First Rain Ride of 2009

My first decent rainy ride in more than 2 years, turned out to be a really good and satisfying in the end. Though I have ridden to Mumbai in the very first rains of the season, it was more of a high speed run on near perfect piece of tarmac.

In search of a decent resort in or around Mulshi, for a family outing next weekend, I decided to visit there on a motorcycle.

By the time I got kitted for the ride it was lunch time, though the normal routeto Mulshi is via Chandni Chowk – Pirangut – Paud, I have been on that stretch so many times that today I was just not feeling like riding on the very same stretch. So, I head out in opposite direction on NH4. After filling more than enough fuel for the ride at Shell pump (a rare thing for me, I often land up filling lesser fuel than needed for the ride and then searching for one later) I headed towards Lonavala. After having covered some 10 odd km’s, I got bored of the tarmac and got onto a road through villages and headed towards Pavana dam.

It was a bumpy, slow ride all the way with lush green scenery all around me. Though it was bone dry in Pune, as soon  as I got on this road rain god welcomes me with heavy showers. All my plans of stopping to capture greenery were put on hold, thanks to rain.

Enjoying every water filled pothole, occasional good section of tarmac and gravel, I reach the dam. Disappointed to see it not yet fully filled. A small stop and I was heading towards Paud. Just as I started to climb, the beautiful view of Tung fort made me get off the road for some offroading on slush + green grass stretches.

The ride till Paud was kinda monotonous with no rains and no great view that would made me stand up on brakes. Road conditions deteriorated soon after Paud and I was already in no mood to repeat the Paud – Mulshi stretch on my way back.

After finishing the inspection of all the probably resorts, I was feeling hungry so pulled over for a pit stop around 3:15. Missal Pav it would be for the near empty stomach. While having food I decided to head towards Lonavala. It was almost 4pm and with bike’s chain a bit loose for my comfort and rear sprocket having a bit of play (may be rubber bushing/bearing gone), there was a distinct possibility of getting stranded in a jungle. All part and parcel of adventure on two wheels, I said and got on the bike and headed towards Tamhini.

The road was bit better than before but the non-stop rain was giving very little chance to bring out the camera. Just after crossing Tamhini village, I got off the road and got on the offroad section towards Amby Valley. After a decent stretch initially, consisting of broken tarmac and some gravel I got on a stretch that was mostly a layer of stones, almost till the end. With rain, jungle and hardly any civilization, I wasn’t complaining much about the road surface. After all I didn’t want to go berserk on near perfect tarmac.
It was disappointing to see not too many sections of road under water, not enough water streams or over flowing rivers, as I encountered during my last ride on this section.

Before it got anywhere close to dark I was on the tarmac section near Amby valley, twisties at its best. It was tempting me to push like crazy in search of scraping my knees against tarmac. Alas, if wishes were horses I would have been on a 223bhp machine and not a 223cc machine. In no time I was riding in thick fog, with near zero visibility, so all plans of pressing that “red” button were put to rest. Though the pace was really slow, still it was fun. After all I was still out of city limits with not much traffic to deal with.

Soon the dream run came to an end, as I approached Bushi Dam. With no fog and rain around, I switched from fun mode to reach home mode. After a initial struggle to pass the long queue of cars, I somehow managed to come out on NH4. The traffic is diverted and I came out just next to the turn for Rajmachi. It was very very tempting to take the turn but with clock well past 6, it was just too late for my comfort. So, it was time to slot into top gear and finally press the “red” button to head home before it gets dark. In the end, just managed to park my bike in garage before it was pitch dark to end a much needed and entertaining ride.

When: 8th Auguest 2009
Route: Pune – Pavana Dam – Paud – Mulshi – Tamhini – Kundalika – Amby Valley – Lonavala – Pune.
Distance: 213km’s
Time taken: 6hrs 35min.

In & Around Lavasa

Sunrise viewed through wild flowers.

After spending almost entire night @ office, I dumped the idea of hitting bed. Started in dark towards Lavasa to greet Sun a very good morning. Also got a chance to ride my bike into Lavasa township. Picture from a wonderful morning.

