Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dhakoba Trek

Dec'2013, we visited infamous trekking destination call Dhakoba. Name is bit weird but its named to honor the god who use to reside on that mountain peak. History says, eventually, statue of God Dhakoba was needed to move below the mountain peak due to daily to-fro journey for priest was difficult to worship the statue. Now, the Dhakoba temple is below the peak and any local who goes on peak has to remove their footwares before climbing the peak. It's said to be very much local rule and is still being followed by local peoples. Informarion given by local person Mr Damu Supe.

We were 5 guys: Mahendra, Duster-Parsi, SK, Aamly, Bharat-bhushan (Names here are used encrypted to avoid implications with real life people but still they know they are well mentioned here)

Well, coming back to how to plan, how to find the way and other details follows next :

We started rather we planned to start from Pune at 5am morning (well there was delay in start time due to SK :P ) . We started on Nashik road by 5.30am. Quick morning run to Narayangaov till 7 am around. We took nice breakfast (Kanda-Pohe), masala tea at stall outside bus stand on highway. Make sure you have healthy & light breakfast. Do NOT eat too much else you might need an extra stop before or while climbing those steep mountain peaks. Well, one of us - Bharat-bhushan needed an emergency stop for late morning nature's call. Sometimes tea/cigar or good nature could make the call if you didn't had it properly at home :P .

Following are the essentials to be carried for trip:-

1.       Water Bottles – 3 Litres per person compulsory.

2.       Towels + Shorts + Shoes + Sunglasses – Personal choice.

3.       Camera  - Must have

4.       Cap – Must Have

5.       Pay 500 Rs per person to SK, upfront. All the expenses would be done from this fund. (Well, 70Rs was left over after dinner/tea/breakfast)

6.       Glucose – If required.

Here map route from Pune
We reached the base around 9am. Road from Junnar to Amboli 20 km patch is bad. It's under construction and will be ready in few days.

Park the vehicle near last mile-stone to village Amboli. If you notice there are two milestone at distance to 10meter. One indicating 21 km to reach Junnar while other have mark of 20km to Junnar. They got covered 1km in just 10 meter distance ;)

Walk straight as the rough footpath towards two mountains you see on left side. Note that, you won't see Dhakoba until you reach to almost 1/3 of the total trek. It's almost after 1 hour, you can see Dhakoba peak.

You have to follow footpaths on the way and guess your path. Safer way is to reach Dhakoba temple and them go to the peak.

We had small incidence with cattle group. One of us got the shouting sneeze! This disturbed the cattles. All of sudden, all of them charged on us. We were around 100meter away from them so it didn't create major problem. We kept out ground strong. It's important to NOT move around and run away. Bulls and cows kept staring at us from far. Place was rocky so cattle didn't dared to chase us down on rocky area. We took small way around to reach towards path. Eventually, Mr Damu Supe (We called him Supe mama or Supe uncle) saw us and recognized SK as he had visited the place twice before coming with us. Mama helped to make cattles go away. He also showed the path to Dhakoba peak and also joined us to come on the top.

You will see this lonely tree with its beautiful reflection is fighting for its place in pond :

Here are some pics we took at Dhakoba peak:

Beautiful view to mountains on center and right. You might see Harishchandragad if you are lucky to guess it properly and have clear weather. 

Water reservoirs on way down. This way is to climb the Dhakoba from Konkan side. Village Puli seen as base.

View towards fort Durg.

Comments welcome !

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Makarandgad Trek

Couple of weeks back, I visited the Fort Makarandgad.

We started the journey at 5.30 am from Pune. We were five guys in SUV so we had comfortable journey out from city. We preferred to bypass katraj ghat as ghat is shorter road and filled with morning rush of truck drivers struggling to push their vehicles in 30 degree slop.
By around 8am, we were near Nasarapur. Took a breakfast break at famous tappari hotel called "Shiram" . It was nice place to eat wada paav, misal and poha. We billed around 170/- for 5 guys. Place is pretty much crowded morning commuters. We left the place after our tummies filled up and couple of guys also attended morning nature's call.

