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Old 24th August 2015, 07:38   #16
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Default Bhopal-Shirdi-Mahabaleshwar-Kaas-Lonavla-Bhopal

Hi !

Planning a small self drive vacation to western ghats. I'll be starting from Bhopal on 15th September. I expect that flowering at Kaas will be at peak this time of the year. Also hoping that there will be some rains to enjoy the clouds on western ghats. My plan is as follows

Day 1 Bhopal - Shirdi
Day 2 Shirdi - Mahabaleshwar
Day 3 Mahabaleshwar
Day 4 Mahabaleshwar - Kaas - Lonavla
Day 5 Lonavla
Day 6 Lonavla - Bhopal

Need your suggestions on above plan. If its OK then i'll proceed ahead with hotel bookings. Also request some suggestions on hotels. Budget 4K per night max. Will come up with route queries once the above plan is freezed.

Thanks
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Old 12th September 2015, 18:20   #17
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Thanks Mods for merging the threads.

Ok the plan is finalised like this and need some help

15th Sept ; Bhopal to Shirdi
Will start at 2 in afternoon and hope to be at Shirdi by 11 in night.

16th Sept : Early morning Darshan and after breakfast leave for Kaas by 8:30 AM.

Need help in bypassing Pune City please. Please suggest how much time it will take from Shirdi to Kaas via Nagar , Pune.
Will spend couple of hrs at kaas and then night stay at Mahabaleshwar.

Is there a direct route from Kaas to Mahabaleshwar ? Google map says only 38 kms. Or do i come back to Satara and go to Mahabaleshwar ?

17th Sept : Mahabaleshwar to Adlabs Imagica. Booked the Novotel family package for 17th.
I have been to Mahabaleshwar. Just wanted to drive on Mahab - panchgani road to see the green mountains. Will start after breakfast say at 8:00 AM. How much time to Adlabs from Mahabaleshwar ??

18th Sept : Adlabs Imagica to Lonavala

19th Sept : Lonavala

20th Sept (Sunday ) : Lonavala to Bhopal
What route should i take ? Google maps suggests via mumbai. Need help on route for bypassing mumbai please.

Thanks
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Old 14th September 2015, 09:46   #18
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
15th Sept ; Bhopal to Shirdi
Will start at 2 in afternoon and hope to be at Shirdi by 11 in night.
All too familiar route for you. No chance you can start early? Its better that way. Roads around Shirdi are not good. You dont want to run over a pot hole at night.

Quote:
16th Sept : Early morning Darshan and after breakfast leave for Kaas by 8:30 AM.

Need help in bypassing Pune City please. Please suggest how much time it will take from Shirdi to Kaas via Nagar , Pune.
Will spend couple of hrs at kaas and then night stay at Mahabaleshwar.
You are asking for too much! Kaas is a place where you want to spend time seeing the views. What I can suggest is take the afternoon off to see Kaas and stay at Satara for the night. Next day drive early to Mahabaleshwar. So that way you dont have to rush to Mahabaleshwar the same day.

As regards to bypassing Pune, there is no way. You will have to go through city and plan for at least 90 minutes. Google also shows a direct route to Satara via Daund. Last I heard was that the condition was not good and its too desolate too. More updates on that by others would be good.


Quote:
Is there a direct route from Kaas to Mahabaleshwar ? Google map says only 38 kms. Or do i come back to Satara and go to Mahabaleshwar ?
You will have to come back to Satara to take the Mahabaleshwar. The direct from Kaas I think is not nice.


Quote:
20th Sept (Sunday ) : Lonavala to Bhopal
What route should i take ? Google maps suggests via mumbai. Need help on route for bypassing mumbai please.
Dont know much on this. HVK has a good document on the same. You may want to look at that.

Last edited by ampere : 15th September 2015 at 00:09.
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Old 14th September 2015, 10:42   #19
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
All too familiar route for you. No chance you can start early? Its better that way. Roads around Shirdi are not good. You dont want to run over a pot hole at night.

You are asking for too much! Kaas is a place where you want to spend time seeing the views. What I can suggest is take the afternoon off to see Kaas and stay at Satara for the night. Next day drive early to Mahabaleshwar. So that way you dont have to rush to Mahabaleshwar the same day.

As regards to bypassing Pune, there is way no way. You will have to go through city and plan for at least 90 minutes.

You will have to come back to Satara to take the Mahabaleshwar. The direct from Kaas I think is not nice.

Dont know much on this. HVK has a good document on the same. You may want to look at that.
Thanks Ampere
I can't start earlier than that on 15th because of daughters school debate commitment. Will drive carefully.
With regard to Kaas i plan to spend the afternoon there. During evening i can stay at Satara or Mahabaleshwar as i planned. I have been to Mahab before and no intention of sight seeing. Just wanted to drive on Mahab - Panchgani route. Will take a call once i reach Kaas.

