21-Feb-2004 -- Our Expedition to the Discovery of 26N 76E
Date: Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 1340 hours
Visit by: Praveen Goggi and Hiren Dalal
Place: Near Sunthra Village, Uniyara Tahisil, Tonk District, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. Visit for more info: http://rajasthan.gov.in/TONK1.SHTM
Distance: 2 Kms from Sunthra Village.
Earlier Visits: Please click on the respective names to view earlier visits.
Expedition dedicated to: Guenter Walser, Austria and Chandra Dasaka, India
Confluence hunting always excites me. This time the magic worked on Hiren too. We (Hiren and I) have been colleagues and pals for 5 years now and he always wanted to accompany me on a DCP hunting expedition. He doesn’t like too much road travel and hence waited till a good time and location to go with me.
The good time came when we (entire team from office) were in Jaipur (Rajasthan, India) to attend a long conference meeting. Luckily, we got a weekend for ourselves and Hiren and I planned to visit the nearest degree confluence point. Chandra also wanted to join us, but had to fly back to Hyderabad before the weekend (bad luck, Chandra!)
The night before I introduced Hiren to the website and we had a quick look at 26N 76E (86 Kms from current location). We arranged for a car from hotel and had a look at maps before going to the bed. We met again next morning at the breakfast table at half past nine and discussed our plans with the rest of the team. Some of us wanted to play golf and some wanted to visit a national park. Hiren and myself stood firm with the DCP hunt! We decided to split for our respective destinations and meet back at dinnertime.
Starting at 11am, the car driver (Maansingh) took us quite fast to Tonk district. The roads in this part of the country are great and we looked forward for a simple venture. Being the first expedition, Hiren was far more excited than myself and he was playing with GPS as a toddler would do with his new toy. Here goes an old saying “Men never grow, only the toys with which they play change” – “How true, How true”, I thought!!!
At the Tonk junction, GPS started pointing towards our left same time when we did get a road which led to Sawai Madhopur. We took the road and we needed 29 Kms more to reach our destination. After traveling 27+ Kms, GPS pointed again at left and lucky again, we had a left turn which led interior of Rajasthan, to a village namely “Sunthra”. We were surprised to see a mob of people in such an interior area. We thought it would be some kind of market place. We had a tough time driving through hundreds of people on the road.
With a constant watch on the GPS, Hiren guided us to the nearest point from 26N 76E, about 1.14 Kms away, after which the road was muddy and pretty bad to drive on. We stopped there to get all essentials (camera, water, caps) and started following the GPS. Maansingh, our driver too got interested and walked along. With brisk steps through Mustard and wheat fields (led by Hiren), we were extremely near our destination.
I was happy with an accuracy of 10 meters, but Hiren was not convinced and made sure GPS showed Zero meters and Zero time remains and we also were at the exact spot. He did spend 5+ minutes to satisfy himself and got the EXACT spot. Well-done Hiren! Our driver also got all excited and tried to understand how the GPS works (he was a commerce graduate and was easy for us to explain the project).
We took all required snaps and started back for Jaipur. On the way back, we again passed through the bunch of villagers and this time, we got lucky to see Oxen (bullock cart) race and the village market. Both of us were awestruck to hear the prices of the potatoes and fruits (something like 1 rupees or 2 cents per kilo). I made sure to click all pictures before we left the place. I have posted all pictures on this site.
Hiren and I felt great to have experienced such a different environment and I had pocketed one more DCP in India, to make it 10. On return, we had a nice lunch at a Village restaurant and went shopping in the evening.
Praveen Goggi, +91-98851-98951 or +91-20-2295-3090
Hiren Dalal : +91-98851-73995