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Old 11th August 2010, 11:52   #1
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Default Maharashtra Road Trip Query

I am planning a 9 day road trip to Maharashtra from Bangalore about a month from now. The route and places to visit is almost finalised.

I need help is making sure I have selected the right route and also about current road conditions. This is my first complete drive into Maharashtra.

Day 1 (615kms / 10hrs): Bangalore – Tumkur – Chitradurga –Ranebennur – Hubli – Belgaum – Kolhapur

Day 2 (192kms / 4.5hrs): Kolhapur – Panhala – Malkapur – Ratnagiri – Ganapatipule – Ratnagiri

Day 3 (195kms / 5hrs): Ratnagiri – Chiplun – Mahabaleshwar

Day 4 and 5: Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani

Day 6 (331kms / 7hrs): Mahabaleshwar – Panchgani – Sinhagad – Pune – Nasik

Day 7 (160kms / 4hrs): Nasik – Trimbakeshwar – Nasik – Shirdi

Day 8 (422kms / 7hrs): Shirdi – Rahuri – Ahmednagar – Mirajgaon – Tembhurni – Solapur – Soregaon – Zalki – Horli – Bijapur

Day 9 (544kms / 10hrs): Bijapur – Mulvad – Kolhar – Sunaga – Bagalkot – Amingad – Hungund – Ilkal – Kushtagi – Hospet – Chitradurga – Tumkur – Bangalore

Also please suggest if MTDC Pilgrims Inn at Shirdi is a good place to stay.

Thanks in advance for your valuable suggestions...

Last edited by dreamdiesel : 11th August 2010 at 11:56.
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Old 11th August 2010, 12:18   #2
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^ ^ ^

Seems to me a well researched plan. but why so many days at Mahabaleshwar ?

You can have a night halt at Pune on Day 5. this will help you to trek Sinhagad early morning.

Last year when I went to stay at Mahabaleshwar, the hotel rooms had a fungal smell in this monsoon damp season.
But yes, rooms are cheap in this season.

Do visit Pratapgad fort near Mahabaleshwar. Its worth visiting on the way.
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Old 11th August 2010, 12:26   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamdiesel View Post
Day 2 (192kms / 4.5hrs): Kolhapur – Panhala – Malkapur – Ratnagiri – Ganapatipule – Ratnagiri

Day 3 (195kms / 5hrs): Ratnagiri – Chiplun – Mahabaleshwar

Day 4 and 5: Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani

Day 6 (331kms / 7hrs): Mahabaleshwar – Panchgani – Sinhagad – Pune – Nasik
DAY 2: As you are going to mahaby on next day, no need to come back to ratnagiri from ganapatipule.

Kolhapur – Panhala – Malkapur – Ratnagiri – Ganapatipule[halt]

Day 3: route should be
ganapatipule-nivali phata- nh17 – Chiplun –nh17-poladpur-right turn-Mahabaleshwar


Day 6 (331kms / 7hrs):[/b] Mahabaleshwar – Panchgani – Sinhagad – Pune – Nasik

try to avoid sinhgad.
mhaby-pune-nasik is too long with lot of traffic.

mahaby-pune 2.5hr
pune crossing 1.5hr
pune nasik 5hr

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 11th August 2010 at 12:30.
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Old 11th August 2010, 12:35   #4
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Adding to what AP has stated, no need to go to Ratnagiri to go to Ganapatipule. Route is Amba ghat - Pali - Hathkumbe - SH106 to Ganapatipule.

Yes, avoid Sinhagad unless you stay in Pune and go for an over night trek.

Nasik -Triambak - Nasik - Shirdi can't be done in 4 hours if you intend to go to Triambak temple. Please keep in mind of the queue there in Triambak.

Any reason why you are moving away from NH4 on day 8 and 9?
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Old 11th August 2010, 12:46   #5
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What's the exact motto of this road trip? Just to drive on different Maharashtra roads to enjoy driving or to relax and enjoy? Your current schedule is for the first motto. But if you want to relax and enjoy Maharashtra then you need to cut few destinations and enjoy/explore remaining. For example: you can stay at Kolhapur and visit Mahalakshmi temple, Rankala, Jyotiba.
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Old 11th August 2010, 13:07   #6
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I agree with DarkEraser. Some of the of days is going to be a lot of driving for not much end result - Mahaby-Pune-Nasik is one such lengthy (and frankly boring/hectic) drive.
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Old 11th August 2010, 13:52   #7
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Default An additional day at Ganapatipule

Instead of spending two days at Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani, would suggest you stay an additional day at Ganapatipule.

Day 1 (615kms / 10hrs): Bangalore – Tumkur – Chitradurga –Ranebennur – Hubli – Belgaum – Kolhapur

Day 2 (192kms / 4.5hrs): Kolhapur – Panhala – Malkapur – Ratnagiri – Ganapatipule [Halt]

Day 3 - At Ganapatipule.

Day 4 (195kms / 5hrs): Leave Ganapatipule in the morning at 9:00 (Check you time at MTDC is 9:00 AM) and you should be at Mahabaleshwar by 2:00 PM. Might take more if the roads are really bad from Poladpur.