Can you recommend a hotel in Satara which will be convenient.

Yes got hold of HVKs document. I guess i will use that.
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Old 14th September 2015, 10:50   #20
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
Can you recommend a hotel in Satara which will be convenient.
Mahendra Inn is a decent place
http://www.mahendraexecutive.com/

There is one more right on Kaas road at Satara. Its called Nivant. Just about decent place. Nice views from the place though.

http://www.nivantresort.com/
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Old 14th September 2015, 11:46   #21
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
16th Sept : Early morning Darshan and after breakfast leave for Kaas by 8:30 AM.
With 0830 Hours start, you will take time to cross Ahmednagar, have a usually slower pace between Ahmednagar till Shikrapur and further slower till Wagholi and then cross Pune in B2B traffic.

Quote:
Need help in bypassing Pune City please. Please suggest how much time it will take from Shirdi to Kaas via Nagar , Pune.
Will spend couple of hrs at kaas and then night stay at Mahabaleshwar.
As Ampere rightly mentioned, Pune doesn't have a bypass especially from East towards South. So, you will have these 2 options to reach NH4:
  • Wagholi - Kharadi Bypass - Sholapur Road - Camp - Shankarsheth Road - Swargate - Katraj - NH4 (either via Old Katraj Ghat or via New Bypass)
  • Ahmednagar - Daund - Baramati - Nira - Satara

The second option is the one where you won't touch Pune and drive through the remote locations and hit NH4 before Satara. I have taken this only once that too with a 4AM start from Aurangabad (Jan 2014) and noticed that this hardly a time saver anyway. You need to cross petty towns and villages, follow tractors and 3 wheelers with narrow and uncertain roads where you cant maintain pace. Not to forget that this route will be devoid of any facilities except Daund/Baramati/Nira towns.

On the other hand, Shirdi-Wagholi (Pune entry) should take you not more than 4 hours in any case (1230 Hours). You can either stop for an early lunch and take a break at Phoneix Market city located hardly 2-3 kms from here and continue OR take another 60-75 minutes from here to reach Khedshivpur and stop over at CCD/MCd on NH4 itself.

Note: The flyover seems to be open between Swargate till Katraj and this will certainly make your commute times easy if you opt for city route. It was messy when the construction was in progress.

Bottomline - Take the city route to Bypass Pune instead of the detour via Baramati Daund. Works best for you.

Quote:
Will spend couple of hrs at kaas and then night stay at Mahabaleshwar.
Shirdi-Pune Bypass-NH4 - Easily 5.5-6 Hours
NH4 - Kaas - 3 Hours

So around 9 hours of Journey from Shirdi till Kaas will make you reach your destination (Kaas) by evening which might just not be a good idea to spend time. Even if you manage better timings, you can't really spend time here unless you manage to start at least by 5am from Shirdi. If yes, you can not only visit Kaas but also drive to Mahabaleshwar from here and settle for the night.
Quote:
Is there a direct route from Kaas to Mahabaleshwar ? Google map says only 38 kms. Or do i come back to Satara and go to Mahabaleshwar ?
There are Internal routes to reach Mahabaleshwar from Kaas but the conditions would not be good. If its late, you better take the longer route via Satara. This is because you will reach NH4 faster and road all the way from here (NH4) till Mahabaleshwar via Wai and Panchagini remains in good condition (Drove last month).

If you are driving during the day with adequate buffer, you can always explore the internal route between Kaas and Mahabaleshwar. After all, this is western ghats and the lush green covers would always be inviting to drive even with partially bad roads.

Quote:
Will start after breakfast say at 8:00 AM. How much time to Adlabs from Mahabaleshwar ??
  • Mahabaleshwar-Panchagani-Wai-NH4 Turn off will take an hour's drive.
  • From here till Pune bypass will be another 90 minutes max.
  • Bypassing Pune will be a 30-45 minutes affair based on traffic.
  • From Expressway till Khopoli exit will be 60-75 minutes max. From here to Adlabs will be another 20 minutes drive (Remember to buy the toll ticket for Khopoli exit at the expressway entry toll)

All in all, you should budget 4-5 hours max to reach Adlabs Imagica.

Quote:
20th Sept (Sunday ) : Lonavala to Bhopal
What route should i take ? Google maps suggests via mumbai. Need help on route for bypassing mumbai please.

Thanks
Mumbai - Nashik - Dhule - Indore - Ujjain - Dewas - Bhopal - Beautiful 4 lane road all the way - Learnt from BHPian rkhare from Bhopal now who mentions the conditions are great. (After all, it is always better to check latest road conditions than simply look at maps and advise/drive).

