Thursday, January 27, 2011

MAHARASHTRA FORTS

kanchan athalye | Thursday, January 27, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips



Forts are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs. The term is derived from the Latin fortis ("strong") and facere ("to make").
There are nearly 350 forts in Maharashtra, so it is said that forts are the glory of Maharashtra. Most of these forts are associated with the great Maratha ruler, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It is believed that he developed as many as thirteen forts.

Vijaydurg fort is regarded to be the best sea fort developed by Shivaji. Every fort has temple inside that was a powerful inspiration to the Maratha fighters. 510 km away from Mumbai is the famous Sindhudurg and Vijaydurg forts. This twin fort was constructed with the special guidelines from Shivaji. This fort is famous for its serene environmental beauty and its historic importance.



Statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on Raiga...
Shivner fort is the fort where Shivaji was born. This fort is nearly about 120 km from Pune. Pratapgad fort reminds the fiery battle fought between Shivaji and Afzal Khan. One must see the 300-year old fine architectural fort of Murud - Janjira fort, Lohagad and Visapur Forts, Harishchandragad Fort, Arnala Fort and Ajinkyatara Fort are ideal for trekking. Adventure lovers must visit these forts.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

FORT MANDANGAD

kanchan athalye | Wednesday, January 26, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
Bankot Fort or Fort Victoria or HimmatGad (als...

Mandangad and Bankot were built to safeguard the trade route through Savitri River, which was an important trade route.

It is said that Mandangad was built by King Bhoj. In 1661 it was under Jaswantrao Dalvi, an Adilshahi Sardar. He was the person who had besieged Vishalgad during Shivaji Maharaj’s daring escape from Panhalgad. When Shivaji Maharaj defeated Kartalabkhan and was marching towards Dabhol, Mandangad was on the way. Hearing this news, Jaswantrao ran away to Shringarpur and Shivaji Maharaj got it without a fight. It was with Angres and Siddis for some time. The British captured it in 1818.
There are 2 summits for the mountain on which Mandangad is built. On the higher one there is a water tank. The fortification is seen on the lower and more flat part. The entrance is destroyed, but the bastions stand. The Ganesh temple here is reconstructed. We can see Savitri River, Raigad and Varandha pass on a clear day.
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FORT KARNALA

kanchan athalye | Wednesday, January 26, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
Karnala fort, Maharashtra, India
Its exact date of formation is not known but likely it predates 1400 CE as under the Devagiri Yadavs(1248–1318) and under the Tughlaq rulers(1318–1347), Karnala was the capital of the north Konkan districts of their respective empires. It later fell under the command of the Gujarat Sultanate but in 1540 was taken over by Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar. The Gujarat sultans then requested the help of the Dom Francisco de Menenzes the commanding officer of the Portuguese at Bassien(modern day Vasai) to win it back. He ordered 500 of his soldiers to Karnala fort and they were able to capture it. The fort was left in charge of the Gujarat Sultanate but with Portuguese garrisons.
Entrance to Karnala fort, Maharashtra, India
The loss of Karnala enraged the Nizam Shah and he took back the fort and the surrounding countryside by sending 5,000 of his men. The Gujarat sultans fled to Vasai in panic and gave up any claims of the fort to the Portuguese. In the subsequent battle between the Nizam Shah and the Portuguese, the latter were victorious in repulsing further attacks of the Nizam Shahi army and the fort remained with the Portuguese. However the Portuguese viceroy determined that the forts of Sangli and Karnala were of little value to them and decided to give them to the Nizam Shah for an annual payment of Rs. 17,500(or 5,000 gold pardoas) to further their friendship.
Shivaji conquered it from the Portuguese in 1670 by building breastworks as he advanced. After his death in 1680 it was taken over by Aurangzeb. After this the Mughals occupied it for some time after which it in 1740 with the rise of the Peshwas of Pune it went to them. It remained under the command of killedar (garrison commander) Anantrao until a colonel Prother won the fort and established the rule of the British East India Company there in 1818.
Karnala fort actually consists of two forts one at a higher level and other lower. At the centre of the higher level is a 125 feet high basalt pillar. It is also called Pandu's tower. This structure was used as watchtower when the fort was occupied however now it is in a ruined condition. The presence of bee hives also makes it difficult to climb and have resulted in at least one casualty in recent times. There is a water cistern which provides fresh water all year long. From the top the forts of Prabalgad and Rajmachi are clearly visible.
The fort has two inscriptions one in Marathi and the other in Persian. The Marathi inscription which has no date is seen on the lower gate on the inner side. Its words are indecipherable. The Persian writing is on upper gate reads "Syed Nuruddin Muhammad Khan, Hijri, 1147 AH (1735 CE) and probably dates from the Mughal occupation of the fort.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

FORT YESHWANTGAD

kanchan athalye | Sunday, January 23, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
 Yashvantgad Fort, on the north entrance of the Rajapur creek, with the sea on the south and a ditch to the north and west, has an area of about seven acres. In 1862, the walls and gates with their seventeen bastions needed repair. There was no garrison, and only twenty-eight old unserviceable guns. [Gov. List of Civil Forts, 1862.] The supply of water and provisions was abundant.

