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Old 12th August 2015, 09:14   #1
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Default Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)

Chasing the Rains : Bangalore –> Panchgani(MH) –> Bangalore

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-1.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-2.jpg


This is how my car looked after the Monsoon drive. I really loved this dirty look because this justified the Monsoon drive I went on. I thoroughly enjoyed it and here is an account of the drive.

Driving in Rains:

I have always loved driving in rains. So, whenever it rains during my drives, especially on highways, I just love and enjoy the feel of it. I used to hear about “Monsoon drives” in various forums but always wondered how people can schedule monsoon drives well in advance when we don’t have any control over nature. So, I never gave any thoughts to it.

Few weeks back, paragsachania(teambhpian) encouraged me to participate in the Monsoon drive organized by hvkumar(teambhpian) and his team. With speedsatya(teambhpian) and two of my friends joining in(Vivek and Rajesh), I decided to take the plunge as well. So, after getting approval from the home ministry, I confirmed my participation. Yes, it was a bit difficult to get the approval since I didn’t want to take the family along.

Since this was organized by hvkumar, I was not worried about the stay, food, routes etc. Registration was done 20 days before this drive and from then the days were moving in a slow crawl. Einstein’s theory of relativity was played out in real in my life.

One week before the drive, a head count was taken for the people starting from Bangalore. Around 10-15 cars from Bangalore were participating in this drive. So, we decided to go in a convoy from Bangalore, Parag was coordinating the convoy.

Preparation for this drive:
  • Car complete checkup was done, a week before the drive.
  • Wheel Alignment/Balancing done.
  • Made sure all documents were in place.(Pollution certificate, Insurance certificate, RC card)
  • Torch light, glass breaker, power bank, spare key, tyre inflator, 1L engine oil, 1L coolant, spare fuse, spare bulbs etc.(hydraulic jack had some issues so couldn’t carry this one)
  • Umbrella, Raincoat because this is a “Monsoon Drive”.
  • Carried water, dry fruits and some snacks.
  • Checked the air pressure and filled the tank a day before the drive.

Last edited by arun_josie : 13th August 2015 at 09:14.
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Old 12th August 2015, 09:50   #2
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Default Day1: Chasing the Rains : Bangalore > Panchgani(MH) > Bangalore

Day 1: Bangalore –> Panchgani(MH):

Plan was to meet at the JAS toll on the tumkur road by 4:30 AM and start by 4:40 AM. This being a long drive, all assembled well before the time and we started 5 minutes before the planned time. Unbelievable, isn’t it?! This proved that all were impatient to start the Monsoon Drive.
  • It was a Friday morning, so the roads were almost empty.
  • Speeds maintained were around 90-110 Kmph with parag leading the way.
  • Non-stop drive till the breakfast point, Kamat Ranebennur. It was 7:30 AM by then.
  • A Vento(Sabarish) from Chennai(who joined us at tumkur) and I missed the breakfast point and couldn’t take a “U” turn for the next 10Kms, so we decided to stop at a CCD which was around 30 Kms from this place.
@ Kamat Ranebennur
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-3b.jpg

@ CCD

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-3a.jpg


After breakfast, we waited for the convoy and joined them.

It started raining,

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-4.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-5.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-5a.jpg

Series of stops:
  • A stop just before Hubli bypass for around 20 minutes at 10:00 AM.
  • Another stop to fuel petrol cars at a COCO, Belur near Dharwad @ 10:45 AM. During this time, few of diesel guys stopped for some quick clicks on the highway
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-11.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-12.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-13.jpg

Enjoying the wet roads

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-14.jpg
Photo courtesy: Satya/Sudhakar

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-15.jpg
Photo courtesy: Sudhakar

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-16.jpg
Photo courtesy: Sudhakar
  • Another stop for tea @ 11:50 AM. Also, head count was taken.
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-5b.jpg

