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Old 11th January 2024, 15:43   #91
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Re: My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
I have to keep fiddling with the AC button to keep switching it ON and OFF, and keep fiddling with the temperature knob just to make it bearable till about 9am.
Just curious, doesn't the thermostat knob not keep the temperature at regulated levels?

Excellent drive logs and ownership updates too!
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Old 11th January 2024, 16:53   #92
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Re: My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4

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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Just curious, doesn't the thermostat knob not keep the temperature at regulated levels?
Yes, it does. But the problem in Thar is poor regulation of airflow. Even at the lowest level (Speed 1 on the blower) there is a lot of air blowing out of it. And even at the less cold settings on the thermostat, the net outflow in the morning is very cold air with high volumes. Now I can not reduce the airflow any further (and if I switch off the blower altogether then it becomes stuffy immediately), and therefore, as an additional method to reduce the feeling of cold, I try to move the thermostat to the position between blue and red (i.e. the middle position between cold air and heater). And that makes it pleasant for a few minutes. But then it starts feeling too warm again. And from there even if I move the thermostat just a couple of degrees to blue side, it becomes too cold again in a few minutes. I haven't yet found one single ideal position on thermostat when the blower is on speed 1, and when it is quite cold outside.

This is all only in the winter mornings. We did not feel this problem to be so bad in summer, and again in the daytime in winter it is not bad too. Only the early morning winter hours is the problem.

Another funny problem in Thar is there is no external temperature display. Thus, when I am saying it is a problem when it gets very cold outside, I do not even know what is the real temperature outside. And similarly when we reach some hot areas in the middle of the day, and it feels quite hot outside, I do not know what is the temperature outside. Thus, I do not have any mental calibration of external temperature and AC controls position inside. Somehow I find it quite funny and sad too that a vehicle meant to be driven in extreme conditions does not even show the outside air temperature, something that is so trivial to have and something that almost every car today has.

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Excellent drive logs and ownership updates too!
Thank you very much!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 11th January 2024 at 16:56.
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Old 12th February 2024, 16:04   #93
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Pune to Bangalore via Ganpatipule

Pune to Bangalore via Ganpatipule



Recently I drove to Pune and spent a few days there working from my Pune office. The biggest problem now in Bangalore to Pune drives is that the the long stretch between Belgavi and Karad is all under construction, with uncountable diversions and a traffic mess everywhere. It is very painful to drive this section which feels like it takes forever. I had no choice but to drive through this mess in my onward journey to Pune, due to paucity of time. However, in my return journey, where I had an entire weekend at hand, I wanted to avoid this section at any cost, and also wanted to drive on some rural roads and hilly areas.

That lead me to the plan of taking the whole weekend for driving back (instead of a single day return drive), staying overnight somewhere, and avoiding the dreaded Karad-Belgavi section.

I decided to take a right turn at Karad and drive into Konkan, my favorite region for traveling around. I decided to drive to Ganpatipule, stay there overnight, and then continue driving further exploring the coastal roads and the hilly roads too.

I decided not to drive to Ganpatipule via the shortest route from Karad (that would not be fun). But instead, I chose a longer route via Anuskura ghat, which is a nice scenic driving section. Anuskura Ghat is a popular tourist place in the monsoon, and it is amazing in the rains. This time of the year, it would be dry and brown, but still I wanted to drive through that and chose the longer route via Anuskura.

And then from Ganpatipule, I drove on the coastal SH4 down first and then joined NH66 (the famous Mumbai-Goa highway), and then finally climbed up via Amboli ghat and joined Belgavi and then back to usual Belgavi-Hubli-Bangalore highway!

Thus, I avoided the entire Karad-Belgavi section, and took a 500km detour from Karad to Belgavi via Ganpatipule and Amboli! This detour consisted of descending down the ghats and reaching the coast, driving along the coast for a while, and then ascending the ghats back up and reaching the usual Pune-Bangalore NH48 at Belgavi. I loved this variety in driving conditions and that variety and mix was one of the main reasons for choosing this circuit.