Yeshwantgad is an island fortification off the coast of Maharashtra in Ratnagir, district. It is built on the Rajapur, creek with the sea on one side. On three sides it was protected by a ditch which can no longer be seen. On the fourth side there was a wall with 17 bastions. Now the walls are in a ruined condition. Its gate was on the eastern side. A ship (HMS Outram sank here on the 1st January, 1817 after which a lighthouse at nearby Jaitapur was built. Other than this no notable historical events took place here.

 

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

FORT NIVTI

kanchan athalye | Saturday, January 22, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
 Nivti Port, in the village of Kochra, six and a half miles south of Malvan and eight north of Vengurla, stands at the mouth of a small creek in rather a striking bay. Rennell (1788) suggested that Nivti was Ptolemy's (150) Nitra and Pliny's (77) Nitrias, ' where the pirates cruized for the Roman ships'. But this is very doubtful, and as far as has been traced, Nivti has never been of importance as a centre of trade. [Rennells Memoir of a Map of Hindustan, 31. Nitra or Nitrias is more commonly identified with the Periplus (247) Naoura and so probably with Honavar (Lassen's Ind. Ant. III. 67). In 1819 its trade was insignificant, Malvan Resident to Gov. 31st May 1819; Revenue Diaries 141 of 1819, 2299.] The average yearly value of trade, for the five years ending 1877-78, was £3167 8s. (Rs. 31,674) of which £2604 16s. (Rs. 26,048) represented exports and £562 12s. (Rs. 5626) imports. [Nairne's MS. Tieffenthaler (Res. Hist et. Geog. I 513) described it (1760) as a very scarped rock strengthened with seven towers. It had a ditch on the land and was inaccessible from the sea.]

Nivti fort, on a very picturesque and well wooded headland about 150 feet high, is a complete ruin. [Nairne's Konkan, 105.] In 1786 it was taken by the Kolhapur troops and soon after restored to Savantvadi. [A wing of the 89th Regiment; 2½ battalions native infantry; 3 troops of native cavalry and artillery. Nairne's Konkan, 127.] In the early years of the present century (1803 and 1810), after being taken and retaken by these rival chiefs, it in the end remained with the Savants. In 1818, when British power was established, the southern villages continued to suffer from the raids of the Savantvadi garrisons of Nivti and Redi. Under Sir W. G. Keir a force [The details were: the head-quarters of the IVth Rifles, crossing the river at Karli, arrived before Nivti. on the 2nd February 1819. On the 3rd the batteries opened and on the following day the fort capitulated and was taken. Service Record of H. M.'s IVth Rifles, 29.] was sent into the Konkan, and on the 4th February 1819 Nivti was invested and given up without resistance. [Gov. List of Civil Forts, 1862.]
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MALVANI DASHAVATAR

kanchan athalye | Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
Dashavatar is also known as 'Dahikala', From last 600-700 years Dashavatar is a part of our culture.

In Indian mythology the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu is collectively known as Dashavatar. They are Matsya (Fish) Katchha (Turtle), Varaha (Boar), Narsimha (half man half Lion), Waman (A Brahman boy), Parshuram , Rama, Krishna, Buddha & Kalanki.

Dashavatar is Most popular art form in Malvan. Dance ritual dramas are held in most of the temples during festive occasions. interesting characters in these dramas are Apsaras (Heavenly maidens) Their role in woman's attire are played by the men.

Credit of this new art, goes to pioneer Mr. Shymnaikji Kale who introduced Dashavatar in 11th century.
A from called Aatdashavatar is also highly appreciated by the locals. It is presented in two parts. Parts I begins with Ganeshstavan, Saraswatistavan, Brahmin priests entry and killing of Sankasura (Purvarang) while part II is a proper play and includes mythological stories. (Uttarang 0r leelantya)

The first incarnations Matsya Avatar is presented to the audience in the theatre. The myth beginnings with Lord Brahma who is busy in penance. The demon named Sankasura seizes this opportunity to steal his Vedas & Shastras ( the Holy Books). Lord Vishnu who is witness to this incident then promises Brahma of bringing back his Vedas. Vishnu wanders in search Sankasura and when he finds him, fierce battle takes place between them. Sankasura runs from the battlefield and hides under water in a conch shell. As Vedas remained drowned in water, it was necessary to bring them up. To retrieve them Vishnu descends into the water in the form of fish that is lower part of body like fish and upper part like that of a man (A Matsya Avatar) in a Bottle under the Water Vishnu finally defeats Sankasura who surrenders and explains the motive behind stealing of Vedas. That he did so with an intention to pass philosophical knowledge of Vedas from elite people to down –trodden society (Bahojan Samaj) Vishnu appreciated Sankasura's courage and gave him a vow that in the tree worlds (Trailokya), so before worshipping Vishnu people will worship his conch shell. Vishnu then restored the Vedas to Brahma.
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GREAT PEOPLE FROM KONKAN - I

kanchan athalye | Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
The only flying officer from India in the World War 1 was from Ratnagiri – Dattatraya Laxman Patwardhan- known as D. Lak-man.

The second important officer after Subash Chandra Bose in Azad Hind Sena was Major Jaganthrao Bhonsale from Sindhudurg district.

In the first Kashmir battle in 1947. Captain Rama Raghoba Rane from Sindhudurg district won the ‘Paramveer Chakra’

We should also know that Gen. Arun Kumar Vaidya was from Raigad district.Rear Admiral Karmarkar and Admiral Soman too are from the lands of konkan.

