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Old 3rd October 2010, 20:35   #31
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How to get to Raigad fort? GM shows via Mahad. So south bound NH17 from Pen, reach Karanjkhol and 23 odd km north bound. Did anyone do this recently?
Before you reach Mahad, watch out for a left turn to Raigad 24 kms away. Road condition was good a month ago.
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Old 8th October 2010, 22:17   #32
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Ok. Reached Ambarnath at 4:45 pm. A few highlights:

1. 3:15 am to 8:15 hrs from Chennai to Bangalore. No issues. NICE road detection was not super smooth, but ok.
2. In and around Davangere is a mess. A trailer broke down, retraced, followed a few other folks into Davangere city. 4 km to City, 18 to Harihar. Joined NH from there.
3. Found corn grains - orange spread all over the NH. So basically at times, move up/dn in one direction, sometimes one lane of both up/dn are covered by these orange stuff and it becomes a pain / slow moving traffic. Has someone seen this? Is this regular there? If so, no one objects to it?
4. Call from Iridium when 44 km to Hubli. He was at Belgave.
5. Kolhapur - Hotel Opal - 900 + 4% tax. 936. Non-AC. Best room in the hotel. Thanks to dreamdiesel. Lots of parking. Took auto into town. This is a dark/chaotic town. I have never seen anything like this in my life. The city is full of pot-holes which I am not sure will ever be fixed. There was fly-over construction too. But I must say the people are so down-to-earth simpletons. Amazing, very helpful and no tension/stress on their faces. Rs 45/- from Opal hotel to Phadtare's Misal center (Sivaji udyam nagar - It was closed. Its open only till 2 pm.) to Rankala. Good massage to the whole body whilst in the auto. Neha loved it.
5. Filled petrol at Satara - just 54.xx / Litre. So cheap!?
6. Went thru Wai up, roads are good to Panchgani/Mahabs. Each of the town asks for person(20)/car(10) entry fee.
7. Mumbai-Pune-Express-way - The concrete ones were found wanting for me. The GQ tar ones are more silent and not bumpier as this one. I felt that the concrete roads had expanded (maybe - just my theory!) and resulted in bulges in the center portion of each-square piece, which gave a bumpy ride. I knew the NH4 criss-crossed the expressway, but wanted to experience the Express way. But for us the myth is broken now. Given an other choice I would take the NH4 (if its good as the GQ - or maybe even if its a tarred.) Need info on how good the NH4 is? Maybe I should take that on my return. Btw, maybe the train journey goes thru the most beautiful/scenic sections of the region than the expressway/NH4. Opinions?
8. Lastly the MIDC road to Ambarnath is pot-hole ridden as well. So careful.
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Old 8th October 2010, 22:24   #33
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Thanks for the account.
The Pune-Bombay expressway is faster than NH4 despite the roughness. In NH4, you have to content with lots of miscellaneous traffic (dangerous riding tactics of 2-2heelers and 3-wheelers) and always a mad traffic jam in Lonavla town.
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Old 11th October 2010, 13:21   #34
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724 km - Round trip around Shirdi-Aurangabad-Pune. A bit too much and would take 3 days. When will I have fish-fry made by MIL at Ambarnath?
Its sardine-fry for lunch by MIL. We plan a drive to Shirdi. And very keen to go via Malshej ghat.
1. Any latest road updates or experiences on this route?
2. Maybe from Ambarnath I would connect via Kamla Nehru nagar to get into the NH222 to Murbad.
3. From Malshej ghat, I have 2 options to reach Sangamner - either via NH222 to Ale and then left on the NH50 or take the Kotul road. Anyone has any info on the Kotul route? or even the Ale route? For an additional 20 km extra via Ale one gets 2 NHs. So would opt for it for now. On the return maybe via Nasik. It shows the same distance as the Malshej/Ale route in GM.
4. Whats the route from Sangamner?

Its a day trip with 5 people, so wont club too many things.
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Old 11th October 2010, 13:30   #35
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Question: Is this the standard Shirdi route? Is it not easy to go via Nasik?
Or is it that you want to go via Malshej?
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Old 11th October 2010, 15:05   #36
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vrprabhu had driven on the Kotul route recently, road was quite OK.
At Sangamaner, turn off towards Shirdi - one of the 4 roads, it is less than an hour's drive to Shirdi.

