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Old 26th September 2012, 14:40   #1
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Default By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..

Its been a year since my wifey and I have ventured out. We were too busy in settling down with our newborn son and thus could not spare time. It’s not easy to look after a kid for sure. It takes most of your time and makes you prioritize things around your kid but nevertheless its fun. All your day's hard work is forgiven once your little angel smiles at you

So, all my close friends were visiting us and specially our son, on one fine Sunday. This is when we were discussing about an urge to go out and enjoy like we used to do in our college days. It’s been 6 years since we all went out together and so we decided to head to Kokan and make the most out of the long weekend (29 Sep - 2 Oct). I promptly pointed out that it would be difficult for us being parents to a new born (5 months old) but then we asked our doctor and confirmed that it’s okay to go out. The only restriction is to NOT take him to crowded places.

After much ado, we fixed our minds on Tarkarli in the Kokan belt. This small village is situated at the bank of the river Karli and its around 400 Km from my place. As it happens with a multi family outings, 2 couples dropped out after a week. So finally, we booked the hotel “Tarkarli Niwas Nyahari” for 4 couples for 3 nights. Even though the hotel has a weird name, it has got good reviews on the “TripAdvisor” and relying on that, we booked it almost a month beforehand. As days passed the excitement went up and then came the task of packing everything that is needed. Wifey looked after preparing the list of all items that we might need. I must say she really has a command on coming up with list of needful items and making sure all essential things are packed. I looked after the camera stuff and fortunately could locate a lens renting provider in Pune. I quickly ordered the Canon 10-22mm wide angle lens along with the ND4 filter for it. The rent came out 420 per day which I think is reasonable, considering the fact that this lens costs around 50K.

A week before we start, we all sat together and discussed about the routes we can take. We decided to take the Pune-Kolhapur-Gaganbawda-Tarkarli route. My cousin had taken the Pune-Patan-Chiplun route a week before and according to him the Ghat section was in bad condition, so had to drop it as well. Taking this route means I can be on the NH4 for maximum time which in turn guarantees a better and fast travel experience.

When everything is going smooth, there are always issues which dampen your spirit. Just before we were looking all set, couple of weeks back, somebody broke my car’s left side headlight. Either some biker banged or it could be kids playing cricket in the society. As I was getting out of it, on 28th Sep, one day before we set to tarkarli, my car MID started flashing "Airbag failure". I went through threads on other forum and came to know that its because of the Battery going weak. I took my car to the service center (Pandit auto) and they declined to check my car. I was furious when they said, we have work load. I was only asking them if somebody can just confirm if its indeed battery issue. I immediately called up FIAT customer care and the operator asked me to hand over my phone to the CR officer in Pandit. Finally, Pandit guys agreed to look at some relays which can cause this issue. When all relays were ok, they asked me to take it to a battery shop. I went to the EXIDE dealer and he confirmed that one of the cells is almost dead. I promptly changed my battery (2.5 yrs old) and crossed my fingers.

I decided to not let it spoil my excitement of going out and thankfully it did not turn out to be a costly affair. The headlight (The whole assembly) was changed at 2500/- and battery for 5200/-.

Its only 3 days to go and it’s an unending wait to be on the road for Tarkarli....

Last edited by neoonwheels : 4th October 2012 at 11:42.
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Old 4th October 2012, 12:20   #2
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Default Re: By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..

Day 1:

Finally the day arrived!! We packed everything in the car and left my place at 6:00 AM. When everybody assembled, it was 6:45 AM and we started our long awaited journey. I was cruising at a comfortable 90 on the NH4 and thankfully the first 2 toll booths were not crowded. We took the first halt by 8:00 AM at a place called "Virangula". Its very famous among people traveling on NH4 (Towards Satara-Kolhapur-Goa-Banglore). It took us around 1.5 hrs to reach this place and it went according to our target.

We all had "Pohe" (Typical Maharastrian breakfast) and hot tea. We did not waste much time and promptly started towards Kolhapur. Finally just before Kolhapur my kid started throwing tantrums. So we all stopped at a fuel station and my wifey changed his diaper. We again had tea and then took the diversion at Shiye phata". The interior road from Shiye to Kolhapur is awesome. I was surprised to see concrete 2 lane road which takes you to Ranakala lake. To our disappointment, the road from Rankala lake to Gaganbawda was closed due to the Ganapati immersion.

