It’s been quite some time some time now since I last toured with my wife. We used to tour a lot when we were GF and BF, but after marriage things started to take its toll and life was going on a routine basis, much like a preprogrammed machine.
Then one fine day my wife got a new job, resigned from old one and her last day was 25th march. On the evening of 25th March, she said-“its still one whole week to rest till I join the new company, lets go out somewhere”, and continued somewhat like-“you take a week off and we will plan something”. I was like …what the ****, one week off, without prior notice, my manager would kill me. As I was going through these thoughts, another thought flashed for a second, screaming—BIKE TOUR, and then another one followed screaming even louder – what has happened to you, where is that biker who toured through central india to delhi on a Kinetic Honda?? Where is the tourer who travelled far off places like ooty on a borrowed KB125?? where is that biker?? Where is the biker who used every possible excuse, every now and then, to take his GF and tour till she cries in pain and shouts- are you romancing me or your brand new P150. And excuses like “buses don’t go there” and “trains are too crowded” or “we will not get train reservation so soon” used to be my favorite, till my GF fully understood that my first love is bikes and touring. As these thoughts went through my mind and heart, I murmured –“we can go on bike”. She took some time to reply, and I thought she has not heard it. Then after a pause she said-“I knew this is coming……………………but where”
Its then I actually started to think of places, we can tour. Suddenly I realized, a few years back, I had a terrible accident (as some of you may be aware), at that time she had put an oath (mannat) that if I survived, she will visit all the ashtavinayak temples and shirdi and will donate something. By god’s grace I not only survived but was able to ride again. After marriage she used to say her wish to take her to ashtavinayak and shirdi so that she can fulfill her oath, but I used to postpone everytime as I am usually not very eager to go to temple’s. I though lets fulfill her desire. So I said-“Ashtavinayak” and then she added –“and Shirdi”. I said OK.
On 26th I asked for 1 week leave for following week, buttered my manager for whole day and in the evening, he agreed. In the evening, I called my mechanic and told him that I am coming tomorrow for servicing. Then I started thinking, what all things I will need, and started checking my riding gear. They were in very bad shape as they were not used for so many days (read more than a year), saddle bags were missing and tank bag in worst condition. I called up cramster dealer in pune on his cell. He said he has already closed the shop. So I decided, I will purchase cramster tank bag on Monday and postponed the trip to Tuesday.
On Sunday, I serviced my bike (a few days back I had solved the overheating issue as some you may be aware, I discussed it in ‘help me’ section). In the evening, I searched on internet/google for map etc, also searched our XBHP site, but it seemed nobody has done a tour of ashtavinayak on xbhp, also studied all the road map books I had.
Next day i.e. Monday I sat with my wife to make a list of things we will need. Summer had already started and it was too hot during afternoon. So, oral rehydration pack was top on the list. Then went on to purchase –tank bag first then water bottles, glucon-d, first aid kit, medicines for common illness, volini pain relief spray, spare fuses, a small torch, wet tissue paper etc etc. in the evening, I again studied all the maps and information available on internet and planned our ride.
The 8 Ashtavinayak Temples are located on three sides of pune. By searching on internet, I realized that, all these temples are located in small villages and there are no good hotels for stay. So, we decided that we will split it in 3-4 days, at the end of each day we will come back to pune and stay in home, till we cover all ashtavinayaks then we can stay in shirdi for a night, take darshan next morning and return. So I planned my ride-
Day-1 (331 kms)
Pune to Theur (31 kms)
Theur to Morgaon (63 kms)
Morgaon to Sidhtek (65 kms)
Sidhtek to Ranjangaon (100 kms)
Ranjangaon to Pune (52 kms)
Day-2 (254 kms)
Pune to Pali (116 kms)
Pali to mahad to Pune (118 kms)
Day-3 (257 kms)
Pune to Ojhar (85 kms)
Ojhar to Lenyadri (16 kms)
Lenyadri to Shirdi (136 kms)
Stay in Shirdi and next day return
Day-4 (200 kms)
Shirdi to Pune
After dinner, we prepared for next day ride, filled petrol, checked air pressure in tyres, arranged things in tank bag, my hand made map with riding/navigation directions on the top cover of tank bag, checked bike papers, set alarm for morning and went to sleep.
Here, I am starting with my trip as I think I have written too much, I will include a google map and riding directions in the end.
Next day we started after having breakfast.
we took off from our house and reached swargate, pune. Pardon me for this poor pic, autorickshaw suddenly came in background. Anyway this is just to show official starting point.
we soon reached Theur as it is only 31 kms from this point. Visited the temple
had some refreshments and getting ready to leave
on the way to morgaon
me and my better half ( this is the only picture you can see her) lol….
Reached Morgaon temple. Around 63 kms from theur.
left for Sidhtek. It is around 65 kms from morgaon. Reached sidhtek.
it was already 6.00 PM and we debated whether or not to proceed for ranjangaon. Other option was to return to pune and cover it other day. Then I decided to go for it. This was one decision I regretted later. The reason I will tell in the end.
On the way to Ranjangaon-
Sidhtek to rajangaon is around 100 kms but reached Ranjangaon at around 9.30 PM due to extremely bad roads.
took darshan and returned to pune.
Next day started for Pali-
On the way to Pali, Mumbai pune expressway and NH4 seen together.
returned to pune.