The first achievers in different fields:

1. Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve: First Women University {1916) SNDT.

2. Raghunath Dhondo karve: the son of the above who topped the matric list in 1897, worked as a professor of mathematics upto 1922, then resigned this job and joined the family planning actively started the canvasing from 1921.

3. Bal Shastri Jambhekar: the first news paper in maharashtra, Darpan (1932)

Besides all these there are some other pioneers:


Balamrut -  Mr. Dongre

Dhutpapeshwar -Mr. Puranik

Kailas Jeevan - Mr. Kolhatkar

Vicco - Mr. Pendharkar

AGOM - Mr. Mahajan

Ready made pickles: Bedekar & Kubal

Camlin: Mr. Dandekar

Scents and Perfumes: Mr. S. H. Kelkar

Borosil Glass: Dr. Lele

Kalnirnay Calender: Mr. Jayant Salgaonkar

Swadhyay Family: Mr. Pandurang Shastri Athavale
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

MALVANI CUISINE

kanchan athalye | Tuesday, January 11, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
ONE OF THE VERY NICEST THINGS ABOUT LIFE IS THE WAY WE MUST REGULARLY STOP WHATEVER IT IS WE ARE DOING AND DEVOTE OUR ATTENTION TO EATING.

Malvani cuisine is the standard cuisine of the Konkan region of Maharashtra, Goa and northern parts of West Karnataka. Although Malvani cuisine is predominantly non-vegetarian, there are many vegetarian delicacies. Although it is an independent cuisine, it overlaps Maharashtrian cuisine and Goan cuisine. Malvan is a town in the Sindhudurg district on the west coast of Maharashtra.
Malvan being a coastal area in Konkan, it has its own distinct way of cooking food. Malvani cuisine uses coconut liberally in various forms such as grated, dry grated, fried, coconut paste and coconut milk.
Many masalas have dried red chilies and other spices like coriander seeds, peppercorns, cumin, cardamom, ginger, garlic, etc. Some dishes also use kokum, dried kokam (amsul), tamarind, and raw mango (kairi).
However not all of the cuisine is hot and spicy. The 'Konkanastha Brahmin' style of food is quite bland yet very tasty and vegetarian too.
Fish dishes dominate the Malvani cuisine. The fiery seafood curries may be a bit too spicy for some people, but are quite tasty. The Malvani cuisine is very similar to Goan or coastal South Indian cuisine.
Sol Kadhi is a pink colored appetizer drink made from the kokam fruit and Coconut Milk, often drunk after particularly hot and spicy Konkani / Malvani meal as it is very soothing.
Important Dishes
Main course
Kombadi Vade
Kombdi Vade or Murgh Malvani is a non-vegetarian dish, which is quite popular in Maharashtra. The dish consists of the traditional Malvani chicken curry (including chicken pieces with bones), vade (like a puri, which is a fluffy, fried bread of wheat and nachni flour), onion, lemon and solkadhi.
Shark curry is a highly popular dish along the Konkan coast.
Solkadhi or Soul Curry is an energizing curry drink, highly popular in Konkan. It is made from coconut milk and kokam. It is usually served with Kombdi Vade, various fish delicacies and Mutton Malvani.
Bangda Fry is a popular dish, especially in Mumbai. The head of the Bangda fish is removed and discarded and the other part is fried as a whole.
Chicken Kolhapuri is a popular dish; although Kolhapur is a different region, it is located in the mountains just above the Konkan region and the two regions are similar culturally. It differs from Murgh Malvani in its curry is red as opposed to the reddish-brown Malvani curry.
Malvani Mutton Curry is a highly popular dish throughout the Konkan region. It is similar to Murgh Malvani except that the spices are slightly different.
Bombil Fry
Khavda Curry is an extremely delicious dish made from a local Konkani bird called "Khavda".
Bombil Fry or Bombay Duck Fry is an immensely popular dish, especially in north Konkan regions such as Mumbai and Raigad.
Phansachi Bhaji
Paplet Saar is a dish consisting of Pomfret cooked in traditional Malvani fish curry. This dish is especially popular in Mumbai.
Phanasachi Bhaji is an exotic vegetarian dish, made from Jackfruit, chillies and spices.
Kaju Chi Aamti is a spicy curry of cajus (cashews). It is a spicy preparation and is savoured by the Malvani populace.
Fish Koliwada is an appetizer which has its origin in the coastal city of Mumbai and is the traditional dish of the ethnic Mumbaikars, the Kolis.


