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Thread: Western Ghats - Weekends Love!!!

  1. #1
    Addicted saikarthik's Avatar
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    Default Western Ghats - Weekends Love!!!

    Western Ghats, always dreamed to explore and ride into the green, misty and wetland with abundant flora and fauna.
    Here comes the story about it, this may start like an offshoot a bit, but ll get to the point soon.

    This desire started when I was little, being a puny kid with fevers all the time and a weak body (That's when I was little, so don't start imagining a stickman figure fellas), I had to sit in front of a book or the TV. I chose TV, and was addicted to NGC and Discovery. I grew up watching documentaries sitting at home, but had love towards exploring new places, food, bikes and (body building - This never happened though). And one fine day, watched a doc about the bio hotspots in India - Western ghats.

    From that day, I wanted to ride deep into the WG with little treks and interacting with people from secluded places (Well, this development in years made places like this little rare in the country though). And finally when I grew up, as some of you people know me or might imagine, I ended up finding a career in automotive industry, bought a tourer (CBR 250R),started riding small and rode almost all over north, some cross border touring too (not much but technically yes- to NEPAL). This happened when I was in Delhi last year. In an interesting job change decision, I got 2 offers from 2 different companies either go to my hometown which is Chennai or to be stationed in Nashik.

    I had difficult choices to make, in chennai I will be at home with family, childhood friends, a promised career with abroad chance n higher pay, touring south & importantly near to race track. And I got married when this was going on. So added pressure from family to opt chennai offer. Imagine all that advantages for a person who is tremendously screwed up with financial burdens. But I chose Nashik one, like this is a better career option with little less pay and might have to pay rent and burn money on travel charges to home. Who cares, I get to live my passion.

    So, I got the chance to travel in the west and waited "X" loooooong (count the O's for answer
    ) months for the long lost friend from last year "The Monsoon". While he started few days back, I waited and let him go in front of me and start making the route, the journey beautiful for me. New job, lack of leaves, I decided that I will have smaller circuits every fortnight and cover the land this season.

    And I started with NASHIK - SAPUTARA (GJ), few weeks back and covered NASHIK- BHANDARDHARA, NASHIK - VIKRAMGAD-PALGARH-TUNGARESHWAR yesterday. there was a break in the ritual because of my friend's marriage. But will be touring regular from this week. (It will be updated here as I keep completing trips).

    Here it starts -->

    Weekend 1: SAPUTARA (GJ)

    TEASER PIC -

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    Weekend 2: BHANDARDHARA

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    Weekend 3: TUNGARESHWAR

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    Weekend 4: ANJENERI TREK

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    Weekend 5: Harihar Gad

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    For rest of the logue please scroll/check new pages..

  2. #2
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Western Ghats - Weekends Love!!!

    Travelogue Approved

    Oh you have moved out of Delhi! That was quite a reason to make a career and life decision!! Waiting for more from the beautiful ghats in monsoon
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

    Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

    Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

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    Default Re: Western Ghats - Weekends Love!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Monk View Post
    Travelogue Approved

    Oh you have moved out of Delhi! That was quite a reason to make a career and life decision!! Waiting for more from the beautiful ghats in monsoon
    Thanks AV.. yup, I live in Nashik currently.. nice place, to pedal too.. try if possible in Aug/Sept.

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    Default Re: Western Ghats - Weekends Love!!!

    Nice start with good pictures.
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    Default Re: Western Ghats - Weekends Love!!!

    Nice teasers!
    Bring on the full story!

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    Addicted saikarthik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Western Ghats - Weekends Love!!!

    Let me start with the trips now, but before that I would like to write a bit about NASHIK. It's a nice and pleasant city, everyone might know or heard of. But it has some more magic to it,

    1. The climate is awesome round the year.
    2. People are little conservative but once you start talking, they become good friends.
    3. One can travel from one end of the city to another in max 30 minutes.
    4. Food is traditional, most common is PAV, PEANUT CHUTNEY (powder), Aloo based vada.
    .
    5. Bikes and cars - For a small city, they have more rich people (Mercs, Jags are common), often superbikes growl.
    6. Land of wine - if anyone interested.

