Sep 30, 2011

Vodafone Outgoing Facility Barred Even After Bill Payment

I am Vodafone India subscriber from Maharashtra Circle and my Vodafone number is 98xxxxxx43.

This issue is regarding outgoing calls and SMS service getting barred even though bill payment was already done and inefficiencies of so called "Happy to Help" Customer Care. 

The case history is as under.

Earlier Vodafone used to generate my bill on 19th of every month and my bill payment due date used to be somewhere around 5th of every month. And that was happening since year 2005, when I subscribed for Vodafone post paid. 

Suddenly from September 2011, without any specific request from my end and without intimating me to that effect, Vodafone on its own changed my bill generation date to 9th of every month and my new bill payment due date is 27th of every month. 

Because of this it skipped from my mind that bill payment due date has lapsed. So instead of paying the bill on 27th, I paid that on 29th morning. Since it was paid through My Vodafone website, it got instantly updated in their system and I got the confirmation SMS from them on 29th September 2011 at 10:45 am. 

My phone was active as usual till almost 2:30 pm and then they barred my outgoing call and SMS facilities, despite of the fact that bill payment was already done and it was reflecting in their system. 

To get my services restored, I called their helpline on 111 (that was the only number I was able to dial) at about 03:00 pm and the customer care executive confirmed that bill payment is updated in the system and he took the request for restoring the services. The time promised was a maximum of 2 hours. 

Since my services were not restored, I again called on 111 at 04:00 pm and this time, the customer care executive took the request on high priority basis, again with a maximum resolution time of 2 hours.

My services were still not activated and at about 08:45 pm, I called 111 and lodged a formal complaint with complaint number 1080747564. The maximum resolution time for this complaint is ridiculously 48 hours. 

Now the time is 01:00 pm on 30th September and still my outgoing services are not restored. They don't even understand the importance and severity of the type of complaint. Unable to dial is a type of being handicapped now a days. This is the type of service that Vodafone offers to the customer like me, who have a track record of clean payment history for more than 6 years. They do not value their loyal customers and straight away restrict the outgoing services with a slightest of delay in payment, without considering the past payment history. And certainly, Vodafone is not Happy to Help. 

This according to me is a case of wilful denial of service by the service provider. TRAI should look into this. 

The first thing that I am going to do after my services get restored is to put the porting request. One more reason to port is poor 3G connectivity in Nagpur. More on that in a separate post.

I have previous bad experience with Airtel as well. I have never used any Airtel product in my lifetime, be it a Mobile, DTH or Broadband. Still Airtel first started to send e-bills on my email ID for the numbers which I never belonged. Then they started sending me reminders for non-payment of bill amount. Then they went to the extent of sending me legal notices on my email ID for recovery. I had informed Airtel Customer Care in the beginning itself that those numbers were not mine and had asked them to correct the email ID in their system. They haven't done anything and I am still getting mails from them. 

Now with these bad experiences with Vodafone and Airtel, only obvious choice remains for me is Idea Cellular. So any Idea Sales guys reading this post, please get in touch with me using the "Contact Us" form above. I am ready to port. 

Update at 10:15 am on 1st October: Still my services are not restored and nobody from Vodafone has yet even got in touch with me. It has been 2 days since my mobile is barred from outgoing calls and SMS. 

Update at 02:00 pm on 1st October: Finally my services got restored after 48 hours and first thing I did was that I gave the portability request. 

Sep 28, 2011

Aleph - New Book by Paulo Coelho

This new book by Paulo Coelho is available on flipkart at 40% discount. MRP is Rs. 325 but it is available for Rs.195 only.

Sep 25, 2011

Change Reliance Netconnect Default Homepage from to the page of your choice

If you are using Reliance Netconnect Broadband+, you must have noticed that every time the connection is established, irrespective of what default page you have set in your default browser, the first page that gets opened is

If you feel that this page is of no use to you and there is a unnecessary data transfer involved, howsoever small it might be, here is a workaround. 

This workaround is tested for the Huawei USB EC1260 modem. If your USB modem is different and if you find that this solution is not working, you can always uninstall the Dialler software and it will automatically get reinstalled to default settings when you plug in the USB modem next time. 

