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Old 27th May 2010, 15:28   #211
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Default Ratnagiri - Purnagad -vijaydurg

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Originally Posted by roamer View Post
BTW Anyone has taken the following route?

Ratnagiri - Purnagad -vijaydurg.. This is an interior route.

Not able to find much info on this route. It will be helpful for my upcoming interior konkan ride from Bankot to Banda!
I have done this once. Not exactly, but close. From Ratnagiri follow the directions for Pawas. From Ratnagiri city to Pawas would be ~20 km. From Pawas, Puranagad is another 8-10 KMs away. Continue on the same state-highway and follow the directions for Rajapur. This road goes through a lot of ups and downs. Trafic would be sparse. Rajapur is a Taluka place, a small town. A bridge has collapsed near Rajapur a few months back and hence the last stretch that descneds into the Rajapur city is an alternate route which is pretty steep and narrow. At Rajapur, join the NH17 and continue souythwards to Sidhudhurg and Panji. Once inside Sidhudurg district, on the NH17, you will find clear directions to VijayDurg.
Hope this helps.

PS : AP, Prabhu, MX6.. great thread. Thanks
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Old 27th May 2010, 15:50   #212
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This road goes through a lot of ups and downs. Trafic would be sparse.
PS : AP, Prabhu, MX6.. great thread. Thanks
SDP, what you said reflects my thoughts at that time.

Lots of ups and downs and sparse traffic - somebody out there decided one fine day they will lay a road in these places. But no one can go a lay a road just like that - especially if the conditions are what you just told. Why spend crores of rupees if the benefit is only for a few?

And, I am pretty sure that a route must have existed where the road now is. So, how did people travel in those days? How did they ever guess that were other people across the length and breadth of the country and start traveling and create such routes? There is actually nothing much there even today - so commerce would not have been the prime factor.

More of these thoughts come ahead in this thread - are there people out there who think like me?

One thing is sure - only NATURE can create things like these - as a human being I should atleast take care not to destroy it....

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-god2.jpg

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-god.jpg

Can anyone please explain what appears to be horizontal lines on the mountains - it appears to be common sight in many places in Maharashtra - as if one time this was all under water and rose up magnificently, but the water had left its mark indelibly....

PS to PS - Thank MX6 - he was the one who started this thread; and thank (I don't remember who) the bhpian who had an idea of tapri meet in Pune, so that I could meet MX6 and observe him talking, read his posts and travelogues and get hooked!

Last edited by vrprabhu : 27th May 2010 at 15:53.
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Old 27th May 2010, 16:00   #213
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PS to PS - Thank MX6 - he was the one who started this thread; and thank (I don't remember who) the bhpian who had an idea of tapri meet in Pune, so that I could meet MX6 and observe him talking, read his posts and travelogues and get hooked!
+1, I feel many guys in Mumbai meet will feel the same. MS =>
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Old 27th May 2010, 16:26   #214
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RR and VRP. I'm really flattered. Thanks SDP.
Coming back to Varandha ghat, can you imagine driving that in the dead of the night? AP, HVK and others know of the adventure I had. Pure lunacy. With aged parents and a 1 year old, I set out on a drive from Kolhapur to Ganapathipule, then to Chiplun. Crossed Mahad and clambered up Raigadh. Got lost at 1 am in the morning (after 10 hours of continuous driving), then find myself surrounded by thick jungle, no roads, raging forest fires.
Decided to turn back, get back to Mahad. A group of 20 trekkers adviced me to take the Poladpur route, but I decided otherwise and took the Varandha ghat. I saw 3 or 4 vehicles in the entire stretch. Reached home at 4:40 am. Left Kolhapur at 1 pm. That's 16 hours on the road! Missed the beauty of Varandha as I crossed that in the dead of the night. When I analysed the gps logs, I saw that I moved up from 30 ft msl to 3000 ft msl in 8 kms.
Anyway, I shall come back and post the rest of Ambarnath photos after a quick team meeting.

PS from my side, My Raigadh expedition was a topic of analysis and discussion over the thane meet I heard. Sadly I missed it. Wish some of the Thane members post some jokes they cracked on me and my madness in that thane meet thread. Would be interesting read.

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Old 27th May 2010, 16:43   #215
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I have done this once. Not exactly, but close. From Ratnagiri follow the directions for Pawas. From Ratnagiri city to Pawas would be ~20 km. From Pawas, Puranagad is another 8-10 KMs away. Continue on the same state-highway and follow the directions for Rajapur. This road goes through a lot of ups and downs. Trafic would be sparse. Rajapur is a Taluka place, a small town. A bridge has collapsed near Rajapur a few months back and hence the last stretch that descneds into the Rajapur city is an alternate route which is pretty steep and narrow. At Rajapur, join the NH17 and continue souythwards to Sidhudhurg and Panji. Once inside Sidhudurg district, on the NH17, you will find clear directions to VijayDurg.
Hope this helps.