View from Lavasa Top, just before Sun was about to come out.
View from Lavasa Top, just before Sun was about to come out.

It was not just me but moon also waiting to greet Sun.
It was not just me but moon also waiting to greet Sun.

First view of the sun as it come out to brighten up the sky.
First view of the sun as it come out to brighten up the sky.

Watching Sun rise from Lavasa top.
Watching Sun rise from Lavasa top. Watching Sun rise from Lavasa top.

Viewing Sun through leaves of a tree.
Viewing Sun through leaves of a tree.

Temghar Dam backwaters view from road to Lavasa city.
Temghar Dam backwaters view from road to Lavasa city.

Standing on the banks of warasgaon dam backwaters.
Standing on the banks of warasgaon dam backwaters.

Warasgaon Dam backwater as viewed from Lavasa City.
Warasgaon Dam backwater as viewed from Lavasa City. Warasgaon Dam backwater as viewed from Lavasa City. Warasgaon Dam backwater as viewed from Lavasa City. Warasgaon Dam backwater as viewed from Lavasa City. Warasgaon Dam backwater as viewed from Lavasa City.

Twisties – No matter how much you have them, you always want more.
Twisties - No matter how much you have them, you always want more. Twisties - No matter how much you have them, you always want more.

CBZ Standing at the bottom of Lavasa township. Towards Warasgaon end.
CBZ Standing at the bottom of Lavasa township. Towards Warasgaon end.

Standing in Lavasa city.
Standing in Lavasa city. Standing in Lavasa city.

While I was sipping on Tea, I found this young chap making the most of the early morning warm Sun rays.
While I was sipping on Tea, I found this young chap making the most of the early morning warm Sun rays.

Click on image to view in bigger size.

New Year Special – Ghats near Pune

Lavasa Curve

It’s a belief that what ever we do at the start of New Year, we will keep doing that for the rest of year. I wanted to ride out on 31st night but then family and friends had some plans so I decided to party instead.

Couple of days later, it was the first weekend of year and I decided, better late than never. So, I head out to some near by places. Saturday ride was sort of warm up and hence it was just 103km trip, a slow one at that (Ride duration: 2hrs 45min).
Lack of interest in riding on straight roads, I decided to head to near by twisties and sure it was fun even at speeds around 50km/hr (yes, I was running in my bike after a new block piston kit).

Lavasa Curve

The route I took was Chandani Chowk – Mutha – Lavasa – Mutha – Pirangut – Paud – Hinjewadi.

Sunday I decided to head towards Mahabaleshwar, while I was cruising on NH4 at yawning speed I realized I’m not carrying my bike’s original RC book (often documents are checked at Panchgani, only of two wheelers, as if we are criminals while people in cages are all saints). So when I saw a familiar turn off NH4, I jammed my brakes (must have put down a few mm’s of rubber on tarmac) and got off the boring highway. This was the road I have taken for the last time in Jun’03 (when we went for Pulsar Yahoo Group’s Annual meet). This is a lesser known (to travelers) road that takes you to Bhor. Yes, I dumped Mahabaleshwar in favour of Bhor and Varandha Ghat.

Enroute VarandhaEnroute Varandha

The nature of road hasn’t changed much once we cross Bhor. Though its pothole free tarmac almost all the way, there is plenty of gravel on both the edges and in center. I love it, you over cook a curve, run wide and either you will go off the road or can go and kiss mother earth.
Varandha Ghat CurveVarandha Ghat Curve

Since rains have just gone by, water levels are good in the dam en-route.

Backwaters of Neera DamBackwaters of Neera DamBackwaters of Neera Dam

After a small break for hot bhajis and tea in Varandha ghat I headed towards Mahad. It was closing on 5pm and I knew I’ll have to climb back in dark, on my way back. Having climbed Tamhini in dark few days back on CBZ, I wasn’t too worried of taking the same route again.

