Saturday, August 28, 2010

Trip to Bhandadara Lake

Trip to Bhandadara Lake

It was again time for bag packing as my office started following the practice of allowing one Saturday off every month. How could I have missed this chance? It has been almost 3 years that I had done my last trek in the hills of Bhandadra and Ratangad, and this time around it was the challenge of climbing the highest peak of Maharashtra “Kalsu Bai” had made the collywobbles in my stomach going high.

Best part of this trip was that our booking in the MTDC resort was done well in advance, and it was time to put the hospitality levels of resorts run and managed by government bodies to the test. My prejudice of Government officials wasting the public properties and money with unscrupulous ease had started taking over my thoughts, and even before we checked in the resort. My prejudices got endorsement when I saw a 50 odd year chap sitting at the welcome desk of the resort.

As soon as I watched our cottage and its location, my jaws dropped and the scenic beauty ahead of our cottage made all three of us shell shocked. The view out of MTDC resort at Bhandadara was so exotic and breath taking that while writing this memoir I can still feel the gust of winds blowing across my ears, the sight of a lake full of water and embanked by mountains on the side lines laced up with white clouds. The Wooden benches in front of the cottage  were inviting enough not be ignored.  

Apart from trek and roaming around in cloud laden valley there was one more thing which was on our mind, and it was the flavor of fresh water fish that  was amongst our priority list. (Fish has to be on priority list when your two fellow travelers are Oriyas).

Thanks to our slow yet unsafe cab driver, by the time we checked in the cottage it was already lunch time and we ordered for the lunch. Fish curry and rice was the dish that we zeroed in. Even while writing this post,the taste of that heavenly fish curry is making my mouth filled with water. The fish curry was a perfect blend of assorted spices and with a base of tomato gravy with fish being not fried but cooked inside the gravy itself, making both the flavor of fish and gravy intermingled with each other. The taste of fish curry and the love and affection with which it was served made my prejudices against government managed programs go away.

After having our food we decided to roam around a bit and the “Konkangada” gorge was our destination. On the way it was mist and clouds all the way escorting us. Every curve of the road was offering a cascade. The green mountains were hugging the white clouds filled with rain waters. This romance between the clouds and mountains laden with green tops is just a treat to watch. The white stream of waterfalls running through the green canopy appears to be coming right from the heavens. We were witnessing the spectacle of nature unfolding itself with life giving water, which sprinkles on the parched earth in the form of monsoon.

By the time we came back it was starting to get dark and it was again time to cherish the flavor of fish curry and this time around we had ordered for a fish fry.

Next day in the morning we went off to Kalsu Bai. We started the trek to Kalsu Bai and to my bad luck for the first time it had happened to me that I had to opt out of a trek that too for so much awaited trek. All of a sudden from no where my back became so stiff and it was paining like anything. ISatya and Man singh went ahead with the trek. I waited for 4 hours for satya and Man Singh to come back from the trek. During the time when I was waiting for them to come back I roamed around, observed birds and found out a way to a beautiful waterfall. As Satya and Man Singh came back we went to take a shower in the waterfall. 

In all as usual it was again a satisfying trip to Western Ghats.

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