The steps are as under:

1) Go to path c:\Program Files\Reliance Netconnect - Broadband+\plugins\XFramePlugin

2) Locate the file Config.xml and open it with notepad.

3) In the code, locate the Homepage tag with default homepage as

4) If you want that a blank page should be opened after the connection gets established, replace with about:blank

5) If you want to open the homepage of your choice, replace the above with the URL of your choice, like what I have done to set facebook as my default page in the screenshot below

6) Save the file.

Now next time when you establish the connection, the page of your choice would get opened. Happy browsing!!!

Sep 20, 2011

Remove Blank Space in Blogger Posts below Comments Box

If your blog is hosted on blogger, you may find that there is a blank space at the end of the post, just below the "Post a Comment" box.  

That space is because of the default height of the comment form and is usually harmless, but it is troublesome if your have enabled the backlinks for the comments. And if you have Ads by Google enabled at the end of the post, the user might not notice the ad after reading the post because of this blank space and you might lose some valuable clicks.

However, there is a workaround for this.

The steps are as under:

1) Take the backup of your template before editing the HTML code.

2) Go to Blogger Dashboard (new interface)

3) Click on Template tab

4) Click on Edit HTML

5) Click on Proceed

6) Tick the box at the top to Expand Widget Templates.

7) Search for the words "data:post.commentFormIframeSrc" in your code. You will find these words at 2 places in the code.

8) In the very next lines to those words at both the places, you will find the attribute "height="

9) Change its value to 250 at both the places

10) Preview your blog

11) Save the template if it is looking fine. Else undo the changes or restore the backup taken in step 1.

Now that blank space should not be appearing. Happy Blogging!!!

Sep 19, 2011

facebook password and CAPS Lock

Recently, I discovered that if your facebook password is PasSwoRd, you would be able to login with PasSwoRd and pASsWOrD as well. 

That doesn't mean that the password is not case sensitive. The passwords are case sensitive, but at the same time, the case can be toggled. My first thought was that it is not good from the security point of view. But later on, I found that it is actually a good thing for the user.

Many a times, when the account is first created, the user is not aware whether the CAPS Lock was ON or OFF. He couldn't notice that either, since passwords are masked. Now I don't know whether it is a bug, but presumably, facebook has coded their system in such a way that the login system is indifferent on the status of CAPS Lock button. So if in the example above, your actual facebook password is PasSwoRd, but you are not aware that CAPS Lock is ON and as a result, you enter your password as pASsWOrD, facebook will first check the entered password and if it doesn't match, then it will internally check the toggled password and if it matches, the user would be able to login. But since the passwords are case sensitive, it won't allow the logins with "password" or "PASSWORD". If the password contains numbers, the numbers are to be entered as they are in the original password.

Apparently, facebook accepts the following 3 passwords:

1)  The original password
2)  Original password with case toggled for all the characters
3) Original password, with case toggled only for the first character (while logging in from mobile devices, since some devices have the first character in upper case by default)

Now as long as the password is case sensitive, I don't think that it is compromising even a bit on user's security.

Lets consider the two main types of attacks, offline and online.

Offline Attack: Suppose any hacker gets the access to facebook's encrypted database of passwords, and if he can decrypt the passwords, then he can easily try the same password with CAPS Lock set as ON and OFF. Thats a fairly common guess. So there is no compromise on security due to this feature. 

Online Attack: facebook has limit on the number of failed password attempts and after this limit, it will ask for some alternative login credentials. So,  unless the hacker is very lucky, this feature will get activated before he could try the toggled version of his guess, if he is trying brute force attack. So again, this feature doesn't harm. 

Because of this feature, facebook must have limited the number of password reset requests, since most of such requests are because of ignoring the status of CAPS Lock button. And this is again good from the user point of view since password reset mails are more vulnerable to attacks and many email systems  or email clients are not that secure. 

All in all, if you are logging into facebook, do not bother about whether your CAPS Lock is ON or OFF. Your online security is not jeopardised because of this. You are completely safe, if follow the other password security norms. 

Sep 15, 2011

How to Stop Irritating Beep in Tally?