Varandha Ghat's Valley ViewVarandha Ghat

Once I reached Mahad, I saw Poladpur (to go towards Mahabaleshwar) some 15km’s away and there was no distance to Mangaon (to go towards Mulshi) given, I guessed that Mangaon can’t be too far away so I headed towards it, after few km’s I realized my mistake as it was still some 30km’s away and the sun has started to go behind hills. By the time I reached Mangaon it was 6:15pm and after filling some fuel (yeah twice I have started the climb to Tamhini with bike about to hit reserve – no way was I going to repeat that mistake).

The Mangaon – Vilhe road was almost empty of traffic and in lovely condition. Even though it was dark, it was fun riding in that section filled with twisties. After Vilhe, I decided to stay with couple of cars that were climbing Tamhini but with me not wanting to stress my new engine, mid way thru the ghat one car was too fast for me while the other was too slow, as a result I was left all alone. It was a bit scary and I was remembering only all the scary stories I have heard about this area. Hoping to catch some slow moving vehicle ahead, I kept on riding but I wasn’t that lucky. Once I passed the last dhaba on top of ghat, it was me and my bike all alone. Other than my bike’s headlamp, moon and stars were the only light sources visible. I wanted to stop and click some pictures but wasn’t able to gather enough courage to do so. After riding all alone for some 15min’s I caught up with some traffic as the bad stretch of road has started. Then on it was just a matter of keeping up with them.

Following with vehicles I reached Mulshi lake and what a beautiful view it was, I told myself I’m coming back here in night again, of course not alone :-). As I was feeling hungry, I halted for dinner and then it was a slow cruise till home.

Route: Pune – Bhor – Mahad – Mangaon – Vile – Tamhini – Mulshi – Pune
Distance: 300km’s
Ride Duration: 8hrs 30min

Click on image to view in bigger size.

Malshej – The least visited place

Malshej Ghat – a beautiful heaven of towering peaks and bottomless valleys with air so fragrant and pure, one wish to pack some to bring back to pollution filled cities.

Just like all the hill stations in Maharashtra, monsoons is the best time to visit Malshej Ghat. The black tarmac is cleaned by rains, valleys turn lush green and surrounding is mostly covered by clouds. Though one might not get too much to see during peak monsoon but the experience still is worth a visit.

Destination so breath taking that I wonder how come I have just visited this place just once and that too way back in 2003. So when the opportunity came to visit Malshej again on 2nd Oct for a Pune-Bombay Nomads meet, I coudn’t let this oportunity go by. Though the rains were gone long time back, I was expecting to encounter lush green valleys.

The group from Pune (Me on CBZ, Nalin on CBZ-Xtreme, Praveen Sathaye on P180 DTSi and Biswa in his M800) meet at Nashik Phata from where the ride started around 7am. The relatively empty road combined with cool weather, while riding, felt like heaven. Though two lane for most part, it was still not much an issue riding, except for when crossing cities enroute.

After covering around 80km from Nashik Phata, we got off the Nashik highway at Ale Phata and turned left towards Malshej. Road surface after sometime got little bad but it improved as we started the climb up the ghat. Twisties were so inviting that we decided to take a break to soak in the beauty.

View from the start of Ghat

After a small break we headed towards the meeting point, MTDC. By 9:45, having covered 137km, we were at MTDC and didn’t have to wait for long for the Bombay guys to join us along with Harshad from Amhednagar. After a round of introductions, between those who were meeting for first time, we had breakfast and then decided to walk around to let our eyes enjoy the beauty. Later few guys decided to bring their bikes and it was time for cameras to get busy.

Tunnel’s view from top of ghat

Poser boy

Twin models

Small water pond at the top

After spending some time at the top of valley, we headed towards the overflowing lake, whose water has submerged a small road running parallel to main road. Here, while couple of guys decided to go for swimming, rest stayed back on the banks.

Where the road ends

Can I?

Only water could stop me

As the lunch time neared, we all headed back to MTDC for food. After gupling down our favourite food, at 16:20, Pune guys decided to ride back with Bombay guys. The road on Bombay side of ghat is right there with the best road surfaces I have ever ridden. It was a fast rip to the bottom of ghat.

