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Old 14th November 2015, 19:43   #1
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Default Monsoon sights around Mumbai...

November is sure not the right time to talk about monsoon, but is sure is a wonderful way to reminisce!
Maharashtra just transforms into a green carpet, which is what I found to be distinguishing factor compared to say Kerala, which witnesses heavy monsoon itself. The electric-green undergrowth (moss?) just blankets mountains, walls, even derelict buildings, where you want to photograph every such sight, even at the risk of making it tedious to identify later.

This was the first monsoon after we took delivery of our car. Wife and I had our monsoon drives scheduled well in advance and were successful in securing 3 MTDC bookings for our overnight trips (quite a feat considering that their monsoon destinations are mostly booked out well in advance).

1) Bhandardara
I must admit, we had high hopes for this location, but rains did play spoil sport this year, with early July looking bright and sunny almost like the month of May.The drive from Nashik highway detour towards Bhandardhara was still a treat as there was enough greenery to console us that it was a monsoon drive, despite never operating the wipers other than wash/wipe.

Along Mumbai-Nashik Highway
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-drive-along-nashik-highway.jpg

Detour to Bhandardara
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-enroute-bhandardara.jpg

Monsoon sights minus the rains!
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-monsoon-sights-minus-rains.jpg

The MTDC resort here is superb in terms of location and views (probably one of the few decent ones available here in the first place).
Resort and the trees subject to constant pounding from strong gusts of wind
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-mtdc-bhandardara.jpg

View from the room : if you look closely, you can see the ripples (wavelets?) on the lake caused by the consistent strong breeze
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-view-room-ripples-lake.jpg

The trek from the resort by the side of the Dam was a pleasant surprise, an unspoilt beauty. The bent trees give an indication of the wind speed
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-mtdc-trek-pic.jpg

Lake Arthur Dam
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-lake-arthur-dam.jpg

Trek along the side of the Dam
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Another chance discovery was the beautiful ribbon like road from Bhandardara dam to Muthkel - an unmarked squiggly line in Google maps but a veritable treat to drive!
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-squiggly-road-muthkel.jpg
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-bhandardara-mutkhel-road.jpg
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-lake.jpg

2) Lonavala Drive
One of the numerous day trips to Lonavala, but this one had the settings at its misty monsoon best

Mumbai Pune Expressway
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-mumbai-pune-expressway.jpg

Expressway Ghats
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-expressway-ghats.jpg

Quite an experience to see and be seen in the dense fog, do not think any kind of light (flashing or otherwise) can be as effective as good ol' yellow light fog lamps
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-mist1.jpg
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-mist2.jpg

The customary drive to Amby Valley
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-towards-amby-valley.jpg

The return from Amby Valley made us take a detour, where one can experience empty curved roads (no wannabe racers observed here) with roadside waterfalls
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-amby-detour.jpg

3) Karla and Pawna Dam
MTDC again, lovely cottages with parking right outside your door (yay!).
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-mtdc-karla.jpg
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-cottage-park.jpg

Drive to Pawna was ethereal
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-towards-pawna.jpg
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-karla-sights.jpg

Experienced lashing rains to the limit that we parked by the side, waiting for the rains to abate; with the wipers hopelessly trying to keep pace with the downpour

One moment its clear
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-pawna-clear.jpg
and then like this
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-pawna-lashing.jpg

Off the road for a shot
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-pawna-shot.jpg

A divine Roundabout :D
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-divine-roundabout.jpg
(Disclaimer: All photos taken from driver seat was with the vehicle parked by the side of the road and Hazards on)

Trek up the stairs towards Karla caves
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-karla-trek.jpg

Caves enveloped with waterfalls
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-karla-caves-wfalls.jpg

The anxious glance at the parking lot (cannot help it, whenever it is in sight) stupid:
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-karla-parking-caves.jpg

(to be continued..)

Last edited by GeeTee TSI : 14th November 2015 at 23:22.
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Old 14th November 2015, 23:17   #2
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Default re: Monsoon sights around Mumbai...

4) Local exotics - Gadeshwar Dam, Panvel
Serene lake beside the dam and narrow winding roads with beautiful scenery. Wish we had done this on a bike (or a convertible )
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-wp_20150816_011.jpg
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Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-wp_20150816_027.jpg

4) Tansa Dam, Igatpuri
Unspoilt beauty, where you are barred from entering the dam (of course! this is India) but the wooded trail leads to a lake side which is an excellent picnic spot (if you are in a group of 4 atleast). Quite desolate otherwise
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-wp_20150822_012.jpg
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5) Malshej Ghats (grand finale!)
A monsoon favourite, easily managed as a day trip, but MTDC Malshej lets you soak in the views a little more (the only option to stay, I believe)

Rain soaked roads with vibrant green right bordering the roads.
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-malsej-drive1.jpg
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-malsej-drive-2.jpg
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-malsej-drive4.jpg

Approaching the mountains in the distance
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-malsej-drive9-mountains-distance.jpg