If you are using the popular accounting software Tally, you might get irritated with a beep sound that plays every time you save the voucher or when you press escape keys to exit tally. It beeps even if you mute your system speakers, and in a quiet office environment, that irritating sound is heard more prominently. One temporary solution to this is to press CTRL+A key to save the voucher without prompting. You need to press this key when you have completed the voucher entry. 

However, I found a permanent solution to this problem which I am going to share with you with screen shots from Windows XP. For Windows Vista and Windows 7, solution is quite similar. 

First you need to right click on "My Computer" and go to properties. Go to Hardware tab and click on "Device Manager". 

Click on "View" button from main menu and select "Show Hidden Devices" option. 

Find and expand "Non-plug and Play Drivers" from the list below.

Right Click on "Beep" and Disable it. 

If you are prompted for a reboot, select no and then again right click on "Beep" and go to Properties. 

Go to "Driver" tab and change current status to "Stopped" and select "Disabled" from the "Startup" dropdown. 

Then reboot if you were asked earlier, and now you would be free from that irritating beep in Tally.

Sep 14, 2011

Bluetooth Pairing Detection of Service Failed

If you are trying to pair your mobile phone with your laptop via Bluetooth, you might get the error message "detection of service failed".

I was getting this error message when I was trying to pair my Nokia E5 with  Laptop having Toshiba Bluetooth Stack for Windows XP version 6.01.03

This is how I fixed it. 

Right click on Bluetooth manager tray icon in your laptop. Go to Options and then click on Security tab.

Choose security level as High and just below that, choose file transfer password like 111. Apply the settings. 

Now if you try to pair after entering the same password as above, you should be able to pair your device with your laptop. 

Normal procedure is to search for the Bluetooth devices, then select one of the device, choose the password and enter the same password on both the devices. In this workaround, the password is predefined in the laptop and you enter the same password in your mobile device. And it works!  

Sep 13, 2011

Want facebook full version on mobile instead of lite or mobile version?

Earlier facebook had the facility to switch back to the full version instead of their facebook mobile or lite or touch version. But now when you browse facebook from your mobile browser, this option is not there and you have to compulsorily use the mobile version only. But this version has its limitations. So for those who are used to full version only, here is the workaround.

When you type in your mobile browser, the URL automatically changes to 
I had a look at this URL and then it was logical that w2m means web to mobile. I tried to reverse that and it worked. 

So what you need to do is to remove the starting "m.", trailing "&_rdr", change "w2m" as "m2w" so that the URL becomes

Now you should be able to browse with full facebook version on your mobile.

Update on 3rd January 2012:

The above post was relevant at the time when it was posted. Sometime back, facebook changed its URLs and now when I type in my opera mini, URL changes to

Now you need to delete m. at the start and change the URL to so as to view full facebook version on your mobile.

Sep 12, 2011

Why TRAI NCPR won't work?

I am registered with National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC) or Do Not Disturb (DND) service since 31st October 2007. But as almost 100% of the subscribers will agree, NDNC is a huge failure. The main reasons for this is the lack of subscriber awareness and the lack of proper penal mechanism. I get almost 8-10 calls and pesky messages per day.

In the first place, most of the subscribers don't know that there is something like NDNC or DND mechanism, in which they can register their mobile number and get some relaxation from unwanted calls and SMS. Then there are some subscribers who are registered with NDNC, but still get promotional calls/SMS but don't know what to do and whom to complaint. Then there is a remaining small class of subscribers, including me, who are registered in DND, still get promotional calls/SMS, raise the formal complaints with the service provider, but don't get any relief due to the lack of proper penal mechanism and the quantum of fine.

Under the existing system of NDNC, the procedure is that once your are registered in NDNC and still get promotional calls/SMS even after 45 days of registration, you need to contact your service provider (terminating service provider) and raise a formal complaint. Your service provider in turn will contact the service provider of the caller or sender (original service provider) of the promotional content. There is a fine of Rs.500 only for the first offence. 

This system of NDNC is now getting replaced from September 27th with a new system named as "National Customer Preference Registry" (NCPR). The website is This deadline has already been extended 4 times earlier, due to the lack of uniform number series to be provided to the registered telemarketers. Hopefully it will see the light of day this time.

