kankawali stops to reach Malvan city. Its completely non commercialized city. Malvan ST stand is at the center of the city. From here you can get to Devbag,Tarkarli or Sindhudurga.

Devbag is a narrow land portion having river on one side while Arabian sea on other side. Its 12km south of Malvan. Its enough of description in textual format. Now believe what you see ...

For any information or bookings related to Stay, Snorkeling,Tour planning you can contact me.

Shridhar Purandare

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dhak Bahiri Trek -- Easy but Tricky

Hi Trekkers,

From long time I was suppose to do Dhak trek. Due to misfortune and bad luck I always missed it. This time I decided to do it in any cost. The date 6th March was fixed. Hrishya told me that he will join me. I was happy because he has done Dhak 4 times before, removing need to hire any guide. J

Some details about the fort


Dhak Bahiri




Hill Cave



Height above mean sea level

2300 feet

Base Village

Jambhivali ( From Pune) Sandashi (From Mumbai)

Minimum Duration

1 Day




Kalyan to Karjat by road/rail, Karjat to Sandshi by bus.

Pune to Kamshet by bus, Kamshet to Jambhivali by jeep

Time to reach the top

About 3 hrs from the base

Water Availability

Water cistern are available at the top

Best season to visit

October to April

Sights to visit


Difficulty Rating



Caves at the top

Our Route and Timing

Talegaon (6 am) – Jambhivali (8am) – Dhak Cave (9.30am) – (Rest for an hour) – Back to Jambhivali(11.30am) – Back to Talegaon( 12.15pm) – Swimming in Indrayani (12.30 pm)

Trek details

The path to the cave is amazing, presenting views of Dukes Nose and Rajmachi. We do pass one small pinnacle on right as we descend last time to deal with tricky rock patch. One fatal mistake will be the last mistake of your life on this patch. Adequate safety is provided on the route. But if you have Acrophobia (fear of height) then this is the place where you can conquer it!!!!

Fall of 100 feet is on you left as you do the traverse and rock climb. Hardly few inch of ground to make contact and take grip. Be careful and you will enjoy the patch. We completed it in 15 minutes while ascend and 10 minutes while descend.

I am dying to do it in Monsoon!!! Enjoy the pics now ...

Tip: You can chant "Dhakachya Bhairiche Changabhale" while you cover the rockpatch which will make you feel safer.

For any queries or suggestions you can contact me on:


See you with next adventure!!! Very Soon ….

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Canon Photo Marathon 2009 - Mumbai

Hi All,

I have been doing trekking and adventure sports since long time. With that I also developed interest for photography a bit. Mother Nature provokes you to snap the amazing things she has created. With time it became my hobby. I used to see the picture in very different manner. It does not mean that I am professional. It’s just that a lot of photography make you look at things in different manner.

I thank Shrikant Shimpi and Sameer Phanasalkar to provide me valuable inputs on how to handle camera’s different features and Dhawal to introduce me with this event. I was first thinking not to participate. But then it was something new that I could do. It will also give me opportunity to look at photography in different way.

I finally decided to go for it as there was no trek on that weekend. I registered my name online. Canon representatives called me for confirmation. I was give with Id number. It was going to get interesting for me. I started spending time in looking my camera features, asking friends about photography and searching on internet about Canon photo marathon. I looked at previous winner’s snaps also. Through this time I have learned that photography is all about timing.

Finally the day arrived. I was on the train for Dadar. Canon photo clinic is situated in shopping mall in Varli. I changed to local from Dadar to Mhalakshmi. I took help of BEST reaching final destination. The mall was huge, having showrooms of almost all types of great brands. Rolls – Royce, Bose, Canon and Haka were few of them. There were almost hundred photographers present to make an impression. Almost all of them were having SLR cameras with different lens attachments.

With my Canon S5 IS, I was feeling so outdated!!! Still I decided to give my best.The competition was theme based. There was one hour to take snap for that theme.

Themes given to us were

  1. Freedom ( I snapped eagle flying high)
  2. Standing Out ( I captured 100 year old building in Varli standing out of other modern infrastructure)
  3. On the Job ( I caught an eagle catching fish)

Satisfied with all the pictures I was very happy at the end of the day. I was very happy trying few new things which I did while clicking those snaps. I literally went into Varli slums. I almost scanned it. I also climbed on top of Mandir to get rid of 100 year old tower. I waited patiently for eagle to catch the fish.

It was nice to have many friends from photography domain (Use of IT language is must for me J). I returned to my sister’s home in Thane and next day to Pune.

Overall its very nice experience and I intend to appreciate in all similar events in future.

Now enjoy all my snaps throughout my tour. Hope to see you there too!!


Shridhar Purandare


Monday, February 15, 2010

Diveagar -- Konkan Feast

Hi All,

It's long ago since I wrote my previous blog. I apologize for that.

I visited sea-coast long back in Nov last year. Thrust of enjoyment on beach was now unstoppable. So I decided to do a coastal ride on bike. Biking in Konkan was always my dream. With this trip it went real. Seedalya and I decided to do something new on this trip. After long thoughts we finally agreed on tented stay and camp fire on beach of Diveagar. We felt that there should be no one in between sea waves and us. Adi's tent made it really easy. All this planning was done on Fri evening.