We moved fast since then to reach Hatlot village on time. We managed to reach at Hatlot by 10.30 am. Got the place to park vehicle near village school. Village have good road and on daily basis only 2 buses visit the village and that's only to pick of students for school/college. Well, this also means that State Transport bus do NOT visit the village on Sunday so make sure you have transport before you plan your trek to this great fort.


View Larger Map

There is small foot path from base village Hatlot. Feel free to ask villagers about path if you are not sure.

Things to carry:
  1. raincoat / rain hat if visiting in rainy season
  2. Salt - NaCl This is good anti-agent for Leeches. Jungle is fully blood sucking Leeches. They are active after seeing heat around. It hard to notice them. Don't keep exposed body. Carry at least 100 gram of it.
  3. Full body covered cloths
  4. Water bottles
  5. Food item - Biscuits, light food, glucose. You may not get anything in Small village on top
  6. Pair of cloths. 
  7. Good Trekking Shoes
  8. Medicines if you have any known medical problem
  9. Knee caps if issue with knee pain.

Jungle is said to have Raan dukkars who tend to attack people. Keep making noise as you move. Always, keep moving as leeches will catch your feet if you stop for break.

Enjoy the view to village and small temple while on climbing the route. There are couple small plateaus where you can take stop for rest and allow team to move together.

There is nice sweet water pond on fort where you can fill up your water storage. Ghonaspur is small village have bare electricity supply and seasonal connectivity by road in summer. You can find families who can  provide lunch for a day. Enjoy the route, time and natural beauty.

Welcome comments for more details!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Relocation to do list

In last 1-2 years, i have got plenty of experience in relocating the home from various locations. Let's divide on type of relocation:
  1. Intra-city : Within city but changing area
  2. Inter-city / Intra-county: Changing the city but in same region/state
  3. Inter-county: Changing city, country and culture. You can call Oversea relocation.
Let's go in details on each type of relocation. I have indeed got experience of each of these.

First is Intra-city. This is not that difficult as it seems. Here is  items checklist here:
  1. Check new place where you are going to live. See that place is clean, locality is good to live. Most needed amenities are reachable distance. 
  2. Specially like a general store, dairy, shops, transport points, Bus stop or railway station availability, worst case late night travel availability and comfort.
  3. Make list of stuff you want to move and keep. Considering if you are leaving in rented place and it was furnished or semi furnished. You need to make sure your apartment owner won't raise issue for keeping empty flat unclean OR taking away extra stuff which do not belongs to you.
  4. Sizing: Measure large items like TV, Microwave, Bed, furniture, chairs, table, freeze to get exact size of transport you are looking for. You should be at conclusion if you need large truck, mini jeep, tempo kind of vehicle. Its sometimes affordable to have single small vehicle for longer duration and do couple of trips to transport stuff.
  5. Pay electricity, phone, internet, society, loundary bills  and ask for address change for utility bills. Most important is bank communications like debit card, credit card statements should be diverted to correct new address.
  6. Start planning couple of weeks before to arrange packers and movers to make sure you get things planned well before time instead getting in trouble at last moment.
  7. Don't worry about large item. Try to divide and conquer the problem. Normally large furniture items like bed and wardrobe can be dissembled and moved. 
  8. Feel free to call your friends and close one to help you out on such relocation. May be rented packers and movers are not as careful as your friends for any antique photo and statue you have. ;)

Inter-city relocation:

Well, things are little difficult here. Remote location availability and area has to be checked before moving. Here are some additional things you need consider:
Change address of communication asap for bank, credit card, other communications.
Arrange travel and transport
Look for initial days stay in city if permanent accommodation is not ready.

Inter-country relocation:

Relocation Map :

View Larger Map

You can post more details here based on your experience!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chateau of France


Chateau of France, a set on Flickr.

In 2011 pre-winter, I planned to visit Tours region. Its been always a dream to pass through Royal Palaces and places where Leonardo had spent his last few memorable years.

Here are pictures of my visit to Tours, Amboise and Valandary ... Beautiful Palaces covered with untouched snow!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My iPhone and its bugs

Nothing is perfect. Its nature's rule but we can develop thing can be close to perfect.

People say Apple stuff is pretty perfect. Lets take example of iPhone - worlds dominant handset manufacturer and seller. Best in feature, app, look and usage. I see some of basic functionality are buggy here.

