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Old 21st December 2016, 00:09   #1
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Default A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

Looking at the title of the travelogue you might be thinking of having another long drive travelogue with lots of images and again the Bolero posing in different poses. No, it is neither a long drive from Kolkata nor the bolero again in the frame.


February 2016, on a Saturday we (Bhpian from Kolkata) were having fun in a mild off-road outing. My bolero got stuck on a sand terrain. After the recovery I was receiving feedback from seniors about the dos and the don’ts with a 2WD bolero. At that point of time, I got a call from my manager that I have to go to Pune for a week and have to catch flight the next day afternoon.

A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley-jpeg.jpg


Collage and Video of the fun day

So nothing interesting here, Kolkata to Pune for monotonous Monday to Friday office and back to Kolkata on Saturday. The situation took a turn on Thursday when the trip was extended for another week. There I had a weekend plan to enjoy and explore the places. Right after getting the information I first looked for a rented car from zoom car for the weekend. To my dismay, it was too costly to keep the car overnight and even then there were so many conditions. In the evening I asked the hotel manager to provide some contact from where I could get a self-drive car at minimal cost. The hotel manager was an effective and nice person, surprisingly he arranged a Tata Indica from his personal contact for Rs. 2200/- plus fuel cost for those two days. I was very happy and next day I asked my colleagues to join me on the trip. One of them agreed to join me and also suggested me to visit Mahabaleshwar. Probably it is the most popular tourist place near Pune.


So, all set and ready for weekend drive to Mahabaleshwar. Started lazily from Pune and enjoyed the smooth drive. After driving few KMs from Pune I discovered that the landscapes are totally different from other hilly areas. Few of them are like table top and few of them are like big walls. As the distance was not much we halted here and there and enjoyed some road side food and learnt from people how the place was 20 years ago. I remember 20 years ago my uncle was posted in Pune for 5 years when he was in CRPF. So I called him and sent him some instant snaps of different places to recall his memories and showed him changes that have taken place in last 20 years.

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Some random snaps while leaving Pune




On the way we visited Mapro Factory and bought lots of jams, chocolates made from strawberry to take home. It was strawberry season and everywhere we found that strawberries were available in boxes of different sizes. You cannot assume the price of strawberries there we two people could not finish strawberry of Rs 50/- which we bought fresh from a garden on the way.


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Mapro Factory & Fresh Strawberry


To be continued ...
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Old 21st December 2016, 00:23   #2
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Default re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

Mahabaleshwar continued ...

By afternoon we reached Mahabaleshwar and checked in to a very lonely hotel inside a forest. Last night I collected some information from Wikipedia and different blogs about the place. So without making any delay I went to the famous sunset point nearby. While driving towards the place I could see a large number of cars had been parked on both sides of the road. Frankly speaking after reaching there I was very disappointed seeing the crowd and hawkers there. Most of the people were busy to take selfies without any reason and the place did not seem interesting. However, the late evening was not boring. As the hotel was inside the forest it was dark, silent and weather was amazing.

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Sunset from Sunset Point at Mahabaleshwar

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Lonely Forest Bungalow

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Some Road Side Dhaba

Next day we started early morning for Pratapgad fort. Last day I could not guess that morning will be so chilling. The road till Pratapgad fort was completely lonely and so the only option was GPS. Before sunrise we reached Pratapgad Fort. Searched for some hot tea but as it was too early the complete place was vacant. During the drive to Pratapgad I could not see much in the surroundings as it was dark but after climbing on the fort when I saw the surrounding I forgot everything about the last day. Brilliant sunrise boosted me with some fresh energy.

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On the way to Pratapgad

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Early Morning at Pratapgad

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Early morning to Sunrise at Pratapgad

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Lovely view of road from Pratapgarh Fort

To be continued ...
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Old 21st December 2016, 00:40   #3
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Default re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

Mahabaleshwar continued ...


From the fort we went to Old Mahabaleshwar, Krishnabai temple, Arthur seat point and many other points nearby, Needle Hole Point / Elephant Point, Kate's Point & Lingmala Waterfalls. The fort and the points have very interesting history which I learnt from Wikipedia. The pictures will describe what I have seen there.


