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 ) 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.
View of lake behind fort
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
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.
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