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Old 11th November 2012, 11:38   #1
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Default Bangalore -> Shirdi -> Aurangabad -> Ahmednagar -> Ambajogai

1. We tested our car in VRDE test track.
2. We visited Ambajogai, Shirdi, Shani Singapur and Mahalaxmi temple.
3. We chased cyclone.
4. We visited the best fort of deccan.
5. We visited the place where Aurangazeb died. We also visited his tomb.
6. We visited a tower built hundreds of years back with an ambitious target of looking at the fort hundreds of kms away.
7. We visited caves with awesome sculptures.
9. We saw 900 years old Quran and a book written by Aurangzeb.
10. We drove over awesome but really really bad ghat roads. We also had to drive through a remote unsafe rural Maharasthra at night, with loveney being performed by the roadside.
11. We went to land of strawberry.
12. We tasted authentic upper Maharasthra and Kohlapuri food.

Overall, it was a great trip of close to 2692 kms in our little A Star AT.

Route taken: Bangalore-Haveri-Kohlapur-Pune-Ahmednagar-Shirdi-Ahmednagar-nearby places-Aurangabad-Ashti-Jamkhed-Beed-Manjarsumba-Khed-Ambajoai-Ahmednagar-Supa-Ahmednagar-Pune-Mahabaleshwar-Valley of flowers-Kohlapur-Bangalore.

First let me talk about the car. This is the first time we took this car for such a long trip, and the interior roads of Mahasthra were really bad with big craters. The little car took everything in its stride, I was impressed the way it flew through the potholes at high speed, nosedived into sudden craters without complaining and zipped through the broken ghat roads. Luggage space was really limited though it was not a problem as it was two of us traveling.

Some pictures.
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Day 1: After the cyclone
Our original plan was to travel to Goa via Shimoga on day 1. But the water level at Jog falls is usually low this time, so we cancelled the plan to visit Jog falls. We decided to stay at Karwar for the night. It was raining heavily at Bangalore but we were hopeful that things would turn normal after we cross Chitradurga.

We were wrong!

The rain continued even after we crossed Chitradurga. There were puddles of water everywhere, and we witnessed a scorpio toppled over on the highway just after a curve, a possible case of hydroplaning. Visibility was really poor. We had a close call when a truck skidded and stopped inches away from our car. It was evening by the time we reached Haveri. With a forecast of cloudy sky and rain in Goa, we cancelled our Goa plan and decided to call it a day.

We stayed at Hotel Shivraj palace/Saraswati. At 900 per night for AC room, and 650 for non-AC, it was good. Recommended.

Day 2:
We left Haveri early around 7 and drove towards Pune. The rain continued, so our speed was slow. The road was awesome and you could otherwise easily maintain whatever speed you would like, Haveri to Dharwad bypass is two lane.

We reached Kohlapur by 11.30 and went inside the town to visit the temple. There is a parking area in front of the temple, but ask locals on how to go there. Do not depend on Google map, we had a disaster when we tried to visit the temple on our way back based on google map.

Petrol is expensive inside the city and outside it was not available on the highway.

Kohlapur temple is nice but the crowd is not. The crowd management, specially the queue management could be improved.
We left Kohlapur at 1. There is a lot of two wheeler traffic between Kohlapur and Satara, which slows the progress. Also there are many craters on the highway near Satara.

The facilities at Karnataka are really poor. There is no problem in Maharasthra though. We stopped for lunch at a dhaba after Satara and tasted authentic Maharasthrian thali.

Last edited by Samurai : 11th November 2012 at 17:20. Reason: avoid high speed mentions
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Old 11th November 2012, 11:58   #2
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Default re: Bangalore -> Shirdi -> Aurangabad -> Ahmednagar -> Ambajogai

The plan was to reach Ahmednagar by the end of the day. Satara to Pune is good fast drive. The best way to to bypass Pune would be to drive through Katrej and Khiradi bypass, but the roads are very bad and it passes through industrial areas, not sure how safe it would be at night. We traveled through the Pune city. Anybody who has problems with driving in Bangalore please visit Pune. Hardly anybody follows lane discipline. Burt otherwise it was a nice city. Please avoid NH9 while you are connecting to Nagar road.

While I was planning, I could not find the 4 lane Nagar road on map. Basically, Ahmednagar is also called Nagar, and the road that goes through Shirur is the 4 lane road. Take a right at Katrej from NH4, drive through Swargate and then connect to the nagar road.

Pune to Ahmednagar takes about 2 hours. We had dinner at Supa. We stayed at Hotel UdayanRaje Palace, a good hotel but the AC rooms cost about Rs. 2000 per night.
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Old 11th November 2012, 16:21   #3
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Default re: Bangalore -> Shirdi -> Aurangabad -> Ahmednagar -> Ambajogai

Here are some pictures from our drive on day 1 and day2. It was raining till Belgaum.


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Last edited by sumannandy : 11th November 2012 at 16:27.
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Old 11th November 2012, 19:14   #4
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Default re: Bangalore -> Shirdi -> Aurangabad -> Ahmednagar -> Ambajogai

The Hotel Shivraj palace/Saraswati is the one on the old NH4 passing through Haveri town?
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Old 12th November 2012, 21:11   #5
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Default Re: Bangalore -> Shirdi -> Aurangabad -> Ahmednagar -> Ambajogai

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
The Hotel Shivraj palace/Saraswati is the one on the old NH4 passing through Haveri town?
I am not sure about old NH4. Basically you take the first right turn if you are coming from Bangalore, and drive for couple of kms. The hotel would be on your left.

Day 3:

We drove to Shirdi temple in the morning.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirdi

The road condition from Ahmednagar to Shirdi is good only for first 100 kms. The rest of it is really bad, apparently due to some dispute over toll roads. It would take at least 2.5 hours to reach Shirdi from Ahmednagar. Tickets are available for Aarti and darshan. We opted for 12 noon aarti. Ample parking space is available opposite to the temple.

Food hall is separate, about 1/2 a km from the temple.

There are a number of transport options available from Shirdi to Shani Singapur temple. After a great lunch, we drove to Shani singapur temple.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shani_Shingnapur

You need to take a diversion on the way back to Ahmednagar. Be careful from touts near the temple. We came back through Aurangabad-Ahmednagar road.

On the way back we visited a sculpture museum in Ahmednagar.




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