Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Day Trip to Baramati

I had to visit a few villages around Baramati on work. We left Mumbai at 7:30 AM in a Ford Fiesta car. For a diesel powered vehicle, the car was very refined and powerful. We were touching 140 kmph on the expressway, before we requested the driver to keep it to a more comfortable 120!

We had some little work at Nigdi, just before Pune. Unfortunately, because of this work, we had to drive right through Pune city. The narrow roads, and traffic, meant that it was a good hour and a half before we reached Hadapsar, on the outskirts of Pune city. We then took the Solapur road for about 50 kms, before turning right to Morgaon village, passing Supa village on the way.

The drive from the turn off on Solapur road was through a fantastic scenery of dry, rolling grasslands and scrub. I could spot the usual suspects of this kind of habitait amongst the avian population - Bee Eaters, Roller, Drongoes. This was very different from the green sugarcane fields lining both sides of the Solapur Road, in the clearing around one of which I spotted a pair of Red Wattled Lapwings.

We stopped at Morgaon to pick up our local contact, and then visited a few villages around Baramati. Lunch was a traditional Maharashtrian thali at a restaurant located in a lane in Baramati. The lane was typical of small town India - narrow, dusty road with a plethora of vehicles and pedestrians, flanked by old, two - storey houses with a shopfront.

The highlight of the visit was at our last call at Korale village. This village has an old temple, with fine stone carvings. In front of the temple were a couple of old, large banyan trees. It really made for an evocative sight.

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