Ghavan

Breads and cakes
Dhondas or Cucumber Cake is a baked preparation made from cucumber, rava and jaggery.
Ghavan is a fried pancake and is especially popular in the Sindhudurg district. Its netted appearance gives it an even more enigmatic feel.
Khaproli is a sweet dish, highly popular in southern Konkan. The dish consists of a fluffy pancake dipped in yellow sweet juice.
Tandalachi Bhakri is a Bhakri made of rice flour. It is the Malvani equivalent of the Maharashtrian Jowari Bhakri or Bajri Bhakri, which is popular throughout the Deccan.
Malpua
Malvani Malpua is a sweet deep-fried delicacy, highly popular in Maharashtra. The dish is especially in big demand during the Islamic holy month of Ramzaan.
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Sunday, January 9, 2011

PRACHIN KONKAN MUSEUM

kanchan athalye | Sunday, January 09, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
 Malgund has a museum constructed by the 27 year old Vaibhav Sardesai. Malgund is well known for the Prachin Konkan which means Ancient Konkan. It is unique in itself as it is an open air museum and shows the old culture of basically Konkan areas. It is among the most famous Konkan Museums. It covers the area of about 3 acres on hillside.
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KONKAN RAILWAY

kanchan athalye | Sunday, January 09, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
History
Background
Until the Konkan Railway started its operations, the two important port cities Mangalore and Mumbai were not directly connected by the railway network. Even though economic reasons provided a strong need to connect these two cities, the region through which the railway track passed was geographically very tough and would be an engineering challenge. Due to the uneven terrain of the region, railway lines were not laid for many years.
Although the brainchild of veteran parliamentarian from Ratnagiri , Manohar Joshi, national leaders such as Madhu Dandawate and George Fernandes, who hailed from the Konkan played a major role in the conception of Konkan Railway. In 1966, a line was constructed between Diva in Mumbai and Apta in Raigad district. During the tenure of Madhu Dandavate, this was extended up to Roha in 1986, mainly to serve the industries located in the area. However, the missing link from Roha to Mangalore still remained. In October 1984, the Ministry of Railways decided to take a final location engineering-cum-traffic survey for the west coastal portion from Mangalore to Madgaon - a total distance of 325 km. In March 1985, the railways decided to extend the scope of their survey to include the omitted length of the west coast line extending from Madgaon to Roha. The Southern Railway was entrusted with this final location survey. They submitted the project report for this route to the Railway Ministry in 1988 and named it as the Konkan Railway after the coastline along which it runs.
The project gained impetus after George Fernandes became the Railway Minister in 1989. It was decided to constitute a separately incorporated railway company for the construction and operation of the line. Thus, on July 19, 1990, the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) was incorporated as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 1956, with its headquarters at CBD Belapur in Navi Mumbai and E. Sreedharan, a senior railway official, as its first Chairman and Managing Director. The company set itself a challenging target of five years to complete the work - something that had never been achieved in India before for a project of this magnitude. The foundation stone for the project was laid at Roha on September 15, 1990, and the Corporation had its task cut out.

Challenges
The 1,319 m (4,327 ft) long Konkan Railway bridge across the Zuari River in Goa. Drawing up their plans in an office, Mr. Sreedharan's team had yet to realise what kind of terrain they would have to battle, and though some surveys had been conducted, there was no data for the entire stretch in Maharashtra- a route which involved half the length of the line. Besides, the task was formidable. With a total number of over 2,000 bridges and 91 tunnels to be built through this mountainous terrain containing many rivers, the project was the biggest and perhaps most difficult railway undertaking during this century, at least in this part of the world. A major challenge in the area was land acquisition. But though land related lawsuits are common in the Konkan, when KRCL began persuading people to give up property that had belonged to their families for generations, many gave it up voluntarily, convinced of the importance of the project. This enabled the entire process to be completed in just a year.
There were challenges posed by the terrain and the elements. Flash floods, landslides and tunnel collapses affected work at many places on the project. The region was also thickly forested, and construction sites were often plagued by wild animals. Despite these problems, work on the project continued, and an effective system of decentralisation enabled better efficiency. The entire stretch of 740 kilometres (460 mi) was divided into seven sectors -Mahad, Ratnagiri north, Ratnagiri south, Kudal, Panji, Karwar and Udupi- of approximately 100 km each, headed by a Chief Engineer.

Contracts for the project were awarded to some of the biggest and most reputed construction firms in India, including Larsen and Tubro, Gammon India and AFCONS. To enable quicker construction, several innovative practices were adopted. Piers for major bridges were cast on the riverbanks itself and launched using cranes mounted on pontoons. The technique of incremental launching of bridge spans was used for the first time in India. Since it would take too long to complete the project using locally available tunneling technology, nine hydraulic tunneling machines were imported from Sweden in order to bore through the hard rock of the Sahayadris. The biggest challenge, however, came from the nine tunnels that had to be bored through soft soil. No technology existed anywhere in the world for this purpose and the work had to be carried out through a painstakingly slow manual process. Excavation was almost impossible due to the clayey soil that was saturated with water owing to a high water table in the region. Several times tunnels collapsed immediately after they had been dug, necessitating work to be redone. Nineteen lives and four years were lost while constructing the soft soil tunnels alone. In all, seventy-four people perished during the construction of the line.

