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Camping at the Shelte Water Lake near Kohoj Fort in Maharashtra.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Shelte Water Lake is located at Shelte Village, which is located near Vaghote village. Vaghote village is the landmark. Vaghote village is located very close to the Manor Wada road. By train the closest railway station is Palghar. From there one can either board a ST bus or a chartered rickshaw or switch tum tum at Tain village to get here. The closest fort is Kohoj. 
View from Shelte Water Lake near Kohoj Fort in Maharashtra

 I had traveled by the side of Shelte Water Lake thrice, as it took me three attempts to conquer Kohoj fort. This is my first camping trip, hoping everything goes well is all that was in my head.

This trip was planned with office colleagues and finally on the D day it was just Hansel and me who ventured on this trip. Remember Hansel, he had accompanied me to Aswali Dam and Shiv Kalin Vihir in Badlapur.

Shelte Water Lake near Kohoj Fort in Maharashtra
We met at 1 PM at Amboli near my place, then filled petrol and then off we went via the western express Highway to Manor. The directions to Vaghote village are tagged on google maps. It is around 90 km away. i.e around 2 hours to reach.

Kohoj Fort in the backdrop
As it was the month of May, it was hot. Though we were travelling on the bike the sun still managed to burn the skin off my hand as it was not covered. I should have taken Hansel's advise and worn a long sleeve shirt.

Road leading to Kohoj Fort from Shelte Water lake
We crossed the Versova bridge aka Vasai bridge without any traffic. Which was good. The roads were clear and hence we picked up on speed to reach destination. We took just one pit stop and finally we were at the base village of Vaghote. We got off the Manor Wada road and asked the locals for directions as a lot of changes have been geographically made to the land. Google Maps was of not much help now as these were village roads and the all looked the same.
That's Hansel and Me
Finally after asking a couple of locals for directions we were finally at the Shelte Water Lake. The locals call it the "Bhandara."

The time was now 3:30 PM on my watch. It was hot as hell here. We parked the bike in the shade of a tree and sat there to kill time. Thanks to the tree we were greeted with the winds at regular intervals.
That's the tent and the bike
Many kids from the villages nearby were in the water, either bathing or cooling themselves from the summer heat. The women folk were busy washing clothes in the lake water. This water is surely not fit for consumption purposes.

Hansel setup to explore the lake surroundings in search of dry twigs so that we can have a bonfire post sundown. He managed to accumulate a lot of twigs, I had carried newspapers for easy combustion and we were lucky to get a matchstick box filled with matchstick right at the place where we had parked his bike.

Sun is setting
The weather was playing games with us, suddenly there was cool breeze blowing and suddenly there was no breeze as at all.

As this was my first camping trip, I had carried powerbank, USB LED light, mosquito repellent, along with food and plenty of water,  we didn't carry any liquor as we were on a camping trip. Hansel pitched the tent,  though one of the rods gave in, we still managed to make use of the bike to provide support to our tent.

Another pic of Hansel and Me
Hansel lighted the bon fire. It was a pleasant evening, we talked and talked and finally we were bored talking so we decided to eat supper. Supper comprised of mashed potatoes, boiled chicken with coriander and tomatoes. I agree the food was bland but it was high in carbohydrates and protein. Felt super energized. LOL.

There were a bunch of locals, who too had come to the lake side to have a small party. They asked us if we were carrying liquor and if we could share the same with them. We informed them that we were not carrying liquor, but they could join us for supper as we had food in plenty.

Waters of Shelte Lake
The locals had got with them a float (truck tube) and a fishing net, one of them sat on the float and setup the fishing net  in the lake. They too had lit a bonfire. We could see three more bonfires lit around the lake premises. Interesting , not sure if they were locals or campers.

The locals who were having a party, managed to catch some fish, cook it in a chatty and had their full and finally called it a night at around 10:30 PM.
Bonfire
I too called it a night, the tent could accommodate two people, had we parked the bags outside the tent. But as we had the bags inside only one person could sleep in it.

Hansel had made up his mind that he would stay awake all night long. What and Why were the questions popping up in my head. But that's what he wanted to do. Not sure as there was nothing to do in the dead of the night. I handed him over my phones so that he could keep himself occupied by surfing the internet or watching movies that were already on the phone. Both Vodafone and Reliance Jio had strong signals here, sadly the breeze was playing up, which made sleeping a difficult task for me. Not sure if I was suffering from Sleep Wake Disorder. But I didn't manage to get deep sleep. See the photos clicked by Hansel, I am sleeping, half my body is outside the tent.

