Tag Archives: Maharashtra

Gems of Mumbai!

Mumbai, Fort, Colaba, Dwarka, Restaurant, Food, Mumbai, Bombay, India, Travel

Gajanana, the gem of Dwarka Restaurant

Meet Gajanana of Dwarka Restaurant at Nagindas Master Road (Fort). Every time I’ve been here I’ve found him to be one of the most enterprising and welcoming people at that busy, hectic, always packed restaurant during lunch time. His job probably is to just offer nothing but a smile, excellent customer service, talk to the customer, not sell them on anything but pure joy!

A couple of things I noticed a few times. Unlike many other restaurants where people are just going on and about taking orders, delivering them, giving the bill and letting the customers walk away, he has a very personalized interaction with a lot of customers who come in everyday.

“Come, come, I have reserved a seat for you.” He says that with a smile to almost anyone and everyone who come in during lunch.

A true conversationalist that he is, yesterday I noticed him talking to two customers across the table:

Gajanana: “Have the Lassi! It’s the best out here.”
Customers: “Is it, really?”
Gajanana: “I’m telling you the truth, I don’t lie. The times for me to lie are gone.”

Holding his forearm ahead and pointing to his elbow and then to his palms, he measures them and says

“This much of my life is over! Now only this much is left. So I won’t lie.” And then smiles cheekily…  The customers smile back and I do too, without him noticing that.

He hails from Murudeshwar, Karnataka and probably is also the owner of the place, pretty much like the old uncle at Britannia Restaurant! He truly spreads a lot of joy and happiness especially in a city where we need some smiles rather than the frowning, grumpy faces. Such people are gems of this city. With the busy, hectic, rat race driven rut that people live in, Mumbai needs more freshness like him!


What are the must-see travel destinations in India?

Answer by Srinivas Kulkarni:

India is one of the richest places to travel to when it comes to culture, people, places and beautiful landscapes. There is a rich heritage and culture with diversity across various geographical and social plains in India. I’m a travel blogger  blogging about my Travel Tales… (srinistuff.com) while I’ve been travelling across the country for over five years now and have tried to cover a lot of destinations across the vast geographical plains of India. No matter how much I traverse across the various different parts of the country I feel there’s a lot more to see. With the exception of North East, Jammu & Kashmir, some parts of MP and Gujarat I’ve traveled to a lot of other parts including the famous Himalayas! Here are some of my favorite locations that are must see and one must visit for sure…. These are the places I’ve visited and of the lot, these are my favorite in no particular order 🙂

Trek towards Valley of Flowers and  Hemkund Saheb (Glacier may not be always there…)

The actual Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand HImalayas

Camp in the tents near Keylong

Paragliding in the Solang Valley

Rohtang Pass enroute Manali

Dalai Lama Temple in Dharamsala/McLeodganj

Shey Palace in Ladakh

Shanti Stupa in Ladakh

Leh Palace in Leh, Ladakh

Nubra Valley in Ladakh

Disket Temple in Nubra Valley in Ladakh

Ride a Bullet to Khardung La in Ladakh *Highest Motorable road 18380 ft

Alchi Gompa – Oldest Monastery in Leh, Ladakh

Indus River Valley in Ladakh

Pangong Tso Lake across Ladakh and China Border

The serene Om beach in Gokarna

Rameshwaram Temple and it’s 1000 Pillars

Chinese Fishing Nets in Fort. Kochi

Boat to Allepy from Kottayam in Kerala

Buland Darwaaza of Fatehpur Sikri

Hawa Mahal in Jaipur

Jain temples of Jaisalmer

The Vintage car museum in Udaipur

Matri Mandir in Auroville

Pondicherry & Auoroville Beach

The Garden City – Bangalore

Visit the Ruins of Hampi – A must visit if you are a fan of archaeology and historic ancient culture.

Stone Chariot in the Vittala Temple

Hazara Rama Temple – Carvings from 10th-13th century of Rama

Lakshmi Narsimha statue

Krishna Temple

Lotus Mahal in Zennana Enclosure… Ancient air conditioned palace

Monolithic Bull, carved out of one Stone

Mythical Lions called Yalli inside Krishna Temple

View the Marina Beach Sunrise in Chennai

Conquer the Mahuli fort during rains in Maharashtra – The Sahayadaris

Charminar in Hyderabad

The Buddha Statue in Lumbini Park in Hyderabad on the Husain Sagar lake

Be part of the Kala Ghoda Festival in Mumbai

Lenayadri Hills in Maharashtra – One of the Ashtavinayaka Temples

Ajanta Ellora Caves in Aurangabad

Badrinath Temple in Uttarakhand

Mana Village and Vasudhara Waterfalls – The last indian Village on Indo Tibet Border

Haridwar for it’s cultural and spiritual expose.