Controversy
Like most other major projects in India, the Konkan Railway was not without its share of controversies. The biggest one arose in the state of Goa, comprising 105 kilometres (65 mi) of the route, where serious concerns were raised about the environmental and economic impact of the line on the state. The opponents to the project stated that the proposed alignment, passing through the coastal regions of the state, would cause destruction of ecology, damage to historical sites and disrupt the lifestyles of people in the densely populated coastal region of the state. In 1991, they came together under and umbrella organisation called the Konkan Railway Re-Alignment Committee (KRRAC) and organised protests against the proposed alignment of the railway line.
The main points raised by the KRRAC were that the existing alignment would cause flooding in coastal regions, destroy the fertile khazan lands, harm the monuments of Goa, cause irreparable damage to the marshes and mangrove swamps along the coastline and estuaries of the Mandovi and Zurari rivers, and result in the large-scale displacement of neighbourhoods along the coastal belt through which it passed. The KRRAC proposed an alternative alignment for the line, known as the hinterland alignment, to offset these problems. The hinterland alignment, passing through the relatively unpopulated hinterland of the state, was to be longer by about 25 kilometres (16 mi), but according to the KRRAC, would significantly minimise the damage caused to the environment.
The hinterland alignment was rejected by the Konkan Railway Corporation on the grounds that it would involve substantial diversion of the line, deny rail access to the major towns of the state, and result in severe delays and escalation of costs of construction. By then, the KRRAC had grown into a political movement, backed by the powerful Church and certain political parties. In March 1992, it filed a public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court, seeking an injunction on the construction work and a diversion of the line through the hinterland alignment. In the plaint , it raised all the issues that had been brought up earlier. The High Court dismissed the plaint in April 1992, observing that the claim of the petitioners that the alignment would have devastating and irreversible impact upon the khazan lands is without any foundation, and even otherwise, the extent of damage is extremely negligible and a public project of such a magnitude which is undertaken for meeting the aspirations of the people on the west coast cannot be defeated on such considerations. It is not open to frustrate the project of public importance to safeguard the interest of few persons. It cannot be over looked that while examining the grievance about adverse impact upon a small area of 30 hectares of Khazan lands, the benefit which will be derived by large number of people by construction of rail line cannot be brushed aside. The Courts are bound to take into consideration the comparative hardship which the people in the region will suffer by stalling the project of great public utility. The cost of the project escalates from day to day and, as pointed out by the Corporation, the extent of the interest and east which will be suffered by the Corporation every day is to the tune of Rs. 45 lakhs. No development is possible without some adverse effect on the ecology and environment.

Completion
Amid all the controversies and problems dogging the project, work continued to progress. In March 1993, the southernmost section of 47 kilometres (29 mi) between Thokur and Udipi in Karnataka was inaugurated, followed by the northernmost section of 47 kilometres (29 mi) between Roha and Veer in Maharashtra in June 1993. The service was extended by 51 kilometres (32 mi) from Veer to Khed in March 1995, and by a further 265 kilometres (165 mi) from Khed to Sawantwadi Road in December 1996. Services on the southern end were extended by 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Udupi to Kundapura in January 1995, and by a further 275 kilometres (171 mi) till Pernem in Goa in August 1997. However, through services between Mumbai and Mangalore continued to remain on hold due to a problematic tunnel at Pernem, which was facing repeated cave-ins and flooding. The tunnel was finally completed in January 1998, six years after its construction had commenced. Through services on the line commenced after a formal inauguration of the entire stretch of 740 kilometres (460 mi) from Roha to Thokur on January 26, 1998. Trains carrying passengers started running along the full route between Mumbai and Mangalore from May 1998. In October 1997, Mr. Sreedharan was asked to take up the responsibility of construction of the Delhi Metro Project.

Organisation
KR does not have divisions like the other Indian Railways; however, it has two regions with headquarters at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and Karwar in Karnataka. The Ratnagiri region extends over 380 kilometres (240 mi) from Roha to Sawantwadi in Maharashtra, while the Karwar region extends over 360 kilometres (220 mi) from Pernem in Goa to Thokur in Karnataka.

Route
The route is a single-line track, and is not electrified. The total length of the line is about 738 kilometres. Although it has been designed for high-speed traffic of 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph), the fastest train on the route, the Trivandrum Rajdhani Express, at present runs at a maximum speed of 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph). The route is open to both freight and passenger traffic. The line, which runs parallel to the Arabian Sea coastline, offers some of the most spectacular views of any Indian rail journey. The Konkan railway route intersects national highway NH-17 at many places.There are fifty-nine stations on the entire line. Although the route is currently a single line, KR and South Western Railway lines run parallel from Majorda to Madgaon in Goa, making that section a double line.
Operations
Passenger
The route became quite popular with passengers from the day it was opened, due to the connectivity it provided to regions hitherto inaccessible by rail, as well as the substantial savings in time for commuters between western and southern India. Several trains, which earlier took circuitous routes were diverted via the Konkan Railway, leading to a reduction in running time. The first of these was the Mumbai-Kochi Netravati Express, which was diverted via the Konkan Railway from March 1, 1998, followed by the Rajdhani Express to Trivandrum from April 1, 1998. The Mumbai –Mangalore Express was flagged off on May 1, 1998. The Delhi-Kochi Mangala Express was diverted on the route from August 1, 1998. The Pune-Kochi Express was introduced on February 25, 1999. A new train between Kochi and Jaipur via the Konkan Railway began service on October 12, 2001. The Jan Shatabdi Express was flagged off between Mumbai and Madgaon on April 16, 2002, to commemorate 150 years of the existence of Indian Railways . On February 1, 2008, a Garib Rath between Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai was flagged off. At present, 86 passenger services operate each week in either direction.

