What is the time duration from sunrise to sunset, 12 hours? In my case it was 17 ½ hours. Yes, I was flying west, to UK, eagerly awaiting many experiences, many sights to be seen and many questions to be answered.
Bangalore to Mumbai
Had to take the connection flight from Mumbai, was of the opinion that it was just a waste of time not to have got the direct flight to London from Bangalore, how wrong I was, got treated to some of the most beautiful sights in the 1 ½ hours that it took to reach Mumbai from Bangalore.
This time I had an Atlas to track out my path and identify (at least guess) the places I would be flying over.
Apologies: The quality of images in this post will be substantially poor because of various factors like: the inferior quality of the windows used in airplanes, the height, inability to choose the best mode to take the snap in the less time available… etc.
The mound of earth in the middle is Nandi Hill.
And, for people who don’t believe that the above snap is really that of Nandi Hill.
It was not a clear day; else it would have made a fantastic snap to cherish. For people who have been to this hill; one can notice the sheer drop on the right side of this hill, which should be the famous Tippu drop, why they have named it after him, no idea, yes, I know that Tippu Sultan has some sort of a summer palace on this hill, but, why name the drop after him.
Went through my Atlas a zillion times to see if we will cross any of the major rivers of Karnataka, to try and identify them. Yes, we did see quite a few of them, but not in a position to identify any of them. Almost all the rivers originate in the Western Ghats; The Rivers flowing towards Arabian Sea are mainly used for generating power, and those towards Bay of Bengal can are mainly used for irrigation by constructing dams across them, did see some catchments resulting from these dams.
One very beautiful (but obvious) thing to take note is the dependency of Human civilization on river water; we can observe the human settlements all along the riverbanks. Major towns are still located on riverbanks.
The above snap must be of a place between Satara and Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra. I’m basing my guess on the time I took this snap to the time it takes for the journey. Observe a Golf course in the lower portion of the picture.
Sun’s reflection on this water body and we can also observe the flow of water from this altitude, beautiful!
This water body maybe Bhatgar Lake or Mulshi Lake (both are quite close by in my map) or I maybe completely wrong, this is only an attempt to track my path and is no way perfect.
This snap shows the sudden drop in elevation as we move from the Western Ghats in the westward direction. The average drop in elevation is approximately around 1000 metres. It made a really pretty sight for the naked eye; cameras are yet to become as flexible and dynamic as human eyes.
Breathtaking! There is a town on top of this hill. If I make enough money, I don’t see why I should not visit this place.
I took this snap just 5-10 minutes before landing in Mumbai, maybe I was near Lonavala or Khandala at that time.
late addition: this heavenly place is called Matheran.
Mumbai to London:
The Plane from Mumbai to London had a very clean transparent window, I had a window seat, and there was no one sitting next to me, I couldn’t ask for more.
The last time I had been to Mumbai, it had been a night flight. The coastline of Mumbai with its well-lit streets looks like a glowing diamond necklace, decorating the night. It’s simply a feast for the eyes; people with night take-offs from Mumbai Airport don’t miss that sight.
I may have taken the snap of only a certain part of Mumbai city, which has higher concentration of Jhopdi’s. Hmmm…
Referring my Atlas I had charted the path our flight would take, according to the route I had assumed we would be flying above Arabian Sea-Muscat-Iraq-Turkey-Switzerland (Swiss Alps)-Germany-UK. When charting the route the only thing I had not considered was the rotation of the Earth, so our route was a curve taking us through India (Gujarat, Rajasthan)-Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran-Caspian Sea-Poland-Germany-UK.
This gave me an unprecedented opportunity to fly over Pakistan, Afghanistan, not that I knew any noteworthy places to be seen from the plane, just that feeling. I had also hoped to see some sort of a LOC with barricade or something while crossing the India-Pakistan border, was glued to the LCD panel giving the actual position of our plane, so that I did not miss out on that moment. Well, I was disappointed in not seeing such a border being present between the two countries, but was not disappointed by the sights that were in store for me.
Clouds and their shadows; initially had mistaken the shadows for huge lakes or water reservoirs. By this time had crossed the border, the dial on my screen was indicating that I was in Pakistan, even the above photo was taken in that country.
After this I was asked to shut the window by a lady sitting across the aisle, as it was not possible to view her movie screen with my window open. Myself, was forced to watch the movies locally stored, managed to browse through a few, none of them held my interest for long, yawn… sleep, and sleep I did for the next 2-3 hours.
Eventually did get the chance to open my window when the Plane was
nearing UK, was disappointed by the thick cloud cover, it was then sunset time around 6:30 PM. I had left my aunts place in Bangalore at 6:30 AM. It was the longest day I have experienced as I was flying west.
Date: 8th March 2006
Place: Bangalore all the way to London