After asking few people we came to know another route which can bye-pass the city and can take us through Gaganbawda. As we found out later, it was a disaster in waiting. The whole stretch was a single lane (Barely 7 feet) broken tarmac road. We were restricted to mere 20-30 KMPH. Finally after 20-30 KM, we could join the Kolhapur - Gaganbawda route. Just when we were about to leave the earlier disappointment behind us, another blinder was in the making.

The Kolhapur - Gaganbawda route is in PATHETIC condition. It was a torture to drive on this road and I totally regret of taking this route. According to the Google maps, it is the shortest route from Pune to Tarkarli. We stopped at Vaibhavwadi and had tea. From here, we can join the NH17 (Mubai-Goa) highway using two options. One goes left and through interior parts and join NH17 just before Kankavali. The other joins NH17 much earlier but then its again south journey and its a bit farther from Kankavali. As sense prevails, we decided to take the right turn and join NH17 instead of continuing on the interior roads.

Once we joined NH17, it was breeze to drive on this road. Even though its a two lane road, its in pristine condition and one can easily maintain 70-80 KMPH. At 3:30 PM, we took the lunch break of 45 mins and then again started driving southward. At Kasal, one has to take right to go to Malvan. At the check post, one of the Police staff stopped us and checked all documents. As it happens in movies, he turned out to be one of my friend's friend. He quickly guided us on the diversions and asked me to refill at a BP pump which is famous for its unadulterated fuel. Its around 2-3 KM from thsi check post.

I refilled my car and it was confirmed that the interior roads in Kolhapur took a toll on the FE as well. The car returned 16.5 KMPL which was kind of disappointing, given the fact that couple of months back the car had returned me 20 KMPL on Pune-Satara strech.

Finally, after 25 KMs from this check post and at 5:30 PM, we reached our hotel. The entrance to the hotel and the reception area was NOT at all encouraging. When I opened my room, I was thrown back. The room was awesome. It was thoroughly cleaned and everything was in place. Now I knew why it was recommend on "TripAdvisor". I totally recommend this hotel to everybody. At 1200/- per night it was a steal.

Last edited by neoonwheels : 4th October 2012 at 16:03.
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Old 4th October 2012, 15:17   #3
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Default Re: By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..

Day 2:

This is when fun begins.. Wifey and I woke up at 6 by our very own alarm clock, my son. After his early morning feeding, we packed our camera bag and headed straight to the Beach. Its a 2 mins walk from the hotel.

The thing that welcomed us to the beach was a small gate created using bamboo attached to the fence. Once we were on the Beach, we understood why people praise Tarkarli. The beach is pretty long and devoid of typical "over enthusiast" people. You don't find human litter on the beach and its clean to the core. When we reached, one of the boats had arrived on the shore with the first catch of the day. One of the crew members fondly explained all types of the fish they caught. I have never seen so many type of fish ever. We even spotted a fish which can live on the land for 2-3 days. There were some jelly fish as well. It was first time for me to see live action of fishing and sorting of the catch. BTW we spotted one water snake and Stingray as well.

We spent some time clicking sunrise and boat pics and then my friends also joined. Then began playing in the water followed by portraiture photography .

Following are few of the snaps from the early morning photo shoot:

By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-img_30841-copy.jpg
By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-img_30861-copy.jpg
By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-img_30901-copy.jpg
By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-img_30931-copy.jpg
By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-img_31081-copy.jpg
By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-img_31091-copy.jpg
By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-img_31151-copy.jpg
By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-img_31491-copy.jpg
By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-550566_10151092927453450_155044136_n.jpg

In the afternoon we all went to Devbag where we can do the water sports. All of my friends took the Dolphin ride while wifey and I stayed back at the parking lot. Once they returned, we went to a small island in the middle of the river Karli. This where all the water sport activities (Except Snorkeling and Scuba diving) are carried out. It was just the beginning of their water sport season and so few of the activities were not started yet.

