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Old 15th April 2016, 21:05   #1
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Default Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar

It was just last week that Punto glided on the beautiful tarmac towards Goa.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...rabad-goa.html (Driven: Hyderabad to Goa)

We had plans of visiting Mahabaleshwar for a long time, something or the other kept us busy. After the recent Goa trip I was not done with the Western Ghats. Well 8th April was Ugadi and what better ways to celebrate. My kid who had already done West Bengal to Hyderabad at the age of 6 months was always game for long drives.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...d-asansol.html (Punto to the rescue: Hyderabad to Asansol)

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-after-crossing-baramati-.jpg

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-landscape-enroute-.jpg

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Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-landscape-while-going-.jpg

Given the heat wave in the region I decided for a late start post dinner. After dinner we started at 11pm on 7th April. Took the route via ORR and dived onto NH9 with high hopes of long newly laid stretches. I was so wrong! 100kms into the journey and I had already crossed 20+ diversions. One way and the Volvos overtaking from all possible direction honking like Mad Max! I was not very happy. Instead of cribbing, started tailgating a Toyota Innova. The Innova owner had a “Live to Drive” and sure he did drive well. Kept a steady pace. This went on for a couple of hours when the Innova went for a pit stop. We decided to roll on, it was well past 2am and the traffic condition was better. The extra Hellas upfront were of massive help with oncoming one way traffic. Punto did well we reached Sholapur at 4:45am. Took a short 20 mins break and embraced Google map.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-hybdsholapur.jpg

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-punto-while-going-.jpg

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-enroute-landscape-.jpg

The plan for Mahabaleshwar was a family trip plus a small union of schoolmates who stayed in Pune/Mumbai area. Schoolmate and fellow Bhpian Suryaonwheelz suggested me to take the route to Mahabaleshwar via Baramati. Sholapur to Baramati was done early in the morning, although it was one was we could maintain a steady speed. Reached Baramati at 8am. Stopped for a short break as In-laws were travelling along. The road condition from Sholapur to Baramati is average. Do watch out for sharp bends at night and small humps if missed, rattles a monocoque.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-sholapurbaramati.jpg

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From Baramati to Mahabaleshwar was again one way but given it was a holiday in Maharashtra as well, traffic was nominal. We stopped somewhere in between to have Misal Pav. Being a Bengali I randomly assumed that 2 Pavs won’t be enough but I was so mistaken. Punto glided through the Ghats and finally we reached Mahabaleshwar at 10:30am.
We had put up at J’s Excellency as few of my friends recommended it for car parking and kid’s swimming pool.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-baramatimahabaleshwar.jpg

After freshening up I went for a power-nap. 2 Hours later headed for famous Mapro Garden. The awesomeness of the location and the strawberry fields behind made me hungrier.
For the foodie Bhpians here goes the menu. Fresh Strawberry crème was absolutely mind blowing.

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After an elaborate lunch we had still some time left for heading out to few places. We headed for Panchgani and Table Land. Punto was doing its round and boy was I impressed with handling at the Ghats. Punto is my daily drive and it keeps me happy, on the ghats it made me smile even more.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-punto-table-top-.jpg

On the way we went to few strawberry farms, do note you are not allowed on all. Please ask the locals before entering.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-strawberry-cultivation-2.jpg

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Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-20160409_170243.jpg

Map of Mahabaleshwar, not very detailed but I found it useful.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-mahabaleshwar-map.jpg

Total Distance traveled : 620kms
Total time : 12 hours approx
Road condition - Hyderabad -Sholapur (widening of road in progress, Diversions, bad patches)
Sholapur - Mahabaleshwar (one way , average )

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-hybdmahaba.jpg

Day 2 coming up next.