Bypassing Mumbai:
Expressway End - Panvel - Khalapur - Turbhe - Thane Belapur Road - Airoli Bridge - Eastern Expressway - Thane - NH3 (This is what leads to Nashik)

This will be the most saner option for you to cross Mumbai. Do this post 11am and you will have a very peaceful drive crossing Mumbai. Do not take the Old NH4 (Mumbra Route as its famously known as ) which is marred by bad roads and crawling trucks that will be heavily time consuming affair.

Last edited by paragsachania : 14th September 2015 at 11:56.
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Old 14th September 2015, 11:58   #22
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
20th Sept (Sunday ) : Lonavala to Bhopal
What route should i take ? Google maps suggests via mumbai. Need help on route for bypassing mumbai please.

Thanks
Sit I think its always better to stick to Panvel Aeroli Thane route as suggested by Parag Sachania, that is fastest. No sense in finding a bypass because no decent option exists as of now.

Khopoli - murbad - shahpur - Nashik..... If interested in good green jungle kind road

Last edited by rkhare : 14th September 2015 at 12:08.
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Old 14th September 2015, 14:55   #23
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Traffic Alert : I am posting a back to back post but important alert. Due to ongoing Kumbh at Nashik, traffic around Nashik may be diverted via different routes so better to take Lonavala Pune Shirdi Dhule route
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Old 14th September 2015, 17:48   #24
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Thanks a lot guys. And a special thanks to "paragsachania" for the detailed post .
9 hrs from Shirdi to Kaas for 330 kms is much more than i anticipated. I know i am 1 day short. Now i am in a fix. Since i am booked at adlabs imagica for 17th then if i can't go to kaas on 16th then there is no point in going to Satara also. Ok some more Qs.

1. Do i have to enter Satara or is there a straight marked road from NH4. Or which exit do i have to take for Kaas.

2. My return is on 20th Sunday. The kumbh Mela shahi snan is on 18th. Any confirmed report on traffic diversions ?? If so to what degree.

Thanks again guys.
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Old 14th September 2015, 18:13   #25
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
1. Do i have to enter Satara or is there a straight marked road from NH4. Or which exit do i have to take for Kaas.
You must enter Satara and cross the town to reach Kaas. No other options unless you approach Kaas from Mahabaleshwar side.
Quote:
2. My return is on 20th Sunday. The kumbh Mela shahi snan is on 18th. Any confirmed report on traffic diversions ?? If so to what degree.
This report mentions that the Shahi Snaan is on 13th Sept.

If that is true, all your worries need to go into the trash now as you will not be affected. If not, you will have to look at the alternatives.

In fact, we had driven to Indore via Aurangabad - Kannad Ghat - Dhule 2 years before and loved the circuit. This can be a good detour if you want to skip Mumbai - Nashik altogether.

So from Adlabs, you take still take the Expressway and reach Pune and take the Nagar road for Aurangabad. But again, crossing Pune from Expressway to Nagar Road will be a time consuming affair as there is no bypass again.

The alternate for this is - Expressway - Talegaon - Chakan - Shikrapur - Nagar Road. However, this road is a tolled 2 lane stretch passing petty towns and villages and loads and loads of container trucks (Industries on this side of Pune are aplenty) leaving less options for overtakes and you may just crawl and keep crawling behind these container trucks.

Crossing Pune via Wakad Junction - Bremen Square - Khadki Station - Ammunition Factory - Holkar Bridge - Yerawada - Nagar Road makes better sense even if it might be more time consuming.

Here's the quote from the news report:

Quote:
MUMBAI: Avoid using the Mumbai-Pune Expressway between September 12 and 14, the highway police advised motorists expecting heavy rush for 'shahi snan' in Nashik on September 13.

Those headed for the Mahakumbh from Mumbai are expected to go via Khandala, Panvel and Pune, said a traffic advisory. The highway police expect about 50 lakh people to use the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on these three days.

Last edited by paragsachania : 14th September 2015 at 18:15.
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Old 15th September 2015, 09:18   #26
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post

This report mentions that the Shahi Snaan is on 13th Sept.


Here's the quote from the news report:
Thanks a lot parag. 13th was second shahi snan. The third shahi snan is on 18th.

OK now there is small twist in the plan. Owing to an unexpected scheduling of class test of my daughter i will now start on 16th at 10:30 AM. Now the plan is like this

16th Bhopal - Shirdi . Reach by evening and do darshan in evening itself.

17th Shirdi - Adlabs imagica . Early morning start at 6:00 clock.

Now which route should i take. NH3 via Mumbai or Nagar Pune route. Both work out about 275 kms. Which will be the fastest considering 17th is a Holiday ( Ganesh Chaturthi ).