1. on iPhone4. iOS 5.
We use SMS messaging service as basic tool and way to communication.
Feature, group SMS.

I added some of my friends in sms "To" list.
Put some text.

If some of the text sms failed to deliver. It shows red estimations sign like !
Problem is we never come to know what all sent successfully and which all are failed.

This is strange bug from iOS 5.0.

2. Recently, I tried to delete some pics from photo stream. iOS don't allow you to delete files from your device. 

You have to connect to PC and backup photoes and resync to delete/modify pics on your device.

3. I also have got iPhone 3GS which sometimes have issue of picking up the call. Screen fails to recognize my touch while swapping and accepting the call.

Chateaux of the France

Last end of summer in Paris, we (my wife was with me) visited some of the Chateaux around Paris. Most of people know famous Chateau de Versailles Castle. I personally didn't found it very great just because it has huge garden and lake. There is less of attractive I found. Its more crowded with lots of people rushing in and out. 

I liked another nearby Chateaux. Royal Chateau de Fontainebleau! Place is 40 min away by RER or some train going from Gare-de-Lyon to South side of France. Place is also covered in zone 6 costing you 14Euro to and fro journey by Bus service. 


Here are details copied from

Paris to Fontainebleau by Train

Departure station => Paris-Gare de Lyon
Train Line => Transilien or Ter
Direction => Laroche-Migennes / Montereau / Montargis / Sens
Arrival Station => Fontainebleau-Avon (Zone 5)
Ticket => Billet Ile-de-France - Fontainebleau–Avon
Price => 8,40€ one way
Passes Accepted => Carte Orange/Pass Navigo, Ticket Mobilis, Paris Visite Card
Attractions => INSEAD, Forest of Fontainebleau, Chateau Fontainebleau
First Train / Last Train => 06:05 / 23:35 (see notes)

PDF with timetable:
you will also get this timetable if you visit ticket window at Gare de Lyon. 

and return :

More details:

Place is beautiful to spend time with family and close group. Palace has more French history. The pond nearby Palace makes it more beautiful in view. Good to visit in Summer.

Here are some photoes:

Here is official website :

The famous INSEAD school of Management is right there.


Monday, June 11, 2012

How access in India when court has blocked it?

As internet user I value freedom of speech, expression and sharing. India - country where caste is basis of politics and all working things. We have to have such freedom in living. Its very much expressed since Anna Hazare's andolan with India Against Corruption.

Lets see a specific case where we need freedom to accessing what we want on internet and sharing best of the things over internet/mobile! Recently most of Indian ISPs Internet Service Providers came up idea of blocking all torrent sharing sites for access. I tried to open  and it showed beautiful message,

"This website/URL has been blocked until further notice either pursuant to Court orders or on the Directions issued by the Department of Telecommunications"

Well, matter of fact, I doubt if DoT has really understood the meaning of this. While court and why?
What do you mean by, website or URL?

Forget fighting with India courts or government. Its all waste of time and money. Its well known saying in my mother language. "Smart people don't walk on court steps" , sayings are never exactly translated but meaning makes sense.

Lets come to the point, you can choose either of below solutions:

download this program called u1201 and just double click, it will create proxy server and changes setting in Windows Internet settings --> LAN to and port.
It will also start IE after creation of proxy. You can now browse internet using this external proxy which allows you to access any torrent site.

2. Download and install tor which comes with portable anonymous IP proxy and firfox.  OR read here more onthis

3. Use Jtunnel :  This is wonderful site showing Freedom of Speech.
Jtunnel is java based proxy which allows you to go via this java based proxy server for http, ftp, smtp requests. Its some how not clear, if its keeps anonymousness OR tracks data.
Other good point in using this is, it provides compression for data and images. In fact, you can set image compression ratio to 50% or 80%. Its good thing. As java, it runs smoothly as java application on any operating system. Pls don't expect it to work on native mobile operating systems so soon. But sooner or later on Android and iphone. May be on Symbian if it exist till the time! ;)

4. Use online proxy servers to browse sites you want.

I hardly use 4th option. I preferred to use 3rd, 2nd mostly. It depends on what is need. I feel 1st is handy for Windows, while 2nd and 3rd are cool to work on any OS.