I took the Bumper ride which essentially is a plastic/rubber bag with 3 slots for sitting. This bag is then attached to the speed boat using a nylon rope. The fun is when the boat takes a turn and because of sudden direction change and wind, your bag slides over the water at great speed. At times it becomes scary as it feels like it would topple at any moment. We get life jackets as a safety measure and those guys explain DOs and DONTs at the beginning. Also they have a Jet ski to reach you just in case your ride topples.

By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-539543_10151092926353450_1737077397_n.jpg
By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-545482_10151092926178450_732589661_n.jpg
By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-560471_10151092925828450_300298681_n.jpg

Last edited by neoonwheels : 4th October 2012 at 17:36.
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Old 4th October 2012, 16:52   #4
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Default Re: By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..

Day 3:

We played cards till early morning so did not venture out on the beach on day 3. Instead we started around 10:30 to the SindhuDurg fort. Its a marine fort and around 1 Km into the sea from Malvan. You get Jetty throughout the day to this fort from Malvan. It was quite humid and bright on that day. Did not click much pics. The evening was again spent playing cards at the hotel room. After all, vacation is not only about roaming around. Time spent with friends and family weighs equally.

By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-sin1.jpg

By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-sin3.jpg

By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..-sin4.jpg


Snorkeling and Scuba diving are conducted at SindhuDurg from 2nd week of October. For Snorkeling they take you in 3-4 feet water while for diving they take you down 20-25 feet. We missed it this time but promised ourselves to return back to Tarkarli in Dec/Jan.

Last edited by neoonwheels : 4th October 2012 at 17:17.
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Old 4th October 2012, 17:14   #5
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Default Re: By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..

Day 4:

With a heavy heart, we all started our journey back home. It was going to be another long journey and we decided to do such trips more often. While returning, the ladies team wanted to visit "Sawantwadi" which is famous for wooden toys and cashew.

While coming back we took the diversion at "Chowke" to reach "Kudal" on NH17. The road was a typical Kokan road, quite good but narrow. We reached Kudal in an hour and then turned right for "Sawantwadi". We shopped quite a alot and spent an hour in Sawantwadi only to realize that we are lagging as per our schedule. The road from Sawantwadi to Amboli is in GOOD condition and one can easily maintain a steady 70 KMPH.

I was a bit skeptical about the Amboli route as it was a bank holiday and the Amboli waterfall is quite famous for pulling crowd in monsoon. Thankfully, there was not a traffic jam and we could easily maintain 40-50 in the ghat. We stopped at Vithal Kamat restaurant in Amboli for lunch. After a tummyful session, we started climbing down the Amboli ghat to join the Tavandi/Nipani junction on NH4. The section of around 10 KM just before Nipani is NOT in good condition, thanks to the passing the ball game between MH and KA government. From Nipani to Pune, it was a typical NH4 drive, nothing to write about.

So it was 4 days well spent and I highly recommend Tarkarli and Tarkarli Nyahari niwas hotel . The place is not yet commercialized which in itself is a big plus. The hotels are pretty cheap considering the locations and things it offers to tourists. For foodies, there is a famous restaurant called "Malvan Bamboo" near Malvan ST bus stand.

Summary:

1. Tarkarli Rocks !!!!
2. While going to Tarkarli the route we took: Pune - Satara -kolhapur - Gaganbawda - Kankavali - Kasal - Malvan - Tarkarli
3. We stayed at: Tarkarli Nyahari Niwas - AC rooms at 1200/- per night
4. Enjoyed water sports at Devbag - 6 KM from Tarkarli
5. Visited SindhuDurg fort - Jetty from Malvan
6. While coming back we took: Tarkarli - Kudal - Sawantwadi - Amboli - Nipani - Kolhapur - Satara - Pune


If you guys have any queries with respect to Tarkarli/hotel/route, get in touch with me.

Last edited by neoonwheels : 4th October 2012 at 17:36.
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Old 5th October 2012, 02:05   #6
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Default Re: By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..

Excellent pics buddy, you really did have lot of fun!

I did warn you about Gaganbawda route, you could have taken Gadhinglaj - Ajra - Sawantwadi route instead.

