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Old 19th August 2016, 22:36   #1
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Default Rain, Fog & Greenery – A Maharashtrian Monsoon Tale!

Green is always symbolized as color of growth, spring, of renewal and rebirth. It renews and restores depleted energy. I wouldn’t have agree much to these statements until our epic Maharashtra Ride.

Five days of continuous ride, dense fog all along our way, heavy rain to drizzles, warm to being frosty cold, boring highway to snaky scenic curves, expressway to dark dingy tunnels and an ODO which read more than 2400 kms at the end of the ride. However, one thing was common all throughout the journey – the mesmerizing “Green Maharashtra”. I can relate this state during monsoon as a newlywed bride: fresh, gorgeous and pleasant aura.

So let me unveil this monsoony tale through my travelogue.

I am really lucky to find someone in my life who is as passionate as me for travel, seeking and seeing new places, crossing boundaries and exploring unseen destinations. After long tiring days at work, Atul and I get refreshed with our endless talks about rides, trips, next destination to go, biking threads, fellow biker friends, etc. etc. On one such day, when we both were reliving our last year five days trip to Ooty Wayanad Kotagiri, Atul asked me instantly ‘why don’t we do Maharashtra (MH) this time?’. He showed me some Google images of how MH would be during the start of monsoon. I was overwhelmed by the discussion and readily agreed for the ride. Eid holiday was coming up on a Wednesday which mean we had to take leave on a Monday and Tuesday to make it up a five day long ride. So just in a jiffy our ‘Great Monsoon MH Ride’ was planned.

Atul already had made arrangements for a bigger better saddle bag (Dirtsack Frogman) and a supporting rack for carrying these new bags. Within couple of days, Atul came up with the schedule of places to visit, day wise, hotels to stay over in each destinations and other necessary arrangements for the ride.

Some quick details from the trip:
Rider: Atul, pillion: me
Bike: But obvious KTM Duke 390
Distance covered: more than 2400kms
Date: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th July 2016
Rough route: Bangalore > Pune > Malshej Ghats > Lonavala > Pune > Lavasa > Mahabaleshwar > Ganapati Pule > Amba Ghats > Bangalore

Day 1 – 02/07/2016 (To Pune via NH4 – Tumkur > Davangere > Hubli > Belgaum > Kolhapur > Satara > Pune) KMS covered - 880

As usual, we are again LATE!! As per our plan, we were supposed to leave BTM by around 4am so as to reach Pune early. Somehow we could only get up by 4, in a hurry burry both of us got ready. Our beloved friend Arun decided to join us till the breakfast point. Atul and I were feeling a bit sad as more or less for all the rides, Arun accompany us, this time he isn’t joining us for the whole ride. Nonetheless, Atul loaded the bike with the saddle bags, tank bag, water bottles, quick snacks and fruits for the way. Sharp at 5:15am we started our journey from home.

Today was a day when we had to complete almost 880kms in order to reach Pune and it was all boring highway ride. We took NICE Road and then the Tumkur road exit (only toll we had to pay in our entire journey was in NICE Road, Rs 48). Once we hit NH4, the ride was fast, took lesser time to cover distances. Lesser traffic, morning mild breeze, cloudy weather, green lush paddy fields, windmills at the distance and the onset of monsoon, the ride was absolutely bliss. Our first petrol break happened in a HP Petrol Bunk somewhere after Chitradurga some 200kms away from home. After this we continued until Davangere, some 310kms at 10:15am and stopped for breakfast. We all know Davangere is famous for their benne dosas, so why not devour some of these culinary delight. So done with breakfast, tea and quick selfies, with a heavy emotional heart Arun bid us goodbye. Atul and I headed towards Hubli and Arun towards Bangalore.

Next break was once again a petrol and photo break in Haveri around 11:30am. The fresh green budding fields, trees with new leaves, and the long never ending highway: took out my camera and clicked few pictures. Started again, this was followed by couple of butt breaks, a petrol break and crossing Hubli, Dharwad and then reaching Belgaum around 1pm covering some 530 kms. And from this place onwards our monsoon ride to Maharashtra literally started. It first started with mild drizzle and then into heavy downpours, stopped by the side of highway, we wore our rain gears (I shouldn’t have carried so many pair of clothes had I known for the next five days our rain gears would be the sole thing we would be wearing all along). Never mind, Atul started the bike and we continued ahead. I thought the highway would be utterly boring but I was wrong, we crossed many scenic landscapes, small sections of ghat roads, many windmills and never ending mountain ranges.