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Old Mahabaleshwar temple

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Fresh from the nearby garden

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Krishna Bhai temple

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View of Balakwadi dam from Krishna Bhai Temple

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Krishna Bhai Temple

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Me

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Some organized garden at Old Mahabaleshwar

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Hunting point, Malcolm point, Tiger Spring Point

To be continued ...
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Old 21st December 2016, 00:46   #4
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Default re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

Mahabaleshwar continued ...

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A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley-tkd_8629.jpgArthur Seat point, Savitri Point, Elphinstone Point,

To be continued ...
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Old 21st December 2016, 00:53   #5
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Default re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

Mahabaleshwar continued ...

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Stating or Krishna River

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Kates Point, Needles Hole View Point, Lingmala Waterfall.

Mahabaleshwar - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahabaleshwar
Pratapgad - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratapgad

Not adding the same details in the forum as they are very well written on wiki. After whole day fun and drive, we reached Pune in the evening.

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Returning from Mahabaleshwar

To be continued …

Last edited by PointZero : 21st December 2016 at 00:54. Reason: added picture description
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Old 21st December 2016, 01:10   #6
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Default re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

Raigad Fort ....

Started working from Monday as regular office again on the Wednesday I came to know that the Pune trip is extended for one more week. So what next?

It was already 2 years I sold my bike after the bolero came home. And during the Mahabaleshwar trip I was missing my bike while cornering. Without any second thought I searched for rented bike from Just Dial. Got many options there but choose a Pulsar 180 for next weekend trip. Taking the bike was very simple and the cost was also minimal. I booked a bike for 2 days for Rs. 750/- + Fuel for bike and another Rs. 50/- for the helmet. I contacted some of my old rider friends who were living in Pune that time and one of them agreed to join me for the ride with DUKE 390.

So another Saturday started and I took the bike early from the rent house. Took some pictures of the bike and mailed to the owner to keep an evident document of the condition of the bike. After refueling the bike started moving towards Paud. Initially I was riding slowly as my friend’s plan was to meet me at Paud. After meeting him we rode together and enjoyed every curve of ghat roads. Took a small break for tea and snacks and reached Raigad Fort within a couple of hours.


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On the way near Mulshi Lake

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On the way to Raigad

It was extremely dry weather there. Both of us were feeling very thirsty even after drinking litres of water. Seeing the fort at the hill top the very first thing that came to my mind was that it was really tough job for Britishers to capture the fort. In 1818 the fort was bombarded and destroyed by using cannons from the hill of Kalkai and as per treaty on 9 May 1818 it had been handed over to British East India Company.
The fort, which rises 820 meters (2,700 ft.) above sea level, is located in the Sahyadri mountain range. There are approximately 1737 steps leading to the fort, though today Raigad Ropeway, an aerial tramway exists to reach the top of the fort in 10 minutes. The fort was looted and destroyed by the British after its capture in 1818.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raigad_Fort


There was no option for me to reach the fort apart from the ropeway. I tried to capture some landscapes while being on the ropeway. After reaching at the top I felt that the weather was drier. The red and yellow soil glittered so bright that it was really painful to look at it with naked eyes. I thanked myself for carrying a towel in my backpack. We covered our head with towel and roamed about the complete fort. There were some local people who were selling strange colorful drinks. They advised us to drink it so that it can protect our body from dehydration. Also we had some cucumber to survive us in this dry weather.


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To be continued ...

Last edited by PointZero : 21st December 2016 at 01:19. Reason: Heading
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Old 21st December 2016, 01:17   #7
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Some random snaps of Raigad Fort and Surroundings

From there we again started riding towards gold valley and then reached hotel late night. It was again another complete fun day.


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Lunch near Gold Valley

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Ride for the day

To be continued ...
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Old 21st December 2016, 01:29   #8
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Default re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

Aamby Valley ...

There was no such plan for the next day. Only thing was that my riding partner’s family invited me for that evening. Next day we started early but kept the plan for short distance only. With lots of break, local foods and fun talk we rode to Aamby Valley. The road towards Aamby Valley was really awesome and many bikers were having fun there. Saw a hoarding of adventure drive place but could not find anyone there.

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Few snaps of Lonavala while stopped for Breakfast


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Few Random Snaps on the way to Aamby Valley and back

After some fun ride and lots of awesome food we came back to the bike shop to return the bike in the afternoon.