Any pics from Amboli itself?
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Old 5th October 2012, 10:25   #7
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Default Re: By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..

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Originally Posted by silverado View Post
Excellent pics buddy, you really did have lot of fun!

I did warn you about Gaganbawda route, you could have taken Gadhinglaj - Ajra - Sawantwadi route instead.

Any pics from Amboli itself?
Yeh I know. It was kind of Peer pressure and one of my friend's relative who hails from Kolhapur painted a rosy picture about Gaganbawda. We all were cursing him throughout the trip
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Old 6th October 2012, 16:20   #8
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Default Re: By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..

Nice write up good pictures !

You brought back my memory of Nov 2008 when i last visited with my family to Takarli. Though it is not commercialized it is still my personal favorite tourist destination for the simplicity it offers.

Your travelogue has made me Itch towards one more trip to tarkarli. Though this time with two more companion wifey and my 11 month old daughter.

Ac Rooms for Rs. 1200/- per night is a real steal. I remember we had to shell out Rs 1400/- per day for non Ac room in MTDC way back in 2008.

Any pics of room Tarkarli Nyahari Niwas ?
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Old 6th October 2012, 17:38   #9
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Originally Posted by driving_smartly
Nice write up good pictures !

You brought back my memory of Nov 2008 when i last visited with my family to Takarli. Though it is not commercialized it is still my personal favorite tourist destination for the simplicity it offers.

Your travelogue has made me Itch towards one more trip to tarkarli. Though this time with two more companion wifey and my 11 month old daughter.

Ac Rooms for Rs. 1200/- per night is a real steal. I remember we had to shell out Rs 1400/- per day for non Ac room in MTDC way back in 2008.

Any pics of room Tarkarli Nyahari Niwas ?
Just Google it.. Also room pics are available on TripAdvisor site
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Old 6th October 2012, 17:54   #10
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Default Re: By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..

Beautifully processed snaps @neo! I remember our dialogue long back when you mentioned about the snap of your kid being taken on a 50mm prime
(on the non-auto image thread)

So the instant I saw the TL, I knew what to expect
A DSLR, good lens and the car (and not forget to family !) is a perfect recipe.

So what all lens did you carry? Also what's your post processing flow?


This is also the right time for kids to be exposed to the roads. This way they easily get adapted to the drives!

Last edited by ampere : 6th October 2012 at 17:56.
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Old 6th October 2012, 21:43   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere
Beautifully processed snaps @neo! I remember our dialogue long back when you mentioned about the snap of your kid being taken on a 50mm prime
(on the non-auto image thread)

So the instant I saw the TL, I knew what to expect
A DSLR, good lens and the car (and not forget to family !) is a perfect recipe.

So what all lens did you carry? Also what's your post processing flow?

This is also the right time for kids to be exposed to the roads. This way they easily get adapted to the drives!
Man you have a good memory I used Canon 10-22 which I took on rent and then faithful 50 mm . I used Light room for the post processing along with GIMP
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Old 6th October 2012, 23:16   #12
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Default Re: By the river Karli, I reclaimed my life..

^^ Good kit and very nice photos. Love your compositions. The place looks beautiful! I personally did not know about this place and so, it looks like a good addition to my west coast drive list of destinations!

Last edited by neel385 : 6th October 2012 at 23:22.
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Old 7th October 2012, 21:21   #13
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^^ Good kit and very nice photos. Love your compositions. The place looks beautiful! I personally did not know about this place and so, it looks like a good addition to my west coast drive list of destinations!
Its a beautiful and peaceful place. I had been planning on this since long but managed it this time. The hotel I stayed is wonderful and the rooms were clean to the core. There were mosquitos in the dining area as its open but the hotel staff asked me to dine in the room since I was carrying my 5 month old baby. They always served me food in the room without any charges.

The best thing is that this place is not yet commercialized as much as Goa. You can find descent hotels much cheaper. There is a place called "Diveagar" in Kokan which was like 1000/- for AC room and now it has bumped up to 2500/- for the same hotel. Tarkarli is a must watch place and if you are interested in Snorkeling and Scuba diving, its available from Oct 2nd week onwards.
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