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Around 3pm we entered Maharashtra territory through a place called Kagal. We crossed Kolhapur town and by now both of us were famished. Unfortunately we entered a section of highway where finding a decent place to eat was a challenge. After endless searching finally found a small but good dhaba to have lunch, this was around 4:15pm in the evening. Tandoori Roti, Dal Fry, Fish and Mutton Curry, Omelet, the food was amazingly tasty. 45 mins rest, couple of quick clicks and we started our journey again.

Rain and dark clouds, it seems we would lose out on daylight pretty soon and we had to cover another 130kms approx... 5:45pm we reached Satara, the ride was pretty scenic, ghat roads, mountain ranges on one side with tall high rise windmills and dense valley forest on the other side. However, the road condition deteriorated from here as there were too many diversions due to road construction works. This slowed down our speed to a large extent. To top it up, rain and it was already dark. But I thoroughly enjoyed this ride as we crossed couple of tunnels on the way, not many rides that we go involves crossing tunnels. The best was being the New Katraj Bypass Tunnel – a six lane tunnel spanning 1220 meters approx. length on the Katraj Ghats.

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Around 8pm we entered Pune city limits. We had to go to Hinjewadi as our hotel/guest house was booked in that location. After braving city traffic and rain, we reached our GMA Guest House at around 9:15pm. This is a service apartment turned into guest house, on the 20th floor of a society building. A room with double bed, complimentary breakfast costs us Rs 940 per night. I really liked the place as it was neat, clean, amazing city view and best part food was royally yum! For dinner, we decided to not step out and have it in the guest house itself. They do serve dinner too with a rate of Rs. 125 per person. We got rice, dal makhani, aloo bhindi fry, chapatti and salad.

I took a quick bath to wash down all the dust and tiredness due to the ride, unpacked some of the items as they got damped due to rain. The Frogman saddle bags however did an amazing job: no water leakage and all clothes, laptop, phones were absolutely intact and working fine.

11:15pm and we were done for the day. Goodnight until Day 2.

Day 2 – 03/07/2016 (To Malshej Ghats via Hinjewadi > Chakan > Narayangaon > Malshej Ghat > Murbad > Karjat > Khopoli > Lonavala > ‘Getting lost in some “no man’s land” dark roads’ > Mumbai Pune Expressway > Mumbai Pune Old Highway > Hinjewadi) KMS covered – 330

Knock knock!! This is how our day 2 morning started. Guest house guys told us the previous night that the complimentary breakfast would be served between 8-10am, but when we heard the knock it was already 10:15 and the care taker came to wake us up. In a hurry we both got up, brushed and headed for breakfast. Piping hot aloo parantha and milk with some desi pickle. The view from the balcony of the Pune city was marvelous, concrete high rising buildings yet one can see range of foggy mountains, tall trees all along. It was a pleasant site and it was drizzling. Done with breakfast around 10:45am, we headed to get ready for Malshej ghat. Thank God, we won’t be carrying saddle bags today, only the tank bag with cameras, water bottles and few snacks for the way.

11:45am we were on the basement of the guest house and Atul put on the GPS for Malshej Ghat. By now it was raining heavily and we decided to wear our rain gears. Let’s wait for some time and see if the rain subsides, well no! It won’t stop so we agreed to keep going. Heavy downpour and this is how we crossed the city limits of Pune and headed towards Chakan via NH60. The damn rain won’t stop even for a single minute and we took our first petrol break after some 40-45kms in a HP bunk. We crossed many small towns and reached Narayangaon. From here we took the route to Junnar and passed many district roads to reach the base of ghat roads around 2pm.

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After some straight boring roads we entered village limits and then the picture frame of nature gradually started changing. The view was mesmerizing, we crossed narrow tar roads with green vegetation all along. From far we can see huge mountain ranges and array of white waterfalls one after another, green was the prime color and till your eyes could gaze through the only thing you could see was GREEN budding grasses, leaves and trees. We started riding through ghat sections after a while, came across a small tunnel, mountain full of algae covered rocks, budding green grasses, curvy but wet roads, ample number of waterfalls where the water falls straight onto the highway.

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Malshej Ghats is a paradise for nature lovers, especially for someone who loves rain and water. It is known for its rugged hills, curvy road, dark woods and different kinds of flora and fauna especially avifauna such as quails, rails, crakes, flamingos and cuckoos. It is a big hit among tourists who seek tranquility and natural beauty. The lush greenery and the breezy weather alongside the meandering waterfalls appear as the pinnacle of beauty in the monsoon season. The place is undeniably a heaven on earth for tourists, trekkers and hikers.