Freight
Freight response to the Konkan Railway was lukewarm, prompting the worried corporation to consider cutting rates. With an outstanding debt of Rs. 3,375 crore, KRCL was banking on freight traffic to bail it out. In an effort to attract freight traffic, the corporation began creating awareness among local industries on the route. In 1999, the corporation introduced the Roll On Roll Off (RORO) service, a unique road-rail synergy system, on the section between Kolad in Maharashtra and Verna in Goa, which was extended up to Surathkal in Karnataka in 2004. The RORO service, the first of its kind in India, allowed trucks to be transported on flatbed trailers. It was highly popular, carrying about 1.6 lakh trucks and bringing in over Rs.120 crore worth of earnings to the corporation till 2009.

Difficulties
The hostile terrain and difficult weather conditions of the Konkan region resulted in problems continuing to dog the line even after its inauguration. The first problems surfaced during the monsoon of 1998, when torrential rainfall caused landslides at many places, washed away tracks and disrupted services. Despite the corporation's efforts at addressing the problems through engineering measures such as protective netting along cuttings to prevent boulders from rolling onto the tracks, the problems continued to recur each year.
The first major accident on the line occurred on the night of June 22, 2003, when a landslide caused an express train travelling from Karwar to Mumbai to derail at the entrance to a tunnel. Fifty-one people died as a result of the accident, and several others were injured. As a result of the accident, the corporation came under heavy criticism for failing to adhere to adequate safety measures in the landslide-prone region. An inquiry revealed the cause of the accident to be a failure of a cutting due to absence of monsoon patrolling. The findings were disputed by the corporation, which insisted that the lack of monsoon patrolling did not lead to the accident which was entirely a result of the forces of nature. Shortly after the accident, the corporation announced that it would enhance safety measures on the route.
Barely a year later, these measures were found to be inadequate when a second major accident occurred on the line on June 16, 2004. The Matsyaganda Express bound to Mumbai from Mangalore derailed and fell off a bridge after colliding with boulders on the tracks, killing 14 people. Again, the corporation insisted that the mishap was a result of nature's fury. After the accident, questions were raised about the safety and credibility of the Konkan Railway, prompting the resignation of its director Rajaram Bojji on August 31, 2004.[ An enquiry by the Commissioner of Railway Safety revealed the cause of the accident to be due to "falling of boulders and earth" on the tracks. After the report, the corporation swung into action, implementing all its recommendations, including limiting the speed of trains during the monsoon to 75 km/h (47 mph) as opposed to the regular speed limit of 120 km/h (75 mph), as well as undertaking several geo-technical engineering works, including boulder netting, shotcreting, rock bolting, micropiling and vetiver plantations along the line to increase safety.




Overview Type:                Regional Rail
Status Operational Locale: Konkan, India
Termini                              Roha, Thokur
Stations                             59 Operation
Opened                             26 January 1998
Owner                               Government of India Operator(s) Konkan Railways Corporation
Depot(s)                            Verna
Technical Line                   length 738 km
Track length                      738 km
No. of tracks                     1 Track gauge 1676 mm (5 ft 6in) (broad gauge)
Electrification                   None
Operating speed                160 km/h (99 mph)

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

KARLI RIVER

kanchan athalye | Saturday, January 08, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
Karli River flows through Kudal and Tarkarli villages, which flanks the Malvan coast in the south and joins with the Arabian Sea at Devbag. At the confluence of this river and the sea lies the picturesque beach of Tarkarli. Along the banks of the river, one can see lush flora and fauna.
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DEVRUKH

kanchan athalye | Saturday, January 08, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips

It is a lovely place in Ratnagiri district. It is a Taluka Headquarters 330 kms from Mumbai and 45kms from Ratnagiri. it is very picturesque. Main tourist spot near Devrukh is Marleshwar which has a sacred "Shiva Temple" in the sahydri hills. it is 16 kms from devrukh. in Devrukh there is Swami Samarath Math which is taken care of by Shri Ajit Telang a renowned spiritual Guru. Devrukh is a birthplace of social reformer Parvatibai Athavale.


PLACES OF INTEREST AROUND DEVRUKH:

MARLESHWAR(18km) - Biggest waterfall in the District, Shiv temple in cave (sometimes you can even see snakes inside.) most popular place after Ganpatipule.

GANPATIPULE (65km) - Ganesh Temple and Beach Ganpatipule - Prachin Konkan - Jaigad Fort - Karhateshwar (Sea facing temple) - Kolisare (Lakshmi Keshav Temple)

AMBA GHAT - VISHALGAD FOREST - PAWANKHIND (All together 50km)
Pawankhind - The place where Baji Prabhu Deshpande faught for Great Shivaji Maharaj, The road to Pwaan Khind goes from beautiful Amba Ghat(25km) and Vishalgad Road forest(38km) . You will definetly enjoy this journey.


 RATNAGIRI(45km) – Ratnadurga Fort - Bhatye Beach -Thiba Point - Tilak House, etc


VASHI DAM(15kms) - Not the biggest dam but really great to see in the evening as it is situated facing towards Sahyadri Ranges
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CHIPLUN

kanchan athalye | Saturday, January 08, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
The city lies on the banks of the River Vashishti. To the east of the city lies the Western Ghats and to the west lies Guhagar. The region is hilly and the city is situated in a valley. The region has tropical climate, very hot in summer and very wet. Summer days are extremely hot (above 38 °C). The rainy season — the monsoons last from June until October. Chiplun is near to "Koyna Dam".