Check out the thread:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post2018306 (Monsoons - Road Condition Update)

Last edited by hvkumar : 11th October 2010 at 15:08.
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Old 11th October 2010, 18:24   #37
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Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
Its sardine-fry for lunch by MIL. We plan a drive to Shirdi. And very keen to go via Malshej ghat.
1. Any latest road updates or experiences on this route?
2. Maybe from Ambarnath I would connect via Kamla Nehru nagar to get into the NH222 to Murbad.
3. From Malshej ghat, I have 2 options to reach Sangamner - either via NH222 to Ale and then left on the NH50 or take the Kotul road. Anyone has any info on the Kotul route? or even the Ale route? For an additional 20 km extra via Ale one gets 2 NHs. So would opt for it for now. On the return maybe via Nasik. It shows the same distance as the Malshej/Ale route in GM.
4. Whats the route from Sangamner?

Its a day trip with 5 people, so wont club too many things.
We did Shirdi-Loni-Sangamner-Alephata-Malshej-Kalyan-Mumbai a couple of weeks back and the road is all broken up,people ended up with a sore back.Not worth taking that road just for driving on Malshej,unless there has been some major repair work done in the last two weeks,which I dont think would have happened.

Went to Shirdi via NH3 Thane-Igatpuri-Nasik-Sinnar-Shirdi.Excellent roads till Nasik,NH3 is in excellent condition except for some road widening work near Shapur.We stopped at a new hotel in Nasik at the entry to the town called Express Inn,nice place for rest rooms and breakfast,they had a buffet breakfast on offer for around INR 140 or so,

Sinnar to Shirdi 4 laning work is in progress so for around 20kms from Sinnar towards Shirdi,road is bad,after that it evens out.

From Sangamner ask for Loni and go via Loni-Shirdi.
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Old 11th October 2010, 19:07   #38
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Thanks HVK, ranjitp1.

ranjitp1: Is the entire Murbad-Malshej-Sangamner-Loni-Shirdi route bad? Do you have any pictures/logs with the really bad sections? I am already in Ambarnath, so may be I have already done half the bad route Last night I took the diversion from the NH3 into Kalyan/Ulhasnagar/Ambarnath and it took an hour. Its not pleasant either. So, to get back to NH3 (even to NH222) from here gives me the shivers as I am writing this. Thinking, thinking... ok. I will take NH3.
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Old 12th October 2010, 23:03   #39
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Today it was Dombivli. Tomorrow morning it will be Shirdi. Again, a day trip. I will take the NH3. So please tell me a place for breakfast and lunch. Quick. Just few hours left. Also from Sinnar which is better, via Loni or via Vavi. Can I take one on my onward and the other on my return? Also, a petrol bunk needed asap, which is the first one I will hit - how many km if I connect into NH3 at the Kalyan junction and then move towards Nashik?

Additional qs:
1. How is the Ghoti-Sinnar route without touching Nashik?
2. Do I bypass Nashik by taking the Ring-Road of the city into Deolali?
3. Any interesting stop-overs (lake/damn/etc) from Mumbai to Shirdi?

Last edited by jeevmenon : 12th October 2010 at 23:09.
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Old 13th October 2010, 10:04   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
Today it was Dombivli. Tomorrow morning it will be Shirdi. Again, a day trip. I will take the NH3. So please tell me a place for breakfast and lunch. Quick. Just few hours left. Also from Sinnar which is better, via Loni or via Vavi. Can I take one on my onward and the other on my return? Also, a petrol bunk needed asap, which is the first one I will hit - how many km if I connect into NH3 at the Kalyan junction and then move towards Nashik?

Additional qs:
1. How is the Ghoti-Sinnar route without touching Nashik?
2. Do I bypass Nashik by taking the Ring-Road of the city into Deolali?
3. Any interesting stop-overs (lake/damn/etc) from Mumbai to Shirdi?
This post has been too late in the night I guess,nevertheless if its any help then here it goes:

Theres a new Hotel called Express Inn at the entry into Nasik much before Gateway hotel.nice clean restrooms,food is decent,they have a buffet breakfast as mentioned earlier in the post.

For lunch you would reach Shirdi.theres Rajdhani/Kailash Parbat opp the temple entry in the Sai Mall.

Ghoti-Sinnar road was bad a couple of weeks back.Go via Nasik.You dont have to go to Deolali to go to Sinnar from Nasik,take the Pune highway from Nasik till Sinnar.

From Sinnar you dont have to go to Loni,thats a round about route.Sinnar-Sangamner-Loni-Too long a route.

Stick to the normal Shirdi road from Sinnar.Left turn after Sinnar town.