18th Adlabs - Lonavala

19th Lonavala

20th Lonavala - Kaas - Lonavala. Will start at 7:30 in morning and try to be at Kaas by 12:30. Will start back by say 4:30 be at Lonavla by 9;30.

21st Lonavala - Bhopal ( Will start at 6 :00 AM ) and take the Mumbai -NH3 route.


Request comments on above plan. Thanks.
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Old 15th September 2015, 09:53   #27
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
Now which route should i take. NH3 via Mumbai or Nagar Pune route. Both work out about 275 kms. Which will be the fastest considering 17th is a Holiday ( Ganesh Chaturthi ).
Ganesh Chaturthi and Highways in Maharashtra is a super good combination.

Traffic will be least on highways and industries closed. This will make entry and exit an easy one for you considering that the immersion procession actually happens on the 10th day.

The misc traffic between Shikrapur and Pune entry will be least on the festive day. In fact, you can now as well take the Ahmednagar - Shikrapur - Chakan - Talegaon - Expressway option since industries would have shut down on the corridor between Chakan and Talegaon and traffic will be less too. On this particular day, you can easily take this route.

Remember your way points - Shikrapur-Chakan-Talegaon - Expressway Entry

Quote:
20th Lonavala - Kaas - Lonavala. Will start at 7:30 in morning and try to be at Kaas by 12:30. Will start back by say 4:30 be at Lonavla by 9;30.
20th is a Sunday. Due to this, your start time needs to be at least 5:30am from Lonavala to beat the traffic all the way to destination.

Last May, I started from Thane at 0430 and I was at the end of Pune bypass by 0630 and it took me 4 hours from here only to reach Kolhapur with a break.

Sunday mornings will have super long queues especially at toll booths after Pune (Now Pune and Mumbai traffic combines from here). Although it may not take more than 5 hours for you to reach Kaas, expect good traffic on a Sunday morning towards this direction.

There are a lot of local travelers wanting to do one day Mahabaleshwar/Kolhapur/Balaji trips from Mumbai and Pune on a Sunday.

Your return will also be equally tedious on a Sunday evening as you will be driving along with the same traffic whom you met in the morning!

All that I would say is, expect traffic and let your mind be ready for this.

Last edited by paragsachania : 15th September 2015 at 09:55.
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Old 5th October 2015, 12:00   #28
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Came back after a wonderful trip. Route update as follows

Day 1 Bhopal
Bhopal to Dhule is an excellent 4 lane highway. Dhule to Shirdi is single lane. Started at 11 from my house in Bhopal and could reached Shirdi by 9:30 PM. Single lane NH3 from Dhule coupled with upper dipper game took its toll on speed.
The good part was that i could manage Darshan the same day in 20 minutes flat.

Day 2 Shirdi - Mumbai outer - Adlabs Imagica

Did not go upto Nashik. Took Ghoti road from Sinnar and joined the Nashik Mumbai highway before Igatpuri. This route was very scenic but road conditions not good. If travelling in night avoid this and take the usual nashik bypass road. Navigated Mumbai outer with google maps. Started from Shirdi at 8:00 AM and reached Adlabs Imagica at 1:00 PM.

Both the Imagica and Aquamagica parks were awesome and with stay at newly opened Novotel it was value for money.

Day 3 Adlabs to Lonavala
Took the expressway and then Lonavala exit

Day 5 Lonavala - Kaas - Pune
Took the expressway and then navigated through Satara city. Good roads till Kaas. Weather was fantastic. However being a weekend there were hordes of tourists. Spent couple of hrs at Kaas and then started back for Pune. Navigated through harrowing Pune traffic and stayed the night at Hotel Maple on outskirts of city.

Day 6 Pune-Nagar-Shirdi-Dhule-Indore-Bhopal
Started at 8:00 AM after breakfast and reached Bhopal at 7:30PM . Great roads except near Shirdi where you have to be careful about potholes.
So Bhopal Shirdi took me almost 11 hrs. Where as on return Pune-Shirdi-Bhopal took me 11.5 hrs. Goes to show what day driving can do increase average speeds.

All in all a great trip. Thanks guys for all the help .
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Old 6th October 2015, 17:30   #29
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Default Re: Bhopal-Ajanta-Ellora-Mahabaleshwar-Konkan-Shirdi-Bhopal

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
Bhopal to Dhule is an excellent 4 lane highway. Dhule to Shirdi is single lane. Started at 11 from my house in Bhopal and could reached Shirdi by 9:30 PM. Single lane NH3 from Dhule coupled with upper dipper game took its toll on speed.
The good part was that i could manage Darshan the same day in 20 minutes flat.
So you didn't took usual Dhule Malegaon Shirdi? Can you specify exactly which route you took. How Many hours from Dhule to Shirdi.
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