Friday, January 4, 2013

Sunday outing to Devkop lake

It was long since my last outing with Wanderlust adventurers, one due to my personal commitments and also mostly due to my work commitment. So last when I met Ajay for birding at Gandheri, It was again decided to do some outing on Sunday. The place was Devkop or Devkhop lake near Palghar.

Devkop is not a popular destination but its like offbeat place close to Palghar, approx 5kms from Palghar station on Manor road. A very small sleepy village of few tribal mud huts on banks of Devkop lake. The lake water on clear blue sky reflects the sky colour and turns blue. A serene surrounding which is sure to bring the poet and your creative poetry out of you !!!! The place is surrounded by hills on three sides with thick forest cover on the hills and beautiful lake water with small village on it bank. A perfect place to be at on a winter Sunday.

We decided to catch the a slow local from Borivali at 7.25am for Virar from where we would catch the  Dahanu shuttle and get down at Palghar. A group of seven, lead by Dr Ajay. Virar Dahanu shuttle unexpectedly was crowded on Sunday morning also but we managed to get a seat. Its a mere 4 station - 40min run to Palghar from Virar. Something not to be missed at Palghar station are its sweeter than sugar chickoos and vadapavs bang opp station. I didn't miss both !!! Piping hot vadapav surely taste more better on chilly winter morning. Checking with some rickshawalas for a trip to Devkhop and they asked for Rs100 for a single trip. Ajay who had been to this place before suggested to check state transport bus as the place was close by and one way fare in ST bus was mere Rs 4/-. Surely that was the best way as we found that buses to Manor as quite frequent and they all stop at Devkhop. A run of 10 - 15min and we were standing at entrance of Devkop lake.

As we walked towards the lake from the main road, we passed this small sleepy village, made of straw huts plastered with mud. A tribal village and we didn't notice even a single shop in the village.The first sight of lake was like wow, clear & still water with reflections of mountains covering three sides,sun rising on winter day, water dam built at far end, village ladies washing clothes. Instantly we just stood capturing the beautiful sight in our lens. There is nothing much to do at the lake but we had come to explore so it was decided to do a full circle of the lake, capturing and enjoying the moments and the place. As we walked on not so dry & dry banks of the lake we could see empty sea shells or lake shells , indicating rich habitat for migratory birds.

Cormorant was the first bird that we could sight. It was a real pleasure to see the bird flying low on the lake and then jumping in the water to catch the fish. We also spotted small ducks swimming in middle of lake and Black Drongo which is very common during this part of the year.

One of the best thing about the lake was its clear water and it really gave a perfect reflection of its surroundings. To capture the beauty of the place and to have a good view we even climbed a small hillock and spend some time there. Some of the pics of reflections really turned out to be good.

Sun was now almost on the head so we decided to walk along the dam built to conserve the water and find some shade for our packed brunch that we were all carrying. Walking on the walls of the dam one gets a amazing view of both sides. one side was lake and other side was like a heaven, few huts and chickoo, coconut trees as far as eyes could see. It was like a ideal place to have a house amidst green trees and then just a climb on the dam wall and one can spend hours together watching the lake and its surroundings in the evening or early morning. It was such a beautiful sight that it just came rolling in front of my eyes while I pen down my memories of the place.

We had our brunch under a bridge over a well which served the purpose of realising water from the lake to other side of the dam in controlled manner, while we walked around the lake we came across some villagers fishing shell in shallow lake water.

Sun was now at its prime and it was now turning out to be too hot to walk, we decided to quickly complete a full circle of the lake as turning back would mean walking more in the open sun. It was like a walk of around 3hrs coming full circle of the lake.

We reached the village back and from the main road got into state transport bus to Palghar. Bharti -  one of my colleague was full red faced with heat from the sun and everyone else were also exhausted. On reaching Palghar station, it was wait for over one hour for our train to Virar back but drinking coconut water on station was huge respite from the heat and equally re hydrating. I am sure each one of us had at least two coconut full of water.

The train ride back to Virar was one hell of ride as train was jam packed to the brim, standing on one leg and every muscle getting toned by push from fellow passenger, we finally reached Virar and eventually our one more outing was complete and everyone was back safe home. It's a beautiful place and I still feel one should enjoy the beauty of the place in the evening or may be overnight stay in pitched tent. It would certainly be my dream to comeback to this place again some other time, some evening, some morning !!!!

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