Dinner : Mashed Potato and Boiled Chicken
We woke up, or should I say I woke up around 5:45 AM. It was dawn then. Hansel managed to get some good snaps of the surrounding till then.
Dawn
As it was pleasant in the morning, we decided to go for a walk around the lake premises. We didn't cover the entire lake premises, but just a small part of it. The sound of the birds chirping on the trees was music to our ears. I was so happy to hear that sound. It was much better than the sound of the alarm which wakes me up, everyday.
That's Me
We saw a fisherman, who had come early, he headed to the waters, not sure if he was trying to put the net or trying to remove the net. Hoping that he gets a good catch.
Dawn
We then freshened up, and decided to head back to Amboli. We left around 7:45 AM to reach Amboli at 9:00 AM. As there was hardly any traffic on the road, and the weather was all gloomy we managed to speed up on the highway.
Kohoj Fort and Shelte Water Lake
We managed to cover the entire trip in Rs.600 for two. Impressive na.

Return journey to Mumbai from Burhanpur

Friday, July 7, 2017

After visiting the Graves of Tota Maina, we were dropped to the main road. Mr. Taide, helped us get a rickshaw to Hotel Madhuvan. 
Lunch at Sattar Mutton Hotel


Sattar Mutton Hotel
The rickshaw don't function as per metre and can charge you any amount. Be ready to bargain to get the best deal. The rickshaw driver initially quoted Rs. 140, but when Mr.Taide intervened, he had to settle for Rs.70.

He took us via the narrow bylanes and finally dropped us at Hotel Madhuvan. The time was around 1:15 PM on my watch.

Falooda at Khan Bhai Coldrinks

Khan Bhai Coldrinks
We still had Ahukhana, Gurudwara, Jama Masjid Gosiwada Zainabad, Chudhi Wali Masjid. We couldn't cover these places in the next five hours. So we decided to take the rest of the day off. 

We had a hearty meal at Sattar Mutton Hotel. Followed by Falooda at Khan Bhai Colddrinks. The Falooda was at par with the one I had at Badshah near Crawford market in Mumbai.


That's us on a Tonga

The tonga
We picked up some mutton samosa and mutton cutlet for our return journey.

Fathima wanted to travel by Tonga (horse cart) back to Burhanpur Railway Station. Tonga bought back memories of the Tonga ride I had at Jaora in Madhya Pradesh. To which I readily agreed. We paid Rs.50 for the ride. It took us a little less than 30 minutes to reach Burhanpur Railways station.

We located the national flag swaying in the wind while travelling in the tonga.
At the station we learnt that our train to Mumbai. Kushinagar Express is delayed by an hour's time. Meaning the train would leave at 7:20 PM instead of 6:20 PM.

We picked up some Paratha's and Mawa Kali Jalebi and the Kali Jalebi for dessert post our dinner on the train.

The Kushinagar Express finally arrived at 7:20 PM at Burhanpur Railway Station. It halted just for 2 minutes and then departed. We boarded our compartment, the train compartment was dirty. I guess the people have made it dirty . Not sure why people, do such things.


Kaala Jalebi, finger licking good
We ate our dinner and then we went off to sleep Early to bed, early to rise. The train terminated at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) at 3:44 AM. Though the train was late at Burhanpur, it reached LTT on time.

I was so happy that we got to see so many new places in Madhya Pradesh. All this at a total cost of just Rs.4k .

Stay tuned for our next trip to Burhanpur to cover all the places we skipped on this trip

Mazaar of Tota Maina in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

After crossing by the Unknown Tombs we reached the Mazaar of Tota Maina. 
Entrance to the Mazaar of Tota Maina in Burhanpur

There is a fort like entrance to reach the Mazaar.
Tombs of Tota Maina in Burhanpur
Tombs of Tota Maina in Burhanpur
The Mazaar premises is painted white in color. There are a couple of graves there. The Maulana showed us the grave of Tota Maina. They were two birds who use to live there. The saint who lived there was very fond of the birds. I don't recollect the name of the saint. The Maulana told us a story, not sure if it is true or if it is modified version of the actual story. Hence have not posted it here.
Information on Mazaar of Tota Maina in Burhanpur
The heat was killing us, we then moved out of the Mazaar premises. Mr. Taide then arranged a rickshaw for us, who could drop us back to the hotel.    

Unknown tombs on the way to Graves of Tota Maina in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh

Monday, June 26, 2017

As we traveled by Bike away from the Maqbara of Nadir Shah and Adil Shah, we noticed these tombs on the way.

The tombs are painted white with a huge black dome atop it. There is no mention has to who had built them. These tombs have not been taken over by ASI.
Unknown tombs on the way to Graves of Tota Maina in Burhanpur

Unknown tombs on the way to Graves of Tota Maina in Burhanpur

Mr.Taide informed us that long ago this used to be a burial site, but very soon it is going to make way to a residential quarters (Basti in Hindi) The muddy patch would turn to tar roads.

In a few minutes we reached the Mazaar of Tota Maina

Maqbara of Nadir Shah and Adil Shah in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Maqbara of Nadir Shah and Adil Shah are located around 2 KM away from the Maqbara of Begum Shah Shuja. There is a muddy path that leads to it.
Maqbara of Nadir Shah and Adil Shah in Burhanpur

Directions for the same are tagged on Google maps.