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The entire time we were here it was raining non-stop and even our rain gear was of no help. I tried clicking some pictures with my DSLRs but couldn’t dare to keep them outside for long. Though my D750 is a water sealed body I didn’t want to take any chance. D5200 did get wet badly and water must have gone in. it was better I put them in. Tried clicking as many pictures with my iPhone but yeah, so much rain water that the touch screen was not detecting anything. We kept in all our gadgets and decided to enjoy nature, capture this beautiful scenery by our eyes only. Trust me I was spellbound after seeing such a marvelous sight of nature. However, bikers need to be utter careful because of the slippery and wet roads, water from the waterfalls falls continuously, cliffy edge and super dense fog.

On our way we met many people who were curious seeing our KA registered bike. Most of them came to Atul with so many questions, where are you from? So far from Bangalore was it comfortable to come by bike? How did you modify the seat? How did you modify the luggage racks? Seeing the GoPro – does it take pictures? Videos? Are you a moto vlogger? Do you have YouTube channel? Etc. Etc.

Around 4pm, we decided to head back to Pune via Lonavala. Plan was to look around Lonavala as well, but guess time was not sufficient to do so. We took the road towards Murbad but on the way decided to finish with our lunch. We stopped by at a road-side restaurant, had dal fry, chapatti, omelet and tea. Around 4:45pm we started our journey, still it was raining and we just had some two hours of daylight.

Remaining part of the ride was mostly through district and state roads, the Murbad Karjat road, fighting heavy rain. The road connecting Malshej Ghat and Lonavala is a bliss to ride on. Zero traffic (maybe due to heavy rain), smooth and curvy roads with yellow demarcation and beautiful greenery both the sides. It definitely felt like we are not riding in India; it was such an experience. In between we took a petrol break as well and then crossed Karjat, Khopoli and reached Mumbai Pune expressway entry at around 8pm. A guy told us not to take the expressway as bikes are not allowed and we might incur fine. He instructed us to take some diversion and hit the old Pune highway. This is when we got completely lost and took a wrong turn towards some jungle road. We kept on riding on this road for almost close to 10 kms and there was no sign of any human civilization, not even a street light. The more inside we go the denser the forest becomes and narrower the road gets. I was scared of human dacoits and Atul was scared of supernatural ghosts and wild animals. By now we could figure out that we have come towards an extremely wrong and opposite direction. There was no one to even ask for directions and it started getting even scarier and pitch dark. Just when we were about to cry on our useless fate we saw a torch light some meters ahead. Trust me even a bleak torch light can give immense happiness to someone stranded in a no-man’s dark land. There was this old guy, who couldn’t see properly sitting inside a small dingy hut. Atul ran to him and ask what’s ahead. He told NOTHING! He asked us not to spend more time in that area and go back the way we came. Atul asked him if he knew how to go to Pune but he kept on repeating he doesn’t know and we should immediately return. Wasting no time, we thanked the old man, Atul turned the bike and pressed the throttle like there was no tomorrow. I prayed to all the Gods I knew and in no time we reached the same place where that moron asked us to take diversion. May God bless that old person, there was no need for him to be there in that dark place that day, yet he was there, may be to help us avoid some bad event in our life. Amen!

By now it was already 9:30pm and Atul decided even if we have to give fine we are taking the Mumbai Pune Expressway. Not many bikes that we saw on the expressway and all the cars were dashing through the multi lane highway, but the ride was amazing, smooth and fast. Around 10pm we reached the expressway exit towards Hinjewadi and guest house was some 20 kms away from that spot. It was late and no way could we get dinner at the hotel so we agreed to have some light dinner on our way. We had pav bhaji, vada pav and some hot milk. Around 11:15pm we reached our guest house.

The splendid view of Malshej Ghat, beautiful waterfalls, monsoon rain, greenery and yes, getting LOST!! What a day it was. I took a quick bath and both of us hit the bed around 11:45pm. Goodnight!

Day 3 – 04/07/2016 (To Mahabaleshwar from Pune via Lavasa. Route taken: Hinjewadi > Gadewadi > Temghar > Lavasa > Gadewadi > Kapurhol (NH 48) > Wai > Panchgani > Mahabaleshwar. KMS covered – 220

Today we didn’t want to be woken up by the care taker of the guest house. Sharp 7:30am and both of us were up. We freshened up, went for breakfast – hot methi parathas, pickle and milk. Post this, we started packing our stuff, took bath, got ready and headed towards Lavasa around 10am. Monday morning, heavy rains, busy traffic due to people going for work and water filled roads. Getting out from Hinjewadi wasn’t easy. Finally, we hit the Temghar Lavasa road, where the traffic was much lesser. Distance to Lavasa was almost close to 50kms.