View of the valley on Bombay side

Pit stop

After riding for 33km’s from MTDC, we reached the junction where Pune guys turned left towards Karjat. Sun has gone down by now, so it was getting dark, hence it was left to Roy to lead in his Gypsy while Biswa took the tail in his M800 with all the bike riders in between them. The road is a narrow running through forest.

Sun is finally going down

At around 8pm, after covering 118km from MTDC, some 2km before Khopoli, we came out on NH4. Enroute to Pune, we halted at Toni for Dinner and at 12:30am, having covered 190km’s I reached back my home.

Hampi – BN Annual Ride 2007

The ruins of Vijayanagar, near the town of Hampi, are some of the most fascinating in India. Once the capital of one of the largest Hindu empires in India history, Vijayanagar was founded by the Telugu princes in 1336 and hit the peak of its power in the 16th century.

The regular annual meets of BN were kick started in 2006 at Goa. For this year, the destination was selected as Hampi. Having returned back from Hospet in 2004, I didn’t want to miss another chance to visit Hampi, so I joined the 30+ nomads who headed towards Hampi on 23th Nov.

Few bikes and couple of cars of Nomads started from Pune on 23rd Nov early morning at 6:50. It was perfect weather for going on a bike trip. Around 7:30 we were out of Pune and cruising on partially empty NH4 towards Satara. Faster vehicles went on to enjoy the speed while I was the slowest one to take on the rear. Around 8:20 we all regrouped at the breakfast point, having covered 85km’s since the start. It was an hour long break after which we headed towards Peth, the turn off point for Sangli, our Lunch halt.

Once again the group was split with all riding at their own pace, to regroup at Peth. It was now a 2 lane road till Sangli, so we all decided to ride together with one car each leading and sweeping the group and all bikes in between them. There was a bit of truck traffic to content with. It was 12pm by the time we reached Mayank’s place in Sangli. So far we covered 138km’s. At Sangli we saw not just three nicely maintained bikes of Mayank but also the nicely maintained garage.

At 13:30 we left Sangli after a nice food for riders and fuel for rides. Once we crossed Miraj, traffic eased off and the road was relatively empty. This stretch was one of the best 2 lane road to ride on. With both the cars tailing bikes, we reached Bijapur. We all regrouped after Bijapur for a cup of tea at 17:10, having covered around 500km’s. It was now confirmed that it will be a long night ride we will have to do. At 17:50 we resumed the ride with sun already went to rest.

We knew it will be a lot of truck traffic till Hospet so the group got split into smaller groups with 2-3 vehicles per group. It was slow at times getting passed convey of trucks. As time went by the night went from cold to colder. By the time we regrouped for Dinner at 22:30 it was freezing, having spend another hour in couple of breaks before it. So far we had covered around 600km with just 30odd km’s left to Hampi. At 23:20 we started our last leg of the ride to Hospet where all the early birds were waiting for us. 35min past mid night we all reached Hampi having covered around 620km’s. Though it took us 17hrs 40min to reach Hampi, the actual riding time was only 11hrs 40min.

24th Nov was the day to explore Hampi so instead of going in one big group we all split into small groups, to regroup back by 3pm for group pictures back at hotel.

Water reservoir

First View of Hazararama Temple

Inside view of Hazararama Temple

Lotus Mahal

Just Ride!!!

Lotus Mahal

Elephant’s Stable

An attempt at Table Top shoot

Bikes line up at Hotel

Bikes ‘n’ Riders line up outside Vitthala Temple

Views of Vitthala Temple


The evening was spend in an hour long introduction of all the members followed by dinner. There was an unsuccessful attempt to have bonfire later in the night. After partying till late in night I went to sleep at 2am.
Around 6am people started to get ready to return back home. It was only by 7:30 that we started back towards Pune with Bangalore and Hydrabad guys taking it easy due to smaller distance to cover. At Hospet we refuled our rides. After riding on Sholapur road initially we turned towards Hubli, knowing that there are lot of potholes on this road, still it was going to be much faster due to longer 4 lane stretch. After a couple of 15mins break we reached Hubli. Except for one stretch of road which was anything but potholes everywhere, rest of road was still ride able but only in day time.