Map of the 500km detour with a stay in Ganpatipule (Of course, I drove from Pune to Karad and then from Belgavi to Bangalore, but the map shows only the detour portion from main NH48; The rest was a routine NH48 drive.) :
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mapnew.jpg


The drive started with my favorite Maharashtrian breakfast (vada pav and sabudana khichadi) on a highway restaurant near Satara:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl01.jpg


Once I took left from Karad, the road to Malkapur was such nice road:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl02.jpg


These simple state roads were lovely, and it was an enjoyable drive (much better than fighting the diversions and the traffic jams on NH48):
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl03.jpg


Somewhere between Malkapur and Anuskura, I spotted this gulmohar tree on the side of the road and could not resist pulling over for a couple of photos:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl04.jpg


My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl05.jpg


The road toward Anuskura continued to be awesome, with smooth tarmac and nice turns and curves:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl08.jpg


At Anuskura ghat view point:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl10.jpg


Views of the backwater and the road running below:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl11.jpg


Another view of the scenes from Anuskura ghat:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl09.jpg


A closer look at the inviting road below:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl14.jpg


Dusty enjoying the drive through Anuskura ghat:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl13.jpg

From Anuskura to Ganpatipule it was a simple and uneventful drive. In Ganpatipule, I hit the famous Aare-Ware road for the sea views.

The mesmerizing sea views at Aare-Ware:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl29.jpg

I spent the evening at Aare-Ware photographing Dusty there in the evening light. I will share these photos in the next post below.

Next morning, back to my favorite breakfast at a local restaurant, where Dusty was parked right next:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl28.jpg


Next day I started driving on the small coastal road, SH4, which is one of my favorite roads to enjoy a scenic drive:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl31.jpg


Coastal drive (it was too hot by then to get out, so just took a couple of photos from car window):
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl32.jpg

After that hot coastal drive, I joined back NH66 at Rajapur, which is the main Bombay-Goa highway. While this road is now converted to a 4-lane divided highway (only from south of Oni; The NH66 sections north of Oni are still under construction and are a mess), the road surface is concrete and very poor. This highway is an interesting experience. The road is scenic, with thick green trees all around and also has nice fast corners and turns. And the divided 4-lane highway is itself quite beautiful. The traffic is not bad too. While these are all great thins, the very rough and bumpy surface makes it a pain to drive on this. Maybe in a comfortable car with better suspensions, this drive would be fun. But in Thar, it was certainly very bumpy, noisy, and not quite that much fun.

Anyways, soon I exited this highway (NH66) and started climbing the ghats up towards Amboli.

Views from window at Amboli ghat:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl33.jpg


Dusty at a viewpoint in Amboli ghat:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl34.jpg


My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl36.jpg


And finally, once in Karnataka, my favorite local food again:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl.jpg

Thus, symbolically speaking, the detour started with my favorite local food of Maharashtra, and ended with my favorite local food in Karnataka. I love both the states and both the foods. It is always a great experience driving around these two amazing states and exploring their beautiful landscapes and delicious foods!

So this was a short story of a weekend drive. But before I end this, please allow me to share a few photographs from that evening photoshoot at Aare-Ware road in the next post below.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 12th February 2024 at 17:43.
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Old 12th February 2024, 16:42   #94
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Photographs from Aare-Ware Road

Photographs from Aare-Ware Road



As I mentioned in the previous post, I spent the evening at Ganpatipule enjoying sunset views from Aare-Ware road, and photographing Dusty there. Please allow me to share those photos here.

Evening views of the sea:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl16.jpg


Dusty enjoying the sunset views:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl19.jpg


Mesmerizing waves in the golden light:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl21.jpg


Sunset in the window:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl23.jpg


Dusty at Sunset:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl25.jpg


Reflection of the setting sun:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl27.jpg


And finally, my favorite photo from that evening:
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-mhfeb2024tl24.jpg

That is all from this simple weekend drive. Thank you for reading!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 12th February 2024 at 16:59.
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Old 13th February 2024, 10:18   #95
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Re: Pune to Bangalore via Ganpatipule

Amazing photos and writeup AD, thanks for sharing! The Thar seems perfectly at home in these surroundings! Though, I expected you to take the small roads unseen (that we see branching off in Google Maps when zoomed in) with the Thar

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
After that hot coastal drive, I joined back NH66 at Rajapur, which is the main Bombay-Goa highway. While this road is now converted to a 4-lane divided highway (only from south of Oni; The NH66 sections north of Oni are still under construction and are a mess), the road surface is concrete and very poor. This highway is an interesting experience. The road is scenic, with thick green trees all around and also has nice fast corners and turns. And the divided 4-lane highway is itself quite beautiful. The traffic is not bad too.
Anyways, soon I exited this highway (NH66) and started climbing the ghats up towards Amboli.
I did the exact same route last monsoon (when I had a discussion with you), though in reverse, from Kudal to Oni/Watul, and then took a right to go via Amba Ghat. Yes, that road between Kudal and Oni is really amazing, especially in the monsoons, though it's quite risky when water from the other side suddenly get splashed to the your side (or vice versa) due to vehicles going through big water puddles that are quite prevalent.

