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Old 7th January 2020, 12:37   #1
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Default Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport

After the massive Bhutan trip which was done during April '19, Blue baby has been marking its territory in different parts of South India from May '19 to Sep '19.

For Dussehra vacations, I wanted to go to a place where the vibe would be laidback and we can cherish the moments we spend unlike in most of the touristy places where all of us end up doing touristy stuff which is again a change of location by all from the city life to the so-called "hyped" tourist destinations. The place had to be isolated from civilization and offer that much-needed tranquillity one expects during a holiday drive. Since I had been to Ratnagiri earlier in 2017 by motorcycle and couldn't spend more time in the Konkan region, I wanted to see this region again as it has that pure connect with nature. As always, we planned overnight and started off to explore Konkan on October 8, 2019.

Day 1: Reaching Malvan

Date: 08-10-2019
Distance: 680 Km
Places: Bangalore-Belgaum-Malvan
Time Taken: 15 hours with all breaks and stops.

We started from our place by 6.15 AM and within an hour, we zip past Nelamangala. The roads till Davangere were butter smooth and uneventful. Upon reaching Davangere, I religiously stop at Sri Guru Kottureshwara Benne Dosa hotel for breakfast as I'm a fan of their lip-smacking, mouth-watering "Benne Dose".

The Benne Dose
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-snapchat2115812118.jpg



After a hearty breakfast, we moved towards Belgaum and post Davangere, till Hubli the roads are being repaired and this brought down the average speed of the drive. Though I was driving slow, we managed to reach Belgaum by 1.30 PM.

On reaching Belgaum, I wanted to do two things: Have a Biryani at Niyaz and take a pic near the isolated war tank. Arguably, Niyaz's biryani is the best in Belgaum though the area isn't that great(Shivajinagar near RTO circle). After lunch, I wanted to take a picture of my car with the old tank but my parents were totally against it saying that the car will get stuck in the slush. So I had to take a picture of the car in the surrounding near the tank. After this brief photoshoot, we started driving towards Amboli and the weather started changing from humid to cloudy. Amboli Ghats are fun to drive but the roads were in a bad shape due to some construction work on the road. We were stooped several times in MH due to the elections.

The blue baby with wings open to charter into unchartered territory!
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191008_15184.jpg

the Isolated tank and me.
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191008_15144802.jpeg

By the time I crossed Amboli, the roads were transitioning from bad to worse. A policeman affirmed the same by saying:"these bad roads are very common in Konkan". Luckily, the bad roads were only for a few tens of kilometres. So these roads took 3 hours for 100Kms with hardly any people or vehicle movement on the roads from Kudal to Malvan. We reached Malvan at 9.15 PM and finally checked in at Hotel Abhilasha after a half an hour search on booking.com and almost getting our car stuck at the beach.

Amboli Ghats
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191008_174733.jpg

Small roads are fun to drive!
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191008_173937.jpg
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Old 7th January 2020, 13:49   #2
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Default re: Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport

Day 2: Let's go Scuba Diving and Beach Hopping

Date:9 October 2019
Places: Malvan-Devgad-Ratnagiri
Time taken: 1 day

Blue Baby had fewer kilometres to munch today and was feeling relieved that this guy isn't going to push me for another 600 km at a stretch today. But there are plans which are totally unexpected. One such plan was going Scuba diving and parasailing in Malvan. I always have a habit of asking the hotel owner/ locals about what's best to do or eat in any place and this trick did yield dividends. My hotel owner referred to a place where Scuba diving was offered for a very cost-effective price( in 3 digits INR per person and I 'm not revealing the exact price). About 3 hours were spent in Malvan itself and this place does teach of fish agriculture as well.

The hotel exterior
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191009_071817.jpg

View from my room
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191009_080814.jpg

Malvan Roads
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191009_072608.jpg

The Scuba point is a couple of kilometres away from the coast and there are trained divers to assist you while you're scuba diving. I could touch the corals and fishes. Being inside the ocean for the first is a different feeling altogether!