Ride to Lavasa was once again splendid, mostly ghat roads, green vegetation, mild drizzles and awesome weather. Around 11:45am we reached Lavasa city, paid entry fee of Rs 30. The ‘hill city’ was engulfed with thick fog and visibility was too less. Like any other ghat area in Maharashtra, this place was also abundant with waterfalls. Lavasa is a private, planned city, based on Italian town Portofino style, developed on the banks of Baji Pasalkar Reservior behind Varasgaon Dam. Though the city is at its best during monsoon, I personally felt that it is very commercially maintained. The place was picturesque and amazing but somehow lacked the true touch of nature. We spent some one hour looking around places, clicking some pictures and then decided to head back.

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Around 1pm, we headed back in the same route till Gadewadi. From here we took the Mulshi Road to connect us to NH48. Just after crossing Pune city and the Katraj tunnel, we decided to have lunch as it was already 3pm. We had misal pav, Maharashtrian thali and some vada pav. After lunch the ride was pretty much like the same old highway ride. Sometimes rain, sometimes bleak sun rays, sometimes plain road, sometimes ghat roads. But all the way, roads were in superb conditions and as always, one thing was common, the greenery. In between we took one petrol break as well.

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Just before reaching Satara, we took off NH48 and took diversion towards Wai-Surur Road. From here Mahabaleshwar was just 35kms away. As soon as we entered Panchgani, the climate completely changed. Misty roads, foggy atmosphere, cool breeze, drizzles and magnificent landscapes. We could see vast range of mountains, distant lakes, green high rising trees and waterfalls. By 5:30pm we reached our hotel, Meera Vatika. Fare for a deluxe room was Rs 900 per night. A well-furnished and nicely maintained hotel situated some 3 kms away from the main Mahabaleshwar town. We settled our luggage, took shower and headed out for some evening snacks. One needs to pay a fee of Rs 50 in order to enter Mahabaleshwar town, this is valid for seven days. We devoured some yummy vada pav, misal pav, and omelet and masala chai. Rain and fog are constant in Maharashtra so we got completely drenched while coming back to the hotel room. Did click few pictures with mobiles though.

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For the next couple of hours we made use of hotel amenities and played TT and carom board. It was a good refreshment after such a tiring day. Around 9pm we went out to the nearby dhaba for dinner. Chicken curry, chapatti, rice and dal fry was what we ordered. I somehow like Maharashtra food, simple yet tasty. By 10:45pm we were back to the hotel room and decided to retire for the day.

Day 4 – 05/07/2016 (To Ganpatipule from Mahabaleshwar. Route taken: Poladpur > Khed > Sawarde > Navadi > Chafe via NH 66. KMS covered – 220

Our day started by waking up at around 7am. Previous night we did a quick check with the hotel guys for places to see in and around Mahabaleshwar. He told us it won’t be a good idea for sightseeing as most of the tourist places and viewpoints would be covered with dense fog. We thought at least we should go and explore Harrisons Folly which is near Panchgani. It was about 18 kms one way from our hotel and we planned to have breakfast in the famous Mapro Garden restaurant on our way back. We started at 7:30 and reached the spot in some 25 mins. It was still drizzling and dense layers of fog were floating all across the hills.

The time we reached Harrisons Folly it was pretty much empty expect for two guys in car. They did click pictures with our D390 as well. Once they left, Atul and I were the only people left. The entire place was for us. We clicked pictures, spent some time enjoying the nature and letting the cool breeze hit our faces. Harrisons Folly is an amazingly breathtaking place, from where one can get view of the entire valley right up to Wai village and Dhom Dam. The place was surrounded with serene, peaceful, never ending mountain ranges, think greenery and a lot of fog. One can take their vehicles right up to the edge. Around 8:45 am we decided to head back and go to Mapro garden for breakfast.

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Reached Mapro in some 15 mins. This is a completely commercialized shopping complex/restaurant with chocolate products from their own factory, small nursery, and restaurant serving delectable food, children’s play area and a retail outlet selling Mapro products. The restaurant serves limited food options, only sandwiches, pizzas and coffee items. Both of us ordered some sandwiches and coffee for breakfast. Done with food, I picked up some green apple syrup for a friend and then some food items like mango candies and chikkis.