Since I was going to be the slowest on NH4, I split from group and carried on as I didn’t need the break, assuming that the faster vehicles will catch me up down the road. After crossing Dharwad, I started to feel hungry and sleepy so at 12:15, I pulled over into a road side hotel for food and sleep, having covered 222km’s so far. After a 25min break I resumed the ride, cruising at speeds around 80 on NH4. To kill the boredom of NH4 I kept on taking small 5min breaks every 80-90km’s. Once I crossed Satara, I started to feel hungry and with the traffic also increased, I slowed down a bit. At 17:35, I halted at Khambatki ghat for food break with just 70 odd km’s to go. Sun was going down fast, so at 18:00hrs I started the last leg of ride, with the rest of group still over an hr behind. The traffic was heavy and it was like a high speed dog fight on road. Thanks to the 4 lane road it was not difficult to ride here even though it was dark. As I entered Pune, I was greeted by a big traffic jam and it was by 19:10 that I reached Chandni Chowk having covered 621km’s.

Diwali weekend twin rides

Road to Lavasa, covered in fog

Though I had 4 days off during the Diwali weekend, I could barely ride due to my lazyness and some pending works to be completed. But when I got opportunity to do two small rides, I grabbed them with both hands.

First one was to Lonawala on Saturday evening, 10th Nov 2007, to team up with Arpan (Pulsar 220) and Alok (Pulsar 180 DTSi), who were riding to Bangalore. With Praveen (Pulsar 180 DTSi) willing to join me (CBZ) from Pune, we decided to ride via Pawana to view Sunset there.

We decided to explore some new route and took the road via Hinjewadi. Unfortunatly we took a road that got us within striking distance of Pawana, with just a small stone, ok ok it was a small hill, seperating us from Pawana as the road ended in dead end :-(. Following are some pics from the evening ride.

Suntset, very close to Pawana but on a road that leads to no where

Very close to Pawana but on a road that leads to no where

Very close to Pawana but on a road that leads to no where

Next ride was on Sunday morning to Lavasa. I finally managed to move the start time to 6am, so that we can see sunrise around Mutha. Well as it turned out, early morning fog deprived us the beautiful sunrise but at the same time it let us experience one of the best morning I have had in recent times.

During this ride I had a chance to ride Captain’s Pulsar 220 for the entire ride, with my CBZ resting at Chandani Chowk. At the start of ride, we flagged off Arpan and Alok towards Bangalore. Here are some pictures from the ride.

Early morning foggy road near Manas Lake

Sunrise, enroute Lavasa

View from Temghar Dam

View from Temghar Dam

Lavasa twisties

All steeds lined up

Similar topic(s)
Discovering ride to Pawana
PPL Ride
Return to Lavasa
The Bajaj Pulsar 220 DtsFi Test Ride
Lavasa – A Dream Fulfilled and some laws redefined

2005 Naldurg Ride

When at BikeNomads, Pune and Hydrabad guys decided to meet up for lunch. Naldurg, the biggest fort in Maharashtra, located almost in the middle of Pune and Hydrabad, just off NH, was chosen. The ride was planned for Sat, 23rd July 2005.

After last minute drop outs from Pune, I was the lone rider from Pune. I started late on my Bullet, since no one was waiting for me I left at 6:30. Maintained a steady pace of 80-100 as the road was good (initially 4 lane) and hardly any traffic.


Once the 4 lane got over, speed went a lil down as overtaking a convoy of trucks was not very easy. Had to stop for some 10min at a railway crossing, was tempted to sneak my bike under the pole but dropped the idea. After riding for 2hr 30min (166km) decided to take a quick break for food as was feeling very hungry. Took a quick 10min break and started, wanted to reach by 10:30. By now the traffic has increased, slowing me down :-(

Reached Sholapur by 10:40, was under the impression that Naldurg is some 5-10km from there but it was 45km (as found out written on a board, while zipping thru it. So once crossed Sholapur decided to up the pace and was doing in the range of 100-110. Around 11:00 crossed the bridge where we were to meet, saw no one so decided to cross the ghat (wide, twisties, empty roads never fail to tempt me :-D ) Stopped at the top of ghats, clicked some pics.