And more rains,


Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-5c.jpg
  • Then, it was time for diesel guys and we stopped at Nippani around 12:45 PM for fueling.
  • Immediately after the fuel stop, we entered MH. It doesn’t require a check-post or a Welcome banner or a NHAI location board to realize that we are entering MH. The quality of the roads will indicate you.
  • It was 1:30 PM by now. So, it was time to fill our tanks, we stopped at KFC/McDonalds, Kolhapur.
  • Few went to KFC and others to McDonalds. This pit-stop lasted for around one hour.
  • After lunch, some steady run and rain continued...
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-6.jpg
  • We took the deviation from NH at 4:15 PM towards Panchgani.
Initially it was some plain road and then the ghat section started. Before the ghat section we waited for 10 minutes for all to join. The ghat section was a fun stretch with some scenic views. And the last 2Kms before the resort was really challenging, it was very narrow with bad roads, no roads, inclines, slush and “U - bends” etc.
  • We reached the resort by 5:00 PM.
  • Check-in process was done,
  • Then, we met HVK and had a nice little chat with him.
  • With like-minded motor heads around, it was a fun evening, spent like those lazy bachelor days.
About the resort:
  • Its Summer Plaza Resort, Panchgani.
  • Very nice location.
  • Rooms were spacious and clean.
  • Some good open space and trees around.
  • Car Parking available nearby rooms/cottages.
  • Good food.
Some pics,

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-7.jpg
Photo courtesy: Vivek

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-9.jpg

Rajesh, Vivek, Satya and myself

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-8.jpg
Photo courtesy: Vivek

Well deserved rest after the 800Kms run,

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-10.jpg

Last edited by arun_josie : 13th August 2015 at 14:23.
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Old 12th August 2015, 20:43   #3
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Default Day 2 120 Kms around Panchgani(MH)

Day 2 – 120 Kms around Panchgani(MH)
  • Got up at 6:00 AM as we were supposed to be ready for the drive by 7:30 AM after having breakfast.
  • Total 65 cars. So, 6 convoys were formed. This convoy mode was to make sure that we are not creating any traffic while crossing towns/villages and inconveniencing others. I was in the 5th convoy.
  • All cars were numbered, mine was 52.
  • Circuit planned for the day was around 120 Kms.
  • Each convoy had a leader and we should follow him. No overtaking or taking a different route from the convoy. Obviously, taking a different route means you are lost as some locations were very remote.
  • No network coverage almost throughout this circuit.
  • Our convoy started @ 8:45 AM
Convoy about to start

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_1.jpg
Photo courtesy: Parag

Waiting outside the resort for the convoy to start
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_2.jpg


Some bad roads to start with
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_3.jpg


Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_3a.jpg



Waiting for instructions to proceed before entering a town
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_4.jpg

Scenic route
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_5.jpg

No roads
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_6.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_6a.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_6b.jpg

Parag, leader of one of the convoy
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-parag_convoy.jpg

Now some offroading
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_7.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_8.jpg

Very slippery and stone-ridden stretch
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_8a.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_9.jpg

Parag/Jaison in Ertiga
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_9a.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_10.jpg

Unfortunately this duster got a puncture. Benefits of being in a convoy, lot of helping hands.
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_11.jpg

Back to “roads”, some beautiful scenic stretch


Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_12.jpg


Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_13.jpg


Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_14.jpg



The rains were chasing us


Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_15.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_16.jpg

Lovely Roads!

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_17.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_18.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_19.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_20.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_21.jpg


Last edited by arun_josie : 13th August 2015 at 15:35.
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Old 12th August 2015, 22:13   #4
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Default Re: Day 2 120 Kms around Panchgani(MH)

Now some ghat section,

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_22.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_23.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_24.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_25.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_26.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_27.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_28.jpg

This after reaching the top of the ghats

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_29.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_30.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_31.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_32.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_33.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_34.jpg

Satya and Sudhakar
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-11800606_869384266431973_9104056616508768453_n.jpg

Rajesh and Vivek
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-rajesh-vivek.jpg

And now the drive back down the hill

Awesome capture of Ciaz
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-jsp_ciaz.jpg
Photo Courtesy: JayaSekaran Pillai - JSP

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_35.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_36.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_37.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_38.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_39.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_40.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_41.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_42.jpg


Last edited by arun_josie : 13th August 2015 at 15:40.
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Old 13th August 2015, 00:22   #5
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Default Photo session of 65 Cars in one frame and Day 3

Time for some lake side driving and photo session.