Cheers!! And enjoy your freedom of speech, sharing, browsing and enjoying!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Jai Shivaji - Paris. Gare de Nord

People of India knowns many kings of India who fought against British Emperor to keep their home land safe from Britishers (while many kings who changed their color by joining British). One of the great Maratha king - Chhtrapati Shivaji Maharaj ( was one of the biggest rival for Britishers in early 18th century. Full historical name as Shivaji Shahaji Bhosale founded the Maratha emperor which became one of the largest in 17th century . I studied it all in history book. Seen in many motivations movies on king Shivaji and his bravery to challenge Mogal Emperor, Aadilshaha and Nijamshaha to forbid them while entering his home land. Well, its still unfortunate that, King Shivaji's birthday is celebrated two times a year because historical data indicates one date and another political party says its some other date. Its still controversy!

Here goes our story. It was about 10.30pm, Paris, near Gare de Nord. I was looking for nice India hotel for dinner. I knew Sarvanabhavan is good place to have dinner but wasn't sure if it would be still open till 11pm to serve me food. I decided to try and turned my way towards the hotel.

As usually, place was little crowded due to its famous typical India food. I took a place as service tambhi pointed the table. I ordered for North India thali and was doing some pass time on mobile. Three drunkards in their mid 50s with bottle of rhum in pocket drinking while sitting on next table brought my attention. They were shouting something in their local language and sometimes in French. Neither of them was known to me but i was just guessing what they are talking. One of them was too drunk. Other one was trying to keep him in control. I washed my hands and got refreshed and took my seat again.

Conversation started as they started talking to me in their local language or French. At that time I could't guess exactly what language it was. So was the condition and the way to throw words from mouth with smell of whisky and rhum (Thanks my dinner was not on table!!).

I said politely (its better to be polite with drunkard at first conversation) , "je ne pas parle francaise! (I do not speak French) or the language you are speaking!" . I had habit of speaking phrases in mixed French+English when I don't know what to call it in French.
Other guy who was less drunk, asked me in English,"You speak English"
I said, "Yes, I speak English, Hindi and Marathi and little little French but do not understand French. I am Indian."
Reply,"Oh good! ce bon. We Indian."
I just said, "Good."  Hoping to end the conversation.
Now the drunkard said,"Where from India?"
I: "Bombay, Mumbai , Maharashatra"
drunkard: "Ce bon. I know. bon place. oui"
Little smile and reply, "Good. nice"
Drunkard: You know, king Shivaji of Maharashtra. Great king. Come to Tunjawar in Tamilnadu. Good person and king. Fought with British. bla bla bla (something in Tamil, Telgu or malayalum or French)
Less drunk drunkard: Its nothing. He is drunk too much. no problem. its fine.
I: Yes, Great king. I respect king Shivaji.

Well now, hotel waiter was worrying that drunkards are making me uncomfortable and its causing harm to reputation of hotel. He came asked 3 of them to leave the place. Again, the conversation was in their local language and I had no clue what they are trying to say. Less drunk man spoke to me, my friend is too much drunk. Its OK.

Drunkard was happy to common known and interest from Indian.
He said, "Jai Shivaji. Great king. He fought with British. I no speak English. I not like British. French is Ok. "
I: "Yes, British did lot of bad things in India... bla bla .. Shivaji is great!"

Waiter was bringing my dinner and i had stop further talking with drunkards. Anyways, Tambi (the waiter) came in and pulling drunkards to gate. He had to do it to save reputation of place.
I said,"Merci, Au revoir." (Thanks, good bye)
Drunkard was just shouting,"Its no problem. Our friend Shivaji. Jai Shivaji !! bla bla"

I waved my hand while the leaving from main door to good bye.

Its just coincidence but few kings made great impacts on society. Well, Tanjavor was never a home land of king but he ruled the province with equal respect as to his home place. Thats makes the great kings. Shivaji was never called himself a Ruler or dictator. He was kind of people. People loved him and they were ready to dye for him! That was Maratha Kingdom! But as Indian kings keep on fighting with each other and leading to ultimate victory to British Emperor.

