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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Peshwe (Adventure) Park : Photo Feature

Peshwe park a.k.a Peshwe Udyan is located at Parvati, Pune. It has been named after the Peshwas who were prime ministers to the kings and owners of the Parvati area. The park is located adjacent to the Sarasbaug garden and in the vicinity of the Parvati temple hill. Previously the area was a part of a lake that was subsequently converted into a garden.
The Peshwe park is now also called as the Peshwe Adventure Park, especially after the induction of several adventure sport activities like net climbing, rope climbing,wall climbing,grappling,tower climbing, balancing, high altitude cycling, rope skidding, crossing the pond on a rope etc just to name a few (for age groups 3-16).

The children are also provided a safety gear to practise their adventurism (ofcourse under watchful supervision of instructors).

The idea behind the park is to remove the fear element in kids from a young age as was first mooted by its designer BS Deshmukh.

Skills like balancing, decision making are also imparted at an young age.
Previously there was a zoo in these premises which since has been relocated at Katraj.

But what has still been retained is the famous 'Fulrani' toy train .

The toy train is located near the childrens playground which comprises of typical kid amusement activities like see saw, slides, swings etc).

There are also educational models of Solar energy , Hydel energy and Biogas energy  projects  etc which provide information about their basic concepts to these young minds.
The PMC maintains the park and charges Rs 10/- per person (Rs 100/- for foreign nationals). The ticket timings for the park are 9.30 am- 3.30 pm , 4.00 pm -5.30 pm (tentatively).

Outside the park premises are refreshment stalls/eateries as also privately managed amusement activities like ferris cartwheel, horse riding, horse cart riding, carousel, merry go rounds, disney slides etc that charge fees around Rs 10-12.

Miscellaneous photographs:

Text and Photographs: Abhijit Rajadhyaksha

Friday, March 2, 2012

Kolaba fort Alibaug : A Photo Feature

Pic: photo 1885

Kolaba Fort was one of the many forts under the control of  the great maratha king, Ch.Shivaji Maharaj (after his conquest of the coastal region of S.Konkan in Maharashtra). The king strengthened the fort in 1662.

Later the fort came under the sway of the legendary maratha admiral Sarkhel Kanhoji Angre (as per his treaty with Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath in the early 18th century ). It remained with his family for quite some time before it passed hands with the Siddis of Janjira, the Portuguese and the British. In 1722 there is a mention of a failed joint operation by the Portuguese and the English to capture the fort.

The fort is situated on an low rocky island (900 ft N-S, and 350 ft E-W) a few (1-2) kilometers from the Alibaug mainland.

During high tide the path is covered by sea water and has to be accessed by a motorboat, while during low tide the journey can be made in a tonga.

The fort has seventeen bastions (were named as Pinjala,Nagarkhani,Tofkhani,Darukhani,Ganesh,Surya, Hanumant,Fatte,Darya) and is built from black stone having 6-7 ft ramparts, 25 ft tall walls.

The fort walls have a parapet area alongside and one can have a view of the Arabian sea from there.The fort was once guarded by a 1000 infantry and 700 cavalry that were permanently stationed on the fort.

Alongside the main fort is a smaller twin fort called Sarjakot that defended the main fort from artillery attack from the mainland.

The fort mainly served as a watchpost to look over sea traffic in the nearbv trading port villages of Nagaon,Chaul and Revdanda.

Pic: Mahadarwaza

One enters the fort through the Mahadarwaza (main entrance) and a secondary doorway (perpendicularly located to the main entrance).

Pic:tomb of Sufi saint?

The fort also houses several edifices (now in ruins) including mansions belonging to Nani baisaheb the widow of Kanhoji Angre, Thorla wada built by Raghuji Angre Jr,Yesaji Angre wada,Manikcha wada,Karkunmandali wada,Sadar,storehouses,administrative offices,residences for the soldiers and families,Yashwantdari,Talaghara (basement),Sadar (court)gardens etc.There is also a doorway facing the sea towards the south.

The fort also hosts the temple of Ganesha Panchayatan which was built by Raghuji Angre Sr.

Inside the temple is a intricately carved doorframe that leads inside the sanctum.

 The garbhagriha (sanctum) houses beautiful idols of Ganesha,Devi,Surya,Samb (Shiva) and Vishnu.

Outside the temple are minor temples of  Mahadevi and Hanuman.

Pic:Tulsi vrindavan
Pic: deepamala (tower of lights)

The temple premises also has this beautifully engraved tulashi vrindavan and a deepamala .

Alongside is also a haud or water reservoir (called the Apsara talao).

Pic:Bhavani temple
Pic:Gulbai ?
Pic: Bopdev/ Kanoba?

The fort also has temples of Bhavani aai (roofed),Padamavati temple (north cause way),Mahadev,Gulbai,Bopdev,Kanoba and a tomb of a Sufi saint.

The fort was destroyed by the British and the wood was burnt (1842 & 1875). The stones were used for building the Alibaug waterworks.

The fort also holds two British cannons (dated 1849 & 1851) which fired warning signals if a ship approached dangerously close.

Currently the fort is being maintained by the Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI).

Entrance fees charged are Rs 5/- per person for Indian nationals and Rs 100/- for foreign nationals.
Boat charges are Rs 100/- per person and waiting time at the fort is 45 mins-1 hr.

Miscellaneous photos:

Pic: Gabhara doorstep
Pic: Garbhagriha doorframe of Ganesh temple
Pic: Boat departure for Kolaba fort

Pic: Alibaug mainland
Pic: Alibaug beach (boat departure pt)

Pic: entrance of Ganesh temple

Pic: Insignias / Fort iconography on Mahadarwaza

Pic: fountain at Ganesh temple

Pic: Sarkhel Kanhoji Angre statue

Text and photographs: Abhijit Rajadhyaksha