Came back to hotel around 10:30am, started packing bags, and took bath, settled bills and ready to hit the roads once again towards Ganpatipule at 12 noon. The ride from Mahabaleshwar to Poladpur was insanely amazing, butter smooth roads, curves, hills, greenery and mild drizzles. But then it was raining cats and dogs all along the way. At times when the rain used to stop, we did stop at many places to click pictures. From Poladpur we took diversion towards NH 66 the beautiful and scenic Mumbai-Goa highway. Crossed through lot of villages, smooth curvy roads, carpet of fresh green grasses all along the way, the enchanting Kashedi Ghats, small water springs, waterfalls and something which never left us all these days, the rain! Most part of the ride was crossing through towns, cities, villages and NH66. At around 4 pm we stopped at a place called Sawarde and decided to have lunch. Once again agreed upon some simple food, dal fry, rotis, omelet and chicken curry. After some 45 mins break, we started our journey again, Ganpatipule was almost 65kms away. As soon as we left the restaurant, it started raining heavily and visibility started becoming too low. Rain gears were already on so we decided to keep moving ahead slowly.

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At a place called Sangameshwar we let go off NH 66 and took some district roads. We crossed Kond Asurde - Dingani Road, then diverted towards Phungus Dingani Road and joined Ukshi Road to reach Chafe. All throughout, the roads were amazing only in few bumpy stretches. We took a petrol break in Chafe and the continued towards Ganpatipule. Around 6:45pm we reached Ganpatipule town and could see the sea line of the beach. The evening colorful sky looked amazing and we stopped by to click some snaps.

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After this our hotel was just some 2kms away. Nakshatra Beach Resort was where we put up for the night. It was a resort amidst wide area of lush greenery, if you are lucky enough you can get a room overlooking the beach. We weren’t lucky that day, nonetheless, the room was an AC Deluxe one with Rs 800 per night (I think it’s a steal deal, thanks to Goibibo). Despite rains, Ganpatipule was quite humid.

We went for dinner at around 9 in the resort’s in-house restaurant. Dal fry, chapatti, omelet, chicken biryani and some lassi, food was yum. After dinner we took a quick stroll within the campus, dim lights, cool wind, cloudy sky and us. Life can’t be better than this. Around 11:30 pm we decided to call it a day as the next day we are heading home.

Day 5: 06/07/2016 (To BTM. Route taken: Ganpatipule > Amba Ghats > Malkapur > Kolhapur > Hubballi > Davangere > Tumkur > Bangalore) KMS covered: 790

Like all good things have to come to an end, our super special Maharashtra ride was also coming to an end today. This was the 5th day of the journey and time to head back home. We got up quite early today, around 7am and decided to head towards the beach for seeing the famous Ganapati temple and click some pictures. This was just some 2kms away from our resort. Weather was warm and humid, being a coastal region yet it was already drizzling. We reached the temple premises, parked the bike and headed towards the beach.

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The Swayambhu Ganapati Temple on the beach is the primary attraction in Ganpatipule with hundreds of devotees flocking into the temple every day. The temple oversees the Arabian Sea and symbolizes a majestic feeling of peace. The small town of Ganpatipule on the Konkan coast with beaches and vantage points offers a stunning views of the sea and Mother Nature. We did offer prayers from outside, explored the beautiful beach, clicked some snaps and went to a local restaurant to have breakfast. We had some authentic local vada pavs, misal pavs, piping hot masala chai. After spending some two hours we to returned to hotel. Our check out time was 11am and we had some one hour to pack, freshen up and head out.

Luckily, bang on time at 11am we were out from our hotel and ready to hit the road once again. Thankfully the weather today was warm and wasn’t raining for a change. We took the same route towards Chafe and headed to Amba Ghats. The roads were amazing through many small towns, a mix of curvy as well as arrow straight roads. At around 1pm we reached Amba Ghats section. The weather changed immediately, dense fog, mild drizzles, brilliant ghat roads, picturesque mountain-scapes and a mesmerizingly pleasant climate. We stopped by at a safe place to click some pictures. A 30-45mins halt and we started again to Kolhapur, which was around 65kms away.

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Boring highway ride and around 2:45pm we reached Kolhapur city. Hustling bustling through the traffic we touched NH 48. After a while we entered Karnataka border and halted for lunch. As usual I wanted to go light on food, so ordered tandoori roti, dal fry and omelet for me and Atul ordered some chicken biriyani. Food, rest-rooms and a petrol break post this we started our ride home. We crossed Belagavi, Hubballi, Haveri and Davangere with small breaks in between.