I still feel, most worst thing of history of wars was "Battle of Plassey"  ! What a shame was it!

Story or incidence is real but there is no record of what happen and who were those drunkards while shouting "Jai Shivaji!"

Sunday, February 12, 2012

How to make rice in microwave oven? and in jungle with fire?

Its more practical guide to make Rice (French: Riz)! Rice being majorly consumed food item in world, its interesting to know how to cook rice properly and easiest way.
You will say there are many ways to do it. I would list some of them:
  1. Pressure cooker
  2. Steamer
  3. On electric stove
  4. Microwave oven
  5. In Jungle with fire
Most of people know first 3 methods to do it. Its very normal and widely used ways to cook rice. I would like to focus on something which is not very explored or known.

Now a days, availability of oven is more easy then a gas stove or electric stove for cooking. I had problem with my electric stove and I had to use oven and temporary electric stove for cooking my dinner. Here is procedure to follow for cooking rice.

Step 1.
For Microwave oven, you have to have oven-compatible vessels or utensils which can be used to cook stuff in oven. Usually crockery and some specific glasses are used but they get hot when used in oven and so not the best option to use. Its good to see yourself and understand what is good to use for cooking in oven. 
Make sure utensil is made from recyclable plastic of type 5 and symbol of oven indicating it can be used for oven with allowed limit of temperature mentioned on back. usually, 100C-120C is enough on high side. 

Step 2.
Clean the utensil. Make 1 cup measure of rice and put it in utensil. Make sure quantity of rice taken to cook is 1/4 of total volume capacity of the utensil. Clean the rice and rinse the utensil until you see transparent water.

Step 3.
Add 2X quantity of water in utensil. This means, you have to have two measures of water. Use measure tool (glass or cup or mug) to make sure water quantity is enough to go while cooking rice.

Step 4:
Add 1 tea spoon on salt.
Add 3-4 tea spoon of oil
Mix the solution with water and steer up the utensil. 

Step 5:
Keep utensil as it is in microwave oven! Set timer to 20 minutes and take your seat. Wait for oven alarm to see if rice is cooked. I 'm sure this should be enough. I myself tried and tested the method and It was the best way to do it.

Now, we will see how we can do similar things in jungle when you don't have any utensil or the oven or any electric stove. Don't be surprized, its vey much possible and can be easily done. 
I assume you need to have: Rice, water, cloth, match stick and some dry wood to make fire.

Take a thick cloth which should be thick enough to avoid any soil particles to go inside.
Make the cloth wet enough to hold lot of water.
Wash rice and put in cloth
Dig the ground about 50-60cm
Pour some water inside. Make it hold some water
Now keep packed cloth inside dig.
Put wet soil on cloth and put some extra water below.
Set fire to wood on same place. Keep it for 1 hours.

Mostly, rice should get cooked if its enough water to stream up. I never tried second method but yes it works. You have put salt after cleaning the cooked rice. Hope it works. I would like to experiment this sometime.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Brussels Trip

For regular info on city and what to see:

Here is my experience and way to see city. Some great person said, experience  is best teacher so people don't understand until they try and experience it. Its worth learning. :)

Recently I planned a trip to Brussels (or Bruxxeles in French). Its interesting to see and understand the spirit of the city and its culture! It was middle of Jan'2012. It wasn't cold enough to snow or warm enough to be sunny. But weather was just OK to go out. I guess, that was still best weather for Brussels as its said to be mostly raining with bad weather.
I started journey from Paris at 9am. Reached to Gare de Midi / Brussel-Zuid. Names are confusing but the city has protocol to write all names in French as well as in Dutch. Its confusing for tourist but you will understand the protocol very soon. Most of people also speak English. Here most of people means almost 90%, while 80% are said to be French speaking and small portion with 20% Dutch speaking. Its good that 100% population knows more then 2 languages. Either of French or Dutch is must and English is secondary. I observe lot of Muslim originated population so naturally they also speak Arabic or Urdu. However preference of language is more natural and easy to change unlike Paris. Parisian love their language and don't prefer to change it unless its really needed. In fact, only 50-60 Parisian may be knowing English well. Rest of them keep using some of French common words in English. No wonder 30% of English and French have same vocabulary. Brussels is better in that context.