Trip Details:

Total expenses : 1000 Rs per head which includes ( Petrol for bike and all eatables)

Total kms 600


Day 1: Pune (5am)- Chandani Chauk - Tamahni Ghat(6.20) - Mangaon (7) - Veer - Mhaprat - Manddangad(9.30am) - Anjarle(11am) - Kelashi (12pm) - Bankot - Harihareshwar (5pm) - Shrivardhan(5.30) - Diveagar(6pm)

Day 2: Diveagar (11 am) - Shrivardhan - Diveagar (3.30pm) - Mhasla - Mangaon (4.15pm) - Tamhini Ghat - Pune (8pm)

Stay at Diveagar beach (tent was carried)

On Sat 13th Feb, I woke up at 4am. After 30 minutes of packing and revising I was ready to go. I did not think of winter though and moved with just T - Shirt and jean . Seedalya join me at Chandani Chauk by 5am. Within next few kms I felt as if I am travelling in Jammu and Kashmir. It was very cold till Paud passed. I wore double layer and went ahead. A tea stall open at 5.30 am, made me happiest person on earth. After few cups of tea I was now recharged. Now I was able to sense my hands a bit ,which were frozen by the cold. Seedalya was wearing gloves so he was comfortable.

We stopped in Tamhini to snap Konkan from good height. Then we took breakfast break at Mangaon on NH17. Now it was time of skilled driving. Next 80 kms to Anjarle was complete Ghat road. Very risky and lots of u turns. Madangad fort was on the way and we managed to drive bikes to top. Not much to view on the fort though. We left for Anajarle. We visited Kadyavarcha Ganapti which is believed to be very old(From Peshawe era). It was time to chill now. Avala, Karvande, Mango, Jambhul sharbat was on cards. After visiting the beach we went for Kelashi.

Kelashi is very small village with a clean beach. Its totally clean and lonely. We took lunch on beach hotel and went to peek the beach. After some time we left for Bankot from where ferry will take you on other side.

Next destination was Harihareshwar famous as holy place. Lord Shiva and Kalbhairav temples are present here. We did Pradakshina to temple while looking at rock formations.

By 5pm we left for Diveagar hoping to see sunset at the beach. Road was very good and we drove into Diveagar in no time. Sunset at beach is very special and beautiful.

We were very much excited to setup the tent. But I can not do with empty stomach. We had booked our dinner at Suhas Bapat. He provides excellent pure veg dinner at Rs 60. You can get Ukadiche Modak for Rs 8 each. I took lots of them with me and went to Surve's home where I ordered Surmai and Paaplet(Pomfret) fry. With authentic Konkani recipe they tasted delicious.

Now with full stomach we went ahead to setup tent and camp fire on the beach. We carried head torch as light source. Tent was setup within moments and then fire was also on. I stolen few timber sticks from compound of one Villa near beach. Finally we were converting our dream to reality. I felt 100% satisfaction as I felt asleep hearing waves which were few meters away. Seedalya was busy gazing stars and clicking few of them with his Canon 1000 D.

See at the end for how can you make camp fire.

Next day I woke up late. I was enjoying surroundings of my bed a lot. Tourists started flooding the place by 9 am. We entered sea to taste power of waves and play with them. After an hours enjoyment we were packing our belongings. Within half an hour we were off to do Breakfast. We went to Surve's home for breakfast. Tea, Pohe and Upma was on cards. We requested them to use their Bathing facility.

It was fun to discuss the Konkan condition in general with the locals. They told us stories about different guests they attended to. After cleaning ourselves we went for Coconut and Mango ice-creme. It was fresh and tasty. As our lunch was planned at 1.30 pm we decided to ride towards Shrivardhan. The route accompanies coast and provides amazing views. We spotted lots of migrated birds on the way and decided to catch them in our cameras. We parked our bike on road and walked a short trail to rocky area where birds were in huge numbers. As we tried to go close they used to fly away. So we sat down at one place and tried our zoom power. It was awesome to see them flying in huge numbers. After 100s of pics clicked we were off again to Diveagar for lunch. This time we were at Potnis's home for lunch. As always Seedalya ate veg food while I enjoyed Surmai Thali and Solkadhi.

Now it was time for fun ride on the beach. We drove our bike through sand to take into the waves. Riding along the wave was immense fun. We found birds here too and clicked few cool shots. With complete gratification we started our journey back to Pune. With two tea stops at Mangaon and Tamhini we were back in Pune by 8pm.

It was very different trip for me with no trekking at all. Just fine biking through Coastal Konkan.

Few important numbers:

Everyone can also arrange for residence.
Suhas Bapat(Pure veg) Diveagar : 9423837967
Potnis (Veg & Non Veg) Diveagar : 9422497300
Shubham (Veg & Non Veg) Kelashi : 9271661215
Surve (Veg & Non veg) Diveagar : 9421167551

Thanks for reading. Now enjoy watching. See you soon :)

Shridhar Purandare

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