PS : AP, Prabhu, MX6.. great thread. Thanks
Thanks mate. That will be helpful. Have heard that we can reach Jaitapur from Purnagad and then Cross the creek by ferry (only for bikes) and reach vijaydurg. A bridge was being built on this creek. Hoping that it is complete now. This can help going by car also.
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Old 27th May 2010, 16:55   #216
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When are you planning that? Sounds interesting. And keep your June weekend for Malsejh drive we are all planning with the Great HVK.
I am planning to do this in First half of October. September Ride is reserved for Kaas.

Malshej Drive in June! Great. Count me in.. But dates are fixed?
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Old 27th May 2010, 17:36   #217
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The lake was formed due to rain water. Incidentally it's not a stagnant lake. Rainwater was constantly fed in to this undulation through rivulets that were being formed ad-hoc. And rivulets branched off from this lake. So it was clean source of rain water which was constantly on the flow.
And it is huge. And I really felt happy seeing those kids swimming happily.
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-7.jpg

The rivulets formed by rain water were pretty nice. Looked like they were demarcating geographical boundaries. Ambarnath on a rainy day can give the Scottish Highlands a run for their money. It's a pity that Bollywood stars ignore a place like this which is 30 kms from their film city and fly 1000s of miles across to sing songs like "Tujhe dekha to yeh".
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-8.jpg

After an hour of spirited walking, we turn back to see what we left behind. Far away on a fading horizon (thanks to the clouds), we could make out blurred images of crowd and concrete. Can you?
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-9.jpg

And Genda was right. Once we reached the first cliff, we did see the next cliff. Pity these places didn't have a name. Or atleast, the local public might have lost the names sometime in the past. Back in Florida, they had a name for each and every of the 13000 off lakes. And some were as small as 10 ft in diameter. However, this was just another cliff.
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-10.jpg

And climbing up that cliff, this is what we encounter. No sign of civilization at all for miles. It was just green carpet, grey cieling that might fall on our heads (second reference to the Crazy gauls) and the three of us.
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-11.jpg

And we trundled along to the top of that cliff, only to see the road going down. There was a nice tree with a nice platform. The walk wasn't arduous. But it was a spirited climb though. We saw the first signs of human existance there, seeing a parked bike. A youngster seeing three of us approach, hurriedly got on to his bike, along with his girl friend and fled. Hope he didn't think we were from some moral police group.
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-12.jpg

This is how it looked on the other side.
Me: Where does this road go from here Genda?
Genda: It goes down.
Remember the typical IT response? I have to keep kicking myself on my own bottom.
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-13.jpg

Later I understand the road goes to Titwala from there. A news that was broken to me by an Auto rickshaw driver who came up from the other side.
He was returning from a Ganpati temple in Titwala. Normally the practice for Mumbaikars is to board a slow local to Kalyan from Ambarnath. Then board a slow local from Ambarnath to Titwala. Imagine a train load of people traversing this path!
Genda and Krppa stood around admiring the panoramic view. The long arduous pacy walk made us sweat even in such cloudy conditions.
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-14.jpg

We signalled the Autowallah that we are going to walk back. We sat there under the shade of the tree enjoying the freshness in the air and the greenery around.
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-15.jpg
As the Autowallah continued his ride down the cliffs towards Ambarnath, I could notice him tapping his temple with his finger, muttering something like, "These youngsters are crazy".

Mumbai has many a hidden treasure troves like this. Another Gem is just another 25 kms from Ambarnath. And that's going to come up next.
It's a paradise for trekkers and hikers. But Motor enthusiasts wouldn't like it much because vehicles are completely banned there. Either you walk on 2 legs or on 4 (I meant horseback).
It's Matheran!
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Old 27th May 2010, 18:12   #218
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Superb green pics.. Monsoon is just round the corner and its just 1 / 1.5 months we can see such lush greenery in backyards!
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Old 27th May 2010, 18:46   #219
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Sorry for butting into the thread & going off topic. But just couldn't resist posting after seeing vrprabhu's pics of Kaas.

I had been to Kaas in September 2009. We drove down from Mumbai to Satara in our M-800. From satara we were with a group, so we kept our car at the hotel and went in the group's sumo. I had already posted pictures elsewhere. Here is the link to that post:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/1606236-post7047.html
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Old 28th May 2010, 11:26   #220
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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Mumbai has many a hidden treasure troves like this. Another Gem is just another 25 kms from Ambarnath. And that's going to come up next.
It's a paradise for trekkers and hikers. But Motor enthusiasts wouldn't like it much because vehicles are completely banned there. Either you walk on 2 legs or on 4 (I meant horseback).
It's Matheran!
Hope you are not pulling a fast one there, MX6!! Can't believe - so much greenery and so much open space...

Waiting for Matheran - please hurry up.

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Sorry for butting into the thread & going off topic. But just couldn't resist posting after seeing vrprabhu's pics of Kaas.

I had been to Kaas in September 2009.
AkMar, welcome to the club

Don't know how I missed your pictures - I had seen them on Picasa, though. That's why I had written that we did not see any boats...