Anuskura ghat seems like a good alternative to Amba Ghat, which is now a mess on NH 166 due to 4 laning work. Looks like the Amba Ghat is also going to lose it's charm very soon, given the massive destruction of green cover and the straightening of many of the turns, hence making it yet another uneventful road to drive on.

Last edited by PearlJam : 13th February 2024 at 10:22.
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Old 13th February 2024, 11:45   #96
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Re: Pune to Bangalore via Ganpatipule

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Amazing photos and writeup AD, thanks for sharing! The Thar seems perfectly at home in these surroundings! Though, I expected you to take the small roads unseen (that we see branching off in Google Maps when zoomed in) with the Thar
Thank you very much PearlJam!

I tried to take some small roads here and there, but they turned out to be quite nice and smooth. It is funny that when you are on the lookout for small roads, you find good roads and when you want to avoid small roads, you run into totally broken rural routes.

Jokes apart, from Malkapur to Anuskura is one of those roads that is a tiny thin line in Google Maps with no highway number, not even a district road number. One would think that is one of those narrow, bad roads. But turns out it is a perfect road where a low slung sedan would do great.

Similarly, I took a tiny thin line in the map to connect SH4 (which itself is quite small and narrow) to NH66 at Rajapur. But even this small road turned out to be quire nice.

But you are right that I did not go looking out for off-roading or other adventures in this trip. And which I thought were the rural roads turned out to be great.

Another problem (which is true for most Indian roads) is that the road conditions here are very unpredictable and they change every 6 months. So every time we drive in a region after say a gap of 6 months, it is already a gamble about road conditions.


Quote:
I did the exact same route last monsoon (when I had a discussion with you), though in reverse, from Kudal to Oni/Watul, and then took a right to go via Amba Ghat.
OK great. Yes I remember our discussion that time!

Quote:
Anuskura ghat seems like a good alternative to Amba Ghat, which is now a mess on NH 166 due to 4 laning work. Looks like the Amba Ghat is also going to lose it's charm very soon, given the massive destruction of green cover and the straightening of many of the turns, hence making it yet another uneventful road to drive on.
Very true. Amba Ghat has already lost a lot of charm because of all the heavy traffic and the road work in progress. Even in the sections which are great tarmac there, the heavy traffic makes it feel like a regular urban road.

Anuskura ghat is a much nicer option compared to Amba. I am very temped to drive back there in the monsoon this year. I will most likely do a monsoon drive that includes Anuskura ghat this year.
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Old 13th February 2024, 17:20   #97
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Re: Pune to Bangalore via Ganpatipule

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
I will most likely do a monsoon drive that includes Anuskura ghat this year.
Nice drive and pictures. We are in for a harsh summer before the monsoons hit the sahyadris.

Brought back some old memories of the same in the rains.
My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4-anuskura.png
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Old 13th February 2024, 17:29   #98
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Re: My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4

I remember commenting on one of your lovely TLs that one day I would love to retrace the exact route from any one of your well articulated and brilliantly captured TLs. However this time though I must say that I 'have been there done that'

Anuskura to Oni is increasingly becoming famous for all Pune people rushing to Goa during every long holiday weekend. I did the route while on my way to Goa (and was retracing the route thanks to another BHPians TL ), while roads are brilliant and the scenery is mesmerizing however the frequency of so many cars from Pune taking that route means that it would be subject to the usual abuse and traffic issues especially during monsoons. I just hope the Karad -Belagavi stretch is finished soon enough before this becomes the preferred route for most Pune people.
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Old 13th February 2024, 19:19   #99
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Re: Pune to Bangalore via Ganpatipule

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post

Pune to Bangalore via Ganpatipule



Recently I drove to Pune and spent a few days there working from my Pune office. The biggest problem now in Bangalore to Pune drives is that the the long stretch between Belgavi and Karad is all under construction, with uncountable diversions and a traffic mess everywhere. It is very painful to drive this section which feels like it takes forever. I had no choice but to drive through this mess in my onward journey to Pune, due to paucity of time. However, in my return journey, where I had an entire weekend at hand, I wanted to avoid this section at any cost, and also wanted to drive on some rural roads and hilly areas.

