Monday, March 19, 2007

Aati kya Khandala?

Okay, so it was my 2nd weekend at Pune; half of saturday went partly at the gym, and mostly in reading up stuff and working on a presentation. Dude, weekends are to chill-out - throw that laptop away!!!. So, mounted my (? oye, its Shoby's!) motorbike, and took off to Dann's & Ajith's. Dann was already off to Trivandrum for the long weekend, and Ajith's bro, Sreejith had come to Pune for his. So, we decided upon a Hindi movie (Hattrick) for the evening, and a bit of trekking for the afternoon. So, rode to Baner and went up the hill to fetch a glimpse of sunset. But alas, the stupid sun had already set!!! An hour there, and then off to E-Square for the movie. Dropped by at a Smoking-Joe's on the way, for some Indianized Pizzas. Well, as for the movie, Hattrick turned out to be a pretty good entertainer, after all!

Thus came the dusk, the dawn and day 2nd !!

Went to church, worked on the presentation again, and got bored. Why not go on a trip somewhere..?? Khandala ? Why not ? Checked with Sanjay, the caretaker guy of the svc apartment if he could show me around, for which he happily cheered. Okay, mounted the motorbike, filled up from the nearby fuel station and off to Khandala.

Pretty long ride for a hot day! You know what..? I'm always at Pune at the wrong time of the year - Summer!!! The last time I was here, it was the summer of 2004 (There's another tale on it - A mid-summer memory). Anyway, we were at Lonavla by 1:30 PM, saw around a bit, checked out the Valvan Dam, which ought to be at its height of beauty after the Monsoon in October; but pretty much sad, dusty and dried up now.

Back on track on the Mumbai-Pune highway (Oh, not the expressway - two wheelers are not allowed there) to Khandala, reached the Rajmachi point in another half an hour or so. Well, what should I say except "I ought to come back after the monsoon"? sob sob... its all dried up and dusty, dude!! and they say its heaven after the showers!! Its like the film and the photo - the opposites !!!

Anyway, went down the steeps of the highway for a while more, and then took a U. Back on track to Pune, but the Karla caves had other plans for us. Okay, now, this was pretty cool - the whole thing is up on top of a pretty tall granite hill, and was built during the 2nd or 3rd century BC by Buddhist monks. Two ways to reach the top:
1) All the way up in foot
2) Half the way up in your vehicle, and the rest on foot.
Being lazy, I opted the second.

Ha !! you won't believe it!!! 45 degree climbs!!!!! I've seen such stuff in the USA (like a block of the Lombard street in San Fransisco), but that was in a Car!!! On a motorcycle - wooooooh - you ought to try it once !!! The ascent and descent - both are cool - when u climb, u'll feel that the bike's gonna fail you any moment, and you might fall all the way down; and as you look up to see what's there beyond the climb, all you see is the sky!! And, when you climb down, again all you can see is the blue sky beyond the turn at the end of the descent!!!! wooooooh :-)

Okay, picture this now
1) u r climbing up the 45 degree one, and say, u r lowering ur gear from 2nd to 1st, and u pull the throttle a bit tight! :-) hehe, ur front wheel goes up, the weight of the pillion rider adds to it, and there u go. Question - would you go down the hill, or straight up ? (to ur Father in Heaven!!!) ;-)
2) You r climbing down the 45 degree one, you are almost at the end, near the turn to the next steep, and say, suddenly you pulled the clutch lever :-) hehe... Would u go up, or down..? ;-)

Okay, enough of adrenaline-puzzles - once the motorway was over, and we had to climb up in foot, it was a different story :-( May be I have to work out more - an extra hour of cardio..? perhaps..? Anyway, it was pretty decent - all the way up, and on top of the world!!! The stone-carved caves and shrines where pretty cool too. The inscriptions on the walls and pillars were in Brāhmī script, so, couldn't do much other than staring at them, and trying to act smart ;-)

Well, that was it !!! A pretty cool (or hot??) afternoon, was back at Kalewadi by 6.30 PM, Sanjay made us strong coffee, I browsed through the day's TOI, and then got back on my presentation :-)

Sorry that there are no snaps :-( but I was kinda lazy to pack my camera and stuff when I took off to Pune :-) !!! (Idiot)


  1. wow tedy, isnt it fun to spontaneously decide to go for a weekend getaway...

    I have gone thru lonavala few times while travelling and it was all dry and hot. Monsoons aren't the best time to go...Why didnt u try Alibaug instead??

  2. Tedy KanjirathinkalAugust 1, 2008 at 2:34 PM

    @ancy: Alibaug! Honestly, its the first time I hear the place mentioned. But, now that I've checked up google, I'm sure to hit it next time I'm in Pune (with my luck, I guess it'll be another summer when I'm gonna be there) :-))

    I still wonder why none of my friends ever mentioned Alibaug to me! :-(