Returned back at the bridge. Waiting for hyd guys to come. Was wondering if they all went ahead in the fort as I got late.

After 30min first grp of riders came with Solly, Vinay and Praveen in it. After a round of introduction we waiting and then came Mayur followed by GR after some time. After
regrouping we all went to the fort, which is supposed to be the biggest in Maharashtra. Initially GR tried to be our guide but then later we got one.

Inside the fort

Now, the office of the fort

Remains of the fort

Panoramic view of the lake behind fort

View of lake behind fort

The tallest structure in fort

A mini dam inside fort

Pigeon box

The Nomads with guide on top of dam

Inside fort there is a small dam with two gates (located one over the other) to let the water flow down. Call it a masterpiece in design, there are a few rooms (two levels) build under the wide wall of dam. Now when water is let go from the gates of dam, it comes down as a waterfall and there are windows in those rooms opening right behind these waterfalls. Though this can only be seen during rains now, when the dam is full and water overflows through the gates. Another problem now a days is that, bats have made these rooms as their home, so one has to be careful when inside the rooms.

One of the two gates of dam

Remains of the fort

Climbing upto the tallest point in fort

Then there is a checkpost at the tallest point in fort with a few cannons on it. To fire at enemy. From here one can get a nice view of the area.

Double attack

Blow them all

The group outside the fort

Monsoon is the best time to visit Naldurg.

After seeing the fort, we headed for a quick lunch. Though I planned to have a light lunch, coudn’t resist having butter chicken yum yum.

GR left us early and at 3:50 we seperated and headed our ways. Was initially planing to ride back slowely but then had promised wife to be back home by 9. So decided to up the pace but by now wind had picked up and I was forced to ride into wind. Was not able to go above 90 for most of time. Only after 100km of Sholapur that the wind got a bit low and by 6:00 I was at the same place where I stopped for breakfast. Decided to refuel bike and have a quick snacks break.

Started at 6:25 and I knew that if I have to make pune by 9 I have to maintain the same speed at which I came in morning, its was difficult so I decided to give it a try. Until it got dark (some 100km to Pune @ 7:30) I was able to maintain the pace. Once it got dark it was a bit difficult as the on coming vehciles (cars and buses) were not ready to use dippers. Some truck guys were kind enough to do so. Still will not very heavy traffic maintaning 80 was not a problem. Once I reached 4 lane, speeds of 100 were easy to maintain so by 8:50 I entered pune.

Now the task was to pass thru the city to reach other end of town. Thankfully the loud horn and riding a bullet made it a bit easy and was home by 9:25. Smsed Solly about my state and watched movie with dinner.

Some stats: (I love this part ;-) )

Total distance: 612km (P-N: 305, N-P: 307)
Total time (including breaks): 9hrs 30min (P-N: 4hrs 30min, N-P: 5hrs)
Avg speed: 64km/hr (P-N: 67km/hr, N-P: 61.4km/hr)
P-N: Pune – Naldurg
N-P: Naldurg – Pune


Rajmachi – A twin fort destination near Lonawala. A location which is a two days beginners trek and a slightly challenging destination for those who wish to use the two wheels over two legs.

My first visit to Rajmachi was way back in year 2002 on my Suzuki Fiero with three other riders (from the Pulsar yahoo group) who came from Bombay on their Bajaj Pulsar’s. We teamed up at Khopoli, as I rode down the Khandala ghats. Before we started our ride to Rajmachi we feasted at RK, Lonawala.

The road to Rajmachi, when coming from Lonawala side is just after a couple of turns after Lonawala town. The road is on right hand side and goes down steeply.

The auto is coming from Lonawala side and the narrow road going down, next to those advertising boards goes to Rajmachi.

Initially the road is not so bad but once we cross the last village enroute, for the rest of 20 odd km we have to ride on gravel, stones, mud, etc. Just before the Rajmachi village we have to climb up a stretch which during monsoon is used by rain water to come down. So it is full of decent sized stones and loose sand to fight with, often requiring not just the machine but human power to get the vehicle up.

