The Petroglyphs of Konkan: A window into an ancient world

The Petroglyphs of Konkan: A window into an ancient world

India is home to a plethora of marvellous ancient architecture, art, and craft depicting fascinating artistry, which has withstood the test of time. Many of these wonders are yet to be fully understood. Some of the fascinating ancient ruins are full of thousand-year-old mysteries that offer a riddle to their spectators. Petroglyphs, the magnificent rock carvings, is one of the spectacular ancient art forms. Petroglyphs are one of the significant discoveries of recent times. The discovery of more than 1,000 rock carvings, in the districts of Ratnagiri and Rajapur in Maharashtra opens a window into an ancient world. Archaeologists believe that the Petroglyph could be 10,000 years old.

Local enthusiasts, Mr. Sudhir Risbud, and his two companions were the first to bring Petroglyphs to light. This was the result of almost six years of consistent efforts taken by them. These carvings depict a variety of images of animals, birds, human figures, and geometrical designs. It is expected that these Petroglyphs would provide an insight into the early history of the Konkan region.

Petroglyphs:

Petroglyphs are one of the prehistoric forms of art carved into the flat, open laterite rock surface/ laterite plateau. These Petroglyphs found in the districts of Ratnagiri and Rajapur depict numerous variety of images. They are mainly, animals, birds, aquatic Animals, Human Figures, Geometrical designs, etc.

 

Some of the petroglyphs depict rhinoceroses and hippos, two species that were never thought to be prevalent in this part of India. It raises various questions and doubts among the archaeologists studying petroglyphs. According to archaeologists, these petroglyphs, however, suggest that the Konkan may have once been a lot like the rainforests where these animals are typically found. Some of the rock carvings are life-size, for example, an elephant and tiger petroglyph at Kasheli in Ratnagiri district and some human figures.

Similar petroglyphs have been discovered in the Sindhudurg district, Usgalimal, south Goa, and Kollur, Karnataka. Other prominent petroglyph and rock art sites in India are the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh, rock carvings in Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, and petroglyphs from the Tindivanam and Villupuram districts in Tamil Nadu and Unakoti in Tripura.

The Significance of Petroglyphs:

According to State Archaeological Department, the discovery of Petroglyphs in the districts of Ratnagiri and Rajapur could open up a whole new chapter in the history of the Konkan region. Petroglyphs are very significant from the perspective of reconstruction of the history of Konkan. These Petroglyphs reveal various unknown facts such as how the man was, how he lived here etc. However the sites of Petroglyphs are at huge risk of being lost or damaged from road construction, tree plantation, mining, and erosion (human and natural).

 

Mr. Risbud, along with his companions has started convincing the local villagers about the importance of Petroglyphs, the sites, and the need to protect them. They have built a ring of bricks around the petroglyphs and have requested the land owners to build such boundaries protecting the sites. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporations has shown interest in developing some of the sites and converting them into a tourist circuit that would attract a lot of travellers and history lovers. 

Things to keep in mind while visiting Petroglyphs sites:

  1. The Petroglyphs sites must be well protected and conserved as they are the precious prehistoric forms of art.
  2. Do not visit the sites by yourself, as the Petroglyphs locations are on private lands. It is recommended to have a guide to show you the exact locations of the petroglyphs and help interpret carvings. One can contact the Ratnagiri tourism department or the local enthusiasts.
  3. Do not walk on any of the carvings as any human activity might cause irreversible damage to the carvings.
  4. Do not make any attempt to mark out the carvings of stone pens, chalks, or by some other method. It might cause damage to the carvings.
  5. Be aware of snakes and stick to the paths.

The petroglyphs are the hidden treasure, holding the secrets of the past.  Hence it is our responsibility to protect and preserve the ancient treasure. Do not miss to witness one of the marvellous prehistoric forms of art when in Konkan.

lohgad

One-day Treks Locations near Pune

One-day Treks Locations near Pune

As in many things, Punekars also take pride in the huge and historic forts that are located in the close vicinity around Pune. As each city has its tradition, Pune has the tradition of taking trekking tours to these forts over weekends. Though the number has lessened in some recent years, some of these forts attract huge crowds of youth from Pune. While we are afraid to start traveling again after the Pandemic, here we suggest you some of the extremely adventurous yet joyful treks for the trekker hidden inside you. All these 8 Treks are within 100 km from Pune, they all are amazing one-day destinations, especially in Monsoon. Just take some food and water with you, and let’s go to explore new terrains and experience the adventures we are missing out on for almost 2 years.