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Around 9pm we reached Chitradurg and bike was running super low on fuel. We both just had a 100 rupees note with us, filled in petrol with the same yet the fuel meter was showing low fuel. All the while from now we kept on looking for an ATM or a petrol bunk which accepted cards, none! Yet the bike kept on moving till the point when it gave up and petrol was used up till the last drop. THE BIKE STOPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF HIGHWAY, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!! Damn!! Of all things this was not what we both expected to happen. An auto guy gave us two options, first, the nearest petrol bunk on the highway is 5 kms away and second, inside Chitradurg town the nearest one is 2kms away. We decided to go by second option, yet the junction from where we need to enter the town was some 2kms away. Well, no other way out, Atul had to pull the bike (loaded with so much weight) for almost 2kms until we reached the junction. I tried hard to catch up with him. By now it was already 9:45pm and someone told us 10pm the petrol station may close for the day.

Huffing puffing, pulling, walking and pushing for almost 4 kms, we reached the Indian Oil station just in the nick of time. They too were not accepting cards but there was an ATM in the vicinity. Atul ran and went to pull out some cash, petrol filled and we were once again ready to go. But the most important lesson learnt – ALWAYS CARRY SUFFICIENT CASH WHILE ON THE RIDE/HIGHWAY AND TANK UP AS SOON AS YOUR BIKE INDICATOR SAYS LOW FUEL.

By now we both were hungry, luckily there were some decent hotels still open. Had quick dinner – chicken pepper fry, rotis, dal fry and tea. Around 11pm, we started again from Chitradurg with a hope to reach home non-stop, 190kms away. Finally, we touched Nelamangala and entered NICE Road entry. As soon as we hit the NICE Road (once again paid an entry fee of Rs. 48) there was a sense of relief for both of us, home was near. Bannerghatta road and then home, we are back home. Time was 1:50am and the ODO read 2440kms for the entire trip. Within 15 mins I was on my bed, cuddling inside the blanket, a big smile on my face, what amazing five days of my life. Goodnight!

Hope you guys liked the complete travelogue and this would give you enough information when you plan a MH ride sometime in future (obviously, if you are covering the places where we went). As mentioned earlier, I have never experienced so much greenery ever in my entire life. This was by far the best ride Atul and I experienced as couple riders, new places to see, so many lessons learnt, supporting one another in each and every moment and being so close to NATURE!

Until next time, Maharashtra: you were simply brilliant. JAI MAHARASHTRA!!

P.S. Pictures are a mix of DSLR as well as mobile clicks
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Old 20th August 2016, 00:22   #2
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Default re: Rain, Fog & Greenery – A Maharashtrian Monsoon Tale!

Nice travelogue. Being from MH, it is interesting to see how people from other states view MH.

About the detour en route Karjat to Pune, my guess is you went towards Pali. It is a deserted road in the night.

Please don't risk a ride on the expressway. Deadly as it is, you will miss the beautiful old NH4.
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Old 20th August 2016, 01:07   #3
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Lovely photos and great travelogue Nandita. I stayed in Pune for 6-7 months, and during my stay there I also traveled by bike to Khandala, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani, along with my wife. After coming to Bangalore, I still miss the mystic charm of Maharashtra and cherish the lovely monsoon weather in the western ghats. Great to see you both ride so far and enjoy it as well. But riding a bike in the rain does sound wonderful, but I guess not so comfortable for the riders. Hats off to your spirits. Keep it up. Some photos that I would like to share from my ride.
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Old 20th August 2016, 15:23   #4
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Originally Posted by nandita_bayan21 View Post
Green is always symbolized as color of growth, spring, of renewal and rebirth. It renews and restores depleted energy. I wouldn’t have agree much to these statements until our epic Maharashtra Ride.

Until next time, Maharashtra: you were simply brilliant. JAI MAHARASHTRA!!

P.S. Pictures are a mix of DSLR as well as mobile clicks
Nandita & Atul, many congratulations to both of you for completing this 5 day dash to Maharashtra and hats off to your courage to venture into uncharted territory that too on a bike . Your crisp writing complimented by stunning photography made this travelogue worth the read.

You timed this trip perfectly. After the incessant rains in Maharashtra, the Malshej ghat experienced many landslides and the ghat road had caved in at many places. Due to this Malshej ghat was closed for traffic for a couple of days.

You were really lucky to get out of the two tricky situations one being one being loosing your way in Khandala ghat and the other being your fuel tank getting dried up completely. I am sure you must have learned your lessons form these two incidences. Anyways all is well that ends well.

