Sunday, July 5, 2015

EVENT : VanVadi forest foods walk & planting on 12 July 2015

From Bharat Mansata

Forest foods walk, combined with transplanting of rice and millets at Vanvadi.

On Sunday, July 12, morn, starting at 10.30 am

The forest is again lush, and our large rock pool (very deep!) is brimming. Expect to have a thoroughly enjoyable day! A simple, firewood-cooked meal of forest and local foods will provided on a palash leafplate. A voluntary contribution of Rs 500 per adult and Rs 250 per child is requested, but less or more is equally welcome.
Please email and by July 10 if you plan to attend. 
Here are links to some photos taken during the rice transplanting and forest foods walk in 2014.
NOTE  : Direction to reach Vanvadi

By Train:
Coming from Mumbai on the Central Railway, you need to get down at Neral station, which is 2 stops before Karjat. The Pune bound Deccan Express is a good option, more comfortable, and usually not crowded. It leaves Mumbai CST/VT at 7.00, and Dadar at 7.15 AM, stops at Thane and Kalyan, and reaches Neral at 8.40 am. 

There are also fast local (suburban) trains leaving CST almost every hour. You need to catch one headed to Karjat or Khopoli. (Khopoli bound trains are more crowded.) All these stop at Neral, reaching in less than 2 hours.

Coming from Pune, take any Mumbai bound train and get down at Karjat. Then catch a Mumbai bound suburban local from the opposite side of the same platform where you get down. Neral is just 2 stops from Karjat, and barely 10 mins by train.

From Neral station, walk 5 minutes to the Neral bus stand. (If you are coming from Mumbai, you don’t need to cross the railway tracks.) Ask for a Devpada auto. (The Devpada autos are parked along a solitary, long wall at the Neral bus stand.)

Driving from Neral bus stand, soon after crossing the bridge over Ulhas river, there is a road veering diagonally to the right, which you need to take. This is just beside a large sign-board saying Bharat Education Society (Matheran Valley High School), and on the opposite side of another prominent sign of ‘Saguna Baug’. After veering right here, you will pass Vanjarpada and Devpada villages. Vanvadi is about 3 km beyond Devpada, after passing another adivasi village, Chinchwadi. On the way, you might spot numerous sign-boards of ‘Whispering Woods’. The thickly forested Vanvadi land begins just before the denuded moonscape of ‘Whispering Woods’ and surrounds it on 3 sides. (The total distance from Neral bus-stand to Vanvadi is about 11-12 km)

All the Devpada auto drivers know our place well, and would bring you right in, not far from our stream-side dwelling. (A well-known auto driver is Nandu, whose cell number is 09260068957.) The charge is Rs 250 if you hire the entire auto (capacity 8-10) all the way to Vanvadi. Alternatively, you can share with other passengers upto Devpada, and pay about Rs 135 extra to get to Vanvadi.

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