Lohagad Fort

Lohagad Fort can be the quintessential one-day destination for those all who seek weekend pleasure in various adventurous activities or treks. This lovable fort lies merely 66 km away from Pune and 11 km away from Lonavala. Easy to climb, readily approachable from Pune and Mumbai, and Ariel view of Pawna lake establishes itself to be very demanding in people of all age groups.

Sinhagad

The fort that has a very special place in heart of every Marathi person for its tragic history, is Sinhagad. Shivaji Maharaj renamed this fort “Sinhagad” after the loss of Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare while fighting for the victory, it was called “Kondana” earlier. Located 30 km from Pune, it offers a quick getaway from the city bustle despite the increasing commercialization.

Shivneri Fort

Another fort that is immensely popular amongst trekkers in Pune is Fort Shivneri for its close relevance to Shivaji Maharaj. Built in the era of Satavahanas, Shivneri Fort is the birthplace of Shivaji Maharaj and he spent his entire childhood here as well. Around 94 km away from Pune, this fort is situated near Junnar in the Pune district.

Tikona Fort

At a distance of 25 km from Lonavala and 53 km from Pune, Tikona Fort is said to be structured in the ‘Maval’ region. As the name suggests, this fort was constructed in a triangle shape and is situated near Pawna lake. Difficulty-wise, this Trek ranks on the easier scale and can be enjoyed with families, however beloved amongst trekkers from all over Maharashtra.

Rajgad Fort

Termed as Murumdev formerly, Rajgad served as the capital of the Maratha Empire for 25 years, before shifting to Raigad. Set at 54 km from Pune, this enormous fort acquires an area of 40 km at the base. Suvela Machi, Padmavati Machi, Balekilla, Pali Darwaza are some of the places on the fort that you would not want to miss at any cost while climbing up here.

Rajmachi Fort

Rajmachi Fort was strategically constructed to control the Borghat. Borghat is located between Khopoli and Khandala; that served as a trade route historically. Located at the distance of 15 km from Lonavala and 82 km from Pune, there are two routes to climb up the Rajmachi Fort, one from Lonavala and another from Karjat. However, it is advisable to take a Lonavala route for beginners. Camping is preferred here at night by many trekkers.

Visapur Fort

Built by the first Peshwa of the Maratha Empire, Balaji Vishwanath, Visapur Fort is 18 km away from Lohagad Fort. Being larger and having higher elevation than Lohagad Fort, Visapur Fort was constructed to guard the Lohagad Fort. Having two trekking routes, trekkers absolutely love this fort as it offers excellent panoramic views.

Tung Fort

Hardly 67 km from Pune and 24 km from Lonavala, Tung Fort was built by the Adil Shahi dynasty. Also known as Kathingad in Marathi, meaning “difficult fort”, it is actually difficult to climb up due to steep climbs and narrow routes. It offers stunning panoramic views of the Maval region, Pawna lake, Mulshi valley, Tikona Fort, Lohagad Fort, and Visapur Fort, this fort also served as a watchtower for many years.

Near Pune

‘Must-Visit’ Places around Pune(within 100 km)

‘Must-Visit’ Places around Pune(within 100 km)

The beautiful city of Pune! Want to look beyond the stunning skyline of the city? Don’t worry, The Oxford of East is gifted with the most amazing gateways and tourist destinations that will make your weekends special. There are a lot of places to visit near Pune under 100 km including spots with forts, alluring hill ranges, natural waterfalls, and various picnic spots which are perfect for your weekend getaways and family get together. While we prepare to welcome the rainfalls, we too are drawing up a list of places for you to visit with your kin.

Sinhagad Fort

Sinhagad Fort is situated atop a cliff on the Bhuleshwar range of the Sahyadris, about 36 kilometers southwest of Pune Sinhagad road. Sinhagad Fort, which means “Fort of the Lion,” has a long and illustrious history. It was originally captured by the Mughals before falling into the hands of the Marathas. Tanaji Malusare, a courageous Maratha warrior who fought alongside Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and helped him win the fort, eventually giving his life in the conflict, is honored here. After the defeat of Malusare, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj famously said, “Gad Ala Pan Sinha Gela,” and the fort was renamed Sinhagad. It has recently become a popular tourist destination, especially among trekkers and adventure seekers.

Lonavala-Khandala

Lonavala, a hill station near Pune and Mumbai which is extremely popular with hikers and trekkers, is undoubtedly one of the most popular places to visit within 64 kilometers of Pune mainland via Mumbai-Pune Highway. It is well-known for its medieval caves, spectacular forts, and splendid lakes. Sir Elphinstone discovered Lonavala in 1871, and it was previously known as Lonali, which means “surrounded by caves.” The Yadava dynasty originally dominated the sparsely populated hill outpost, which is surrounded by deep forest. The Mughals and Peshwas are responsible for the majestic forts’ existence. The territory near Khandala was dominated by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the first Maratha Empire. It was afterward ruled by the Peshwas. When the British vanquished the Peshwas, they took control of the city.