Kalyan Phata to Nasik is around 130kms.
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Old 13th October 2010, 22:28   #41
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Just back after 470 km drive to Shirdi and back! One word for all of it. Pathetic! Very very frustrating and disappointing. The posts here in the forum did not really bring out the appalling road conditions. My analysis only 40% of the entire 235 odd km from Ambarnath is ok. So put together to manage 270 odd km of bad patchy / 4 lane getting abrubtly changed to 2 lanes/ unmarked humps/rumblers - to add to it a trailer broke down again - 20 km after Gote-Sinnar junction - I drove back 3-4 km back took country roads and joined the Gote-Sinnar road and finally the normal route from Sinnar to Shirdi. And this trip was taking my in-laws to the temple esp. MIL. They are not very frequent travelers and so whenever they show the desire, I would have ideally liked it to be perfect, but it was not to be. All my cool nerves which I developed during Ramzan broke off today, yelling/screaming at bad drivers, pedestrians, murmuring about the bad-drive. I lost my cool after a long long time.

Btw, Sinnar-Nashik (20 km) was choc-o-block traffic on that 2 lane. Very stressful driving conditions. Further Nashik to Mumbai (30 km) - starting was not good at all, lots of construction work and diversions.

Fyi: I took the Nashik bypass into the Mumbai road as I approached the city from Sinnar (20 km away.) Why? Because of the horrible truck traffic. But found the bypass to be excellent. I dont know why people are against it.

Also Nashik-Mumbai beginning being bad, in hindsight I was thinking probably the Gote-Sinnar would have been better than all this. Atleast I tried part of it and found it to be ok. Probably Malshej ghat could have been worth a try since all the above was not as smooth as I had thought.

This was all a bit too much for me, to be honest. For some one who was looking forward to a nice drive. 235 km one-way - ok - similar to Yelagiri (I know Shirdi is not full NH but still,) should be a nice drive with green hills around. Hmmm... Not what I was expecting. Sorry to sound too harsh. But these are my first thoughts as soon as I have landed.

Had I known about this, I would have waited for the 4-laning to be completed and if it was a must-visit I would have taken the train for sure. Too strenuous, guys! For all the folks north of the Vindhyas, my invitation to taste the NHs of TN, be it Chennai-CBE, Chennai-Bangalore, Chennai-Kanyakumari, Chennai-Tirupati. Maybe I am a bit spoilt, but I must say NH3 requires work since it has bad sections, whether it be the EEH within the city ( 2 bridges non-functional) or beyond Kasara where there are quite a few diversions from 4L to 2L and then ofcourse 30 km or so of it as it approaches Nashik. Come on guys, cant make 200 km of GQ spic and span - that too starting from the great Mumbai. Its long due. One bright spot - The Kasara Ghat is awesome.

Missing Singara Chennai / TN after one week into vacation. And now with not that good an experience today, thinking of canceling the NH17 and rushing back the fastest way home on Saturday morning.

Darshan Q - Noon to 2:30 pm. Good darshan.
Sula Wines - Dropped the tour of the vineyard, winery as this does not look like the harvest season. Probably I would never visit it.

P.S - All of the above is just my personal opinion.

Last edited by jeevmenon : 13th October 2010 at 22:47.
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Old 13th October 2010, 23:18   #42
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Hi Jeev,

I know exactly how you feel as I drive up and down from Mumbai to Kasara almost every weekend. The diversions from 4L to 2L are especially dangerous as there are no warning signs for the 4L telling you that traffic from the opposite direction will be entering your lane - so to speak. I ended up with a really dicey "face to face" situation with a truck a while ago and it was not funny. Thing is I could'nt blame him either. I now end up watching the traffic going the opposite way more than the the ones going my way. I would definitely suggest anyone driving on this route to be extra cautious - especially where you can see a break in the divider.

Regards,

SS
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Old 18th October 2010, 09:28   #43
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After the angry nerves of the Shirdi drive got cooled down Thursday morning, I picked myself up and decided to take the NH17 - one last go as it was the last leg of my vacation. And I have just one word again. Ecstatic! We are so glad that we did not miss it. Undoubtedly - amongst the top scenic drive we have ever done. Thanks to HVK, Iridium, DD for giving recent road conditions advice. Ofcourse ampere gets the best actor award in a supporting role

First leg: Ambarnath-Panvel (took the bypass)-Mahad-Raigad-Mahad-Ganpatipule-Ambaghat-Kolhapur
Second leg: Kolhapur-Chennai

1518 km. First leg was amazing. All through from Panvel till Kolhapur I just remember driving through ghats all the time. No wonder most of the people have NH17 as their favorite NH.
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Old 18th October 2010, 12:03   #44
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Did you not try Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani?
(Divert at Poladpur as what DD taught me!)

If you had done that, you could have hit NH4 at Satara, stayed there and visited Kaas, Koyna and the likes!


PS: I accept the award gracefully!
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Old 18th October 2010, 13:23   #45
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I diverted after Satara to Mahabaleshwar/Panchgani on my northbound trip on 7th Oct. Southbound was just the diversion from Mahad to Raigad-Fort and the diversion from close to Hathkumbe to Ganpatipule and back.
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