The fern was really interesting - a couple of days back there was a report in ToI about them - they are called luminous ferns, as the underside of the leaves have a white substance which glows!
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Old 28th May 2010, 12:22   #221
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Default Continuing up to Varandha...

Let me get back to our journey.

(Note - actually, I have fallen back. Just to remind you - it was two Unicorners and a Gladiator who undertook this trip. Now, the Honda has a silky smooth engine and takes the ghat in the 3rd with aplomb - no fuss. Whereas the Yam has a slight disadvantage - the first and second are set high, and the third doesn't enough grunt to pull cleanly - the engine feels a little gruff. Normally, I set the pace - because I am sure of myself, my machine and my limits, and others follow, as I take the responsibility of time management)

The target now is to crest the peak....
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-aim.jpg
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-aim1.jpg

And it looks daunting! Thankfully, sparse traffic and relatively better road conditions help in making quick progress. Don't know how MX6 did this in the night - it would have been pitch dark, no signs, no landmarks visible - as good as driving blindfolded....

The first picture shows the peak towards our left, the second the one on the right and the last the pass between these two.

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-steep.jpg
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-steep1.jpg
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-steep2.jpg

We soon reach close.
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-close.jpg
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Old 28th May 2010, 15:08   #222
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Default Almost there....

All of a sudden, we take a turn and there we are!
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-almostthere1.jpg

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-almostthere.jpg

These a pictures without any zoom - if you can observe the round cement ball like things on the posts - there are only posts, there are no railings!!

I haven't posted any pictures of the actual road, and the situation there. Because, as usual, a shrine has sprung up. There are a lot of tapris - hawking everything. More people and jeeps and cars than expected (people come from the other side and return the same way). The whole place suddenly lost its speciality. So I just clicked pictures of the places where nobody ventured.

BTW, my steed - actually the wrinkles should tell you how sore the bottom of the rider had been!! And the worst is yet to come - the heat is building up now...
Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-tired.jpg
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Old 28th May 2010, 19:46   #223
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Don't know how I missed your pictures - I had seen them on Picasa, though. That's why I had written that we did not see any boats...
Frankly speaking, I have not read the thread yet. So I missed what you have written.

The moment I glanced through the first page, i decided to keep the thread pending for reading when I have ample time. It is too good to go through in a hurry! I have an exam tomorrow, and I will read the thread from start to end after it.
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Old 29th May 2010, 10:42   #224
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I haven't posted any pictures of the actual road, and the situation there. Because, as usual, a shrine has sprung up. There are a lot of tapris - hawking everything. More people and jeeps and cars than expected (people come from the other side and return the same way). The whole place suddenly lost its speciality. So I just clicked pictures of the places where nobody ventured.

1] As you posted the pics of that pass after resting at tapri for food, i think you had stopped at the lone tapri at the apex of varandha ghat.
From the same place, you can get good view of torna fort, raigad fort and shivthar ghal.

2] As described the situation and the road near that pass in the last post , you mentioned one shrine,
its vaghajai temple and its very old, i mean really very old, some 500 years old.
At that same place, as i mentioned earlier, the KAVLYA fort was there at the top of mountain.
You can still visit that ruins of fort by 15 min trek from the side of that vaghajai temple.
One more thing, if there are lot of tapris in the middle of road with no sign of civilization, then there must be something different related to nature.
If you was there during monsoon, i am sure, your statement would be totally opposite what you had posted.
I will not describe that place but you have to visit there during monsoon.
Please look at the pictures of same place posted by me in the travelogue monsoon masti: 15th august and you will get the idea.

Btw, one tapriwala at that place recognize me and other rajababues very well.
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Old 29th May 2010, 12:02   #225
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When I analysed the gps logs, I saw that I moved up from 30 ft msl to 3000 ft msl in 8 kms.
3000 feet = 1000m = about 250 Palios stacked on top of another!?!. Think pictures below will give a fair idea....

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-down.jpg

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-down1.jpg

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-down3.jpg

The road was going down and down, winding like a long serpent, into the oblivion.

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Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
As you posted the pics of that pass after resting at tapri for food, i think you had stopped at the lone tapri at the apex of varandha ghat. From the same place, you can get good view of torna fort, raigad fort and shivthar ghal.

one shrine, its vaghajai temple and its very old, i mean really very old, some 500 years old.
At that same place, as i mentioned earlier, the KAVLYA fort was there at the top of mountain. You can still visit that ruins of fort by 15 min trek from the side of that vaghajai temple.
Yes! Saw Raigad and Shivtharghal, but couldn't see Torna.

Vaghajai temple and 15 min trek - missed it completely (poor planning)

Other things - will go through your post and pictures and comment later

We are slightly over-awed by the entire visa before us... and the return by the same route is going to be one long arduous climb; the sun is blazing now, and the jackets will soon be off (as you will see soon!)

We also find that the area ahead is semi-arid and not much vegetation around - so finding water ahead was going to be tricky (our bottle supply was running low) - nothing ahead upto Mahad.

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-waydown.jpg

Magnificent Maharashtra - The Mahalog!-waydown1.jpg
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