Am heading to the Simhasta Kumbh ( an event held only once in 12 years) and the vineyards of Pause Wines.( creators of somras) at Nashik. ( a story 5000 years old lies hidden in the name)
( their slogan is Life can Wait)
Have traveled to the region before and written about it too. Do check out : Pune: Capital of the Peshwas ( http://www.travelwithmukul.wordpress.com) and Forest of the Clouds.
The attire and clothes of people are so interesting and unique. Gandhi caps are rarely seen in any other part of India. Spotted these gentlemen watching a car being towed away.
While I had read a bit about the main event, the Kumbh and done a bit of homework, what took me by surprise was the magic that unfolded enroute to Nashik .
It was one of the most enchanting journeys I have undertaken by road in recent years. The camera kept clicking as there was excitement every minute. I think the car driver must have sworn never to travel with me again as I requested him to stop repeatedly as i hopped out of the car to take pictures.
I share the journey with you.
The entire route has breathtaking sites of villages. mountains and rivers .
The western ghats reveal the gorgeous black volcanic rocks of the Deccan plateau and of an era when dinosaurs once ruled the land.
Mountains, a village , a bridge and the river that descends from the mountains.
What took me by surprise were the pomegranate fruit orchards which line the highway. It took my breath away . I had never seen pomegranates being cultivated. The red van i had seen at the start of the trip was only the teaser.
For me it was sheer Magic unfolding . Pomegranates are not endemic to India. It is said they were introduced by the first Mughal King Baber ( 700 years ago) from modern Kandahar in Afghanistan.
Am sure he would have nearly fallen off his horse on this magical 200 km long drive.
What a sight.. fruit orchards along a highway. Can you match it..
The little red truck had unveiled the magic of Pomegranates.
As I sign off , keep a watch out as this is only Chapter 1 of the drive, let alone the destinations.
Cheers ( do google the book ) to Baber ( Mughal King and my friend: do read on the Jaipur Literature festival in http:// http://www.travelwithmukul.wordpress.com to know more) and Pomegranates.