First you need to check your current status from If you had already registered under erstwhile NDNC, then you will automatically be in the new NCPR under "fully blocked" category. 

If you are not registered, you need to call on 1909 from your cell to register for NCPR/NDNC/DND. While registering you can completely block the promotions or choose to receive messages from the following 7 categories:

1 Banking/Insurance/Financial products/Credit cards
2 Real Estate
3 Education
4 Health
5 Consumer Goods and Automobiles
6 Communication/Broadcasting/Entertainment/IT
7 Tourism and Leisure.

TRAI’s new policy promises that even unregistered customers won’t receive any commercial communication between 9 pm and 9 am.

TRAI has announced that those telemarketers who do not follow these rules would face a fine of Rs. 25,000 for the first offence. The fine goes up to Rs. 2.5 lakh for the sixth offence and if they continue defying it, they would be blacklisted for two years. But that is applicable to the registered telemarketers. So why would anybody register?

In the present system, NDNC is bypassed since most of the telemarketers did not register themselves. Promotional messages are sent from one mobile number and different contact number is provided in the SMS, so that even if the sending number is blocked on complaint, the original number remains intact. 

In the new system as well, the penal mechanism though more pinching, it won't be initiated unless the subscriber is registered and starts raising complaints. 

The new penal mechanism is as under:

1) First of all, register yourself in NCPR, if not already registered in NDNC.

2) If you are getting promotional calls/SMS even after 7 days of registration, raise the formal complaint with your service provider within 3 days of receipt of unsolicited commercial communication.

3) On receipt of a complaint, the Terminating Access Provider shall,
(a) immediately acknowledge the complaint by providing a unique complaint number; 
(b) verify whether, at the time of complaint, a period of seven days has expired from the date of registration of the subscriber in the Provider Customer Preference Register; 
(c) verify the correctness of the complaint as per the available Call Detail Record (CDR); and 
(d) complete the steps at (b) and (c) within seventy two hours from receipt of the complaint.

4) If, on verification, the complaint is found to be correct, the Terminating Access Provider shall, within seventy two hours of the receipt of the complaint, forward the complaint, under simultaneous transmission to the National Telemarketer Register, to the Originating Access Provider from whose network such unsolicited commercial communication has originated.

5) The Originating Access Provider, to whom the complaint has been forwarded, shall within seventy two hours of the receipt of the complaint by it, investigate the nature of call or SMS and if after such investigation, it finds that such call or SMS is an unsolicited commercial communication- 
(a) issue a notice to the telemarketer, forwarding the detail of the unsolicited
commercial communication made by him and informing him of the deduction from the security deposit of an amount as agreed upon in terms of Schedule IV or Schedule V to these regulations; 
(b) intimate, the result of the investigation and the action taken by it on the basis of the complaint, to the Terminating Access Provider which forwarded the complaint; 
(c) deposit the amount so deducted in an account specified by the Authority; and 
(d) update the action taken by it in the National Telemarketer register. 

6) The Terminating Access Provider shall, upon receipt of the intimation from the Originating Access Provider, intimate to the complainant, within twenty four hours, the result of the investigation and the action taken by the originating Access Provider on his complaint.

7) In case the Originating Access Provider to whom a complaint has been forwarded finds that the unsolicited commercial communication originated from a subscriber who is not registered with the Authority as a telemarketer, it shall issue a notice to such subscriber to forthwith discontinue the sending of such unsolicited commercial communications and if such subscriber sends a commercial communication to any subscriber on a second occasion, disconnect the telecom resources of such subscriber.

Now I seriously don't think that the new NCPR is going to work as well. That is because of the point number 7 above which is clause 19(11) of The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010 available on

As I said before, people bypass present NDNC just by sending SMS from a different mobile number and provide a different contact number in the SMS. So in the new regime of NCPR as well, even if the complaint is registered, the original access provider will issue a notice. Even after the notice, if the communication is not stopped, it will only discontinue the telecom resources, i.e. the original mobile number from which the SMS is sent. It is a very small price to pay for sending the messages to a huge database of mobile numbers.