After a challenging ride we are greeted by the village located at the base of fort. There are some houses here who cater to tourist by providing them home cooked meal at a very reasonable rate but the time taken is a lot. So one can order the food and walk towards an ancient temple and a water reservoir located behind the village.

One can also walk up the fort but it will be difficult to return back the same day, unless he is willing to ride back in dark. A different kind of experience all together, which I’m yet to experience :-)

To stay overnight, one can either take shelter in the house of villagers at a nominal rate or choose the school room for night halt.

Here are pictures from my very first ride to Rajmachi.

Ravi & Eric at RK, Lonawala

Enroute Rajmachi

The village at the base of fort

The village at the base of fort

Riding back from Rajmachi

Riding back from Rajmachi

Riding back from Rajmachi

It took me another 5odd years to revisit this wonderful place. The ocassion was Republic day ride (2007) at BikeNomads. This time as well it was the riders from Pune and Bombay riding together to conquer the challenging Rajmachi trail. Accompanying me it was once again my good old Suzuki Fiero. The route hasn’t changed much in last 5 years so hasn’t the challanges. Though few of the team members decided to stay overnight, me and a few more riders returned back before it got dark.

Here are the pictures from my second visit to Rajmachi.

Enroute to Rajmachi

The water reservoir

An ancient temple

Catching the sky

Returning back from Rajamchi

Returning back from Rajamchi

Returning back from Rajamchi

Return to Lavasa

This time no stories from my side. Just a few set of pictures.

Sunrise at Chandani Chowk

Rides of Nomads

View from top of Temghar Dam

View from top of Temghar Dam

Me on 220, taking the left hander

Me on 220, taking the left hander

Me on 220, taking the left hander

Me on 220, taking the left hander

Similar Topics
The Bajaj Pulsar 220 DtsFi Test Ride

Lavasa – A Dream Fulfilled and some laws redefined

Riding thru Rain, Fog ‘n’ Flood

When: 30th June 2007
Route: Pune – Khambatki Ghat – Wai – Parsani Ghat – Panchgani – Mahabaleshwar – Ambenali Ghat – Poladpur – Mahad – Poladpur – Ambenali Ghat – Mahabaleshwar – Panchgani – Parsani Ghat – Wai – Khambatki Ghat – Pune.
Riders ‘n’ Rides: Praveen Shirali on Black P180, Nalin on Silver P180, Me on Black Fiero and Shyamal on Gray Unicorn.

Distance: 405km
Time Taken: 15hrs (5:45am to 8:45pm)

With another weekend coming, we planned a slightly longer ride this time, with the route as Pune – Khambatki Ghat – Wai – Parsani Ghat – Panchgani – Mahabaleshwar – Ambenali Ghat – Poladpur – Mahad – Varandha Ghat – Bhor – Pune. This time we were 4 riders (other 2 dropped out), as compared to 2 of last time. With the route slightly longer an early start was required so we decided to start at 6am.

Even before we could start the ride, it started to rain heavily and by the time we stopped to refuel at Reliance gas station on NH4 we were all drenched (from outside only) with our rain gears trying hard to stop the water outside.

We were maintaining speed around 80km/hr and were approaching Shirval when disaster stuck, suddenly I started to feel my front end has gone heavy, I realised its a puncture so I slowely pulled over to road side only to find the help (puncture repair shop) across the road. While the puncture guy was fixing the puncture, I sms’ed the group about my problem, few minutes later the group was back. The puncture costed us around 30minutes and Rs 60 (due to damaged valve as well).

After we resumed the ride, soon we were at the foot hills of Khambatki Ghat, traffic was heavy today. As we started to climb up, the series of breaks started, to click pictures and enjoy the scenery.

Khambatki Ghat and a waterfall there

Surface of Khambatki Ghat has gone slightly bad and potholes has started to show at various place. After crossing Khambatki Ghat we took the diversion towards Wai, traffic was lesser on this road and still the road condition was as good as it was before rains. After crossing Wai as we started the climb up the Parsani Ghat (good road surface still), the scenery started to go from nice to better to excellent. With clouds all over the place.

