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The Vaishnodevi Experience 2023

My first trip to Vaishnodevi was unimpressive. Climbing was hard, and it only served to highlight how badly out of shape I was, while my in-laws managed to cope so much better. Further, I hadn’t quite realized that the cave experience wouldn’t be the same as I had imagined, since the original cave was only opened at certain times a year, and that we only entered a newly created tunnel, one far easier to access, and hence more manageable with the crowds that thronged the mountain shrine. The resulting experience at the shrine, for barely a fraction of a second, hardly compared to what I had expected / imagined / heard about. So, for me, Vaishnodevi was like any other temple, nothing to write home about, something that was reflected (though not explicitly mentioned) in the blog post I wrote then.

A short visit to Karjat

The weekend saw us making a sudden trip to Karjat. No, not to one of the many resorts that line the road, and seem to have taken over the once-peaceful area, but as part of a service project. My husband and in-laws are part of the Sathya Sai Seva organization which conducts Gram-Seva, or village improvement programmes, and one of their activity hotspots is Karjat, since it is quite near Bombay. It is where my husband disappears every Sunday to do his bit, and we travel once in a while to pitch in our efforts too. This weekend, it was a Standard Chartered Bank sponsored “Educare – Medicare – Sociocare Camp”. Here are some images from our trip.

We started out as the sun was about to rise. Here are some of the images from the road………

Can you believe this is just about an hour away from Bombay? So much fog, and that too around 8AM!

The natural beauty of the place shows its face as soon as we are away from the noisy highway... Here are some images from the village.....

Some images from the camp

Father and son relax for a moment…..

And on the way back…..


  1. I am very happy to know abt the volunteer activities your hubby and in law does! It must have been quite a day to rest but you guys spent it for a cause , hats off!

    Talking about the hat, i like the fan on it in the son relaxing pictures.The water body in the mountain back drop is a visual treat. I wish toursim developes in India.

    And villagers should be supported for they are the back bone of our country.

  2. Nice country side....It is hard to believe that such place is only withing few kilometers of Bombay (or Mumbai).

    Having said that same thing is visible also within few kilometers outside Delhi..once one crosses NCR.

  3. Good photography Anu!
    I remember Karjat very well. We used to pass thru' that place on our way to Mumbai when I was in Pune for few years.I also remember the hot and tasty pav vadas of that place.

  4. @ Sri: thanks a lot! Yes, it is great for us too to see the kind of work they do, especially since it helps in inculcating the right values in Samhith too.....

    abt the hat, well,it is a solar one, and the fan works only when we are in the sun.... it is actually some one else's, and samhith has managed to break it :-(

    the area is a beautiful one, but there has been too much of development and none of them are worried about the impact on the environment.... wonder what it will be like in a few years...

    and yes, it is primarily an effort to empower the villagers to fend for themselves.... at least that is what we are trying to do.. lets hope it works!!

    @ Tarun: yes, i am sure we can find such places outside every city.... they have managed to remain untouched in spite of the developments, and i am unable to deide whether it is good or bad... for eg. in the last few years, karjat itself has gained tourist importance in terms of resorts, and while the area has improved in terms of roads and facilities, it is losing many of teh hills to the sand and gravel hunters and farmers are selling off their land to the resorts.... i wonder what will be left of it in a few years....

    @ Chitra:yes,it is the same place, just a lot more in the interior... but there are no vada pavs here... at least, thank god there are no shops here yet.... but the vada pavs at the station are the most famous ones!!

  5. Good activity to get engaged in on a weekend. :)
    You have captured lovely memories from the trip.

  6. Another great post of travel blogs. I appreciate your post. Please keep it up. Really it will be great post if you will special post on sight since.


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