There are a couple of more flaws in this system. You need to open up the category even if you want to receive SMS from one specified service provider. For ex. if you want to receive SMS alerts for banking transactions from your own bank like ICICI Bank, you must expressly open up the category "Banking/Insurance/Financial products/Credit cards". So if you open up that category, you will receive messages from ICICI Bank and at the same time, you will start to receive other promotional messages in that category like "Avail Personal Loan in 15 minutes. Minimum Documentation. Contact....." and many more like that. And what's more, you won't be able to complain for that since you yourself have opened up the category.

Unless you open up categories, you won't be able to receive some important SMS alerts like those for high value bank and debit/credit card transactions,  reminders for bill payment, booking confirmation with driver's contact number for Radio Cabs, getting required contact details on SMS from Justdial, SMS confirmations for railway and airline bookings, push messages on facebook, twitter etc. So with all these restrictions, most subscribers would be compelled to opt out of NCPR, giving complete freedom to telemarketers to target them.  

Another problem is that in promotional messages, now we receive the name of the sender in the form of sender ID and operator code prefixed to it. In the new system, we will receive only the mobile number of the sender. So the user won't be able to identify the legitimate message and spam message, unless he/she goes through the entire content of the message. 

To force the registration, TRAI is imposing the ceiling of 100 messages per day per sim card, for every unregistered number in the form of P2P communication. This is based on the assumption that any telemarketer needs to send more than 100 messages per day, and that would force them to register. So anybody can start sending up to 100 messages per day, with the only threat that on complaint, the number may be blocked. 

This restriction is on the number of messages per day. What about calls by an unregistered telemarketers? 

So all in all, I am very sceptical about the new regulations as well. In all probabilities, my cell phone will continue to ring for the calls and messages, that I don't want.

Sep 8, 2011

Kokan Darshan 2011

Since last 2-3 years, we were planning for a Konkan tour, but for one reason or another, it wasn't happening. Actually, my wife hadn't seen sea in her lifetime. I was reluctant to take her to any of the Mumbai beaches, so that her first impression about the sea and the beaches should not be bad. Suddenly opportunity came in April 2011 to visit Konkan and we grabbed it with both hands. 

About Konkan 

Konkan (कोकण in Marathi) is the hilly area along the western coastline of India, with Arabian Sea on one side and Sahyadri mountain ranges on the other side. It starts from Thane District near Mumbai and goes southwards upto Mangalore District in Karnataka. However most Maharashtrians feel that Konkan starts from Thane District and ends at Sindhudurg District. The legend goes that Parashuram created the beautiful land of Konkan by reclaiming it from the sea and it is the Karmabhumi of Lord Parashuram, the sixth avatar of Vishnu. 

It is also called as the California of India, famous for the produce of Alphonso mangoes and a land with rich mineral resources, a land of landscapes, carpeted with tropical forest, a land of coconut, betel nut, cashew, jack fruit, tamarind, bamboo etc. 

Konkan receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon season and earlier this area used to remain cut-off from the outside world for 2-3 months during monsoon. Now with Konkan Railway and better road connectivity, the conditions have somewhat improved. With better connectivity, tourism has also increased significantly.

Tourism in Konkan

Konkan is not a commercially well developed tourist location and that is the best part of it. The local residents have built the cottages and started giving them on rent for the tourists. Lunch and dinner is also arranged by them at their home. Don't miss to try local cuisines like "Ukadicha Modak" (उकडीचा मोदक), "Solkadhi" (सोलकढी) and different dishes of fish if you are non-veg lover. Even there is a different taste to a rice grown here.


The people in Konkan, कोकणस्थ as they are called in Marathi are known to be misers, although exceptions are there. But the reasons behind them being misers are understood only when you visit Konkan. The financial condition of masses is not very good. They are still dependent on natural resources and now tourism. This area remains isolated from the outside world for 2-3 months during monsoon. The infrastructure is poor. As a result, people are used to maintain sufficient stocks of food grains,money and other household items. They are used to spend these things wisely and conservatively. And that has happened since ages. So its in their blood.  So even if the infrastructure and their financial condition have improved now, it is difficult to change the basic nature all of a sudden. Even we faced a problem in a major tourist location like Ganapatipule. We needed to fill diesel in our Scorpio. But there was no diesel available on all the petrol pumps nearby. And Guhagar was quite far. So we had to take 20 litres of diesel from local fishermen society, which is made available to them for fishing boats. From this present day situation, we can judge the reasons for them being misers. Even if there is a tank full of fuel, people must be avoiding to travel unnecessarily or must be using bicycles to save fuel. But in general people here are good by heart. You don't feel insecure while roaming alone on a vacant beach. 