Last edited by ARAY : 15th April 2016 at 21:09.
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Old 15th April 2016, 22:00   #2
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Day2 started early morning. We headed for Mahabaleshwar temple. You could use the map below that I got from the hotel for reference. The temple was decently crowded and the premises were well maintained.
The temple is made of 3 structures. Mahabaleshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the important pilgrimage sites for the Hindus. Situated in the Old Kshetra Mahabaleshwar, which is about 6 km north of the main city. Built in the 16th century by the Chanda Rao More dynasty. Enclosed by a 5 ft high stone wall, this temple is divided into two areas, the sanctum sanctorum and the central hall. Swayambhu, which is the 500 years old self-originated lingam, is enshrined within the sanctum sanctorum. This self-originated lingam is in the shape of Rudraksha and is called Mahalingam, which is considered to be superior to the twelve Jyothir Lingams.Lord Shiva’s trishul, Rudraksha, damru and a bed which are around 300 years old, are kept inside this temple. Moreover, the temple also comprises a square shaped raised platform. According to the legend, the Maratha ruler, Shivaji weighed his mother Jijabai in gold at this platform and then gave away the gold in charity.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-img_6895.jpg

Punto at the temple parking.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-punto-mahabaleshwar-temple-.jpg

After shopping at the outlets nearby we headed for Kate’s Point which is roughly 8kms from the temple parking. The viewpoint has been named after Kate, daughter of Sir John Malcom, founder of Mahabaleshwar. It shows an excellent view of river Krishna and Dhom Dam.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-dhom-dam-2.jpg

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-elephantonis-mapro-.jpg

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-krishna-river-valley-.jpg

The great valley that lies beneath.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-mahabaleshwar-valley-2.jpg

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Famous Three Monkey Mountain, frankly I was not sure what I was looking at.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-3-monkey-hills-.jpg

Later in the day we headed for Arthur’s Seat/Castle Rock/Elphinstone point. All of them share almost the same type of landscape, we were in Mahabaleshwar and we wanted to see em all! Do note that the road from Arthur’s Point to Elphinstone is a small road going inside. However most of the time was spent at Arthur’s. The place is named after Officer Sir Arthur Malet (1806–1888), who sat here and gazed at the Savitri River, where he lost his wife and children in a tragic ferry mishap.
The place has 2 viewpoints with a stone road going from inside, half a kilometer walk along the valley.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-aurthers-seat-2.jpg

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-dhom-dam-.jpg

View from atop Elephants head also known as Needle hole point.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-view-top-elephants-head-.jpg

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-elephants-head-.jpg

Honorable mention, A horse named Facebook !

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-facebook-horse-arthurs-seat-.jpg

A small lake enroute Mapro for Lunch.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-small-lake-elephantonis.jpg

Just few hours were left for us to visit Pratapgarh fort before it was sunset and too late. Punto said we could do it, well it did that like a charm! Here’s a video of the road to Pratapgarh Fort.



Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-punto-pratapgarh-.jpg

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-pratapgarh-fort-2-.jpg

The Maratha king Shivaji commissioned Moropant Trimbak Pingle to undertake the construction of this fort in order to defend the banks of the Nira and the Koyna rivers. It was completed in 15th century.The Battle of Pratapgarh between Shivaji and Afzal Khan was fought below the rampants of this fort on November 10, 1659. Pratapgad continued to be involved in regional politics. Local guides confirmed that Afzal Khan's Body was ket at Pratapgarh while his Head was taken to Raigarh Fort close by.

Entrance to the Fort.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-pratapgarh-fort-gate-.jpg

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-pratapgarh-fort-sunset-.jpg

The secret Gate to the Temple that was used by Sivaji.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-shivajis-gate-pratapgarh-.jpg

Few weapons of that era, our Guide said the warriors could bend these with their bare hands, not very sure though.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-weapons-.jpg

Last edited by ARAY : 15th April 2016 at 22:11.
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Old 15th April 2016, 22:10   #3
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After Pratapgarh it was time to head back to the hotel and later in the evening Visit my classmates. While rest of my folks focused towards shopping at local market that was close by where we checked in.
Fellow Bhpian Suryaonwheelz ride.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-fellow-bhpian-suryaon-wheels-.jpg

While returning I had Punto took to the ghats again. I was happy for the trip but sad when I would get to drive the Punto in the Ghats.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-punto-ghats-return-.jpg

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-punto-enjoying-ghats-.jpg

The return journey was equally fun and we made it back to Hyderabad at 1am.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-landscape-while-returning-.jpg

Pitstop somewhere near Sholapur.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-pitstop-while-return-lunch-.jpg

Given the road condition Hyderabad-Sholapur, rest of the route is straightforward and average. When we started it was showing 34-38°C but once we reached Mahabaleshwar, Punto never showed a temperature above 32°C .
Hope my experience helps fellow travelers.
Happy driving at the GHATS !
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Old 16th April 2016, 00:07   #4
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Default re: Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar

Thanks mate! It was an awesome meet...
Could you capture the night drive to Baghdad point? It would've been great in the pitch black darkness!

