Last week after exploring the submerged temples of Chandori Village (Click on this link to read Chandori Temples blog ) which not only left me awestruck but also pained.
One may be surprised by this statement of mine but the fact remains that despite being such a treasured and beautiful art of architecture these temples of Chandori were totally ignored and wasted. The heart can only cry in agony over the antipathy of the locals and the authorities on seeing ancient art scattered around here and there on the dried river bed of Godavari river. A small efforts from them can save such treasured ancient legacy.
It was during our exploration of Chandori Temples someone among our group informed me that there is another such kind of submerged temple which again due to torrid summer can be seen as the water levels of the river has receded here too. The temple we were talking about was Palasdeo Temple, near Indapur and Kugoan Killa aka Inamdarcha Wada.
Armed with this information me and Shashikant Dumbre started working on a plan to visit these places. Information regarding Kugaon fort was not there on the Google so we went around checking with our common friends to dig the details of the route and other things.Finally within a week time we were ready with our plan and decided to leave Mumbai by night at 9.00pm because we wanted to catch the sunrise at Kugaon Fort.
|Gotto catch the sunrise at Kugoan
We all met at 9 pm at Ambarnath and boarded the hired Tavera, all set to go for our next exploration trip.Driving through the night on the deserted roads is an experience you don’t get everyday.The distance to be traveled was suppose to be more than 300 kms one way and our route was Mumbai-Pune-Bhigwan-Palasdeo-Warkute Fata, taking the Solapur Highway.
|Start of the journey with breaking of Coconut
It was 4 a.m when we saw the Palasdeo signboard on the Highway, Initially our plan was to visit Palasdeo Temple first and then move on to Kugoan fort which is around 9 kms ahead of this.We therefore stopped here for a tea break as lots of tea sellers were operating at this point and we also wanted to catch on with their tea and local information.
|Drive through the Night
The tea seller informed us that the first boat to go to Palasdeo will start at 9 am so we thought it would be futile to waste time sitting here hence we decided to move on to the Kugoan Fort.We drove about 8-9 kms till we reached Varkute Phata,from where we took left turn,this small road which leads to the Kalasi village can easily be missed had it not been the advise by the tea seller who said to watch out for the left turn before petrol pump.Taking a left turn and around 10-15 minutes of bumpy ride we reached Kalasi Village.
It seems to be becoming a routine for us guys to stalk the empty streets of deserted villages in the wee hours of the night. As usual not a soul was to be seem who can guide us as to where do we go. so we kept looking around until we found one solitary man walking towards us, who finally showed us the way. Well the beach is at a distance of about half kilometer away from this village and the road is kind of dead end.
|Reaching the dead end of the road
to find this view
We moved out of our car and in pitch darkness we kept finding our way till the creek.Once we reached the creek we knew that next few hours shall be the waiting period for us to view the sunrise.
|Waiting for the sunrise
Sitting here and watching the nature unfold the spectrum of colours was simply amazing, I’ll go one step further and say that it was the moment to die for. A moment, for which I can come again and again to watch.My true feelings of the moment can be guaged from this quote:
Right in this moment,
I can’t even remember what unhappy feels like
|This is the moment I can die for
|Early morning bliss
The creek of Kalashi village not only offers one of the best visual delight in terms of exploding colourful skies but also is home to some of the wonderful migratory birds.
I was later informed by one of my friend that these birds are basically those which come to Bhigwan Bird sanctuary.
Hence we were lucky to catch glimpses of such wonderful species.
Everyone was busy capturing the birds and another reason for us not rushing to go to Kugaon fort was that one needs to take a boat to reach the Kugoan fort which is situated in the waters of river Bhima. We were informed that the boatman comes at 7.30 am so we were simply bidding our time.
|Chilling in the boat,
Waiting for the boatman to arrive
Time now was 6.30 am and there was still one more hour to go,so we all had some photo fun on the boat which was anchored at the shore.
|Photofun on the boat
After a long wait finally the boatman arrived and we were all set to sail to our destination which was waiting for us right across. Yes The Kugaon Killa or Inamdarcha Wada.
|Inamdarcha Wada (PC Dr Neha Mehta)
A very short ride of hardly 5 minutes for which you shell out Rs 40,gets over before it starts and you find yourself at the entrance of the Kugoan Fort,Fort which has no entrance gate to greet you, its only the crumbling rubble stone through which you wade your way to enter the famous Inamdarcha Wada.
|Unusual entrance through the rubble
Before we set our foot on this place it is very necessary that we should know about the history of this place.In the year 1976 Ujani Dam was constructed on the river Bhima due to which many big and small villages,temples got submerged under the waters of Bhima river which included this Kugaon’s Inamdar’s wada(Kugaon fort)too.
|Partially submerged Kugaon Killa
The story goes that in those day the Nizam who was the ruler here gave Devrao Inamdar, Jijaba Inamdar and Nagoba Inamdar this Kugaon Killa and five villages around it as a gift in form of jagir.
This fort was built around 400 years back by Inamdar brothers on the banks of river Bhima river. There are four bastion in the four corners of the fort.In currents times these bastions are in ruins.
During the current times only one bastions is in proper shape rest have being partially destroyed.
|Bastion on the right
The Main Darwaja or the Entrance gate is bigger than the Pune’s Shanivar Wada. It is believed that during ancient times there used to be pedestrian way from the shore to the fort gate.
|One of the entrance gate of the Kugaon Killa
The main entrance has two tall pillars on each side of the entrance gate, a close look at these pillars give an impression of minars type construction.
|Minars at the entrance
Exploring the Fort we see there is a small well too within the fort area.
|Well on the fort
Just adjacent to this fort but at a small distance we see a beautiful structure. We were informed that it is a temple. As one can see in the picture given below that there is water between the fort and the temple so I was not able to see it from inside however few adventurous among us swam across to have a closer look.
|Temple little away from the main fort
I was informed by my brave friends who swam across that in this structure there is an idol of Hanuman and Shivling.We requested the boatman to take the boat closer to this place but he said the water is quite shallow so not possible.
From here on we moved towards the entrance of the fort from inside.This whole place has white colour looks which kept reminding me of the white dwelling places of Greece.
|Inside view of the gate
The entrance has many sections, a small roomor a passage with a place to keep lamp or as they say devadi in marathi.
|Passages within ( PC Dr Neha Mehta)
|Few more passages ( PC Dr Neha Mehta)
I was told that there is one chor darwaja too.As the fortifications were in dilapidated condition so checking out for chor darwaja was difficult.
|Searching for that hidden Chor Darwaja
Though the main entrance is in dilapidated condition still there is some structure left sharing below for your eyes only.
After exploring the fortification I moved on to the top of this entrance gate to get a birds eye view of the fort.The view from the top offers a very good panoramic view of the surroundings and the inside of the fort.
|Panoramic view from the Top
The Fort is built on two acres of land and it is believed that the outer wall fortification was around 15 feet in width. The entire complex though is in ruins, still is able to hold its head high because of the intense beauty that surrounds it.
|I am simply mesmerised !!
It was 11.00 am and the sun was hitting hard and we could feel the thirst in our throats,So quenching our thirst it was time for us to move back and explore our next destination Palasdeo Temple another submerged Temple now visible.
|Quenching our thirst
We all regrouped and sat at the same spot where the boatman had dropped us waiting for our boat to arrive,The boat finally arrived bringing with it new batch of people and we all soon jumped into the boat for our return journey.We shall now be moving on from here to Palasdeo temple. Palasdeo Temple blog coming