An Evening at Uttan-Chowk

#1 Apr 20th, 2014, 11:13
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  • kapilankar is offline
#1
Introduction:
I wanted to head out to some waterfront nearby (I stay in Mira-Bhyandar) for a sunset stroll. Two options were Gaimukh (on Ghodbandar Rd.) or Uttan-Chowk. Opted for the latter.

Journey begins:
Left home at 1615. Mira Rd. railway station by 1625. Return tickets for Bhyandar @ Rs. 10. Bhyandar station (W) bus depot by 1642.
Just missed the 1640 bus for Chowk via Uttan. Bus interval for Bhyandar-Uttan-Chowk route (Bus Route #1) is 20mins. Boarded the next bus which left at 1702. Ticket to Chowk (last stop) @ Rs. 16.
Reached Uttan by 1735. Contemplated alighting there, but decided against it. Reached Chowk by 1750.

Chowk:
Chowk is essentially a small fishing village located on a hillock overlooking the mouth of the Vasai Creek. The same hillock is also supposed to be the location of the erstwhile Dongri Fort (Portuguese?).
The bus drops you at a maidan, near the eastern end of the village. When the bus reached the maidan, there was a cricket tournament in progress (with live commentary ). I made my way towards the road which encircles the northern end of the village, overlooking the Vasai Creek.
The view from here is truly beautiful with Vasai villages across the creek on the north, Mira-Bhyander skyline (?) on the east and the vast expanse of the Arabian sea on the west.
An almost unidentifiable path descends from the road to the creek below. Here you can spot some ruins, possible of the erstwhile Dongri fort.
A note about the stink here: Omnipresent and relentless!
Made my way back to the bus stop. The match at the maidan was nearing a gripping finale. Such was the intensity that the bus driver and conductor were also drawn into it! I too joined in the fun.
Finally the match ended with a lofted boundary with 3 balls to spare. The bus was already 5 mins late and left without waiting for the jubilations and celebrations that followed .

Journey continues:
Left Chowk at 1840. Ticket for Uttan @ Rs. 8. Reached Uttan by 1850. Missed the sunset. Started towards the Uttan lighthouse and Church.

Uttan:
Uttan is another small fishing village. Uttan's claim to fame is partly due to its light house, partly due to its resorts, partly due to its mangoes and partly due to the huge dumping ground that has come up in the recent years (ouch! .. stinky!).
My first stop was the lighthouse towards the southern side. Walking through the old village has a distinct back-packer feel to it. The light house was closed to public by the time I reached (after the lights came on). Took a stroll in its premises. Took in the views and left.
Next up was the Uttan Church (Our Lady of the Sea) located at the far southern end of the village, about 1km from the light house and about 2km from the bus stop. It was quite dark by the time I reached the church, almost 1930. The church in itself is pretty beautiful, located just next to the sea with a couple of viewpoints. Loved the breeze there, which was virtually non-existent in the main village.
Started the return journey by 1935

Return journey:
Walking 2km all the way to the bus stop was a bit of a task. With some luck, managed to hitch-hike in a small pick-up to the bus-stop (free ride!). Just caught the bus after it left the stop.
Left Uttan by 1945. Bus tickets @ Rs. 13. Reached Bhyandar railway station by 2020. Mira Rd. station by 2035.
Reached home by 2045 where I was welcomed by the lovely aroma of pav bhaji!

Just a lovely day!
Pics will follow!
#2 Apr 20th, 2014, 11:18
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  • Vinodmp is offline
#2
have you clicked any photos ? if yes kindly upload
#3 Apr 20th, 2014, 12:55
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  • kapilankar is offline
#3
Picset1: Around Chowk

Pic1: Boats near Dongri pier; Mira-Bhyandar skyline in the background
Pic2: Making way through bushes near the ruins
Pic3: More bushes and a few ruins
Pic4: Ruins, Vasai creek and one of the Vasai villages in the background
Pic5: Trees and ruins
Pic6: The sun, the sea and a boat!
Pic7: Boats entering the creek
Pic8: Sun amongst the palm trees
Pic9: An island in the creek
Pic10: The gripping cricket match that delayed the bus
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#4 Apr 20th, 2014, 13:11
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  • kapilankar is offline
#4
Picset2: Around Uttan

Pic1: Boats after sundown
Pic2: An extension of the Uttan beach
Pic3: Northern side of the village
Pic4: Lighthouse!
Pic5: Southern side of the village
Pic6: Almost dark at the church
Pic7: The church entrance
Pic8: The church facade
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#5 Apr 20th, 2014, 14:01
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  • JuliaF is offline
#5
A lovely report Kapilankar. Thank you!

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