TelBaila – The Magmatic dike of Western Ghats

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Telbaila is a small village situated in the Lonavala region near Pune. The place gets its name from two magnanimous rock walls that raise themselves to the sky from the surrounding region. This wall is part of the geological history that were formed when the Indian plate was moving upwards to hit the Asian plate as we all know. While passing over the hotspot of volcano in today’s Reunion Islands, the magma erupted from the fissures of the plate and the emerging lava formed these geological structures known as magmatic dike. This was almost 65 million years ago. The geologists also believe that it is the reason why the central Deccan plateau has tilted towards east resulting into the east-flowing rivers like Godavari, Krishna etc. that originate in these western ghats.

telbaila landscape photography outdoor pune
Sun rays filtering through clouds towards sunset over Telbaila.
Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105mm F4 lens, 1/80sec, F16, ISO 100, -2/3 Ev, Tripod.

Over the course of the time, these wall like rocks stood there witnessing the progress of the human race and watch the rivers and streams shaping its valleys. The ancient trade routes from Konkan towards the plains of Tikona/Junnar circumvented around the narrow passes of the hills where these structure would have acted as an important milestones. A lot of forts like Sudhagad, Ghangad, Sarasgad, Tung, Tikona all lie in its vicinity. The ancient caves like Bedse, Carla, Thanale in the region from 1st/2nd BC periods hold the testimony of the active trade routes around here.

Telbaila landscape from Sudhagad during monsoon
Telbaila dikes as seen from the fort Sudhagad during monsoon.
Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105mm F4 lens, 1/500sec, F10, ISO 200, Handheld.

Of all its historic and geologic importance, these rock faces now serve the adrenaline of the climbing adventurers from the region. The trekkers and climbers come here to conquer these vertical walls and just enjoy the views of the valleys from its top. The following photographs of these dikes from different places around it try to put it into perspective of the beauty of this place.

telbaila landscape photography outdoor pune
Clouds gather over the top of Telbaila while water streams all around it go down in the valleys.
Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105mm F4 lens, 1/640sec, F8, ISO 200, -2/3 Ev, Handheld.

While searching for a place to get a better view of the milky way on the banks of the Mulshi backwaters, during our camping night, I stumbled upon this scene. The backwater were shimmering gold in the reflection from the setting sun while the sun got bigger nearing the horizon. Just by strolling around, I could manage to get the dike to hold the sun before it went down.

telbaila landscape photography outdoor pune
Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 lens, 1/80sec, F25, ISO 100, -2 Ev, Handheld.

telbaila landscape photography outdoor pune
Canon 7D Mark II, Canon 300mm F4 lens, 1/250sec, F4, ISO 100, -1 1/3 Ev, Handheld.
telbaila landscape photography outdoor pune
Canon 7D Mark II, Canon 300mm F4 lens, 1/320sec, F4, ISO 100, -1 1/3 Ev, Handheld.

The last photo though was hard work from Vivek. He had envisioned to get the sun in the gap between the rocks during the sunset. So, not only did he study the path of celestial objects and their inclination, he also figured out the better place to watch this from to capture the moment. We have to run around off the trail on the opposite hills on eastern side of rocks to get a view of it. Finally, when it happened, the sun was fast enough to get down the horizon than we would have liked it. But, it was one of the most satisfying moments to get the frame!

telbaila landscape photography outdoor pune
“The sun Trapped
Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105mm F4 lens, 1/30sec, F16, ISO 100, -2/3 Ev, Tripod.

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