Sunday, August 14, 2011

2011: Onwards to Ahupe

We left the village of Aghane for another village called Ahupe. These are 2 of the 56 villages in Ambegaon Tahsil. Ahupe is a tiny village in the Mahadev Koli tribal area of Pune district.

We were traveling to visit the "sacred groves" of this area. These are patches of forest protected by local tribal's in the name of a deity that presides over the grove. There are places you may walk through and  places you may not step on.

Ten young villagers have started documenting the bio diversity of there grove. There are 2808 sacred groves in Maharashtra. They are called Devrai....

                        A view of the sacred grove in Ahupe in the foggy morning....

        This was a place we couldn't step into because of the special plants growing there. And we were warned about this.

                  The grand plateau in the highest region of Ahupe ghat smothered in monsoon clouds.

                                  Another view of the plateau and the steep fall..

                                  The beginnings of waterfalls visible as we travel away.

                           A solitary house on the rocky plateau in the Ahupe ghat.

                         Another panorama view of the valley from the Ahupe ghat.

                     These black rocks yield limestone pieces. Seen here are members of our group.

Breaking the rocks in the previous photo gave us rock like these.These are limestone rocks and it would be interesting to find out why these are found here.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

2011: Aghane Village

Our next  stop on the field trip was at the Aghane village comprising of 16 households totaling 81 people. The villages Ahupe, Pimpargane, Aghane, Doni and Nhaved are spread along the top of the Sahyadri ranges, in the Western Ghats in the Ambegaon block of Pune district. These places have an annual rainfall of 3500 - 4000 mm.

I was there with a group of 30 people on such a monsoon rainy day. The villagers kindly allowed as to sleep in the school hall. They even prepared simple home style dinner for us.....
Some typical houses of the village. The place where we stayed was similar to the large dwelling in the background and u can see it was very cold and foggy;  something we never experience in Mumbai.

                                                                  The neighboring house.

 Next morning getting ready to leave in the bus, after a wonderful repast of delicious Pohe and sweet tea, I clicked this through the bus entrance.  Can u spot who i spotted ?

Leaving the village descending the mountain the next morning. This was the view at 8 am.....

Friday, August 12, 2011

2011 : Net pens, Fish Breeding and the Dimbhe Dam

This  was at the Dimbhe Dam on the Ghod river, Ambegoan, 92 kms from Pune. The river begins in the Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary in the Sahyadri hills. Nineteen dam-displaced villages are situated around the reservoir having an average fishing area of 1,278 hectares. 

The villager's right to fish in the Dimbhe Dam came after a struggle led by Kusum Karnik , co founder of Shashwat Trust. The reservoir is under the control of local tribals and fishing at the dam is managed by the community.

We climbed to the higher side of the dam to have a look at the fish breeding.

                   "Net Pens" set up for fish breeding on the banks of the Dimbhe reservior.
  A distance shot of the huge reservoir. The gross storage for Dimbhe is 13.5 TMC (382.06 Mcum) and area submerged at Full Reservoir Level (FRL) is 2202 hectares.
                                 Net Pen details with assorted infrastructure required.
Local man explaining the usage of the Net Pens.....There were many net pens begin managed here and one could walk around them.
  One more close up of the Net Pens. Jumping on the one of the walking areas often made   the entire thing undulate in the water alarming unsuspecting people seriously looking at the fish. Where upon u looked else where sort of pretending u had nothing to do with it.
Way up from the reservoir on our way into the hills, this was a view from a solitary house belonging to one of the villagers.
            Undulating road going up into the hills towards our next stop. It was raining through out the trip.
The red and yellow state transport buses have been the life line for the villagers reaching into the remotest    corners of the state. One such in operation.....

   Somewhere at the top we had this outstanding panorama view of the Ghod river snaking through the valley.

 Another view with different shades of green. Couple of steps further and there was a sheer fall into the river. Its a good thing i know swimming...
                                              This isn't me but the scenery is wonderful.
                                       This is me and the scenery still remains wonderful.....:-)
                                    The tyranny of monsoon clouds changing the whole picture.
                                         Further down the road and the wild flowers return.
                           This has been clicked from a moving bus later on in the evening.....

       The actual Dimbhe Dam. There are several villages towards the left side further down not in  this photo.