This is the agency for Scuba Diving and Water Sports
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191009_085413.jpg

During Scuba Diving. Breathing practice
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-20191009_101406.jpg

I've attached the video below and it's quite a unique experience!



After the scuba session, a Volvo engined speedboat picked us up for parasailing and the feeling of being in the air is kinda scary yet I enjoyed the experience. After the parasailing, we had brunch near the Scuba diving shop itself. I got o taste Malvani cuisine for the first time and the food was so amazing that I kept eating more and more(especially fish).

Delicious Malvani Cuisine
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-20191009_115239.jpg

Post brunch, we drove off towards Devgad and Dad wanted to drive. On checking his licence, his Driving Licence had expired. So I had to drive for the entire trip which was all the more fun! As I kept driving, the roads started becoming narrower and data signals getting weaker. At one point to go to Kunkeshwar, I had taken a route which Google maps had suggested and it led me to rocky terrain with a cliff as the endpoint. I couldn't take pictures as parents were worried that we're stuck. So we decided to go back and ask a cop to help us with the directions and we went in the right direction.

The Off-roads where we almost got stuck
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191009_124047.jpg

Kunkeshwar was so beautiful, that beside the road, there's a beach and beside the temple, there's an uphill climb which leads to Devgad road. Unfortunately. my dashcam's SD card got formatted and I don't have many pictures or vies to post here. After the climb, it's a 20-minute drive to Devgad.

Devgad
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191009_143413.jpg

Beautiful Coastline, Brilliant Car and an Adventurous Me
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191009_14163901.jpeg

Panorama Shot
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-20191009_152030.jpg

Views worth seeing. This is the same spot my 200NS had taken me in 2017
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191009_143518.jpg

The route is so scenic and so is Devgad that it'll put almost all of the beaches in India to shame and on par with the beaches abroad. This place has a special place in my heart as this is the longest I've ever travelled solo on my motorcycle. One can sit for hours in the evening and just look at the sunset. This time I had to hush up a bit as we had to go to Ratnagiri before dark.

Beach Hopping enroute
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-ph20191009173016042.jpg

View from Ratnagiri fort
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191009_182758.jpg

The Devgad-Ratnagiri route is a scenic route as well but hardly any population and roads all to ourselves. Reached Ratnagiri by 6 PM and went straight to Ratnagiri fort. After spending some time at the fort, I'd booked a homestay near Ratnagiri railway station from booking.com. Another preferred one was Barve homes but since it was too much in the interior, I did not stay there this time. We had dinner at hotel Vithal and went with Vada Pav, some Maharashtrian veg cuisine and Ratnagiri famous Aam-Ras.

Aam Ras
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-snapchat1124497295.jpg

Last edited by Sheel : 12th January 2020 at 07:24. Reason: As requested.
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Old 7th January 2020, 14:27   #3
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Default re: Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport

Day 3: From Beaches to Hills

Date: 10 October 2019
Distance: 200km
Places:Ratnagiri-Ganapatipule-Jaigad-Lavasa
Time taken:15 hours

After a good night's sleep in Ratnagiri, we wanted to explore the coastline even further as this constitutes the best part of the drive: Arrey Warey-Ganapatipule beach road. Post breakfast from the homestay, we stopped by at Arrey-Ware beach for a beach walk and photo stop and then headed to Ganpatipule. Marathis love lord Ganesha and each Ganesha temple have it its own charm and unique building structure. We spent some time in Ganapatipule and had another round of breakfast after which we headed towards Jaigad via ferry. This is the first time the blue baby is crossing waters through a ferry. Though we had to wait for an hour for the ferry to come.

Some Maharashtrian snack
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-20191010_100653.jpg

What a view!
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191010_08402301.jpeg

Arrey Warey Beach
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191010_085317.jpg

Empty beach
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191010_085553.jpg

Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-ph20191010093631054.jpg

After crossing the ferry, the roads are mixed with dense vegetation all the way till Chiplun. We stopped for lunch at Chiplun and after Chiplun, the road merges with the Bombay-Goa highway which is still being upgraded. Heavy traffic on this road means that I have to drive slow and most of it is ghat sections. The intermittent rains during the drive eased things up.