Mist covered peaks look heavenly
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-malsej-drive7-heavens.jpg
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-malsej-drive10-mist-covered-peaks.jpg

Pristine view of streams and meadows
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-prinstine-views.jpg

Malshej valley in its full monsoon glory
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-ghat-top1.jpg
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-ghat1.jpg
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Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-ghat3-multi-falls.jpg

A shot at the top
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-ghatshot2.jpg

Specialty at the ghats being the natural car wash (waterfall right on the middle of the road!)
The great Malshej Carwash (Outside view)

The Great Malshej Carwash (in car view)

MTDC Malshej
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-mtdc-malsej.jpg

Lovely views from the rooms overlooking the ghats.
One instant, it is green
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-view-room-clear.jpg

The next minute, like this
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-view-room-mist.jpg

Valley view point behind the rooms.
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-valley-view1.jpg

While the view is clear, its quite a sight to behold the unmistakable red ST bus snaking its way around the ghats (headlights or no headlights!)
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-valley-roads.jpg

Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-valley-sunset.jpg

The descent started with a foggy drive right from the parking lot. (Kindly excuse the shaky video as it was a hand held capture from co-passenger seat.)

P.S - Don't ask me what I would have done when faced with oncoming vehicles on that narrow winding exit road from the resort!

Misty ghats where one needs to drive with caution (foglamps, with sound-horn and return honk)
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-ghat-mist.jpg

The mist hovers only at the top, after which the wet-green look comes back
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-descent1.jpg
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-descent2.jpg
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-descent3.jpg
Monsoon sights around Mumbai...-descent4.jpg
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Old 16th November 2015, 11:23   #3
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Default Re: Monsoon sights around Mumbai...

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th November 2015, 16:48   #4
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Default Re: Monsoon sights around Mumbai...

Beautiful. While all the pics make you feel so much at home (Mum-Pun-MH), the best one would still be the GT standing and doing nothing!!
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Old 18th November 2015, 16:34   #5
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Default Re: Monsoon sights around Mumbai...

Stunning Photos. Its one thing to plan trips closer to our homes and actually visit them at the right time (monsoons). The MTDC Resorts look promising, surely going to include them in my lookout for hotels the next monsoons. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 18th November 2015, 18:00   #6
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Post Re: Monsoon sights around Mumbai...

Excellent photos. You have captured the greens and misty peaks nicely
Malshej Ghat! An exotic location. Could not make it when i visited Matheran, however it is marked with a * in my wishlist after the movie Raavan!
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Old 18th November 2015, 20:06   #7
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Default Re: Monsoon sights around Mumbai...

Originally Posted by lakhanironak View Post
The MTDC Resorts look promising, surely going to include them in my lookout for hotels the next monsoons.
MTDC website is quite user friendly if one is used to IRCTC. But the real surprise was their call center which was exceptionally professional.
Not the average drone one expects from a customer care, but a real person who knows a thing or two about the property and location and even gives useful suggestions.

However, MTDC insists on a booking confirmation (print out or email), without which they do not 'entertain' anyone.
They still have the quaint practice of a security deposit (200/-) despite the fact that you have paid for your entire stay in advance online.
Most of their properties had very poor signal strength, good luck in retrieving that confirmation email, screenshots are strongly advised. Do PM me in case you need more details
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Old 22nd November 2015, 08:17   #8
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Default Re: Monsoon sights around Mumbai...

Really amazing and inspiring pics. I have been in Mumbai for 5 years and always delayed planning monsoon trips and given the expensive last minute hotel booking the trips hardly happened. After seeing your pics and MTDC planning, I am encouraged to do the same in 2016. More so as I bought the exact same Grey GT now. I can almost see myself taking similar pics

How early would you say one should book MTDC for monsoon? All these trips are 2D/1N? MTDC website is intuitive enough for booking? Would be great if you could post more details.
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Old 25th November 2015, 21:39   #9
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Default Re: Monsoon sights around Mumbai...

Originally Posted by manish84 View Post

How early would you say one should book MTDC for monsoon? All these trips are 2D/1N? MTDC website is intuitive enough for booking? Would be great if you could post more details.
MTDC monsoon reservations was almost booked out in May (covering weekends from mid June till Mid September), long weekends definitely so. I would reckon April or earlier so that one is not 'stuck' with overpriced suite rooms. Most trips were 2D/1N, but look out for their rather inconsiderate check-in/ check-out timings (some of them 9 am )
Website is quite user friendly, informative; their call center exceptionally so. Payment gateway was hassle free as well.

MTDC properties are vast with well spaced out cottages, spacious rooms. Decor and ambience are average (better in case of renovated ones) but more than make up with their superb location.
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Old 25th November 2015, 22:11   #10
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Default Re: Monsoon sights around Mumbai...

MTDC is the only good place in Malshej, rest of the places are only for those looking for 'booze party'.

If going with family, avoid weekends. Too many rowdy people making all kinds of stunts.
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