To make the best of the long weekend around Republic Day, we decided to do a road trip to Sindhudurg. This post is picture heavy because pictures speak a thousand words! :-)
The drive was lovely meandering through the mountains and sugarcane fileds....
Fiery red chillies that go into making the fiery Kolhapuri masala, in Kolhapur.
All along the way we saw tractors loaded with sugarcane on their way to sugar mills.
Shreeyog Paryatan- our home-stay in Padave village in Sindhudurg district.
It was surrounded by mango, cashew and coconut trees
Mr and Mrs Kadam, our lovely hosts. Their only son, Lt.Col. Manish Kadam, was martyred in 2008 in Kashmir while fighting militants and was awarded the Kirti Chakra. In spite
of their loss, they exude such inspiration, love and warmth. They treated us like their own children, asking us what we would like to eat, and giving us all the possible help and
information. While leaving Aunty gave me a huge hamper with Malwani masala, thalipeeth flour, home grown raddish, raw bananas, mustard greens and what not...and both of them said "Come back as our daughter and not as a tourist". They are so large hearted. We feel blessed having met them.
Sunrise from our room..
Our hosts' vegetable garden. They grow all kinds of vegetables and fruits. We saw chickoo, raddish, brinjals, mustard, spinach, etc
Narrow village roads...just a hair's breadth between 2 vehicles...
Market in the village with fresh produce...
We took a ferry from Malwan to reach the Sindhudurg fort.
Approaching the Sindhudurg fort which was built by my childhood hero Shivaji maharaj, on the ‘Kurte' island...I remember our History teacher narrating tales of Shivaji almost bringing him to life with her narration. I would open the text book only to discover that the details that she gave were her own research and none of it was in the text book!!
It took 500 stone splitters and stonebreakers, 200 blacksmiths, 3000 laborers and hundreds of skilled artists who toiled very hard to complete this fort in a short span of three years.
The floor of the entrance....
The main entrance is concealed in such a way that no one can spot it from outside. At a time when Samudra Gaman (travelling by sea) was banned by scriptures, this construction on an island represents the revolutionary mindset of its engineer.
The zigzag pattern of outer wall was built so that the enemy would be visible from any point inside the fort and the troops inside could fire their guns and cannons effectively.
The ancient Hanuman temple at the entrance....
One of the best preserved forts of the Marathas, the 48 acre Sindhudurg fort has a four kms long zigzag line of 9 meters high and 3 meters wide rampart with 42 bastions.
Inside the fort there are three wells for drinking water, which is a nature’s marvel as the sea surrounds the fort on all four sides.
Inside the fort....
The massive walls were designed to serve as a deterrent to approaching enemies and to the waves and tides of the Arabian Sea.
From where Shivaji's army scanned the seas for enemies..
Shivaji's hand print cast and preserved in limestone. I was surprised that it's just a little bigger than my own palm!! Inside the fort there is also the only temple dedicated to Shivaji, where he is worshipped as the deity. On display is the first sword used by Shivaji, an 'ekdhari' (sharpened only on one side), and measuring 4 feet. The handle was intricatelycarved. Photography was prohibited inside.
The steps were very steep. May be Shivaji's men were very tall!
The foundation stones were laid down firmly in molten lead and were tested by putting them in boiling water to check for endurance.
On the way to the fort, there was brisk business even on the water..!!
We had finger-lickng awesome Malwani food at our home-stay. Too bad that we are vegetarians as sea food is the actual Malwani speciality.
We were treated to sumptuous Malwani food which we devoured admiring the garden as the birds chirped away!
Next day we went to the Tarkarli beach- exactly my kind of beach...with no people around..!!
Can you spot the little crab?
Apparatus to break coconuts like a pro...
I thought it's better for me to draw something in the comments book, because the hosts would have a hard time deciphering my handwriting.
We returned home at sunset...