GOWALKOT FORT :
Situated on a small hill about 10 km away from Chiplun, the Gowalkot Fort covers an area of around two acres.
According to local reports, the fort was built about 1690 by the Habshi of Janjira. Shivaji Maharaja renewed the fort in 1670 but the position of the Redjaji image seems to show that it was part of the original fort and that the builder or the person who renewed the temple was a Hindu King, probably Shivaji in 1670. From Habshi it was captured by Angira in 1744, who lost it to the Peshwa in 1755 and eventually the Peshwa lost control over it at the hands of the British in 1818.
Almost ruined, at present this fort is dilapidated, however, within the fort are trees, buildings and dwellings and a dry well which is approximately 22 feet deep.
Located on top of the small hill, the Gowalkot Fort, opposite the Vashisthi River, offers the most beautiful and stunning glimpse of the undulating valley and the smoothly flowing Vashisthi River. Nature enthusiasts can indulge themselves by setting out on a trek around the areas near the fort and soak in the atmosphere at the fort. Enjoy a short walk of about 30 to 45 minutes, as you walk through the track with the fort providing a gorgeous backdrop for your stroll. Go here alone, with family or your partner, for a truly spectacular experience!

PARSHURAM TEMPLE :

Located near the Mumbai-Goa National Highway, the ancient Parshuram Temple is situated near the town of Chiplun. Famous for the 6th 'Avtaar' or incarnation of Vishnu, the temple is resplendent with fabulous architectural beauty, which incorporates both the Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture.
Steps from the Ghat lead straight to the temple premises. The main temple structure is surrounded by stone walls and houses three elaborate idols inside the temple. It was built around 300 years ago by Brahmendra Swami. It is believed that since Parshuram created Konkan land, also known as Parshuram Bhumi, he is also automatically the presiding deity of the Konkan region.
There is temple of Goddess Renuka behind the Parshuram Temple. It is believed that Parshuram’s powerful five arrows created the primary water source here, which officially goes by the name Bandganga Lake.
The houses from the Adilshah Period can also be seen in the region. The temple was constructed by the Portuguese and the funds for its construction were provided by Janjirekar & Siddhi. So, essentially, European, Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture are noticed in the construction work.

SAWATSADA WATERFALL(MONSOON ONLY) :

Once you’re done exploring the Parshuram Temple and are looking for more areas to visit, make your way to the Sawatsada Waterfall. Primarily a monsoon attraction, the waterfall comes gushing down with full gusto only in the rainy season. Located very close to the Parshuram Temple, it forms an idyllic backdrop.
A perfect getaway offering the ever-elusive solitude that most city-dwellers chase, these two tourist spots are a must-visit, even if it means making space for it in your itinerary by forsaking trips to other places!


 DERVAN :

Dervan is located at 19 km from Chiplun, where you can watch the entire life history of King Shivaji through pictures and statues. This memorial is known as ‘Shivsrushti’. Shivsrushti was established by Shree sant Sitarambua Walawalkar Trust. Near about one crore rupees and 15 years were spent in construction of Shivsrushti.
An artist of Mumbai named Ganesh Patkar has developed these statues with his workmates. Construction of memorial looks like a fort. Tourists gets welcomed by Mavlas(soldiers) of Shivaji and two elephants residing at the entrance. Birth of Shivaji, coronation of Shivaji Maharajah, sacrifice of Bajiprabhu, fight with Shahistakhan, etc are some of the notable statutes to watch here.
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KONKAN TOURISM

kanchan athalye | Saturday, January 08, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
The Konkan is a coastal strip of land bounded by the Sahyadri hills on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Maharashtra's Konkan coast includes the districts of Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Thane.

The entire coastline of the western state of Maharashtra, starting from the well known towns of Kihim and Alibag in the north to the town of Vengurla in the south where it merges with that of Goa is dotted with golden beaches, picturesque creeks, solitary lighthouses, ancient forts, stunning cliffs and charming fishing hamlets, many of them still remain the way nature sculpted them. This region is best known for its fresh produce, especially Pomfret (a fish), Avocados, and delicious Alphonso mangoes.

This area is relatively undeveloped, a few travellers are already finding their way to the excellent beaches, which fringe the coast. The Konkan railway will definitely increase the amount of travellers who arrive here. They offer what the real traveller is looking for - vast open spaces, undisturbed solitude and the prospect to do something really different.

Culture And People
This region is a relatively prosperous area of the state. The people are literate and well off, living in neat and clean villages. They depend upon fishing for their livelihood and very little agriculture occurs here. However, the southern portion, in and around the town of Ratnagiri, is famous for its Alphonso mangoes.

Culinary Delights
Konkan cuisine is a homogeneous combination of Malvani, Gaud Saraswat Brahmin, and Goan cuisines. Konkan cuisine has two styles of cooking, Konkan cast Brahmin cuisine, which uses few spices and is more coconut based, and the spicy non-Brahmin version. A little further inland, the Konkan cuisine has peanuts, sesame and coriander as the main spicing agents.

The food has a lot of coconut in it and masalas that have mainly red chillies and coriander. Konkan food uses 'Kokum' (a deep purple berry that has a pleasing sweet and sour taste) and raw mango as souring agents along with tamarind and lime. The Konkan food also has a version of 'Garam' masala called bottle masala, which has about 20-25 ingredients powdered together. Konkan food also plays on textures. Many dishes use coarsely ground masala that you can feel with your tongue to give the food a different feeling.