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Ride for the day

Came back to kolkata on next Friday evening after 5 days regular office

----------------END ---------------
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Old 21st December 2016, 11:24   #9
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Default Re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

Many thanks for sharing!

Man, your thread has gotten me all tempted to drive to Mahabaleshwar. What a beautiful place, so much to do, and still so close to Bombay. Mahabaleshwar is the most fun in a big group - we've had some crazy times there.

This thread is going to the homepage later today. Thanks again for sharing .
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Old 21st December 2016, 13:22   #10
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Default Re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

Just the kind of thread I was searching for. I will be visiting Mahabaleshwar this weekend. Will definitely try and check these places out. Thanks once again .
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Old 21st December 2016, 14:06   #11
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Default Re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

Point zero, nice travelogue and clicks. Can you provide the details of the Bike Rental place at Pune? And what are the procedures, requirements associated with renting a bike for a short trip?
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Old 21st December 2016, 15:55   #12
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Default Re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

Thanks venkatt1800,

I called Just Dial to get available rented bike providers near me. I booked from Sai Moto @ Shivajinagar

1. For booking, you need do NEFT/IMPS of Rs - 500\- in advance. You can do spot booking, but in that case they will not guarantee you about the availability of the bike.

2. On day of taking the bike I had to give them Rs. 2000/- and my pan card (Any National ID Card) as security deposit. Which they returned on the day of return.

3. Rent was Rs. 375/- per day and for weekend you have to take it for 2 days at least. For weekdays you can take it for a single day. Per day charges are different for different bikes. For RE they probably change for 600-750 per day.

4. For helmet Rs. 50/- .. No daily charges.

5. I took some snaps and mailed him on the spot, so that he can not charge me for any previous damages.

6. They provides 250ml fuel only. At the time of returning you can drain fuel tank if you want. I did the calculation of distances and refueled accordingly to avoid extra headache on the day of return and save my money.

7. Within Pune they will take care for any breakdown. But outside city you have to manage for any breakdown.

8. Normally they open shop at 9:30 PM. So if you have any plan to start early please collect your bike on the day before leaving to save your time. They also have facility to drop and pickup bike on your place with some extra charges.

9. Usually they do not change engine oil for 2 days booking. Don't know whether they will provide engine oil for long booking or not. For me it was only 600KM and I forgot to a collect the information.

10. I went early, and it was a good decision which helped me to choose a bike with good clutch condition.


Quote:
Originally Posted by venkatt1800 View Post
Point zero, nice travelogue and clicks. Can you provide the details of the Bike Rental place at Pune? And what are the procedures, requirements associated with renting a bike for a short trip?
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Old 21st December 2016, 16:03   #13
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Default Re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

What a timely thread. I've driven to Aamby twice earlier this year as well as to Goa. And am headed to Mahabaleshwar for 4 days end December. I'm going to read this in more detail later and use your thread as a quick ready reckoner for my upcoming trip next week.

Thanks for sharing.

Last edited by Axe77 : 21st December 2016 at 16:04.
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Old 21st December 2016, 18:05   #14
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Default Re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

Thanks PointZero for the prompt reply. Valuable inputs. Much appreciated.
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Old 21st December 2016, 21:46   #15
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Default Re: A bit of play at work - Mahabaleshwar, Raigad & Aamby Valley

First of all thanks to everyone for such appreciation .

I went in February, but heard from people and saw many pictures that the places are most beautiful in monsoon. If I get a chance i will definitely revisit the places in monsoon.


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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Many thanks for sharing!

Man, your thread has gotten me all tempted to drive to Mahabaleshwar. What a beautiful place, so much to do, and still so close to Bombay. Mahabaleshwar is the most fun in a big group - we've had some crazy times there.

This thread is going to the homepage later today. Thanks again for sharing .
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Originally Posted by Flanker99 View Post
Just the kind of thread I was searching for. I will be visiting Mahabaleshwar this weekend. Will definitely try and check these places out. Thanks once again .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
What a timely thread. I've driven to Aamby twice earlier this year as well as to Goa. And am headed to Mahabaleshwar for 4 days end December. I'm going to read this in more detail later and use your thread as a quick ready reckoner for my upcoming trip next week.

Thanks for sharing.
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