Our Konkan Tour 

Our tour stared from Dombivali by road. From Dombivali, we went straight upto Chiplun on Mumbai-Goa highway. Our first destination was Parashuram village near Chiplun. This is a mythologically significant place and there is a 300 year old temple of Lord Parashuram in this village.

After darshan and lunch, we proceeded further to visit another sacred temple at Marleshwar. This place is very much popular for the Cave Shiva Temple where one can see venomous snakes who do not bite the devotees. This has resulted in increasing faith in the place and every year thousands of devotees visit the place. We were not fortunate enough to see the snakes inside the cave, but we saw a snake on the road. 

After Marleshwar we had planned to visit Shiv Srushtee at Dervan. But we were short of time and we had to reach Malgund for night halt. So we decided to skip Dervan and moved forward. 

While going from Chiplun to Ganapatipule, we opted to go by shorter route, but I would advise the readers to go by Highway only. The shorter route is very lonely and rough and if you miss some turn, then there is nobody on the road to ask and there are no signboards on the road as well. We were driving through pitch dark forest for more than 1 hour and were praying that we shouldn't get misdirected. 

Malgund is a place just 1 km away from the famous tourist spot of Ganapatipule. We reached Ganapatipule at 09:30 pm. So we decided to have the dinner there. By the time our order was getting ready, we could not resist ourselves from getting near the noisy sea beach. Especially for my wife, it was her first experience to view the sea. That too at night in torch light. But she was very excited. 

After dinner, we went to Malgund and and it was decided to enjoy the Malgund beach at 7 am. Many tourists don't know the place and that was actually good for us, since there was nobody on Malgund beach. The beach at Ganapatipule is not safe for enjoyment. But the beach at Malgund is excellent, flat, clean and clear, very safe and not crowded at all. The following pictures speak for themselves.

After all the enjoyment at Malgund beach, it was the time to have some breakfast and then visit to Ganapatipule Mandir. 

Ganapatipule is approximately 375 km. south of Mumbai, along the Konkan Coast. Ganapatipule is a very small town with about 100 houses, having one of the most spectacular beaches along the Konkan Coast – an idyllic getaway that attracts peace-seekers, beach lovers, and pilgrims alike. The temple of Swayambhu (self-originated) Ganesh is much frequented by thousands every year. The God is considered to be the Paschim Dwardevta (Western Sentinel God of India), and those who visit Ganapatipule, make it a point to pay their respects to this great deity. Aside from its clean beach and clear waters, Ganapatipule is rich in flora, including mangroves and coconut palms. But this beach is not safe for tourists. So it is better to avoid taking any risks and enjoy the Malgund beach just 1km away. If you want to complete the "pradakshina", you have to walk round the entire hill which is a 15 minutes walk.

After Ganapatipule, we went to the place nearby called as "Prachin Konkan". Here we come to know about the traditions and lifestyle in Konkan for the last 400 to 500 years. It is depicted by statues, paintings etc. 

 This picture shows us the traditional utensils used in the kitchen.

 The picture on the right is of the house of "khot" (खोतांची वाडी) 

There was another place nearby in Malgund which is the birthplace and smarak of great Marathi poet "Keshavsoot". We got the opportunity to read some of the finest poems by him and other poets as well in a neatly maintained museum. 

After lunch at Malgund, we left for Guhagar and visited Jaigad Fort and Karhateshwar Mandir en-route. There is also a Gomukh in this temple.

View from Jaigad Fort

Sea at the backside of Karhateshwar Mandir

It was 09:30 at night when we reached Guhagar and we were fortunate to get something for dinner since restaurants close quite early here. We got the cottage which was placed in a coconut trees plantation with a beach just at the back side and it was a pleasant stay.