Day 5: Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani

Day 6 onwards you can stick to your plan.

As others suggested do cut down on some places so that you can spend more time at each place.
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Old 11th August 2010, 13:59   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamdiesel View Post

Day 2 (192kms / 4.5hrs): Kolhapur – Panhala – Malkapur – Ratnagiri – Ganapatipule – Ratnagiri
You can go to Ganapatipule via Ratnagiri or direct via Nivali and Chafa.

Quote:
Day 8 (422kms / 7hrs): Shirdi – Rahuri – Ahmednagar – Mirajgaon – Tembhurni – Solapur – Soregaon – Zalki – Horli – Bijapur

Day 9 (544kms / 10hrs): Bijapur – Mulvad – Kolhar – Sunaga – Bagalkot – Amingad – Hungund – Ilkal – Kushtagi – Hospet – Chitradurga – Tumkur – Bangalore

NH13 in Karnataka is in shambles.

Quote:
Also please suggest if MTDC Pilgrims Inn at Shirdi is a good place to stay.
Used to be good, no idea how it is now. Lots of places to choose from.
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Old 11th August 2010, 14:09   #9
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You may go to shirdi directly from trimhakeshwar, instead of coming back to nasik..
Fellow boarders may correct me in case i am wrong
Also 2 days at mahabaleshwar and panchgani is OK.
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Old 11th August 2010, 14:13   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkcrpl View Post
You may go to shirdi directly from trimhakeshwar, instead of coming back to nasik..
Fellow boarders may correct me in case i am wrong
I thought that you have to touch Nashik to go to Shirdi. The other route via Ghoti (without touching Nashik) may be longer. Moreover, that road (direct to Sinnar) was in a bad shape a couple of months ago.
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Old 11th August 2010, 14:37   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
mhaby-pune-nasik is too long with lot of traffic.

mahaby-pune 2.5hr
pune crossing 1.5hr
pune nasik 5hr
Right. The road is under construction and after the toll road (~Chakan), it is strictly a two lane road.

Pune crossing can be avoided if you take the new Pune-Bombay route (which diverts at Katraj and meets at Dehu).

Best way to reach Nasik Phata is drive towards Pune University, Aundh (Bremen Chowk), Aundh Road, Khadki (Old Pune - Bombay road), Kasarwadi and right turn at Nasik Phata.

Keep in mind the Bote Ghat before Sangamner - if it rains, take it slow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WDM007 View Post
Do visit Pratapgad fort near Mahabaleshwar. Its worth visiting on the way.
+1 to that.. because not much to see if it is rainy in Mahabaleswhar or Panchgani (the clouds will blot out many of the view / scenery...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Nasik -Triambak - Nasik - Shirdi can't be done in 4 hours if you intend to go to Triambak temple. Please keep in mind of the queue there in Triambak.
Very correct. Nasik to Trimbakeshwar and back itself will need about an hour and a half, assuming moderate crowds...

Nasik to Shirdi will take atleast two and a half hours...

Finally,

Shirdi - Solapur - Bijapur will take more than seven hours. There is plenty of traffic on this road - especially those want to avoid Pune and the ghats take this route. Are you planning to skip Pandarpur? Solapur - Bijapur road was not so good (mining trucks from Bellary have made it bad).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Used to be good, no idea how it is now. Lots of places to choose from.
At Shirdi we stayed at "Hotel Sai Mahal" just after the bus-stand. Clean and reasonable rates. Pretty close to the temple. It is just after the building where the sansthan's has rooms for the pilgrims.

At Kolhapur, there is a "Hotel Ayodhya" near Kawla Naka. Good place.

Both the above are in the range of Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500 for a double room.

If you can opt to stay in Wai, (there are good hotels near the bus-stand - can't recollect the name off hand), it will work out a wee-bit cheaper. And you can drive down both the days to Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar - a nice twisty road which is an enjoyable drive, especially in the monsoon

Again at Nasik, there are good hotels near Central Busstand. One hotel slightly down the road offered ample parking and good rooms. Sorry that I can't recollect its name too... something like Hotel Amar...
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Old 11th August 2010, 14:52   #12
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Seems like DD wants a bit of everything Maharashtra offers. Beaches, hills, forts, temples.
DD. What's the profile of the travellers? Which are absolute must see in your proposed itinerary. Accordingly, we can modify things.
And as I earlier asked why you are trying to avoid NH4 and HVK pointing out that NH13 is in shambles, I'd suggest that you rework your trip keeping completely on NH4.
And to make it less tiring (as days progress), I'd suggest you to hit the northern most point on your outward journey. And as you progress in your return, start traversing the points where you want to stay.
It's like starting on day 9 and ending on day 1.
That way, you and your family would have energy as there's plenty of stay involved, and the monsoons would come down (10 days makes a huge difference during end periods), making the hills and beaches more appealing.

