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Old 11th February 2010, 13:57   #1
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Default Memorable trip to Bhimashankar

Hi Folks,

I am a member of this wonderful forum since 2007 and have been keenly reading all the travelogues posted here.

This is my first post about my visit to Bhimashankar in 2006. Here it goes...

Eversince acquiring a new car (wagon R vxi) in 2004, I always dreamt of going for long drives. However a 6 day working week coupled with work pressure leaves me exhausted and so Sundays is "sleep"day for me.

I got married in 2006. Soon after, wifey dear started demanding outings almost every Sunday . One fine Sunday in 2006, I gave in and decided to visit Bhimashankar Temple in Pune District. It's one of the Jyotirlings of Lord Shiva and is 180 Kms from my place.

Started from my place at 7:00 AM with wifey and parents. Decided to fill petrol and so drove in to my regular petrol station. I casually asked the attendant to fill in Rs 2000/- worth petrol and in order to save time, I immediately made the payment of Rs 2000 by credit card. After filling in Rs 1000 worth petrol the attendant shouts "Saab, is me aur nahin bhar sakte"

Later realised that the wagon R already had 10 Lts in the tank. It would not take in more than Rs 1000/- worth petrol. The petrol pump owner was good hearted so paid me back Rs 1000 in cash

After all the drama, left the petrol station at 7:30 AM. Route followed was Kalyan - Murbad - Malshej Ghat - Junnar - Bhimashankar. Reached Malshej Ghat in quick time and wifey dear announces that she wants to take some snaps. I plead that we can have the photography session on our return journey. Stopped after Malshej Ghat for some home made sandwiches. Thereafter the journey was uneventful and finally reached Bhimashankar at 12:00 (4.5Hrs for 180 Kms). The roads in Pune district were pathetic to say the least.

Started from Bhimashankar at 2:30 PM and reached Junnar by 4:30 PM. Enroute wifey and mother shopped for sugarcanes, onions, vegetables...... The wagon R took it all in it's huge boot. Now comes the twist, we stopped on a hilly incline around 1 Km before Malshej Ghat for some photography. While wifey was busy clicking away, I was sitting in the car and suddenly I could smell something burning. Chose to ignore it thinking that it could be due to a heated engine (I was maintaing 80 Km/hr average throughout in order to save time and cover Malshej Ghat before sunset).

We resumed our journey after 10 minutes and just as we were reaching Malshej Ghat, the car stops suddenly. It was almost 5: 30 PM and we were in a desolate spot with only a liquor shop nearby. The nearest service center was in Junnar 25 Kms back. I tried calling a towing agency whose number was given by a telephone booth owner but to no avail.

Few kind hearted people stopped by and tried to figure out the problem with the car but were left with no clue. The car refused to start. We were advised to leave the car there and take a ST bus to Kalyan and return for the vehicle later alongwith a mechanic/towing truck but we thought it was risky to leave the car there for fear of thieves.

Finally one truck driver stepped in and agreed to help us out. He was reluctant to tow the car as he knew that all new generation cars had engine assisted braking and if the engine is not working , the braking would be affected and this was risky since we had to cover Malshej Ghat.

After much debate, search for rope, wire ( I was stupid not to be carrying a nylon rope), the truck driver declares he will piggy back us to Kalyan. The problem was to get the car on the truck.

The truck was carrying half load of onions and was on the way to Ulhasnagar (near Kalyan). The driver and his cleaner started to stack the onion sacks one above the other in such a manner as to create space for the wagon R. After 30 minutes of toil, he alongwith the cleaner declares there is enough space for my car. Now he comes with an ingenious idea to load my car in the truck. Luckily, parallel to our road, there was a dirt track at a lower level. He drove the truck into the dirt track, reversed it and brought it closer to my car. Now we had to push the car into the truck.

I had to manage the steering as there was very less gap on both the sides. The truck driver took out the spare wheel of my car and placed it as a cushion between the truck and my car. I got onto the wheels of my car while the rest (parents, wifey, the truck driver and cleaner) pushed it into the truck. Finally the car was loaded in the truck. We packed tarpaulins on both the sides of the car to avoid scratches. Wifey decided to join me in the car and came in through the window while my parents settled in the truck cabin.