Brussels is full of tram ways. All over the road and each main route connecting various site-seeing places and town place, its all filled up with dense network on tramways and their wires pulled over the building around the tram way. But its still interesting to maintain the city traffic signals for tram, metro, bus and private transport. My experience with tram was not so great as 1 or 2 times in 2 days journey, I (along with all passengers) was asked to go out of tram as it was not functional due to some technical reason. Be careful, no such announcements are made in English. It only happens in French and Dutch. Tram-ways are spread all over the sub-urban areas and you could end up at unknown strange place if you try to just roam around the place so be careful before to take the tram.
Ticket rates are interesting. If you take ticket in bus, it will cost 1.80 Euro while if you take before entering in bus, it will cost 1.70Euro. logically its good policy to reduce pain for driver. Transport system is good and they have short planes to go for 2-3 days duration. I prefer to understand complete thing as native citizen so I could understand the core part of living in city. Metro lines in Brussels are very limited. Roaming around in tram is best way to explore the city. I would suggest the same if someone is visiting the town for couple of days.

Arabic Bangla-deshi professor and Muslim teachings:
As I got in to the metro, i saw a guy with Indian look and pyjamas walking on platform. There was drama going on with police and girl who didn't had ticket. I was wondering why girl is lying on platform while police were trying to wake her and let her go. It was strange but I didn't bother much as police were doing their job. As metro approached , I got into and found decent place to gather my way and direction of metro. Guy in pyjamas got place next to me. I thought to check on my direction with him.
"Hello, I want to go to Atomium, is it right direction?"
"This is metro 6 but there is tram which i know"
I was little confused to believe the strange so easily. He asked me,"Are you from India".
I said, "Yes. But I think train is in opposite direction."
Pyjama guy said,"Yes, you are on wrong direction. Don't worry. I will tell you best way to reach."
I said, "How do you know I am India"
Pyjama guy: I'm from Bangla desh and I live here.
I said, "Oh good! So you should be speaking Hindi ?"
Now Bangladeshi said, Yes, I do. Accha hai.

I could easily understood, he is Muslim and is good guy to rely for direction. I felt little good when he said he speaks Hindi. Its little weird to find someone who speaks Hindi at so far place.
Its wasn't so difficult to discuss after that. We discussed the city and its way of living. He said, he is professor in Arabic college where they teach Muslim history and culture. I understood the city and immigration happening from Middle-East Asia to Europe. Ottoman had huge effect on Europe. I gather info needed and moved my way to tram 7 to reach Hyzel station to see Automium.

Spirit of City: Manneken Pis
Status of little boy pissing with cute costume. Its very near from Grand Place. Just roam around and follow direction on road to get to see him. This status is surrounded by many small gift shops and waffles shops.
There are many stories around this little kid pissing. Some one said, witch converted the boy to statue as he was pissing on her palace. Others said, he is some price who is pissing on army who had lost the war against some enemy.
People of Brussels follow same spirit of pissing on road after drinking lot of beer without caring for the city's cleanliness. City have good architecture but not as good as Paris!

Atomium: 1958 Science exposition :
Its large structure representing atomic structure. Its allowed to go on top flor. Its nice view to the city from top. You should not miss it. You have to take metro line 6 from Gare de Midi. OR Tram way 7 going toward Hezel.

European parliament:
Brussels has been more famous for European meetings and other international peace meetings. Its interesting to visit parliament. If you are European or hold residence of European country, you can attend the session of parliament if want to. Don't forget to carry your identity card for visit. But its not open on weekend so i couldn't visit it.

Grand Place:
Its nice old road with grand square with grand buildings surrounding. Right in center of the town. You can reach by walking from central Brussels metro station. This place is nice to have food. There is small lane nearby where you can easily find some Italian and crepary to have quick food. Its worth a try with price they offer with quality. I had nice lunch here. Its open most of time in late afternoon 4pm so no problem on time.

I gathered special chocolates of Belgium from Marconi. It was nice trip for a weekend. There is always lot of things to see, understand and learn more while exploring the world !!! Just open up your mind. :)