My rough suggestion would go like this
Day 1: Start early and reach Pune by night. Stay at pune.
Day 2: go to Shani shingnapur and shirdi - Stay at shirdi
Day 3: Shirdi - Nasik - Triambak - Pune.
Day 4: Pune - Mahabaleshwar
Day 5: Mahab - Chiplun - (Diveagar - Srivardhan - Harihareshwar optional) stay at Diveagar
Day 6: Diveagar - Mangaon - Ganapatipule
Day 7: Ganapatipule - Pali - Amba ghats - Kolhapur (stay at Rankala)
Day 8: Kolhapur - Bangalore

Now you have Day 9 free which you can fit in anywhere based on what you want to do.

And if you plan by third week of sept, then instead of halting at pune on day 1, I'd suggest halt at Satara on day 1 and keep day 2 for kaas - bamnoli - thoseghar.
Then day 2 to day 8 automatically can be done as day3 - day9.
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Old 11th August 2010, 15:29   #13
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Day5 can also be done as Mahab - poladpur - mahad - harihareshwar - srivardhan - diveagar. No need to come to chiplun to go to those places from mahabaleshwar. But it's optional for you.
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Old 11th August 2010, 17:04   #14
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Thank you all for the suggestions. Its only me and wifey travelling in a Swift D. Its a budget trip like all my other trips I have posted on TBHP. The wish to visit Shirdi started off the whole Maharashtra trip. I then started looking for other tourist places on the way to Shirdi and back. As MX6 rightly said I am looking at every bit Maharashtra has to offer. ie, Beaches, Forts, Hill Stations, Temples, Food etc. I dont want to do the NH4 on both ways so have actually deviated away from NH4 after Shirdi towards Bijapur. Look around Bijapur and finally head back to Bangalore.

@WDM007 - Friends suggested atleast 2 complete days at Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani to cover most of the places. If 2 complete days is more than required, I can actually leave Mahabaleshwar on afternoon of Day 5 and halt at Pune visiting Sinhagad Fort on the way.

Pratapgad is on the list of places to visit at Mahabaleshwar. I understand Pratapgad is on the way to Mahabaleshwar from Chiplun. If it is then, will visit Pratapgad on Day 3 before reaching Mahabaleshwar.

@Ashish Sir - The main reason I chose to stay at Rathnagiri on Day 2 is as far as I know only MTDC offers reasonable accomodation at Ganapatipule, other accomodation is little on the higher side. Rathnagiri being a big town only 25kms from Ganapatipule offers more flexible accomodation options and there a few places in Rathnagiri worth visiting too.

I will take into account the driving time you have mentioned and plan accordingly. Thanks Sir.

@DarkEraser - Its more of a recce to find out which place is good for another relaxing holiday in Maharashtra. I am looking at covering all the interesting places towards Shirdi and back. Its going to be a relaxed drive apart from first and the last 2 days. I have actually planned lots of places to visit at Kolhapur. On Day 1, New Palace – Shree Chhatrapati Shahu Museum, Mahalaxmi Temple, Bhavani Mandap, Rankala Lake and also Panhala Fort on Day 2.

@Abhay & f1fan - Yes, planning to cut down on a few places to visit... Thank you for the inputs.

@dkcrpl - From Trimbakeshwar I thought you have to touch Nasik to head towards Shirdi. The other route might be longer. This was the most desired route suggested by friends and also found on the internet.

@vrprabhu - Thank you for the suggestion. I have planned to bypass Pune by taking the Mumbai - Pune Bypass, join NH4 and at Talegaon junction turn right and towards Chakan and finally join Pune - Nasik road.
Pratapgad is definitely on the list.

Nasik -Triambak - Nasik - Shirdi I have mentioned is only driving time. My plan for that day is to leave Nasik by 10AM and reach Shirdi by 3-4PM.
Also thank you for the list of hotels. I planned MTDC Pilgrims Inn as I will be visiting Shirdi on a Thursday when its most crowded and chose MTDC as an option to book online and State owned hotel can be dependable. I am looking at other hotels in Shirdi I can book before I land up there.

@HVK Sir - I always look forward for your suggestions on routes and road conditions. The last place I will be visiting in Maharashtra in this raod trip is Shirdi and then head back to Bangalore. I was actually looking at not taking the NH4 back to Bangalore and also I have 2 days to drive back to Bangalore. Looking at this I selected Bijapur as there are few good places at Bijapur worth visiting. But looking at your suggestions about the road conditions, I will have to look at other otpions. Any suggestions from the great one?

@MX6 - Thank you for the suggestions. Yes I will have to look at other options on the return journey. I have planned the journey in such a way that visiting Shirdi falls on a Thursday. No looking back on that due to strict orders from Wifey. The entire trip is going to happen in the first week of September. I hope the rains subside and Maharashtra is at its greenest.

So definitely change of plans, will rework on the plan. Any other route I can take to head back to Bangalore from Shirdi apart from NH4? If nothing else comes up will hit the NH4 back to Bangalore from Shirdi.

Last edited by dreamdiesel : 11th August 2010 at 17:20.
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Old 11th August 2010, 17:20   #15
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Strict orders from wifey? You are going to get a lot of comments on being home groomed by various members . Refer to Krishna's honeymoon log!

Anyway, if you are planning shirdi on a thursday, then reach there on wednesday night and go early for darshan. Thursdays are damn crowded in shirdi.
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