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_43.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-10984136_869379656432434_667455153771294371_n.jpg
Photo courtesy: Rajesh

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-11800182_869379823099084_5779599994712635673_n.jpg
Photo courtesy: Rajesh

All 65 cars in one frame.

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_44.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-lake-sidepic.jpg
Back to some slush

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-11175000_869381896432210_6966420392397855238_n.jpg
Photo courtesy: Rajesh

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_44a.jpg
Photo courtesy: Vivek

After the lake side photo session we proceeded for lunch towards “ICamp Resort”. Climbing up to this place was a task because it was on a very steep incline.
The food we had was really delicious.

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-11010000_869380043099062_5900660550328286530_n.jpg
Photo courtesy: Rajesh

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-247104_869380069765726_8660484243650260997_n.jpg
Photo courtesy: Rajesh


Unfortunately, Ciaz got stuck in the slush

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_47.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_48.jpg
  • Initial plan was the pull out the Ciaz using the 4x4 duster.
  • But the tow hook that we had was little bigger for Ciaz and Duster.
  • Then, we all pushed the car out of the slush manually.
Dhom Dam

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_45.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day2_46.jpg

  • After the lunch, it was around 4:00 PM and time to hit our base location(Summer Plaza Resort).
  • So we were back to the convoy mode and reached the resort in about an hour.
  • After reaching the resort, few went out to do some shopping.
  • Then, it was another evening of friendly banter.
  • Some programs were conducted by HVK and team.
  • Dinner.
  • And, discussion on when to start to start the return journey.
Some wanted to start early to avoid the Sunday rush at toll booths but some wanted to start little late and explore more roads around before joining the NH.

Few of us decided to start early morning on Sunday so that we can reach Bangalore before the Sunday evening rush. And also, will get some time to rest before the week starts.

Day 3: Panchagani - Bangalore
  • All got up by 4:00 AM.
  • And we started exactly at 5:00 PM.
  • This time it was 7 cars : Linea, Ertiga, Ciaz, Ritz, Duster and two XUV500s.
  • Despite starting early, there were some traffic initially.
  • Stopped for Breakfast at “Sai International”, around 140 Kms from resort.
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day3_1.jpg

Parag in passenger seat, its jaison behind the wheels.
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-parag-jaison.jpg


Rains still keeping us happy
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day3_2.jpg
  • Then, fuel stop at Nippani.
  • A stop before lunch.
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day3_4.jpg
  • Lunch stop at Apoorva Resorts. This was a long stop, may be around 90 minutes.
  • This is a very nice place to get refreshed.
  • Neat and clean, good open space, spacious parking, good food, lot of space to walk around as well.
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day3_4a.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day3_4b.jpg
Photo courtesy: Parag
  • After lunch, everyone was recharged and it was a spirited drive till JAS toll, Nelamangala.
Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day3_3.jpg

And now, the rides

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day3_5.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day3_6.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day3_7.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day3_8.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-day3_9.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-11037045_10153263373169998_2416673670160912761_o.jpg
  • We reached the JAS toll by 5:30 PM and waited for other cars to join.
  • This stop was for around 20minutes, and we disbursed after a quick chat.

Last edited by ampere : 16th August 2015 at 17:01. Reason: Changed as requested
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Old 13th August 2015, 00:47   #6
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Default What I liked about this Drive