Most of the chutneys and masalas are being hand ground, as it is believed that machines cannot give the same quality as using the grinding stone. Konkan cuisine also uses a lot of charcoal grilled onions. These onions are either used chopped or ground along with masalas after being grilled. This gives the food a very interesting smoky flavor. Of course, coconut is also liberally used in various forms: raw grated, fried grated, coconut paste and coconut milk.

Fresh tender coconut water is another way to quench your thirst. The white flesh of the coconut, which they scoop out after one has drunk the water, is simply delicious.







Why go to God's own country when you can go to one closer right here in Maharashtra?
Konkan – the land of self existing Gods !
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

OVERVIEW OF KONKANI CUISINE HISTORY

kanchan athalye | Thursday, January 06, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
 In the history of cuisines, Konkani Cuisine is one the most delicious cuisines you could come across in India. Konakani cuisine is unique in the sense that it contains foods that are not commercially consumed. Perhaps this can be explained on the basis of the culture of the people who consume it. One difference between Konkani cuisine and other Indian cuisine is that Konkani cuisine tends to contain few elements that are not widely popular. This is refers to the fact that some Konkani dishes include meats, such as pork, that are not really acceptable to people of other religions. The reason for this is the fact that it is profane according to their religion. Therefore, dishes that contain these meats are not consumed widely. However, Konkani cuisine is still appreciated for what all it offers though some dishes are almost always excluded.
 Konkani food traditionally and historically tends to have a lot of seafood in addition to Indian based seasonings. The use of coconut in food is also popular, giving Konkani cuisine a characteristic taste.
Trying Konkani cuisine is said to be an adventure in itself, as there is much to explore. Over the years, Konkani cuisine has carried down its traditional foods. However, it has also managed to attain newer dishes as well due to creativity and experimentation.
Though seafood has been popular in Konkani cuisine, there are other foods used, such beef, mutton and chicken. Rice also has been traditionally or historically used in Konkani cuisine as well. In addition the main course meals that would have a variety of fish, meat, chicken, and rice-based dishes, there are other integral portions such as desserts, beverages and appetizers that are included in Konkani cuisine. Indeed, those who try Konkani cuisine will know that through its history it has managed to encompass a wide range of foods in the region.
 Konkani cuisine is one of the most delicious cuisines in India. It has perhaps the most unique of all dishes, with a variety of them being cooked from coconut, fish and vegetables. A combination of these is sometimes used in order to produce unique dishes, and certainly, Konkani cuisine does have unique dishes.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

DHAMAPUR TALAO ( LAKE )

kanchan athalye | Wednesday, January 05, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
 A tourist  may wonder why special mention is being made of Dhamapur lake again separately when it has been mentioned along with Bhagawti Temple of Dhamapur. This special lake deserves the special mention because of its “uniqueness”. This is the biggest lake in the district [and perhaps next only to Tadoba lake].

The lake is situated between Are and Katta village. This man-made lake was constructed in 1530 by the King Nagesh Desai [A tributary of Vijaynagar dynasty] and has beautiful scenic hill ranges on its two sides. The water is crystal clear and has dense plantation of mango mangos teen grcinia indica (kokam) coconut and areca plam. This is typical fruit of Konkan region. The dense forest and orchard surrounding the lake has made this one of the most beautiful lake in Maharashtra. Tourist easily feels the change in the atmosphere once they reach the spot. The region has also a rich verity of flaura and fauna. Now the MTDC has made boating facility available in the lake.
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VETOBA TEMPLE

kanchan athalye | Wednesday, January 05, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
 It is a very ancient Temple in Aravali, near Vengurla. It is a Temple of Lord Vetoba, who is deity of Aravali people. The Temple is surrounded by coconut plantation. Also farming is done in Temple vicinity which adds greenery to the surrounding area of the Temple.
Local believes that Lord Vetoba wear Kolhapuri big chappals and roam in the village at night and these Lord's footwares are kept in the Temple which are amazing and not seen before.
Every year there is a Jatra of the Lord during which whole Temple is decorated with flowers and lights due to which the scene is worth seeing. Also during Jatra there is Palkhi of Lord which is taken all around the Temple along with lots of crackers which looks delightful in night darkness.

This celebration of Lord Vetoba goes on for at least five days. Temple managements provides a dharmshala next to Temple which help provide facility for staying and eating during the period of Jatra.
At a small distance from the Temple, there is another small Temple of Devi Sateri which is also surrounded by the plantation of mango tree and a small lake near by which add charm to the natural beauty of the Temple.
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KARNESHWAR SHIV MANDIR

kanchan athalye | Wednesday, January 05, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips

According to the information this Temple was built by great Pandav's. Once there were 365 ancient Temples in Kasba. Pandav's had to make second "Kashikshetra" on the bank of Shashtri,Alaknanda & Varuna Rivers. At this village The great Maratha King Sambhaji Raje son of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was trapped by Aurangzeb.

The statues and carvings of many Hindu Gods can be seen on the walls of Karneshwar Temple.Mythological statues Buddhist are present in Konkan from a Long Period. In Ratnagiri district at Kadsamla ,Nonvali, Vihroli, Soprachal and Tanla, one can come across Buddhist monks staying places, statues of Lord Buddha etc.
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