Lakshman Jhoola and the Parmarth Temple in Rishikesh

View Answer on Quora

Conquering Mahuli Fort – 18th July 2010

It was truly one hell of  a ride that we took. A trek that we won’t forget ever in our lives. One filled with beauty, nature, compassion and so much of freshness that you would think twice about living a life anywhere else in this world. Truly, these eco-trails, nature hikes teach a lot of patience and a lot of compassion for the gaya. Indeed mother earth has had a lot of patience in tolerating our non-sense for such a long while… Sometimes I keep wondering how life would have been if there was nothing else but nature. No gadgets, no hi-fi, wi-fi.. just the plain serenity of this beauty surrounding you to the core. Think about it…

Well we decided to camp at the base the night before. So we headed off for the trek as planned on Saturday night. We got a little lost.. It’s easy to get lost before you go ahead on the Asangaon flyover. Make sure you turn left towards the Manas camp/temple. Ask for the Manas temple and you should be fine. So once we took the left, we saw the accomodation/hostel etc of Manas dharamshala. We headed ahead a straight road in the dead of the night. The silence of the eerie night was really haunting us in the pitch dark night on that day. We followed the straight road kept looking for a base camp / temple which we were supposed to look for… but damn, no clue.. So we had almost decided to head back.. when we found a bunch of say 25-50 guys just walking towards us. First instance… Shock! What are they?? Zombies??? Villagers??? Creeps?? A closer look tells us they were trekkers just like us. So finally we headed on and in 15 minutes after crossing a bridge we got to the base camp.

What followed next was chill out time, camping and some rest before we headed off in the morning. The rain had started pouring while the mountains covered with fog laid out its beauty, almost inviting us to conquer it. We decided to start at 7:00 AM in the morning. While the trek was just about 2800 feet.. the climb wasn’t that easy.. slippery muddy tracks made it a lot more difficult and rocky terrains at the top were a little tough on us. But after a gruelling stop and go trek for about 2.5 hours we certainly made sure that we conquered the beautiful fort of Mahuli.

What’s on top is amazing. The Shiva linga as expected in most of the forts of the great Shivaji Maharaj in the Sahayadri ranges was not a new thing for regular trekkers. But what was all the more beautiful was the wonderful waterfall below… So we retired there and enjoyed the beauty for a couple of hours, had our lunch on a really compact stove carried by one of our trekkers.

An experience that we would certainly remember. Certainly so, going by the pics you just saw!

© Copyright 2010 Srini. All rights reserved


Mahuli Fort – Here We Come!

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So my friends and I needed some adrenaline to repeat last year’s Harishchandragadh experience. Around the same time we went to Harishchandragad, and it was a whole new experience for me. I hadn’t been on a long trek for a really long time. Anyways keeping that aside, you guys might have checked out the photos of Harishchandragad, this time it’s going to be Mahuli. We have planned to go there tomorrow night (17th July 2010) and it’s certainly going to be a helluva trek.

Some tit bits about Mahuli fort.  Source – But of course, Wikipedia

Mahuli Fort At 2815 ft., this is a sought after trekking destination.

It is the highest point in the Thane district. The forest surrounding Mahuli has been declared as a sanctuary. Once Shahaji Raje, father ofChatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, had this fortress under his belt.

The nearest railway station to Mahuli is Asangaon. One can catch either Asangaon or Kasara Local from Mumbai CST, which could also be caught at Kalyan Junction. 4 km walk from Asangaon station will take you to the base temple in 1-1/2 hours. 3 hours trek will take you to the summit.

How to Reach There?

Asangaon on Mumbai-Nashik highway (91) km from Mumbai. 5 km inside on to the left is the Mahuli village. The best thing to do is catch a late night train to Asangaon, and make the temple beneath the fort as your base camp. You can probably have some food out there, sleep there and wake up early in the morning and in a few hours reach the top. The people at the base camp also provide you with some food at nominal charges if my guesstimate is correct. At least, they did before. If you are the types who feel cold, esp during monsoon and planning to stay at night at base camp then I suggest take something to cover you up. Rest all is what a normal trekking routine should include. I don’t think I need to tell you guys that, if you are new to trekking 😛 Google IT guys!

History behind the Place:

The creator of this fort is unknown. In 1485 this place came under rule Nijamshahi dynasty. When Shahaji Raje became the secretary of Nijamshahi, Mughals of Delhi tried to end Nijamshahi. In 1635-36, Shahaji Raje transferred himself with Jijabai and Shivaji to Mahuli. When Khan Jaman attacked the fort, Shahaji asked Portuguese for help, who refused and Shahaji surrendered.

Shivaji took this fort from Mughals on 8 Jan 1658. In 1661 it was given back and was won again by Shivaji. In treaty of Purandar, in 1665, Marathas lost these forts again. In Feb 1670, Shivaji Maharaj tried to conquer Mahuli, but failed, Manohardas Gaud, was the in charge of the fort. A thousand Marathas were killed. Manohardas Gaud, soon gave up his position and Alveerdi Beg took over. On 16 June 1670, after two months, Moropant Pingle conquered the forts and Mahuli, Bhandargad and Palasgad became part of Swarajya. Till 1817, Shivaji’s dynasty owned the fort but later on it was controlled by the British Raj.

So we are planning to go tomorrow night 17th and leave the base camp early in the morning at 5:00 AM. That should give us enough time to spend on top and chill. Hope to have a really amazing trek. Godspeed.