goa dec13-jan14 : day 23 – lakes palaces queens lost temples & wildlife in maharashtra

goa suidger 2

as we woke outside our window two squirrels where having a turf war over a tree . comical . there where lots of them all over the trees . quite disinct twin stripes down there back , not as big as uk squirrels

breakfast was indian style next to the lake at ‘lake view restaurant’ . good food again

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while we ate the gas man did his rounds . suprisingly not from a bike or cart lol

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one thing they have which i love is a huge air raid siren which we heard last night . we heard it again at 6am this morning , after asking people apprarently it sounds at 6am , 12 noon and 9pm . I thought it might sound prayer time , but we found out it was just something traditional they do to help people keep time ! they must value time , alongside the lake there is a clock tower which has different numbers , some like 1,2 and 3 where normal looking , but others where indian numerics . so our mission today was visit the royal palace , and look for a lost temple and stepped pond . the royal palace was easy , it is located on the edge of the lake with stunning views across . there is a grand gated entrance and it costs 200r per person for a guided tour in english .

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inside the gated entrance is the main building , with a few cannons for protection ! the arched features remind me of hampi’s royal elephant stables

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this was our guide . the palace is about 350 years old .

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once inside there is a collection of artifacts such as the sole rare cat they found and killed which was grim , the original throne , and tons of history on the building with so many old family photographs .

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we where shown how they still make traditional game cards [which you can buy lol]

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various other parts and wings of the building , in and out of levels and rooms

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past the gun the idiots maybe used to kill that cat , a wooden chandelier which was cool

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had a meeting with the queen mother herself who became quite shy when i asked if i could take her picture which she was more than happy to oblige

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and back out past the semi circular tiered grounds which probbaly hosted gatherings overlooking the lake

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and out of the palace back to the main road adjoining the lake

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we left sawantwadi to head to find a lost temple in a random off the grid village . thought it would be easier to find but when roads end without a reason , and where people dont speak english [or rather we dont speak indian] , it can be a challenge especially in mid afternoon heat to say the least . we parked up knowing we where fairly close to our indian jones style temple mission as the road ended at water . to be honest we had a right result – it was a small river , lower than it would be in monsoon , but full of life . a man was just arriving with his herd of buffalo to give them their bath !

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a small river boat runs accross the river for the locals

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i know he is a MH funded local service , but we still gave him some extra pocket money to take us over . to be gliding over the water with all the buffalo surrounding us was a moment , total peace and tranquility . couldve grabbed some beers and sat in his boat for the whole day . maybe next time . the guy is really friendly too , his names is santos . got a lot of time for these type of non tourist orientated locals , there is no agenda apart from inquisitive friendship .

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once over the river there was a harsh reminder of how lucky we forget we are in life . one thing they do have is a priceless smile . so wished we had some xmas presents left for the kids here , they have so much less than the goan kids we ave them all too .

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we walked past the tent village of homeless people towards the tiny town centre where even the locals shelter from this blistering heat , there is little cool breeze not being on the coast .

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and had to stop for a drink . bonus , stumbled over a tiny shop where this woman beckoned us in for food too . these things where pretty much all she made so we got some , absolutely gorgeous and 8rps each , plus 2 extra each for the soft just made fresh bun . 10 rps total , would have payed more quite easily . i guess they are called ‘aloo ___ ‘ something or other mmmmm . a newspaper was the plate on the table , and drinks and food was ordered thru sign language mostly πŸ˜‰

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after sweating off the lbs and eating it was onwards past the beauty parlour lol , and what i think was a school house

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and asked about 20 people trying to find and english speaker to get a point towards the temple . bikes and people went past , shouted or stopped and u-turned to take another look ! each person we asked vaguely pointed in a new direction , nobody had a clue what we wanted haha , but we eventually arrived … however it was this new temple we had got to , not the old one .

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after another sweating session , more pics, more drinks , i spotted a young kid who i thought might speak english , he called a few of his mates over , and between several of us they pieced together what i was looking for , the lost temple . then we got talking to a guy in a blue top who offered to take us there . he was amazed we where there really and wanted to know our story . we struck lucky – what a top bloke he turned out to be , his name was hasan and he became our guide for the next hour or two taking us past wells , goats , mosques and colourful houses [his sisters] to our lost temple .

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happy days – found it ! it was where i had orig pinpointed it , but after being guided all round the houses via the new temple we eventually got to it . clearly people do not ever visit here for the old place

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in the main door led to a pitch black room with a ceiling full of bats – previously seen in the abandoned seema hotel in agonda jungle and also the abandoned hotel hidden on vagator hill [both previously documented in my blog use the search box at top of page] . its amazing the picture of the domed room , it looks like an eye !

