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Old 7th July 2016, 13:03   #16
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

@SDP Awesome travelogue with crisp pics Kumbharli ghat is one which I haven't yet visited in the Sahyadris, your beautiful pics are inviting me to that place ! Keep pouring on. Maharashtra and monsoons is truly magical. The sole region why Pune/Mumbai happen to be my most favourite cities since childhood ( more so Pune). Swanky cities but nestled in the lap of nature, so a perfect place to live for ardent nature lovers like me. Even during non-monsoons, these nearby regions surrounding Mumbai-Pune are great for a quick hang out. On a weekend, half the Pune/Mumbai crowd would be seen chilling out and enjoying in Sahyadris or Kokan rather than at a shopping mall !



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Originally Posted by comfortablynumb View Post

If you haven't already, do try the Amba ghat - that's quite an eyeful too - next time you travel to Ratnagiri in the rains.
Cheers,
Vikram
Agree with you and nice pics there Amba ghat is superb too. Last I visited was around 7 months back and the road then was in an excellent supersmooth condition. Kolhapur-Amba ghat-Ratnagiri NH 204 highway was a pure bliss for 3 hours. I am sure in monsoons, it will be surreal.
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Old 7th July 2016, 13:37   #17
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing. All the western ghats are transformed completely in the rains.
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Old 7th July 2016, 13:58   #18
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

@SDP, Very nice pics, thanks for sharing!
Amazing you can get up and start driving at that time of the night (Yes, its still night, not early morning for me!)
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Old 7th July 2016, 14:32   #19
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

Dear SDP - "Kumbharli Ghat"! Wow, the word itself gave me goose-bumps just now. Thanks for reviving many pleasant memories of my "severity-6 mixed surface" testing circuit between Satara and Hatkhamba! The road seems to have improved now. After Malshej Ghat (which is by far the best, nothing is as challenging as the spot located around 17 kms after the tunnel on the way to Ale Phata), this is the second best road to check and certify handling and tire performance! Hmm, with the clouds coming down and a fine film of H2O cramming it's way between the tire and the asphalt, I guess the time's right for a cool 600 odd kms handling sortie through the dead of night, with some "kaanda-bhaji" thrown in for good measure. Thanks once again! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 7th July 2016, 19:04   #20
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

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Originally Posted by procrj View Post
Nothing can beat the beautiful green of hills in the monsoon. Great set of pics there with some crisp narration. If you could post some gmaps links, it would help those who are new to the ghats and roads of konkan
Here you go:
https://goo.gl/maps/Qyg5x4umLBU2
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Old 7th July 2016, 19:52   #21
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

Superb pics! I will be doing the same route to Ratnagiri in August so it should be as beautiful as it is now. I have already done the same route once before but that was way back in 2011. It was even more beautiful at that time with even fewer vehicles locals. The "silence" of the jungles of India can be experienced in between when you stop in the ghats at some odd turn. It is something to be experienced and cannot be put in words.
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Old 8th July 2016, 09:58   #22
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

Lovely Travelogue Sanjay!!! I have been driving on the NH-17, & the drive during monsoons just betters each year. Unfortunately due to paucity of time, I am not able to stop by and enjoy the scenic beauty around.


But this time, that I am going in the month of September, I will be splitting my journey in two days, so hopefully, I should be able to have some fun on the road.
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Old 8th July 2016, 19:59   #23
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

I used this road just once to reach Velneshwar from Pune, but post monsoons in November, it was nothing special.

I think that in the Pune region, this is the best time of the year. Winter afternoons aren't very pleasant here with the strong Sun and the green and the abundance of water is wonderful to see. Away from the often used roads, there is so much to discover, see and enjoy.

Konkan is always magical, and these are the best times to visit.
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Old 9th July 2016, 12:12   #24
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

Wow SDP those pictures are serene. There is no place like Maharashtra especially konkan / ratnagiri in the monsoon . The narration truly makes one relive the drive with you and perfectly pairs with the droolworthy pictures. Absolutely wonderful to read and rated the 5 stars its deserves.
P.S - Dont be surprised if zoomcar has another pic of Duma from this trip on their website.
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Old 9th July 2016, 22:34   #25
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

Well, I had just asked you for one location, Now i have got the full details! Such amazing pictures, All of it coming from the veteran is the biggest plus! Hope to join you to such a drive soon someday.