Happy tripping
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Old 17th April 2016, 08:08   #5
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar

Excellent travelogue and an interesting route thru Baramati.
Which hotel did you stop at , that was very near to the market ?

Last edited by F150 : 17th April 2016 at 08:11.
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Old 18th April 2016, 10:16   #6
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar

Lovely travelogue! Like last time, your pictures are very captivating! Mahabaleshwar has lot to see, I always assume its just a temple town!
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Old 18th April 2016, 10:51   #7
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Nice travelogue.
From Baramati to Mahabaleshwar, which route you followed? Via Phaltan or via Nira - Lonand - khandala?
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Old 18th April 2016, 15:16   #8
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar

@aray this is one well written travelogue! The droolworthy pics are the icing on the cake! Thank you for your efforts and wishing you many more miles of travel and blogs! Keep inspiring!
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Old 20th April 2016, 10:09   #9
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar

Great trip! I stay in Pune and go to Mahabaleshwar almost 2 -3 times a year. Most of the times, I drive during monsoon- December. That is the time when you get captivated by its beauty. Do drive around that time as well! It is a peak season time but you would know why it is peak season during that time of the year!
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Old 20th April 2016, 12:27   #10
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I did this last December. Hyderabad to Pune. Stayed near Hinjewadi so I got to hit the highway early in the morning. Mahabaleshwar is awesome in December. Strawberries are plentiful.

But the road to Sholapur has to change. Really stressful. It's painful to drive back. When driving to Pune it was fine - I had something to look forward to. Driving home was just me wishing someone else would take the wheel and put me to sleep. I just wanted it to go away. Terrible road
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Old 20th April 2016, 13:02   #11
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar

Great Road trip. It seems you are getting addicted to the Ghats.
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Old 21st April 2016, 10:07   #12
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Is Mahabaleshwar INdia's Grand Canyon ? IS that it ? Is that the only claim to fame ?
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Old 21st April 2016, 19:43   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F150 View Post
Excellent travelogue and an interesting route thru Baramati.
Which hotel did you stop at , that was very near to the market ?
J's Excellency ,yes its just at the edge of the market, we chose it because of the car parking and a swimming pool.

Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-js.jpg


Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
Nice travelogue.
From Baramati to Mahabaleshwar, which route you followed? Via Phaltan or via Nira - Lonand - khandala?
Here the route that we took, it was via Lonand
Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar-baramatimahabaleshwar.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungSaint View Post
Great trip! I stay in Pune and go to Mahabaleshwar almost 2 -3 times a year. Most of the times, I drive during monsoon- December. That is the time when you get captivated by its beauty. Do drive around that time as well! It is a peak season time but you would know why it is peak season during that time of the year!
Yes, I am not done with Mahabaleshwar

Quote:
Originally Posted by surjaonwheelz View Post
Thanks mate! It was an awesome meet...
Could you capture the night drive to Baghdad point? It would've been great in the pitch black darkness!

Happy tripping
Thanks Mate , here you go, though 6s did not do any justice.

Last edited by ARAY : 21st April 2016 at 19:48.
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Old 22nd April 2016, 16:23   #14
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What a wonderful journey there, ARAY! The pictures are absolutely stunning & capture the beauty of the landscape in such a rich manner.

That lip smacking strawberry creme alone is enough to push me to take the GQ & head down there to devour it!

A very lovely log indeed.
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Old 24th April 2016, 08:47   #15
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar

Great Travelogue. It was nostalgic to see this place in pics again. Nostalgic because, we had a similar trip in Punto from Pune and chose a very similar plan as your's.

Did you miss boating in the Lake at Mahabaleshwar. Also, what was the temperature like in Mahabaleshwar when you visited in the last week of March?
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