30-Oct-2011: Today we wanted to wake up early and go and see the sun rise at some sun rise spot or something, but after yesterday’s tiring day we had to take it easy 🙂 Finally, woke up at 8:30 am and went to the resort cafeteria to have the breakfast. The weather was very good and we were looking forward for an eventful day. Today we had planned to explore this place a bit in the morning and were thinking of going for boat ride again in the evening if possible.
We got to know from resort staff that the total dam perimeter is around 25 km which can be circumvented by a decent road. There are many nice vista points along it and some other attractions as well. We were back to our room after heart-full breakfast and wrapped up our things and stepped out. There was no difficulty in finding the road as it starts close by from the place we were staying at and then you just make sure to not leave that road and you would be back to the point from where you had started. First we had to go bit uphill as we were on the other side of the dam which is off course lower down river bed. There we passed along the MTDC resort which had a majestic views of the backwaters, which temped us to come back some other time and stay there. But we were as happy with Yash!
This place is so nice, quite and calm as very few people visit it. We could hear the slow buzzing sound of the wind, the chirping of the birds and off-course in the background the soothing sound of waves. We stopped at couple of places to have great view of water with nice backdrop of hills. There were few big trees but mostly bushy grasslands which was a different topography which we liked. We then decided to enjoy the drive and take a break from stopping and taking pictures :). There is a different fun to drive on a vehicle less road and I was enjoying it. At some places along the backwaters there was rice farms and the sight of endless expanse of green carpet is always refreshing.
As we were just going around the perimeter we saw board for a diversion to a vista point. We decided to check it out. We had to scale the ghat section for it and then we reached a place which is like Mahabaleshwar or Lonavala, from where we got a great view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It was so windy up here that it was difficult to stand still there but we liked it a lot and spent lot of time there admiring the golden hued mountains. Then we hopped into the car again and descended and as we were about to hit the plains we got bit confused on which turn to take to return to our original route. After some deliberations we took a path we thought was the right one, but it ended in a dead end :).
But sometimes missing a turn can also be a good thing to happen. The road we took was going nowhere, but it ended on a beautiful spot which was just adjacent to the backwaters and there was a small vista point there with railings. We got on the platform of the railings and could here the waves hitting the stone walls and making a calming sound. We were lucky to have stumbled here and got some time to spend. Then we backtracked and got on the actual route and continued our journey along the coast. Some distance ahead we could see a temple and from where we were we could see it was quite old.
As we approached we could see the majestic temple in front of us. Its quite an old temple; at least 700-800 years old and called Amruteshwar temple. The architecture is hemadpanti and the carvings are fine and beautiful. The best part was a big courtyard with a turtle filled pond and the whole complex was just adjacent to the backwaters giving it a timeless appeal. After taking darshan and admiring the whole complex we spent some good time there sitting in the courtyard. From there we could see some forts like Ratan durg and I decided to be back here some time soon for a trek.
It was now over 1:00 pm and we were bit hungry. So we decided not to stop anywhere now and just enjoy the drive and see if we can find a good restaurant on the way to have lunch. Unfortunately there are not many good options here to eat out and we ended up going back to the resort. We were not sure if we would get anything as it was past lunch hour; but they managed to get something for us which was nice. Then we took a nice siesta and woke up late just in for tea time. Earlier on the way back while passing the Bhandardara village, I thought I had spotted another road to reach the waters and possibly a water sport/boating place. So after our evening snacks thought to explore that and as it was close by we decided to walk there. But it turned into a disappointment as it was a dead end and nothing there, so we returned back but decided to have a nice evening walk amongst the nature.
We were back at the resort by 6:30 pm and were quite tired. We took some rest, watched TV and then reluctantly headed out for dinner. We could see there were many guests sitting along the bon fire playing games, but we were just too tired and just headed to our room and hit the bed.