Next time you do a MH trip again, you can drive through some other ghats connecting the Deccan plateau to the coastal belt of Konkan viz Tamhini ghat, Varandha Ghat, Kumbharli Bhat, Radhanagri, Phonda Ghat and many more. All the best for your next trip.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 10:11   #5
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Default re: Rain, Fog & Greenery – A Maharashtrian Monsoon Tale!

Very nice travelogue! Thanks for sharing. And the pictures are amazing!

I recently did a Konkan monsoon drive myself (and drove through many of the same routes as you had taken), and could relate to your experience. However, I was in a car. I am sure riding on a bike through that area must be a lot more fun. I am sure it was an amazing experience to be riding on those roads!

Also, you took some of the best roads. Amba Ghats is just amazing, and I am glad you guys chose that! Congratulations to you guys for this fantastic riding experience and this wonderful travelogue.

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Originally Posted by nandita_bayan21 View Post
Day 5: 06/07/2016 (To BTM. Route taken: Ganpatipule > Amba Ghats > Malkapur > Kolhapur > Hubballi > Davangere > Tumkur > Bangalore) KMS covered: 790
However, in this section, you should have taken the Aarrey-Warey Road (SH4) from Ganapati Pule to Ratnagiri, and then joined back to NH66 and then to Amba Ghat. The section of SH4 between Ganapati Pule and Ratnagiri is very scenic, with stunning views of the sea all along the 20km road. Riding on that road would have been a fantastic experience. Here are my pictures of that particular section, just in case you are curious:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post4026161 (My monsoon solo: 2000 km & 7 days of wandering through Konkan, Goa and Western Karnataka)

EDIT: On a closer look, it looks like you did travel a bit on the Aarrey-Warey road. This picture of the bike (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...e-dsc_4229.jpg) seems to be taken on that road, if I am not wrong. I think I recognize this spot, which is about a couple of km from Ganapati Pule towards Ratnagiri. So if you indeed rode on that road, then it is awesome! And by the way, that particular bike picture is just superb!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 22nd August 2016 at 10:21. Reason: Added the last para.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 13:40   #6
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Default Re: Rain, Fog & Greenery – A Maharashtrian Monsoon Tale!

Amazing pictures, love the way you capture 'em!

Question though, how comfortable were you in that pillion seat with all the luggage tucked? 2400kms is a lot of distance and being a rider myself, I never found the pillion seat comfortable in any bike and this is a Duke we are talking about!
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Old 22nd August 2016, 14:39   #7
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Default Re: Rain, Fog & Greenery – A Maharashtrian Monsoon Tale!

Fantastic travelogue with very nice pictures. Hats off to you and Atul ! Superb energy levels and incredible passion to drive on a bike in such wet weather. This is really an incredible feat of life..

Running out of fuel on highways is always a scary situation to be in; I have gone through myself… good that you were closer to Chitradurg city. It’s an important learning to carry sufficient cash as fuel stations not accepting credit card becomes really challenging and when you don’t find adequate ATM’s in remote areas.. Glad in this case all went well..

Last edited by STraiTDriVE : 22nd August 2016 at 14:43.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 15:31   #8
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Default Re: Rain, Fog & Greenery – A Maharashtrian Monsoon Tale!

What an amazing experience this ride must have been. Maharashtra is a real bliss in monsoon.

I stay in Hinjawadi and Lavasa is just 35 kms from my home. Many-a-times on weekends, I ride to Lavasa for fun. The twisting roads leading to Lavasa are just great.

Also, the person who warned you on the Mumbai-Pune highway was correct - you get fined for riding a two-wheeler on the express-highway. I must have done Mumbai-Pune more than 50 times on my Bullet but on one unfortunate occasion, I was crossing Lonavala at around 1.30 am in the night and was on the section where two-wheelers are allowed on expressway. Unfortunately the exit of lonavala, where the motorcycles have to leave the expressway was having a lot of traffic and I missed the exit while I was trying to beat the traffic. After around 10 Kms, I was stopped by a police van and was fined heavily(Rs. 600).

I must also tell you that the travelogue was inspiring!
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Old 23rd August 2016, 10:02   #9
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very nice travelogue, adventurous and nature loving. Thanks for bringing memories of our college days, when we used to go for trekking in western ghats with tents, cooking utensils and provisions on our backs. Now with a college going kid we may not be that adventurous but planning a monsoon trip to Maharashtra by car, any way lived our dreams through your trip. The photographs were good. have many more trips like this and share with us.
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Old 24th August 2016, 14:26   #10
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I rode MSH4 this february while returning from IBW Goa, and I have been completely smitten by it. This is a lovely travelogue and definitely rekindled some memories. Now Im feeling like going there again lol.

