Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mandu Tritiya - The Journey Back!!

Day three of our trip to Mandu was again a relaxed morning, with Pooja, Simba and me off on an early morning walk exploring the ruins around our resort. The Dai ki Chotti behen ka makbara, the caravan serai and Dilawar Khan's masjid. Again the same story of Hindu and Mughal architecture, expansiveness, intricate designs. Wow!!

After completing our checking out formalities and delaying our departure with as many alibis, cups of tea and sandwiches, we decided to take a longer route back to Baroda. Go on the Dhar route for about 30 kms and then turn towards Indore Mumbai highway, took us through one of the most scenic routes we have been for a while, deep valleys, streams, greenery for about 20kms on a road on which one can cruise between 40-60 kph. An hour from Mandu and we hit the busy Indore-Mumbai highway at Dhamnod.

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Continued on from Dhamnod towards Thikri on NH-31, we crossed the Narmada, us driving southbound to Thikri 5kms away.
The Narmada at Kalghat, Thikri
At Thikri, we turned eastwards towards Barwani and on to Kukshi. The drive from Thikri to Barwani took us along the Barwani Sugar Mills and a whole lot of sugarcane farms along the route. These sugarcane farms then gave way to cotton and chillies being dried. Stopped enroute where Pooja picked up her momento from the trip - a bag full of dried red chillies.
The white is cotton being dried

Pooja with her red chillies

From Barwani we again turned northbound to cross the Narmada about 50kms downstream from the Kalghat crossing.

Maa Narmada at Barwani

The Bridge over Narmada
Another 30kms and we reached Kukshi, from where we were back on the same Kukshi - Alirajpur - Chotta Udepur - Pavi Jetpur stretch. Given the poor stretch at Bodeli, we decided to take the inside route from Pavi-Jetpur to Jambhughoda by-passing Bodeli. Along, the Pavagadh - Champaner bypass, Halol toll road and we were at Baroda at seven. Ending a relaxed and eventful weekend. 

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