Mr Chaudhari, who we had met at the Maqbara of  Begum Shah Shuja had already informed Mr. Taide another ASI executive posted at Maqbara of Nadir Shah that we would be visiting this place.
Maqbara of Nadir Shah
There is no sign of humans here, total wilderness. There is no provision for food and water either. Luckily we had very little water remaining and we were rationing the water. Both the Maqbara are built very close to each other.
The cenotaph in the middle belongs to Nadir Shah
There are plenty of unknown tombs here. Some of them had inscriptions on them, not sure if it is Arabic or Urdu.
Tombstone
The bigger tomb belonged to Nadir Shah. It is built on a podium. A series of steps leads one to the tomb door. He was the founder of the Faruqui Dynasty in the 15th century. The cenotaph  in the centre belongs to him. There are a couple of other cenotaph too, not sure who they belong too.
Maqbara of Adil Shah
There was also a Maulana aka priest there. He looks after the maintenance of these two Tombs. He too is unaware of the of the other cenotaph. The entrance to the tomb is under lock and key. The Maulana showed us around in the tomb.
The cenotaph placed in the middle with a blue chaddar on it belongs to Adil Shah
We then visited the Adil Shah tomb located a couple of feet away. This tomb was small in size. The cenotaph placed in the middle with a blue chaddar on it belongs to Adil Shah, not sure who the other cenotaph belong too.
Thats us, from the right, Mr Taide, Maulana and Me.
Mr. Taide, then gave us a lift on his bike to take us to Mazaar of Tota Maina. On the way, we located some unknown tombs. He was stunned, when heard that we had walked it all the way to this place from Kali Masjid in Burhanpur.

Maqbara of Begun Shah Shuja in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Maqbara of Begum Shah Shuja in Burhanpur is located very close to the tombs of Nadir Shah and Adil Shah.
Entrance to the Maqbara of Begum Shah Shuja in Burhanpur


Directions to Adil Shah and Nadir Shah Maqbara are tagged on Google maps, one has to cross by the Maqbara of Begun Shah Shuza before reaching the other Maqbara.

Bilquis Begum was the wife of Prince Shah Shuja. He was the son of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz. Bilquis Begum died after giving birth to her daughter. A Maqbara was built for her in Burhanpur.
Maqbara of Begun Shah Shuja in Burhanpur
The main entrance to the Maqbara is currently closed. So one has to enter the premises by climbing over the broken wall. There is also another way to enter the premises.

We met Mr. Chaudhari there, who works with the ASI. He is closely looking into the re development or renovation of this Maqbara.
Cenotaph at Maqbara of Begun Shah Shuja in Burhanpur
The Maqbara, had a very different look to it, something very unusual to the ones I have been so far. The dome of it made of black stone looks like a watermelon cut into half and placed atop it. It looked like pillars were cut in half and the same were used to construct the Maqbara. There is a window places on one side from where one can see the cenotaph inside. Strangely the window had a glass. There is a small door to enter the Maqbara premises. The door was opened to us and we stepped in to see it.
The artwork at Maqbara of Begun Shah Shuja in Burhanpur
The walls of the Maqbara were beautifully painted from the inside. The intricate paintings were worth seeing and photographing. The paintings from the dome have peeled off. but the walls are intact.
This is a good place to meditate as there is no one around to disturb you. This place is totally isolated.
The ceiling of Maqbara of Begun Shah Shuja in Burhanpur
We could spot the Maqbara of Nadir Shah and Adil Shah from here.
Mr. Chaudhari and Me at Maqbara of Begun Shah Shuja in Burhanpur

There is no provision for food and water here. 

Akbari Sarai in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Akbari Saari is located in Monin Pura in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh. It was around 450 metres away from Kali Masjid. The route is tagged on Google maps , so you just can't get lost.
Within Akbari Sarai in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh
The entrance to Akbari Saari has been re plastered. Again It had a Darwaza to enter its premises. It had only one door to enter and exit. 

The Sarai was rectangular in shape, with the door placed on one of the sides. 
Akbari Sarai in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh
The history of the Sarai, is put up on this board, if you can read and understand then do post the same in the comments section. This place was built by Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana. Not sure when it was constructed.
Entrance to Akbari Sarai in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh
There were identical looking rooms with small domes all around the walls of the Sarai. These are currently not occupied and in ruins.   
Newly constructed door to Akbari Sarai in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh

  
Within Akbari Sarai in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh


Currently pigs have made them their home. 
History of Akbari Sarai in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh
I am sure ASI will surely work on the re development of this place and make it tourist destination.
Akbari Sarai in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh
Goats in Akbari Sarai in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh
There is no provision for food and water at this place.

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