In the morning we left for Hedvi Ganapati Mandir with a Dashamukhi Ganesh. The mandir is neat and clean and well maintained. Even the walls of the hill facing  the temple are painted artistically. 

There is a beach nearby named Baman Ghal. It is a beautiful rocky sea shore and the uniqueness of this spot is that there is a huge gorge formed here and the sea water gushes inside that gorge. Gorge is called as "ghal" (घळ) in Marathi and hence the name Baman Ghal. Another uniqueness is that here we can walk from the right side on the rocks into the sea and we can see the waves behind us approaching the coast on the left side. 

Another place nearby is Velneshwar with a clean beach and Shiv mandir alongside. 

Beach from top of the hill

Then we had a lunch at Guhagar and took some rest. Then we had a visit to the Modi Farm nearby where we saw the green houses with floriculture technology used for commercial mass cultivation of flowers. Green houses are temperature controlled and moisture controlled. Interesting thing was that all the plants are planted not in soil but in opened coconuts. 

Then we came back to Guhagar and took the Darshan at the Durga Mandir and Vyadeshwar Mandir and reached Guhagar beach just in time to enjoy the sunset.

In the morning, we departed from Guhagar and left for Diveagar. Somebody told us that there is a lighthouse en-route but the tourists are allowed only in the evenings. We were going to Diveagar so we did not have time in the evening. Still we decided to take a chance and reached the lighthouse near Enron power plant. The in-charge there happened to be from Umred (a place 50 kms from Nagpur) and when he learnt that we are from Nagpur, he happily allowed us to see the lighthouse, the machinery inside and view of the sea from the top. For security reasons, photography is not allowed inside where machinery is installed. The officer gave us the information about how lighthouse functions, how each lighthouse has a different colour code and light patterns to enable the identification from deep sea. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

Enron Power Plant as seen from the Lighthouse

Another first time experience is to board our entire vehicle into the ferry boat. This was the ferry boat from Dhopave to Dabhol. 

 We saved the distance of 80-85 kms by road by doing this since we just had to travel to the opposite end of the creek just 1 km away. That took us just 10 minutes. The website of the shipping company is

As we reached the opposite end of the creek and were approaching Aanjarle, we had the picturesque look at the Aanjarle beach from the top of the hill. The beach from the top looks like a curly bracket and sea water also takes the shape accordingly.

We had a lunch at Aanjarle and visited Aanjarle beach and had a darshan at Durga Mandir. There is also a famous Ganapati Mandir here called as "kadyawaracha Ganapati", but we had to skip that for the want of time.

After Aanjarle, it was the turn of another similar ferry boat ride, operated by the same shipping company from Veshvi to Bagmandale. After reaching Bagmandale, we headed towards another sacred place of Harihareshwar also known as Dakshin Kashi. This is said to be the "Kuldaiwat" of "Peshwe". However unlike other temples in Konkan including the popular Ganapatipule, this place seems to be a mismanaged now. There was a shortage of drinking water in the temple and a shortage of milk in the roadside restaurants. 

After Harihareshwar, we headed towards Diveagar and reached there before sunset. The beach here at Diveagar was a huge disappointment though. It was very very bad. Black sand, frothy water, dead snakes and fishes laying on the beach. It was as if the sea water was extremely polluted. Locals though said that there is no industry within 100 kms and hence there can't be any pollution and black sand is due to illegal extraction of white sand on top. I didn't even clicked many pictures here.

Just posting this sample picture to show the black sand on the beach. 

As per our original itinerary, this was the last beach to visit. Next day morning we were to join the Goa - Mumbai highway somewhere near Mangaon by going from Diveagar. It was a night halt at Diveagar.  So we felt that the ending of fabulous trip was not memorable. 

But it was not our destiny to end this memorable tour on a bitter note. Thanks to the different maps we carried all throughout our tour, we found a different route and it was decided to go back to Dombivali via Murud Janjira on the same day. Earlier we had dropped that plan since there is no ferry boat available to board the vehicle from Dighi to Murud (Rajpuri). We were to view the fort and come back to Dighi, it would have took us atleast 4-5 hours. Again we had some brainstorming in our core group meeting and found a way out. We asked our driver to leave us at Dighi jetty. We caught a ferry boat to Rajpuri and asked the driver to come by road covering a distance of 80-90 kms via Agardanda. In the meantime we could have easily viewed the entire fort. 

