29th March, 2011SilvassaSurat Ka Murat
Gujarat Ka Pari
Vapi Ka Noukri
Silvasa Ka Chhokri.
This gem was presented to us by Ram Sunar chaiwalla - perhaps the only chaiwalla in Silvasa. Pat particularly liked the last line and agreed with it completely.
Silvasa is locally known as Silvas. Dadra is called Dadr. We did not know that.
On a Bharat darshan trip such as ours, it is indeed difficult to locate a place unless one knows how it is called locally. We had a tough time to reach Ellora. No one knew which place we were looking for till we realized that locals call it Verul. Ajanta is Ajintha. That is close. But we had no idea that Tuticorin is Thuttukodi. Calicut is Kozikode. We knew this. Allepy gave us some trouble. It is called Allapuza.
Pat got so confused that he tried to act smart and began pronouncing Kaprada as Kapda and Verul as Vullu. I don’t know why he suddenly started doing this. Locals look at him perplexed. He was insisting on calling Allapuza as Allappa till I yelled at him.
Strangely, Bramhabara, Paramapadu, Mulabogol and Chudeswari temple are pronounced exactly as they are mentioned in the maps.
We reached Silvasa from Nasik in the morning after an arduous journey. Over 100 of the 143 kms we travelled, most of it in Gujarat, the road was completely broken - that too in the hills with mad U-turns. I hear Gujarat boasts of its roads. Well, our experience on our first day in the state has not been good.
There is nothing much to see in Silvasa. I came here because in school I was forced to memorize the list of Union Territories in the country. Geography was not the subject I particularly loved.
Tomorrow we will visit Daman and then move on to Surat.
By the way, after a long time, we had good food today. Gujarati food is really good.
At Ajanta we met an amazing kid (Sorry. Gentleman). Chayan Mondol of Usthi in Diamond Harbour is doing a solo All India bicycle trip. He said he had requested his friends to join him. No one agreed. He graduated in Geography last year, began his trip in November 2010 and would require 17 months to reach home.The Route:
Nasik to Silvasa via Peit, Kaprada, Motakonda and Vapi. Total distance: 143 kms. (Top up your tank. There are no petrol pumps before Kaprada, which is about 70 kms from Nasik.)
28th March, 2011Nasik
Reached Nasik from Lonar. The sun ate into us. The distance is 343 kms. But we were burnt out.
Good. Acclimatization and preparation for what is to come in Gujarat and Rajasthan, I told Pat. He was really burnt out.A small piece of advice for my fellow travelers, if I may. Wear white and body hugging shirt- body hugging because the wind at this time of the year is always howling and may push you in front of a truck rushing downhill. Also, wear a chappal if you plan to visit Ajanta and Ellora – particularly Ajanta. You will have to remove your shoes for entering the each cave.
People looking for a great tourist spot should not visit Lonar. This is a place for those whose heart beat stops for a moment when told that the huge lake was formed by a high velocity impact of a meteor, unique of its kind in the world. I have posted on Ajanta and Ellora. I really felt sad and all of you would when you would see the paintings of Ajanta melting. Look at the photos. We will visit Silvasa tomorrow.
26th March, 2011Ajanta Caves
Look at the photographs to see the present condition of the paintings at Ajanta. I was told of their present state by many of my friends. But when I actually saw them, I felt sad. These paintings can’t be restored. Those who have not been to Ajanta should start planning to come here immediately.
We started from Ellora in the morning. It did not take us long as the distance is merely 105 kms and the road signs are clear and adequate. The condition of the road is also good.
Tomorrow, we will start for Lonar.