After all the labour, the truck driver and cleaner decided it was time to have some refreshment (read liquor). By the time we left, it was almost 9:30 PM. Sitting inside the car on a truck I was thinking how do we get the car down while wifey dear was enjoying every moment of it. We reached the outskirts of Kalyan city at 1:30 AM and the truck driver halted the truck outside the shop of a conctruction material supplier. There was a heap of sand outside the shop and the truck driver suggested that we should push the car into the sand to avoid damage.

While pushing the car, the tarpaulins got stuck underneath the front wheels and the car refused to budge. Luckily a group of young men stopped by to ask directions. We requested them to help unload the car and they reluctantly agreed. After one hour of pushing and pulling, the car was finally unloaded onto the sand. While unloading the front bumper gave off.

Thereafter the truck driver decided to tow us to our place and took out his nylon rope. While being towed, I realised the headlights and horn had conked off. After passing a speed breaker, the truck driver used to accelerate while I used to break. Result - broken tow rope. With no horn, I had to get out of the car and wave frantically hoping my parents were keeping a watch. This happed on two occassions and the truck driver started to plead " Saab, iske bad kabhi break mat karo"

With a broken tow rope, we finally reached our place at 2:00 AM. We thanked the truck driver and the cleaner profusely who went out of the way to help us. He accepted only Rs 1500 towards his services.

This trip still haunts me even today when I decide to go for a long drive. I will never forget it. Sorry folks for not including any photos as you can understand the situation we were in.

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Old 11th February 2010, 17:13   #2
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HI Night Rider,

Just went through your post. It was really scary and unfortunate incident that you had, and to add salt to your wounds, it happened so early in your married life and that too when you were just to start long driving trips!

BUT, you have to remember that such things may happen to anyone who ventures out on those trips, though trouble will be minimized with better preparations and experience (There is an excellent thread on this forum ' Essentials of a Long drive', started by technocrat). I think such horrible experience might have put you away from such trips for a long time, and that may also be a reason for your less participation in terms of number of posts on this forum.

Anyway, I think its good that you shared your experience here. It not only makes us feel a bit lighter about the incidence, but inputs/ suggestions from others also make us more prepared for future.

My opinion is: we need to bravely come out the frightened memories of such incident, take better care in future, but, venture again and pursue our hobby if we feel strongly about it. Though it is easier said then done, yet, we need to gather courage and move out again, if such road trips attract us! Such incident won't happen too often.

BTW: What problem finally was found out in car? The truck driver really was a gentle soul.

Good luck for your future trips.
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Old 11th February 2010, 17:55   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongDrive lover View Post
HI Night Rider,

Just went through your post. It was really scary and unfortunate incident that you had, and to add salt to your wounds, it happened so early in your married life and that too when you were just to start long driving trips!

BUT, you have to remember that such things may happen to anyone who ventures out on those trips, though trouble will be minimized with better preparations and experience (There is an excellent thread on this forum ' Essentials of a Long drive', started by technocrat). I think such horrible experience might have put you away from such trips for a long time, and that may also be a reason for your less participation in terms of number of posts on this forum.

Anyway, I think its good that you shared your experience here. It not only makes us feel a bit lighter about the incidence, but inputs/ suggestions from others also make us more prepared for future.

My opinion is: we need to bravely come out the frightened memories of such incident, take better care in future, but, venture again and pursue our hobby if we feel strongly about it. Though it is easier said then done, yet, we need to gather courage and move out again, if such road trips attract us! Such incident won't happen too often.

BTW: What problem finally was found out in car? The truck driver really was a gentle soul.

Good luck for your future trips.


Thanks for your kind words long drive lover.

The next day, I called up the Maruti ASC and narrated the whole incident and requested them to send somebody to check the car. They sent their mechanic promptly to my place with a spare battery (just incase the culprit turned out to be the battery). It's only when they inspected the underneath, did we realise that a stone had hit the oil sump below and left a big gaping hole through which the entire oil had drained off...