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LISTEN TO BATS : short clip

had a good look round , learned lots from hasan who spoke superb english , one of the only people in the village . we got so lucky here , thanks hasan . when i asked about the walls he said horses used to go in the vaulted parts , i presumed they would be used to pray in ? they seemd to small to fit a horse so i presume it was to eat perhaps . the temple was really being reclaimed by the jungle and swallowed back up . makes you wonder why they arent looking to preserve something like this , as adventurous tourists and backpackers would come to visit if they even knew about something like this .

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the last thing on our agenda was the stepped tank , and hasan took us here too when we asked about it , it was quite close . awesome awesome awesome ! suggested to hasan if he ever got bored he should put what we came for into a guided package trip around his town , we had a great afternoon .

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we learned much , including how the river has an ancient underground water link that replenishes this tank , and so the height of the water is dependent on the river height . also they would go into the lake to clean themselves of their sins then pray in the small enclosed rooms .

this is hasan …. *THANKS MATE* – you made our day even more special πŸ˜‰

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this is a panoramic widescreen shot

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if anyone is interested in making this visit i have hasans details so can maybe put you in touch . at end of our mission we had to get more drinks , but he refused any money point blank , he said “i wanted to show you our town and our hospitality , i dont want money” . i asked him a few more times , almost forced him to take something for his time , but the only thing he took was a ice cold coke as we where leaving and dripping in sweat , what a genuine cool guy . on the way to the temple all the villagers kept shouting over and asked who we where , why we where there and what was going on . the adventure had been all that and more , not another white face for days .

and so we trecked back , past the mosque ,

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thru town ,

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past the dried fish and the chickens on death row

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and arrived back to the river to get santos boat back to our bike . when we arrived more action was happening , bison bathing , kids washing their dog , a bloke doing his washing , a guy taking a bath , kingfishers on our boat , fish , other birds and wildlife – the river was alive and everything interacted in harmony … men – dog – bison craps in water – fish eat crap – kingfisher eats fish ….

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this village almost came to half a standstill when we arrived , we even had villagers seeing us off when we left on the river , I think it was more a blonde girl was there to be honest . special times , great people .

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amazing india

eventually left maharashtra and arrived back into the state of goa . the day had been so perfect we didnt want anything to spoil it and so played it dead safe and went to one of our favs for dinner – Jamie’s in baga . had chicken wings and tomato soup for starters , and steak and spinach ricotta lasagna for mains . mrs robster said the soup was as good as she makes at home , and she makes a mean soup lol

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couple of things , sakana is still the best steak ive had in goa , and jamies STUNK tonite [the smell not the dining!] . there was this absolutely minging raw sewage smell coming from the opposite side fo the street . ive seen a few others mention this so clearly they have some local issue going on that needs sorting asap , it almost made us leave it was that bad . urghh ! thankfully the food and service where as good as usual . clean toilets and towels too which is nice πŸ˜‰

and after there did a u-turn back to anjuna and went to cafe lilleput on anjuna beach for drinks . was pretty busy with a loud party happening , the 500 a night charge had stopped now Xmas/NY over and we drank lots and got wasted eventually back in at 3am but barely remember much . very happy at a perfect successful well planned trip into maharashtra . love it .

cafe lilleput goa 2

cafe lilleput goa 1

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6 Responses to goa dec13-jan14 : day 23 – lakes palaces queens lost temples & wildlife in maharashtra

  1. allie517 says:

    Thanks for that. Enjoy reading your trio reports. Inspired me to venture further afield. Is karnataka doable from agonda by bike? Thanks again

    • tharobster says:

      yes the borders not far away , but its also a big place . depends whre in KA . search place in google , click maps , click directions , add place name it will show you the route and time . thanks for that , and enjoy!

  2. Allie Conway says:

    Hi. could you tell me where you get your maps from please?need a detailed map of agonda/palolem area. ordered one last year but not enough detail.

    Thanks

    • tharobster says:

      hi best by far is either :

      google – click maps at top
      wikimapia – change map types top right

      more you zoom in , more points of interest ‘appear’

      for tourist landmarks try http://www.findall-goa.com/Maps/Anjuna/Anjuna.htm and change towns

      wouldnt pay its all online , if in google you can press ‘print screen’ on keyboard , create new ‘.bmp’ bitmap/paint file , then ‘paste’ and ‘save’ , or/and print .

      hope it works for ya πŸ˜‰

      • allie517 says:

        Thanks for that. Really enjoy ur trip reports. They have inspired me to go further afield and to get away from touristy places. Is karnataka doable from agonda on a bike? Thanks again

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