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
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
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
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.