Enroute to Wai, Climb up Parsani Ghat

Clouds all over the place was a great sight, it was not so good to click pictures :-) As we climbed up, the cloud cover on road got denser and denser. After we reached at the top we pulled over to Harrison Point to have a view of the valley down.

View from Harrison Point

Due to rains the muddy track on Harrison Point was slightly slushy, thankfully not too many car’s have come here so there was still decent paths for two wheelers to ride on.

Harrison Point and Bikes

After spending some time at Harrison Point, we realised that we are behind the schedule so without wasting much time we headed towards Mapro for lunch. Sadly strawberries season is over and we were forced to have sandwich with hot chocolate.

Flower ar Mapro

After Mapro our target was to reach Poladpur as soon as possible. As we started towards Mahabaleshwar it started to rain with lots of fog on road making it a wonderful ride. After crossing Mahabaleshwar we were on the Ambenali Ghat which was full of waterfalls, fog and heavy rains.

Waterfalls at Ambenali Ghat

Had we stopped at every waterfall to enjoy it, we would have spend almost the whole day here. So we kept pushing each other to carry on and only to stop at some of the best waterfalls.

Fog and Waterfall at Ambenali Ghat

The road surface of Ambenali Ghat was decent almost all the way. There was a small section where landslide was getting cleared up.

Waterfall and bikes at Ambenali Ghat

As we came down towards Poladpur the fog cleared up but no respite from heavy rains. Since we were behind the schedule (thanks to puncture and numerous halts on the way) we scraped the plan to visit Kashedi Ghat and headed towards Mahad. NH17 was having lesser traffic than normal as we ripped on wet NH17 towards Mahad. Just before the toll booth at Mahad we turned towards Varandha Ghat only to be warned by some people about road under water. We thought that we can always ride over such stretch so we carried on. After a km or so we came to a point where a ST Bus, a 4 wheeler and few two wheelers were standing due to overflowing river water running across the road (see picture below). The force was so strong that none of us could think of risking our life and hence decided to turn back. We wasted some 10min before we headed back only to see the road we have come has started to get under water. The intensity of water was still not high so we quickly crossed over it.

We now had two options, either to return back via Mahabaleshwar or try the Mangaon route. We decide to try the later route and hence headed towards Mangaon. On the way we saw almost all of Mahad under water (whatever was visible from road side). Just after crossing Mahad we came to a point on NH17 which was getting under water (see picture below). We knew if we cross this and if we had to turn back from Mangaon, this place will be impossible to cross so we decided to take the safer option and headed back towards Mahabaleshwar. On the way we saw police has already closed this road for more traffic.

Floods all around Mahad

After a small rip on NH17 we were back at Poladpur. We took a small break for hot tea before we started our climb up Ambenali Ghat. As we climbed up we started to see some beautiful views. Cloud trying to cross over a hill (see picture below bottom left), etc.

Ambenali Ghat

As we reached the top of Ambenali Ghat the fog started to get thicker and thicker with visiblity reduced to 5-6feets. By the time we reached Mahabaleshwar fog was at its peak. (Next day I read in news that this road, Mahabaleshwar – Poladpur, is closed for traffic).

Foggy Mahabaleshwar

On the way we meet with another Nomad, Praveen Sathaye, at Wai. After a small chit chat we all headed back to Pune. Just before Khambatki Ghat we stopped for some evening snacks. As we resumed our return ride, soon it got dark and started to rain little bit. It was difficult to see the road properly due to darkness and rain drops on visor. So it was a slow ride back home for me with speeds around 50-60km/hr as I was worried about not seeing some pothole on road and hitting it at high speed.

After around 15hrs of riding I was back at home totally wet below waist (even when I was wearing rain coat’s pant. Above waist I was almost dry (got wet while taking out camera in rains to click pictures) thanks to my new jacket.

In the end though it was a wonderful ride but I still miss the Mahad – Varandha Ghat – Bhor – Pune leg, which I hope to do sooner than later.

To view image(s) in larger size, click them.