With its scenic valleys, grassy hills, serene lakes, and misty waterfalls, Khandala, perched on the foothills of the Sahyadri, offers an excellent weekend full of tranquility and places to discover.

Matheran

Known as the “forest on the forehead”, Matheran is merely 81 km away from Northwest of Pune. Your wonderful journey begins from Mote Mangal Karyalay Rd connecting to the main Mumbai-Pune Highway. It’s believed that Hugh Poyntz Malet, Thane district collector, discovered Matheran as a wonderful place in 1850. He was camping around the village Chowk when he paused on a hilltop for a drink of water from a spring that carries his name.
Matheran welcomes by stretching its arms of green mountains, scenic waterfalls, and tourist spots around the town for you to enjoy sunsets and sunrises. A place for you to click memories without the honking and flashing of cars. The most eco-friendly place in Maharashtra, Matheran has been free of pollution and vehicles for decades. A mecca for trekkers, your weekend will definitely have a series of fun trekking activities and tranquility from the panoramic scenery.

Pawna Dam

A paradise situated 40 km away from Mainland Pune city via Aundh – Ravet BRTS Road., Pimpri Chinchwad, Kamshet, and Pawannagar.
 An artificial lake built in 1974, Pawna Dam was built primarily to generate hydroelectric power and supplying water and since then, Pawna Dam has been a weekend getaway paradise.  The presence of various tourist attractions including Lohagad Fort, Tikona Fort, Tung Fort, and Visapur Fort adds to the beauty of the Pawna Lake setting. Its soothing ambiance makes it a lovely weekend getaway spot near Lonavala and Khandala.

Panshet

Established in the 1950s, Panshet and Panshet Dam is a charming tourist spot 40 km away from the southwestern region of Pune via Sinhgad Road. Earlier known as Tanajisagar Dam, Panshet is a perfect getaway to relax and soak in lush greenery and clear waterfalls. Panshet makes the list because of the various water sport activities that you can enjoy all year round. From banana boat riding to kayaking, this spot has everything. Surrounded by the alluring verdant hills, Panshet also offers you many hiking and trekking activities! A picnic spot suitable for all ages, Panshet is also a very picturesque place to enjoy camping with your family.

Mulshi dam

A green utopia situated 35 Km away from the Mainland of Pune via Paud Rd and Mulshi Rd/Mulshi-Paud Rd, Mulshi Dam is a hotspot to visit during Monsoons. The Paud Road route is the shortest. To get to Nandivali Road, use Paud Road, Mulshi Road, and Dattawadi Road/Lonavala Road west of Shivaji Road.
This marvelous destination has everything for you to enjoy in your monsoons. Blessed with magnificent mountains, Mulshi Dam is a splendid place to trek and camp overnight. You will always be surrounded by refreshing weather and a panoramic natural view.

Khadakwasla

The peak season of monsoon beautifies Khadakwasla to give you a memorable getaway. Just 20 Kms away from Pune mainland via Narveer Tanaji Malusare Rd/Sinhgad Road. Your monsoons are empty without hanging out by Khadakwasla. The dam was built on the Mutha River, which flows from the junction of the rivers Ambi and Mose, on which the Panshet and Varasgaon Dams are built, and the outflow from Temgarh Lake into Khadakwasla Lake via Temgarh Dam, which is located about 15 kilometres  north of Varasgaon Dam. The Khadakwasla backwaters are almost 22 kilometres  long, with widths ranging from 250 to 1,000 metres .With various destinations just a ride away, Khadakwasla is a picturesque spot to enjoy local eateries and watch the sunset.

With so many places to visit near Pune within 100 kms, weekends in this city will never be monotonous. There are diversified places which not only hold historic value dating back to centuries, but also have a tenacious religious importance as well. So matter what your quirk is, these tourist spots will cater to all.

Honeymoon couple

How to plan a perfect Honeymoon tour?

A honeymoon tour is a lifetime memory for all married couples. We all possess many expectations & imaginations about our dream vacation with our soulmate. The planning for a honeymoon tour should be perfect. Follow the suggestions given below to make your honeymoon tour memorable. These 13 tips on How to plan a perfect Honeymoon tour? will surely help you to enjoy your romantic trip without making some common mistakes

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Think about your dream destination

Decide on what experience you want to have. Take your life partner’s opinion into consideration. Where you want to go? Snow-clad mountains, sandy beaches, soothing backwaters, Cruise on the high sea, or lush green hill stations? Decide on this.How to plan a perfect Honeymoon tour?

