We had been pretty excited to start the New Year with a Flying Trip to Panchgani. We checked into two places, Anita n me along with a few more Club pilots were in Mount View and the rest, along with the team were in close by Eco Camp, our regular pilot haunt run by dear friend n frenchman Andre. Mount View is an old, English style bungalow run by a Parsi family. the location is idyllic, surrounded by a forest and overlooking the green n gorgeous Krishna Valley.
Some were tasting their first thermals and discovering what it is to find these invisible forces of nature, ride on them with their wings and climb higher in the sky. I would guide them initially and soon they would get a hang of them and develop their own instincts. They would love swooping through the thermals in climbing turns and relish the changing views of the stunning landscape below them. The Sahyadri terrain looks like an artists work from up above, shaped n coloured by the magnanimous forces of time and nature. These breathtaking views are a privelge that paragliding pilots share only with the birds.
The evenings would be full of flying banter and loads of laughter. we would experiment with new places to eat and continue our quest to find the best ‘ Strawberries in cream ‘ in town. Our quest ended at ‘ Kingsberry ‘ who also make some of the best strawberry wine. Not many of us our into wines but were happy to sip slowly while we sat in the evenings celebrating each day with top stories, pics, selfies and videos. Late evenings would take us into all sorts of challenging & innovative group games and deep & light conversations.
The trip was made more exciting by the intervention of police. We met all the senior officials we could who were pretty impressed with our credentials but needed more information and time to deal with the permissions process. This sent us on a new drive to discover some really wonderful flying sites where we enjoyed being and flying for the next few days. Life works in such mysterious ways and all one needs is to trust that all, obvious or not, is truly for our own good. Each of our lives are tailor-made for own evolution, expansion and awakening.
The last day we went visiting some ancient temples in Mahabaleshwar. It fascinates me to no end the richness and the depth of the culture of our land. Over thousand years old Shivalinga that legend has it that it emerged from the ground in the shape of a Rudraksh. It was astonishing to see such a huge Rudraksha in black stone at the centre of the Shivalinga. The temple itself is about 600 yrs old built by Shivaji Maharaja. The legend of Mahabal, the Asura is rather interesting as well as we read it on the inscriptions on the temple wall.
We also had the good fortune of visiting an old friend Rudransh, who is helping his parents run their art village called ‘Devrai’. They have patented artworks with rock and copper and employ tribal villagers to express their creative vision. It was awesome, the place and its peaceful and creative energy, the very unique artworks that were truly out of the world and we couldn’t help buying a few. i bought an artefact aptly named ‘ Nature Goddess’ and you can see this once you visit Lake Paradise next. We listened to some great music as Rudransh treated us to his homemade wine.
My heartiest thanks to all who made this trip such a memorable one, thanks for sharing your being with such trust and generosity. You are very special Akash, Jitu, Sachin, Kanan, Jaydev, Omkar, Shrikant Sharma, Srikanth Ram and Anuj.
|at the Krishna Devi Temple|
|at the Beginning of the Krishna River|
|Mt.View Hotel, Panchgani|
|At Devrai with Rudransh Mathur|
|through fields of gold…walking to take off|