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Posts Tagged ‘Jungle Bush-Quail’

Trek to Lohagad Fort

July 5, 2014 1 comment

Monsoon season is invariably the trekking season, so we decided to head to Lohagad Fort for our 2nd trek of the season. We started a bit late this time; at around 7:30 AM and reached Bhaje village at 8:30 AM. We planned to park our car at Bhaje village and trek to Lohagad; however if you wish you may drive all the way to Lohagadwadi (Base of Lohagad Fort). Distance between Bhaje village & Lohagadwadi is around 4 KMs. Don’t worry on the parking front as there is ample parking space; at Lohagadwadi as well as at Bhaje village.

As we walked from the Bhaje village towards Lohagad, we could see the Visapur Fort on left and the Lohagad fort on the right. The Bhaje Caves are also on the same road; just take the steps on left as soon as you start from Bhaje village. As you walk on the tar road, make sure you take the shortcuts to cut down on the distance.

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Bhaje Caves

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View of the Visapur Fort.. on way to Lohagad Fort

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View of the Malavali village

It will also give a decent opportunity for birding as you make way through lovely greenery. After covering around 2-3 KMs, you reach a junction where in a left will take you to Visapur Fort and right leads to Lohagad. There is an open space for parking at this junction as well. Walk for another 1 KM and you reach Lohagadwadi. There are a lot of hotel here, serving Zunka Bhakri, Rice thali, Chicken thali and so on. Strangely the cost was on the higher side; in my past experiences at Sinhagad and Karnala, food was priced very well.

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Temple at Lohagadwadi

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Lohagad Fort – Sign board

The steps of the fort start from this point. Another 30-45 minutes and you will be atop the Lohagad Fort. It does give some beautiful views of Dudhiware, Pawna Lake, and the Visapur Fort. Also, don’t miss the Vinchu Kata. Its the highlight of this fort and lives up-to the hype.

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Macro shot from Lohagad fort

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Vinchu Kata

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Vinchu Kata.. another view

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The entry door at the top of Lohagad fort..

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View of Pawna lake.. from Lohagad Fort

We were all prepared considering the raining season, but there was not a single drop of rain 😦 . Thankfully the weather was overcast most of the times, but it did get hot and tiring while returning.

No trip of mine is complete without birding; there was hardly any activity but I did come across the beautiful Malabar Whistling-thrush and the jungle bush quails! The Malabar Whistling-thrush comes pretty close to White-rumped Shama in terms of voice.. very melodious indeed. The way to the fort was pretty much buzzing with its melodious voice.. We also saw the commoners like White throated kingfisher, Bulbuls, Indian blackbird and Jungle babblers.

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Jungle Bush-quails

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Malabar Whistling-thrush

Malabar Whistling-thrush

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Jungle Babbler

 

How to reach: 

We took the old Mumbai Pune highway and drove upto Kamshet. As soon as you cross Kamshet, you need to take a left to Malavali Railway Station. Once you cross the railway line, you drive along; cross the express highway and follow the road. The road shall take you Bhaje Village. You can rely on Google Maps; just search for Malavali, select the Old Mumbai-Pune road option.. and follow the route..! Total time from Pimple Saudagar to Bhaje Village is roughly around 1 hour 15 mins.

Happy trekking!

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Drive to Pawna lake

June 18, 2014 1 comment

I was wondering if I could explore a new place on Sunday and decided to go to Pawna lake. I haven’t read much about Pawna from birding perspective so thought of taking a chance. We started at around 6:30 am and it started raining like cats & dogs. I just dropped the idea of birding and thought we would just drive through and come back.

We entered the road to Pawna lake in another 40 mins and I could see the sky clearing up. I just hoped the sun came out, and it did!.. We saw lot of Baya Weavers.. such beautiful sights. These small yellow birds do look really beautiful. Driving a little further, I also saw couple of Eurasian Oriole.. but couldn’t capture due to poor light.. We drove adjacent to the Pawna lake, very picturesque indeed!

Mountains amongst the cloud.. on way to Pawna lake

Mountains amongst the cloud.. on way to Pawna lake

 

As we drove further, I heard lot of chirping on a turn; so I decided to explore the bushes next to the road and I couldn’t have been more lucky. I saw atleast 11-12 jungle bushquails.. Luckily I was able to snap a couple of record shots. We went all the way to Dudhiware and then returned back. On way back we saw egrets, swallows, white breasted waterhens and bulbuls..

On way to Paud phata from Pawna nagar.. lovely roads..

On way to Paud phata from Pawna nagar.. lovely roads..

How to reach
We started from Pimple Saudagar and took the old Pune-Mumbai road. Just after you cross the 1st toll, you will get a crowded area where in you need to take a left and keep going on this road (Parandwadi Road). There are sign boards as well. Just make sure you don’t take a right at a junction which say Hinjewadi. Best is to ask locals about Pawna dam and they will guide you. As soon as you reach Pawna nagar (40 kms from pimple saudagar), you will be able to see the dam. From here you have 2 choices, if you go right.. You will reach paud phatta.. Joining the Mulshi road. If you stay on left, you drive adjacent to the pawna lake.. Thats what we did and drove all the way till Dudhiware (10 km from Pawna Nagar). While coming back, we came to pawna nagar, and took the right to reach Paud phatta, and back to pune via Bavdhan. Both the roads are pretty good, except for few odd patches.. Best part about the Parandwadi road is that we could not find any buses plying on it.. So its pretty calm and picturesque all the way..

Here are the birds are I was able to capture during the drive..

Black Shouldered Kite

Shikra

 

Red Vented Bulbul

Red Vented Bulbul

Baya Weaver

Baya Weaver