Decide your budget

Before choosing any destination, finalize your tentative budget. Apart from just hotel booking and flight booking, there are many ad-hoc expenses. You should not compromise on your comfort and book lower category accommodations later just to fit your tour within budget.Budget

Finalize your tentative travel dates and duration

Before you start making your travel plan, decide travel dates and duration. This will help a lot while finalizing your destination. For instance, if your travel date is somewhere in July or August, you should not travel to south Indian travel destinations because of heavy rains in the region. Also, you should not plan for the Andaman trip if you only have 4 days in your hands as it is not possible to cover the important tourist attractions.

Decide your travel destination

Once you decide about your dream vacation, budget, travel dates, and duration, now you can decide your travel destination. You can choose your destination from within India or outside India. For example, if your dream destination was a beachside resort where you are relaxing with your partner, then you can consider Goa, Andaman, or Maldives, etc. as per your budget. If you had dreamt of lush green landscapes and you are all alone with your darling, you should decide to go to hill stations like Munnar, Ooty, Darjeeling, etc. 

Check local climatic & political conditions 

Once you decide on your travel destination, do not just process all the payments and blindly make all the bookings. Check current climatic and political conditions. It means that you should check if there is any natural disaster happening at the destination. For instance, Bali of Indonesia is always under the threat of volcanic eruptions. There are huge chances of flights getting canceled due to this natural calamity. So if you get an idea of such natural calamities in advance, this can save your money and efforts put into the booking process. Also, verify political conditions at the destination. If the destination is facing political, social unrest, and turmoil, better you should avoid traveling there.

Research the hotels properly before booking confirmation

As you are going on a leisure trip with your soulmate, your accommodation bookings should be simply perfect. Get an idea about booked room category, amenities & location from your travel planner, or visit the website of the property. This will help you in avoiding last-minute disappointments. Carefully check and book the accommodation which suits your budget and expectations.Checkin desk

Check for complimentary honeymoon inclusions being offered by resorts & your travel planner

Many resorts and hotels do offer complimentary inclusions or activities for honeymooners. Check with your travel planner or the property directly about these inclusions. For example, many resorts do offer 1 candlelight dinner, or 1-hour spa treatment, or a bottle of wine as a gift to newly married couples. You can avail these offers if you know about them.

Understand geography & demography before finalizing your itinerary

You should not finalize your itinerary without research. This may lead you into trouble. For example, when you go on a honeymoon trip to the Andaman Islands, you should not book a stay on day one at Havelock as it is almost three hours away from Port Blair and only a few ferries take you to Havelock per day. This may lead to mismanagement and wastage of a lot of time and money. Better, if you stay at Port Blair on day one and proceed to Havelock on day two will buy you some time to rest and relax at Port Blair. Similarly, when you are at Munnar, a minimum of two nights is required to explore all the sightseeing places at Munnar properly. Many times, people get the wrong advice and book only one night at Munnar. They end up only in traveling from one destination to another instead of relaxing and exploring the scenic landscapes.Destination

Don’t make your plan hectic

Just remember, you are on a leisure trip, where you want to spend some romantic moments with your life partner. Don’t make your plan hectic. Don’t try to cover an excessive number of tourist spots in a short time span. Instead, keep leisure time in your itinerary to relax so that you can spend quality time with your life partner. 

Make your flight bookings wisely

Don’t rush to book cheap air tickets. Instead, try to book flights which are reaching the destination earlier in the morning and departing in the evening while returning so that you can utilize both, first and last day. If available, try to book direct flights. If the direct flights are not available, at least try to book flights with lesser travel time. Book your seats in advance so that you will get seats beside each other.Air ticket

Book local transfers wisely

Booking local transfers in advance through a reliable travel planner can save you a lot of time & money. Don’t drag this point till the last minute of the travel. Book your transfers in advance.Cab

Keep local activities and meals on a direct payment basis

Local activities like watersports at Andaman or Skiing at Gulmarg on a direct payment basis. Due to local weather conditions, these activities may get canceled at the last minute. You may have to follow up multiple times with the local agent for refunds. Also, if you book activities locally, you can negotiate with the local agents and save some extra bucks. Just check the pre-requisites required for the local activities. For example, you should have a valid permit to travel to Nathu La pass, Gangtok & Rohtang Pass, Manali.

Special destination-specific experiences with your soulmate

Check if you can book your special experiences like beachside dinner or lake-side camping for your better half. Couple Dinner

You will enjoy your honeymoon tour if you follow these suggestions. Let us know your feedback if these points help you in tour planning.