From Murud (Rajpuri), we have to again catch a sailboat to go to Janjira fort. Travelling in a sailboat, going with the wind, seeing the adjustments according to the wind direction is again a unique experience these days. The fort is built 900 years ago and it is still strong. The fort is unbeaten and unbeatable. This fort could not be conquered despite of many attacks by Dutch, Marathas and the British. Siddi used to occupy and rule this fort till the Janjira State came to an end in 1947 and merged with the Indian Union. There is an underwater tunnel from Murud to the fort which was operational sometime till 1971. The houses inside the fort were also in good condition till that time. Then the Government decided to close the tunnel for safety reasons and people residing were also asked to leave the fort. People carried door and window frames and roof tops with them. As a result, due to wind, rains and other weather exposure, the construction inside has now turned into ruins. The main entrance door of this fort isn't noticed until we reach very near to it.There are also a couple of sweet water lakes in the fort to meet the drinking water requirements of the inhabitants. So even 900 years ago, there was some awareness about rain water harvesting, which even today is not very common. 

First view of the strong fort
Main entrance is visible only from nearby

Made of 5 metals. Remains cool in sun.

This is the Padmadurga, just 2 miles north-west of Janjira. After the death of Shivaji Maharaj, Sambhaji Maharaj took over as the Maratha king and he tried very hard to conquer Janjira so as to rule the western coastline. He built this fort to attack Janjira from a shorter distance. But its construction is incomplete since Sambhaji Maharaj had to rush back to the Capital fort Raigad since Aurangzeb attacked Raigad. The construction work was stopped and it was never completed. Although it is not as big as Janjira but still a sea fort that can be visited by taking permission from Indian Customs\Navy. It looks great from Janjira. There are no direct ferryboats to Padmadurga. Visitors have to hire a personal ferryboat. Due to incomplete construction, bombarding from Janjira during its construction, only ruins of the Padmadurga fort remain. Many parts of the fort are now inaccessible.This fort is under a seal by Indian Government as it has been claimed that the drugs were smuggled there. 

Again we had decided to join Goa-Mumbai highway from Murud, via Roha. But again, thanks to the maps and GPS devices, we found that there is a bridge to cross the creek before Revdanda. So we decided to return via Alibag. And best was still to come. Unexpectedly, we noticed that the beautiful Kashid beach is en-route. Kashid beach is completely commercial, but very clean and safe, with water sports facilities and change room facilities. All the restaurants on the beach have their own hammocks so that tourists can relax. 

We decided to take the Banana Ride. In this ride, 5-6 people sit on a inflated banana shaped boat shown in the picture. The instructor sits at the back. This boat is then tied to a speed boat. When we are in deep sea, the speed boat attains full speed and turns. At the same time the instructor sitting at the back turns bends himself sideways. This causes the entire boat to turn and all the people take the plunge in sea water directly. Even if you don't know swimming like us, we still float due to the life jackets. This is done twice in this ride, once in deep sea and once near the coast. Since we had some senior members on board, we had asked them not to turn the boat in the deep sea. For the second time near the coast, when we fell into the sea, all of a sudden we took the 3-4 feet plunge inside. Sea water was inside our eyes, nose, throat and all. We were searching for help from the instructor. We first began to float with the help of life jackets. We were still unable to maintain our balance. Then the instructor came near and just asked to stand upright, since it was just 4-5 feet deep, which nobody notices in a panic like situation. All in all it was a thrilling experience for all of us. I could not capture many pictures at Kashid beach since I was not carrying my camera due to the Banana ride. And that experience what such that it cannot be captured in camera. It has to be experienced. 

After Kashid we returned to Dombivali after a brief visits to Alibag beach and Revdanda Birla Temple. And that was the happy ending of the memorable tour.

Any comments/suggestions are welcome. If you need any references or contact numbers at the places mentioned here, please let me know by commenting here. I will be glad to help.

Finally I leave you with some of the bizarre photos captured by me during this tour. Click here for this. 
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