Another thing, which one of you is wearing the AGV K3 5 continents? I am interested in purchasing the K3 as well so looking for feedback. I am getting the K3 SV, cant make out if you have the SV or not. How is the windnoise in this helmet? Ive heard AGVs are generally loud. Also, have you used an bluetooth intercom with it? How does it perform at speeds up till 140kmph?
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Old 31st August 2016, 22:04   #11
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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Nice travelogue. Being from MH, it is interesting to see how people from other states view MH.....
Please don't risk a ride on the expressway. Deadly as it is, you will miss the beautiful old NH4.
Thanks @honeybee. Will make sure not to take the expressway next time.

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Originally Posted by sourav.info111 View Post
Lovely photos and great travelogue Nandita. ...but I guess not so comfortable for the riders. Hats off to your spirits. Keep it up. Some photos that I would like to share from my ride.
Thanks Sourav. Bike rides are always fun for Atul and me, so may be we don't feel the discomfort so much. By the way, lovely pics of your trip as well.

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Nandita & Atul, many congratulations to both of you for completing this ....belt of Konkan viz Tamhini ghat, Varandha Ghat, Kumbharli Bhat, Radhanagri, Phonda Ghat and many more. All the best for your next trip.
Thanks @AutoIndian. Yes, even we heard that most of the roads we took are closed due to landslides and rain. Coming to lessons learnt, trust me now no more going to trip without sufficient cash and tank full. Thanks for the new places you mentioned, would definitely visit them during our next MH ride/drive.

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
Very nice travelogue! Thanks for sharing. And the pictures are amazing!....ri. So if you indeed rode on that road, then it is awesome! And by the way, that particular bike picture is just superb!
Thanks @Dr.AD. You pictures are amazing too.

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Originally Posted by Teesh@BHP View Post
Amazing pictures, love the way you capture 'em!.... any bike and this is a Duke we are talking about!
Thanks @Teesh@BHP. Actually I was very comfortable in the pillion seat due to the modification done on our 390. The saddle bags were quite far apart due to the side metal supports connecting the main rear rack. And after riding pillion on our old D200 and now D390 for more than 80k kms, I guess I got used to it.

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Fantastic travelogue with very nice pictures. Hats off to you and Atul...then you don’t find adequate ATM’s in remote areas.. Glad in this case all went well..
Thanks @STraiTDriVE. The bike running out of fuel was indeed a scary situation for both of us, lesson learnt. Won't repeat the same again, ever!

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What an amazing experience this ride must have been. Maharashtra is a real bliss in monsoon.....I must also tell you that the travelogue was inspiring!
Thank you @YoungSaint

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Originally Posted by Renukaprasad View Post
very nice travelogue, adventurous and nature loving. Thanks for bringing memories of our college days, when we used to go for .....have many more trips like this and share with us.
Than you @Renukaprasad. Happy to bring back your old memories through my t log.

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I rode MSH4 this february while returning from IBW Goa, and I have been completely smitten by it. This is a lovely travelogue and ......out if you have the SV or not. How is the windnoise in this helmet? Ive heard AGVs are generally loud. Also, have you used an bluetooth intercom with it? How does it perform at speeds up till 140kmph?
Yes the AGV belongs to me. Atul uses a Bell RS-1. And the SV is a real boon on the very sunny highway rides.

We both have been using Sena 20S for quite a long time and it is pretty much audible until 130-140 kmph speeds. Beyond that too much of wind noise creeps in. But then the helmet is snug fit to me so I don't find too much wind noise at normal highway speeds. Atul's helmet as per him is very quiet.
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Old 29th March 2017, 15:46   #12
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Can't wait for monsoons to come, this time monsoon ride will be even more epic
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Old 18th June 2017, 15:40   #13
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Can't wait for monsoons to come, this time monsoon ride will be even more epic
Where to this time sire?

This thread is fantastic...firming up my own Maha Plans based on this one. Many thanks!
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Old 21st June 2017, 15:14   #14
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Where to this time sire?

This thread is fantastic...firming up my own Maha Plans based on this one. Many thanks!
This time's plan not yet finalised, planning for some unexplored places in AP, TS and OD, let's see
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Old 1st July 2017, 16:22   #15
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Very nice pictures and writing; Western Maharashtra in the rains is paradise. A nice thing about living in Pune is that in just an hour one can be in the hills in the kind of atmosphere conveyed in the photos here.

June has been wetter than in 2016; hopefully there is no let up so I can do my annual pilgrimage into the hills in August!
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