Next day left for Ojhar. Reached Ojhar.
left for Lenyadri-
reached lenyadri. It is located in a hilly area and shivneri fort is also nearby. There are around 300 steps to climb before you reach the temple.
then left for shirdi. Reached shirdi around 10.00 P.M. booked a room, had dinner and took rest. Next day went for shirdi temple and left for pune. Unfortunately clicking pics are not allowed inside Shirdi temple, so no pics.
On the way back-
only evidence of Shirdi, Petrol pump Reciept-
The entire route covered is shown in google map for future reference to anyone who wants to do a similar trip, for google map click below-
http://maps.google.co.in/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=201668803868180265236. 0004a0587bf011118a0fb&ll=19.197053,74.827881&spn=2 .074983,5.388794&t=h&z=8
1. pune to theur.
From Pune take solapur highway NH9. drive approximately 20/25 km towards solapur. cross toll naka. At flyover bridge there will be left turn towards theur. theur is 2/3 km inside the highway. take darshan .
2. theur to morgaon.
From theur , come to solapur highway, take left turn towards solapur. drive towards solapur. after small town yawat, you will reach a village named choufula on NH9. take right turn towards supa, morgaon. drive approximately 30 km. you will be at morgaon. take darshan.
3. morgaon to sidhdhatek.
from morgaon, again come to solapur highway via supa.
drive towards solapur. at village named patas, take left turn towards daund.
reach daund. remember you should cross railway overbridge to enter daund.
drive in the city of daund. ask for directions to shirapur or siddhtek. small road leads to sidhdhtek. take darshan at sidhdhtek.
4. sidhdhtek to ranjangaon.
from sidhdhatek, come to daund . drive towards ahmednagar. take left turn at kashti towards nhavara. take right turn at nhavara towards shirur. reach to nagar pune highway just before 5 km shirur. take left turn towards pune. at 10 km from this turn, you will be at ranjangaon. However, when we left sidhtek for ranjangaon, it was getting dark and since I had a female (my wife) as pillon, people advised not to take this route. Everybody (5-6 different people including guys at toll naka) advised a different route which is a bit longer but safe. So we went ahead, but this was the worst decision ever taken while touring. The road was so bad that I was riding at 20 kmph for hours. It was total dark, jungle and road was so bad it had 1 feet deep potholes, even tractors and trucks had difficulty driving. Not only the road was extremely bad but it was unsafe too. Worst road ever witnessed in my life. And at one point, an incident happened, the one we don’t want, breakdown in the dark, in the jungle and I was with my wife. Luckily it was a minor breakdown. Due to bad roads and potholes, once my bike plunged in a 1 feet deep trench across the road and rear mudguard broke and tore away from one side, the other side still attached to swingarm. My wife had to sit while holding the other end of mudguard till next village as it was too risky to stop in jungle. At next village, I removed the mudguard and moved on (I thanked myself, I had the right sized spanners in my toolkit) we reached ranjangaon at around 9.30 PM. 3.5 hours it took for just 100 kms. The route we took is marked by red color in my map. Do not use this route. I have suggested alternate routes by green color which are shorter and have better roads.
5. ranjangaon to pune.
just drive on 4 lane highway towards pune.
5. Pune to pali
take nh4 until lonawala and expressway for lonawala to khopoli tollnaka. reach tollnaka at khopoli expressway. DO NOT CROSS TOLL NAKA. 100 METERS BEFORE REACHING TO TOLL NAKA AT KHOPOLI, THERE IS SMAALL ROAD AT LEFT SIDE TO REACH ON PALI - KHOPOLI ROAD. reach to pali khopoli road. drive towards pali approximately 35 km. taka darshan at pali.
6. pali to mahad.
this mahad is small village near khopoli. do not confuse with the city of mahad on mumbai goa highway nh17.
from pali, return towards khopoli, just before khopoli there is an N.P. Dhaba on right side. Just before this dhaba, take left turn for mahad
6a. mahad to pune.
from mahad, come to N.P. Dhaba. drive towards khopoli. enter in khopoli. drive towards pune by nh4. in the ghat, you will enter somewhere on expressway. drive towards pune. its a bliz. if time permits, you can enjoy chikkis at lonawala.
7. pune to ozar.
drive towards nasik on nh50. via kasarwadi, nasikphata, bhosari, chakan, rajgurunagar, manchar , narayangaon. take left turn at narayangaon towards ozar. take darshan at ozar.
8. ozar to lenyadri.
from ozar, drive towards junnar. enter in the city of junnar. ask for directions. lenyadri is 5 km from junnar. take darshan at lenyadri. this temple is in the cave. you have to climb the hill. this is somewhat tiresome. not so hard. steps are there-total 300 steps. you will see the fort of shivneri , birhplace of king shivaji. if time permits, you can reach the fort. gov has fully developed this fort for tourist.
9. Lenyadri to Shirdi.
From lenyadri reach to Ale Phata via NH222. At ale phata, take left turn on NH50, ride upto sangamner, inside sangamner, there is a T-junction, take right turn and head towards loni, after loni, take left turn and go straight, you will reach shirdi.
Come back to pune via NH50.
Request to moderators: we should make detailed google map and detailed riding direction compulsory to include in travelogues, so that future riders can benifit.