14-Aug-2012 -- This DCP was the third of the three (DCP #1, DCP #2) we visited in a 5-day expedition from 11 - 15 August 2012. The route taken was Kalyān -> Nashik -> Dhule -> Jālgaon -> Shegaon -> Akola -> Kalyān. This narrative is written by including only the DCP relevant stuff from my detailed expedition report.
We set out early from Shegaon as compared to the earlier days - around 07:30 hours. We took SH-24 towards Akot (55 km) in Akola district. The road was in bad condition and our speed was slow. But the weather was pleasant and cool. I came across a river named Purna which had some noticeable water levels. Milestones for Rondale, Devrān, Akola, etc. were visible.
Since the morning, I knew we will have to trample mud trails as it rained the previous day and even in the morning. The 3rd DCP was situated in the fields, again. The soil was pitch black. This time, all four of us set to find the DCP #3 alike DCP #1. In the fields, apart from Jowar and Paddy, ‘Rai’, ‘Moong,’ soybean were also cultivated. Since it had rained in this area, the soil in the fields was wet and at some places, the water had clogged. Antik lost his sandales - its strap gave up and his further marching was barefoot. I had a brief chat with an elderly farmer who told me that now if it doesn’t rain sufficiently in few days, all the grown crops will be destroyed and they will be in a peril (so will be their fellow countrymen, I thought!). They can’t grow the kharif crops alike the heavy rainfall areas but they dare undertake ‘chana’ (grams) in Winter.
We proceeded further as per the compass. Suddenly, I spotted two deers, merrily chasing each other! Soon, we spotted an entire group of deers and a few antelopes. It really felt nice to see these animals behave so carefree! Of course, I was unhappy about the damage they cause - trampling and gulping up the nascent crops. Nevertheless, the farmers bear with them! After dissecting some more fields, we reached DCP #3. This is in a non-cultivated field and we had no difficulty in taking photographs. By this time, drizzles had started. On inquiry, a farmer told me that it was a village named Aalewadi. We hurried up with the proceedings and returned quickly to the vehicles. It was 12:15 hours. I cleaned my shoes as much as possible and we headed back to Shegaon.
Just before entering Shegaon, we had some spicy lunch and it was concluded that Gautala Wildlife Sanctuary can’t be covered the same day and we must fall back till Nashik. We galloped accordingly - Dhule was 247 km, Nashik 414 km. But later, it was decided we will halt at Dhule, in Ganpati Palace again, owing to the fatigue. At 00:30 hours, a policeman dressed in civil clothes came and asked for identity proofs and some questions. We were half asleep and murmured the answers. He left in few minutes bidding ‘good night’. It was probably a farce of ‘vigilance’ given the impending Independence Day celebrations.