Still the taste of Kokan
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191010_140815.jpg

Blue Baby's 25,000Km Milestone near Khed
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191010_160558.jpg

I had pre-booked a stay in Lavasa for the night and thought I'll reach by 9 PM. The roads were okay till Kolad and after a right turn at Kolad, roads started becoming narrower. M car did not start after stopping for tea at Kudali. Little did I know that my car was warning me not to take the Tahmini ghat road. My host kept calling thinking that I got stuck in some wrong way, then I told him that I'm driving in Tahmini Ghat and he told me that I'll take more time. That road took me 4 hours to reach Paud from Kudali. This road isn't recommended during the night at all. from Paud, the roads were empty and reached Lavasa within an hour. The winding sections made the drive experience even more fun to drive.
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Old 8th January 2020, 12:58   #4
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Default re: Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport

Day 4: It's all about the drive!

Date: 11 October 2019
Places: Lavasa-Kolhapur-Belgaum
Distance: 400 km
Time taken: 12 hours

I was stunned to see such a well-planned township in the middle of a hill. Especially looks very beautiful at night. I had expectations that Lavasa would have adventure activities and would be cold and I was disappointed that Lavasa is a small township. On the contrary, it is a good place just for a day's break from city life and the roads are a delight to drive! Nevertheless, architecture and planning are quite good. Spent the entire morning walking around Lavasa and by noon, we started off to our next destination.


Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191011_091433.jpg

Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191011_092245.jpg

Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191011_091438.jpg

At Portofino,Lavasa
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191011_104025.jpg

Since I was only one who could drive, I had a great time behind the wheel of the EcoSport in the twisties and highways. By 2 PM, we reached Pune and we wanted to have the taste of Konkan style fish for one last time in this trip. This search took us about an hour and at last, we found one such place near the highway(Hotel Gavkari- right beside CCD on the Pune-Bangalore NH). Though prices were a bit expensive, the food was worth the wait and the price.

Post lunch, we started our drive on the highway and the roads are pretty scenic from Pune till Satara, especially the part when the highway takes us over a hill. There are random police checks on the way after Satara and too many rumble strips near towns. The buses in this highway can almost knock you off the road as they do not notice other vehicles beside them and drive as if there's no tomorrow.

Right outside Pune
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191011_161406.jpg

Katraj tunnel approach
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191011_161518.jpg

By 7 PM, we made it to Kolhapur. I was more keen about the legendary Kolhapuri Mutton biryani/thali than the Laxmi temple. Since my parents were along, we decided to visit the temple and then go for the food. The Laxmi temple is so well maintained and queues in such an organized manner which most of our south Indian temples need to take insights from. Another interesting fact is that there are QR codes pasted near the queue to get a glimpse of the Goddess. After the temple visit, we went to hotel Parakh by 9 PM to taste the Mutton Thali. Never did I imagine that one has to wait for an hour to get a seat in this place to have dinner. There were hundreds of people waiting in line for their turn just to taste this meal. Since I had to reach Belgaum, I took a parcel of the Mutton Thali(apologies for not posting the food picture) and decided to stop somewhere on the highway and eat. There are at least 3 types of soups and 3 Rotis, a few mutton pieces and of course, mutton biryani. Only after eating, did I realize that no wonder there's so much demand for the mutton thali in Hotel Parakh.

Laxmi temple
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191011_204614.jpg

A must visit place in Kolhapur, Hotel Parakh
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191011_213721.jpg


After dinner, all of us were feeling heavy and I was driving slow since it was dark. When we reached near Belgaum around midnight, we encountered fog and I never expected fog in Belgaum. I always thought that Belgaum is a hot and humid place. Decided to call it a day at Belgaum and stayed at Hotel Sanman for the night.