What I liked about this Drive:
  • The location and planning done by hvkumar and his team. Not an easy task when you have 65+ cars and 200 people participating in the drive. Awesome job by these folks.
  • True justification to the theme of the drive. It almost rained throughout this drive.
  • Driving in a convoy is not an easy task, that too when the distance is 800Kms one way and when you are driving with few folks for the first time. But this group of guys were just awesome. Especially the return journey was super, I kind of felt that we were short of another 200Kms. Thanks to paragsachania for coordinating this convoy, planning the stops for fuel, food etc. Superbly done!
  • Got a chance to meet some wonderful people. Someone I should mention about is Sudhakar, he is the Founder and Director of Maruti Suraksha(Bangalore). A very down-to-earth and humble person. When Satya’s Ciaz got stuck in the slush, he was the live wire and didn’t bother to dirty himself as that complete area was full of slush. A man in his position could have easily just watched the proceedings from the sidelines.
  • A chance to meet online friends in real and make new friends with few others.
  • Spotted lot of team-bhp stickered cars, so I am sure there were many team bhpians in this meet. Didn't get much time to interact with all.
Overall it was a superb experience! Eagerly waiting for the next Monsoon drive!

And finally some numbers,

Total Distance: 1706.1 Kms
Average Speed: 61 Kmh
Fuel Efficiency: 18.5
Duration: 27 hours and 58 Minutes


Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-collage1optimized.jpg

What a transformation after a wash!

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-linea_md_3.jpg

Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-linea_md_4.jpg



Last edited by arun_josie : 13th August 2015 at 16:39.
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Old 13th August 2015, 16:58   #7
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Default re: Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th August 2015, 17:23   #8
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Default re: Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)

The Linea looks beautiful after the drive (before the wash) Didn't know Satya's switched to Ciaz, I remember he owned an Amaze just a while back.

How was the resort?
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Old 13th August 2015, 17:27   #9
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Default re: Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)

Brilliant report, arun_josie! The pictures make me feel I too should have joined this fun drive. Not sure how I missed it. If you guys are planning one again, please PM me.
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Old 13th August 2015, 17:29   #10
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Default re: Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)

Another cross (almost) country drive!!

Baleno seems to be taking on some serious slush in that pic.

The much discussed Ciaz too in the pics
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Old 13th August 2015, 17:47   #11
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Default re: Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)

Excellent logue mate. The place Panchgani was something new to me & going by the pictures it would have been quite an experience. I'm eagerly wanting to make one of these meets sooner than later.

My favorite in this thread has to be the condition of each car when returning back home. Truly EPIC!!
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Old 13th August 2015, 17:49   #12
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Default Chasing the Rains : Bangalore –> Panchgani(MH) –> Bangalore

Yeah. This was one different experience. Driving in a convoy with most of us sticking to agreed speed limits was a different experience for me.
Parag's experience on this route ensured all of us knew where to stop for fuel, food , photos , ....

The meet as such was very well managed and organised. A small confusion just before the lunch break at Dhom Dam meant we drove up the hill where only SUVs would otherwise venture. It was just the Ciaz and Parag's Ertiga that went up there. The uphill drive though very steep was easily manageable , but we ended up trying to park on the wrong side of the road while trying to make way for 2 other 4WDs behind us. Heavy rains and freshly laid soil meant the car just got bogged down while trying to park.

Initially we tried using a tow rope but the Maruti hook was too small for the ones that the organisers had. It required 10 sets of hands and Ashok Kamath's idea of using stones below the tyres to get the car out.

This whole situation could have been avoided if one of us had got down to check the soil with our feet before trying to park. A rookie mistake for which we almost ended up getting into big time trouble. Luckily there was no damage to the car except for wobbling front wheels at high speeds which we knew was from the dried up mud on the wheels. A quick wash on return at Bangalore ensured the wobble was gone




Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-imageuploadedbyteambhp1439468331.121672.jpg



Have a few clips from the 2 nd drive on Day 3






Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-imageuploadedbyteambhp1439467958.634918.jpgChasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-imageuploadedbyteambhp1439467996.002306.jpgChasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)-imageuploadedbyteambhp1439468051.130699.jpg

Last edited by speedsatya : 13th August 2015 at 17:51.
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Old 13th August 2015, 18:35   #13
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Default re: Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
The Linea looks beautiful after the drive (before the wash) .
How was the resort?
Yes, even I liked the look before the wash.
Resort was good. As mentioned above, nice location, spacious, good food etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
Brilliant report, arun_josie! The pictures make me feel I too should have joined this fun drive. Not sure how I missed it. If you guys are planning one again, please PM me.
Thanks Stryker! Sure, will let you know. By the way, this event was organized by hvkumar. He has a facebook page too, you can follow his page for updates on Monsoon drives and Annual drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil_KP View Post
Excellent logue mate. The place Panchgani was something new to me & going by the pictures it would have been quite an experience. I'm eagerly wanting to make one of these meets sooner than later.
Thanks RedDevil_KP!
Yes, its a new place for me as well. I never thought there are such good hill stations in MH. We loved the drive around this place. The climate was awesome too.