SDP Sir.
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Old 10th July 2016, 10:56   #26
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

Great trip and photgraphs sir! This is the first time i am seeing an XUV with "live young, live free" on the front section of the vehicle. Really loved that touch. Also especially liked the photgraphs near Koyna dam. I think the XUV really feels at home in the western ghats. Hope to undertake such a journey someday in my Alto, its actually a dream of mine. Truly a magical season, magical car and a magical story! Thank you for sharing sir.
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Old 10th July 2016, 18:00   #27
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

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Originally Posted by ankurchaturvedi View Post
Great trip and photgraphs sir! This is the first time i am seeing an XUV with "live young, live free" on the front section of the vehicle. Really loved that touch. Also especially liked the photgraphs near Koyna dam. I think the XUV really feels at home in the western ghats. Hope to undertake such a journey someday in my Alto, its actually a dream of mine. Truly a magical season, magical car and a magical story! Thank you for sharing sir.
Interesting that you spoke about your Alto! That's something I missed mentioning in the thread earlier.

I have done the exact same route in monsoon ages back in my Alto. Don't recollect exactly, but must have been 8-9 years back. I was going to Ratnagiri in late-monsoon for Ganesh festival. Started early morning as usual, but NH17 had a massive jam right from Panvel. So I turned around and took the expressway -> Pune -> Satara -> Karad and then the right for Chiplun. I had no idea then that the ghat is known as Kumbharli ghat. I was with my wife and 2-3 year old son. It was pouring and the road had taken beating the entire monsoon. I didn't see a single vehicle crossing me in either direction and I realized the reason few KMs down the road. The road had disintegrated completely. HUGE potholes all over. I was driving at walking speed and even then the deep potholes were giving nasty jolts. The actual ghat was stunningly beautiful, in fact much more beautiful than what I saw this time. Hundreds of waterfalls everywhere. Drenched greenery. Thick fog. Mesmerizing climate. But I was completely stressed as it was raining like hell and we were all alone in that god-forsaken place. No idea where we were and no idea how much time would be needed to reach Chiplun. No mobile network on top of that. Taking pictures did not even come to my mind. Mind was in survival mode.

Finally, the nightmare ended after 5 hours. Just imagine, 5 hours for 90 odd kms! On NH17, we reach Mahad for early breakfast and reach home for lunch. And by this route it was already noon when we reached Chiplun. Called up my parents from Chiplun that we would be reaching quite late. Had lunch at Chiplun and then proceeded to Ratnagiri. The Alto survived, my back didn't. Had nasty cramps for next 2 days and I was unable to move. I don't blame the Alto, the potholes were the real back-killer.

Over years, I learnt the proper name of the route and always thought of doing the same route again in some monsoon. Friends told me that the roads in that section are in much better shape in recent years. But somewhere at the back of the mind, I wasn't ready to take the risk of travelling with family on that route again, unless I was 100% sure. That's how this year's drive happened solo!

Last edited by SDP : 10th July 2016 at 18:03.
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Old 10th July 2016, 20:21   #28
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Mind was in survival mode.
LOL. Made my evening!
I know the feeling; back in 1995, going to Goa, with the road shattered post Kolhapur when what is now one of the best roads in India was under construction.
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Old 28th July 2016, 17:46   #29
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

Aah the monsoons and NH17 - the best road in the world. Good to see Kumbharli ghat in good shape. Have been missing Maharashtra monsoons due to my certain "pilgrimage" ..time to hit the roads again.
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Old 29th July 2016, 20:59   #30
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Default Re: Kumbharli Ghat - A 1000 kms Monsoon Drive

Beautiful pictures, SDP. My wife and I plan to do Delhi>Goa>Delhi on a motorcycle this November and want to take the coastal route. While the non-monsoon season might not be as stunning as the pictures you have posted, motorcycling through western ghats is an experience we are really looking forward to.

That region is completely unknown to me, I now know whom to turn to for route recommendations!

Cheers,
Sting
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