Pics from the previous day:

Near Ganapatipule
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191010_092608.jpg

Blue Baby Crossing waters
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191010_120559.jpg

A Mighty Cruise Ship!
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191010_120734.jpg

Nature!
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191010_090104.jpg

Family!
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-20191010_095555.jpg
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Old 8th January 2020, 13:38   #5
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Default re: Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport

Day 5: Homecoming

Date: 12 October 2019
Places: Belgaum-Home
Distance: 500 km
Time taken: 10 hours

The homecoming section of any trip is always the saddest part of the trip as those wonderful moments and memories whet we have experienced during the trip will just remain as a memory in our minds! The best part being that I got to drive for 2000 km completely . Since it was the last day of the trip, we started off late, by noon and the usual route back home. The only unpleasant incident was that near Nelamangala tool, there's havoc between toll lanes and I had to encounter an unruly couple in a red Freestyle with AP registration(I still remember the number though, AP 26 CE 2858) who had shown my family some obscene signs. Though this aggrieved me, I just let it go as a one-off incident and did not want to take the chance of going to the police station or court with my family. By 10.30 PM we were back home and I'm thinking to myself that "Where's the next place I'm going to??"

Trip Stats:
  • Diesel: 8000
  • Toll: 1600
  • Stay: 6500(4 nights, for 4 adults)
  • Food: 4000(Usually brunch and dinner)
  • Miscallaneous:5000

Total: Rs. 25100

On an ending note, Konkan is much calmer and better than most of the overrated places in the country and lack of tourists make it a better option to travel to. Definitely I'd go another time and I'll never get bored of this place.

The pic I had taken back in 2017, which is what made me go to Konkan again!
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-dsc_032601.jpg

Same spot with the blue beast!
Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport-img_20191010_091447.jpg
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Old 8th January 2020, 14:04   #6
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Default re: Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing jithin23!
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Old 9th January 2020, 16:54   #7
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Default Re: Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport

Congratulations! Wonderful write-up! Commendable enthusiasm and driving skills.
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Old 10th January 2020, 16:10   #8
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Default Re: Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport

Great travelogue jithin23 and equally good pictures. Actually your photos at Aare ware beach reminded my trip to Ganapatipule. I visited this place in 2017 during monsoon and nature at this place was at itís best. If you donít mind please share the photos of under water during your scuba diving. I wanted to see world of under water sea as I am yet to experience the scuba diving.
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Old 11th January 2020, 02:22   #9
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Default Re: Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport

Nice write up. I think I will plan a trip now to the Konkan. You inspired me.

That being said, am an advanced Open Water certified PADI diver, and let me tell you, never ever touch corals or fish underwater. That's one of the cardinal rules of diving.

Even a delicate touch of a coral could break a piece that will then take a century even to heal. Or you touch a fish and affects the coating on it's skin and it could die.

Enjoy the underwater world but never ever touch any natural formation or living thing.
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Old 11th January 2020, 19:04   #10
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Default Re: Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport

Quote:
Originally Posted by vk007 View Post
Congratulations! Wonderful write-up! Commendable enthusiasm and driving skills.
Thanks for the compliment vk007!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepsc View Post
Great travelogue jithin23 and equally good pictures. Actually your photos at Aare ware beach reminded my trip to Ganapatipule. I visited this place in 2017 during monsoon and nature at this place was at it’s best. If you don’t mind please share the photos of under water during your scuba diving. I wanted to see world of under water sea as I am yet to experience the scuba diving.
Thanks sandeepsc. The Konkan coast in Maharashtra is so good that these beaches seem as if they are straight out a foreign land.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
That being said, am an advanced Open Water certified PADI diver, and let me tell you, never ever touch corals or fish underwater. That's one of the cardinal rules of diving.

Even a delicate touch of a coral could break a piece that will then take a century even to heal. Or you touch a fish and affects the coating on it's skin and it could die.
Thanks Stribog. I never knew that you'll get inspired by my wirte-up to visit Konkan.

I never knew that touching corals could cause such damage. I'll make sure that I won't touch anything while I'm underwater and it was my first time doing Scuba diving.

Last edited by Sheel : 12th January 2020 at 07:26. Reason: Trimming quoted post.
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:46   #11
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Default Re: Blue Baby goes to the Konkan Coast - From Bangalore to Konkan in an EcoSport

Nice and crisp travelogue Jithin!
I am planning a trip to Kolhapur soon and thanks to you I can add a few things to do on my way there!
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