Quote:
My favorite in this thread has to be the condition of each car when returning back home. Truly EPIC!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by speedsatya View Post
Have a few clips from the 2 nd drive on Day 3
Thanks satya for sharing the videos.
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Old 13th August 2015, 18:55   #14
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Default re: Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)

So finally the thread is up Arun !

Lovely crisp travelogue there with rains and more rains and cars in these rains. You have summarized the entire drive very nicely.

I must admit that this was one of the most interesting drives mainly for the number of cars driven in convoy for almost 800 kms one way.

The planning, co-ordination & driving was simply fantastic as everyone stuck the plan without deviation. I am glad that all of you folks made it and enjoyed the drive.

This was perhaps the first time that I had given wheels of the Ertiga to be driven by anyone else than me for over 300 kms. After all Jaison (Mighty_Lothar) would not sit doing nothing on the co-driver's seat for 800 kms. Knowing that he was desperate to drive (obviously), we switched seats .

Satya's Ciaz getting stuck was an unfortunate incident but well managed at the end. The climb was not an easy one for sure as I mentioned about the same in my ownership report update too. While it was the Ertiga, Ciaz and the Punto which were the only 3 cars apart from RWD vehicles, the primary reason for Ciaz to get stuck was due to loose soil and being pro-active enough to park right to make way for others. If not this, the show was all going on well.

In fact, soon after I saw Satya's Ciaz was stuck, I was very careful in taking my car out from Parking and reversing at a different location.

Convoy Driving:
Have been doing this since many years and many such drives. The very first one was 4 cars and 900 kms to Khopoli from Bangalore and all through the night.

There are some simple elements that one needs to respect when it comes to such convoy drives. Like I always kept mentioning during our group discussions "You better be remembered for driving well than for driving rash" at the end of the journey.
  • For those who wanted to drive fast, I had always informed them to continue ahead and wait at the next toll. So this wasn't hard rule that everyone must stick to 90-110 KMPH Band. The primary reason for sticking to this band was that this speed is perfect making assessment and taking corrective actions as you are not only tailing someone but are also tailgated by few other cars who may blindly follow your actions.
  • Lane change indications, Hazards during speedbreakers, Keeping the DRLs/Fog lights On, allowing a faster car to pass you in case your lane is obstructing and you have to slow down others - Like these, many such thumb rules and we all drove beautifully to say the least.
  • Then there were families with Kids and Ladies - Breaks for them had to be planned very well at the right places
  • We were a mix of Petrol and Diesel cars with each one having different Range. Knowing this highway since more than 75 drives in last 7 years alone I was pro-active in ensuring that few cars which I knew that didn't have range refilled before we did
  • You are free to start at your own time, you are free to leave the convoy and continue ahead - But the good thing during this drive was each one managed to start bang on time both during onward and return journeys

Thank you again Arun for this wonderful little travelogue and for driving with us.

We need to plan another drive for which we need to do our typical Magadi Road-CR-Patna-Nelamangala-Bangalore drive one of the nights during the week.

Last edited by paragsachania : 13th August 2015 at 19:19.
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Old 13th August 2015, 21:16   #15
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Default re: Chasing the Rains : Group drive from Bangalore to Panchgani (MH)

Hey Arun, a neatly written travelogue there, complimented with beautiful pictures. This was my first monsoon drive and I thoroughly enjoyed the event. I decided to join the drive in the last minute and hence reserved the co-driver seat of the famous Ertiga. After seeing the roads, I was truly missing my Vento. It was great meeting you guys .

Cheers,
LOTHAR
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