Luckily the engine was not damaged and the car was up and running pretty fast. It only required oil and replacement of the oil sump. The service manager later told me that it is very rare for the engine to survive such a situation.
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Old 11th February 2010, 18:49   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Rider View Post
It's only when they inspected the underneath, did we realise that a stone had hit the oil sump below and left a big gaping hole through which the entire oil had drained off...
Stone hitting below is something I actively look for. The moment a stone hits my car anywhere, I pull over and wait to see whether there are any leaks/ any damages even if it is cosmetic. Learnt this from a chilling lesson on NH17 way back in 1996 when I drove my father's Premier Padmini.
A stone hit the brake fluid pipe (if you can call it that) and all the brake fluid drained off. I realised that my brakes have failed when I crossed Mulki. It was around midnight and my father and grandpa were with me. Heavy truck traffic sent a shiver up my spine. Luckily, I capitalised on the gentle slope up to the bridge across the river at mulki and let my car come to a knocking halt as it was in top gear.
I was shocked to see the brake fluid tank (or container) absolutely dry. No trace of brake fluid.
We approached the nearby house person and requested him to leave the car in his compound explaining the case. The guy was completely drunk, but he mumbled ok.
My grandpa flagged down a trucker who obliged to give us a lift till Udupi and we took a 4 km walk from NH17 and reached home by 3 am! No mobiles those days, so the whole family was damn worried about our whereabouts. We were supposed to reach home by 1!
The best part was, when we hired a taxi and took a mechanic to mulki the next morning, we were surprised to see a bewildered house owner standing in front of a car parked in his house of which he had no re-collection (he was sloshed). In panic, he'd called the police who landed with sniffer dogs.
The mechanic found the place where the pipe was broken, managed to get welding unit there and weld the same.
Ever since, I've made it a lesson. Any stone strikes anywhere, I stop and wait for 10 - 15 mins to see whether anything leaks.
Everything was fine till last oct when a stone hit my windscreen on NH4 after Belgaum and left a crack.
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Old 11th February 2010, 20:53   #5
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Quite an eventful trip, Night Driver. You are very lucky the engine did not seize.
Like MX6 says, you must be watchful for any unusual noises, hits, etc and check the car thoroughly. Ignoring such warning signs is inviting trouble. For my part, I keep a tomb-like silence inside my car (I don't run music most of the time) merely to listen into any squeaks, noises, etc in the car, a warning of any potential problems.

Where were the bad road sections?
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Old 11th February 2010, 21:49   #6
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it was luck that the car engine did not seize. i had a similar incident ingurgaon about 10 years back, and luckily the M 800's engine did not seize..but you can never be careful enough with a machine.

the best thing is to avoid going through untarred roads in high speed and always make regular halts to freshen up, stretch your body, wash our face and inspect the car, in that order.

dear HV, i appreciate your concern but not listening to music will do injustice tothe car stereo, give it a thought
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Old 11th February 2010, 21:56   #7
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Originally Posted by SX4LOVER View Post
careful enough with a machine.

the best thing is to avoid going through untarred roads in high speed and always make regular halts to freshen up, stretch your body, wash our face and inspect the car, in that order.
I entirely agree. When I'm on long trips, at every refuelling halt, I check the car thoroughly - tyres, undercarriage and under the hood.

Quote:
dear HV, i appreciate your concern but not listening to music will do injustice tothe car stereo, give it a thought
Not much of a music freak! I do run the music system, but never in a ghat road when one should be listening for honking of the oncoming cars on the bends.
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Old 11th February 2010, 22:09   #8
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Thothally agree with you HV sir.
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Old 11th February 2010, 22:09   #9
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Quite a story night rider and it's not a good way to start long trip especially with family. Of course you were one way lucky that engine did not got damaged.
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Old 12th February 2010, 10:16   #10
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Sorry to hear about your ordeal. The Wagon R is a very reliable car in general, you can read about the testimonials in many forums. So you need to get the confidence back!
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Old 12th February 2010, 14:01   #11
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Night Rider: Night travelogue to start with.
Expecting some more travelogues now
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Old 12th February 2010, 15:37   #12
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wow thats a hard time you have had NR ...BUT its not a bad day everyday. So take it easy.
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Old 13th August 2011, 16:56   #13
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Thumbs down Re: Memorable trip to Bhimashankar

I would rather rate your decision amateurish and callous. Well it was 2006 then. I rather bumped into this post for a road trip to Bhimashankar, disappointingly the post serves no purpose! Mods, rather have the subject rephrased please.
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Old 13th August 2011, 17:13   #14
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Quite an incident. You were lucky - that region is notorious for man eating leopards, and you guys were there till late evening.
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Old 17th August 2011, 11:53   #15
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@ Nightrider and MX6 - Wow, both your stories are scary. I think we ought to rename this thread and share / record all our members similar experiences.

Should be interesting reading and also educational.
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