Superb writeup there AD! Loved the pics of the Thar on the beaches of Ganpatipule . I took a similar route on my trip from Mumbai to Goa in January to explore the Konkan belt. The views were stunning & the roads were surprisingly well-paved with a few broken patches. We had so much fun on the onward journey that we took the entire Konkan route on the journey back to Mumbai and were able to do it in record time.

I've made a booking for the Thar Diesel 4x4 MT and your Travelogue has made the wait for my car that much more difficult
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Old 13th February 2024, 19:44   #100
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Re: Pune to Bangalore via Ganpatipule

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Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
Nice drive and pictures. We are in for a harsh summer before the monsoons hit the sahyadris.

Brought back some old memories of the same in the rains.
Thank you, and that is a lovely picture. Evokes (driving) emotions! Thank you for sharing that. That picture reminds me that I must drive around in the Sahyadris in the monsoon this year!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashwin Morey View Post
I remember commenting on one of your lovely TLs that one day I would love to retrace the exact route from any one of your well articulated and brilliantly captured TLs. However this time though I must say that I 'have been there done that'
hahaha. Good to hear that you have driven there.

Quote:
Anuskura to Oni is increasingly becoming famous for all Pune people rushing to Goa during every long holiday weekend.
Yes most of these roads get crowded during long weekends and in the monsoon (especially weekends). But this time of the year, with the summer heat and dry landscapes, the tourist rush was not there. Overall I found plenty of empty roads and empty spaces where usually we expect crowds.

For example, in Amboli ghat, I usually stop at a particular snacks and tea shop that I like. In my monsoon drives, I have always seen that shop (and many other shops next to it) super crowded and often there is no space to even park near there. But this time, that stretch was all empty and I could easily park right in front of the shop and enjoy a cup of tea while watching Amboli ghat views.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
Superb writeup there AD! Loved the pics of the Thar on the beaches of Ganpatipule .
Thank you very much!

Quote:
I took a similar route on my trip from Mumbai to Goa in January to explore the Konkan belt. The views were stunning & the roads were surprisingly well-paved with a few broken patches.
Nice! Great to hear that.

Quote:
I've made a booking for the Thar Diesel 4x4 MT and your Travelogue has made the wait for my car that much more difficult
Awesome! Congratulations and wish you a great time and drives with Thar!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 13th February 2024 at 19:53.
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Old 13th February 2024, 20:41   #101
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Re: My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4

Would love to know how comfortable was it driving Thar for long hours? Did you try anything to make the ride more comfortable?
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Old 14th February 2024, 13:17   #102
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Re: My 2023 Mahindra Thar Petrol AT 4x4 | Ownership Review | “Dusty” Reborn in 4x4

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Originally Posted by CA Dhruv View Post
Would love to know how comfortable was it driving Thar for long hours? Did you try anything to make the ride more comfortable?
Mine is a 2023 Thar, in stock condition. So no, I did not do anything to make ride more comfortable. However, the 2023 suspensions are much improved compared to the 2020 or 2021 Thars, and that is one of the reasons I did not have to do anything.

I am OK with Thar's ride comfort over long hours. By now I am used to driving Thar all day, and have also done Pune-Bangalore drives in 1 day (about 900km) on a few occasions.

Although suspensions and ride quality is acceptable in 2023 and later Thars, the seats are not great. The seat size and cushioning both are poor. I do plan to modify the seats to add some extra cushion some day. But I am too lazy to do that. I typically love driving my cars as they are and end up spending all my time driving. I am too lazy about other stuff like adding comfort etc.

Recently I added an armrest from Bimbra. That has added a small delta to the comfort factor on highway drives. But other than that, I have done nothing else regarding "comfort".

Of course, "comfortable" is very subjective. Compared to my 320d, Thar is nowhere close to being comfortable or planted. 320d is leagues ahead of Thar in ride comfort for long hours, the feeling of being planted and secure at highway speeds, and in general driving joy and fun. No comparison there. But that is not the benchmark I have in my mind when I drive Thar.

When I drive Thar, I am in my own mood, lost in my own world, and no other benchmarks apply there. I love Thar for what it offers to me, and in return, while being fully aware of the bad ride quality and poor "comfort", I am still comfortable because I just love the road tripping experience.

So in summary, this is a subjective thing and your mileage will vary. Personally for me, yes, Thar is acceptably comfortable for long hours of driving.
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