    And most importantly, you go 15 kms out of city, you find beautiful landscapes everywhere.So Initially I had to use my dad's car to roam around and scout nearby and take my parents to Shirdi, Triambak, pandavleni caves & vineyards.It was dry then, but boy now it looks like this.

    This path is in industrial area which leads to a landfill. can you imagine?

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    This is just few hundred meters from my home. So, motivation is instantly served to start roaming.

    And now for the trips themselves, there were many places nearby and people started suggesting different places at the same time and make plans and cancel them. I got little confused. Too much for a guy who used to travel either with one or two friends / solo. So I decided, I will start small with a day ride with my wife to Purna wildlife sanctuary (GJ)..

    Photography disclaimer - Not a pro and had a DSLR but couldn't use much in rain, so just captured the moments when possible.

    WEEKEND 1 - Nashik -Saputara- Purna wildlife sanctuary.

    Myself and my wife packed just the essentials (food & juices, tools, rain wear in case, first aid kit), this was the first trip for my wife on bike. So i made a route plan with enough breaks, just 300 km ride (I forgot how 300 kms in a day will be difficult for someone who hasn't been a pillion in trips), briefed her about safety and emergencies. I had prepped the bike which was minorly damaged in transit from delhi. But again, my bad! I didn't notice the non existing rear footrests (I never have had to use them so i had removed them in delhi). I ran into the house, took the pegs and installed them in a jiffy.

    This was the route,

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    We started at 8: 00 Am from nashik, was riding slow inside the city. Not much traffic on the saturday morning, except few choke points. Crossed the city limits, few river bridges. They were still water deprived, the rain was intermittent and didn't cause much of change in the landscape. I was in a slight disappointment that I won't be able to see the green and waterfalls etc... But the climate was good, wind was cold and soothing. Good roads, but one has to be careful not to run into the trees which are in middle of the roads. Yes, in and around Nashik they don't cut/ relocate trees when roads are being laid. They try to divert the road a bit around the trees.Once we crossed Dindori and rode further, the landscape started to change slowly. Vast arid kind of lands which might be full of grass in monsoons. it was too vast that it reminded me of morey (Moore) plains. Grape plantations started to disappear, cows and mules grazing on dry grass.

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    This was not the view I was planning on, I was a little early. Rather, like us (by us I mean our people) punctuality has been adopted by nature too. The monsoon was delayed by almost a month. The sky was with full of dark clouds, and was teasing us by mere drizzles. But I was still enjoying the ride, felt awesome to ride after months (except commute).
    We reached Saputara, enjoyed some nice twisties and fast sweeping turns just before saputara.

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    Old lady selling some fruits (Jamun).

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    The roads changed noticeably, traditional wear, language I couldn't understand much. But the place was little greener and it has rained there. They had started rope cars ride, boating too in the lake (wasn't interested much), the place is a proper tourism dependent I felt. It was 11: 00 already since there were many breaks and we had to have brunch. Ordered a nice sandwich, butter toast with tea.The sandwich was amazing, so soft inside but crispy grilled outside.

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    Cheesy Enough???? I guess it's not too close to your faces ppl..

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    Then we continued towards Waghai. The roads were wide and it became hotter, Saputara was cooler. The place was completely dry and all the trees were stripped off bare, no leaves. There were some tribal villages in between, different types of housing (huts). It was beautiful and unexpected too.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Western Ghats - Weekends Love!!!

    Nice going, lovely shots.... looking for more.

  8. #8
    Addicted saikarthik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Western Ghats - Weekends Love!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MukundRao View Post
    Nice going, lovely shots.... looking for more.
    Quote Originally Posted by krishna77 View Post
    Nice teasers!
    Bring on the full story!
    Quote Originally Posted by koolsantosh22 View Post
    Nice start with good pictures.
    Thank you guys.. will update trip by trip.

    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    Then we visited biological park in waghai, there were different kinds of plants, cactuses, trees and also it was little crowded with young couples trying to seek some private time under each tree. So we took a quick walk around and exited the park.

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    We tried to get to Gira waterfall which was a water curtain when I saw in the internet, but then it was completely dry.

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    Supposed to be like this,

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    but was like this when I visited.

    Then had a little snack around and started the return leg, it was becoming late and we had to return to nashik since sunday was working day for me.
    on the way back, we had a small diversion to take a quick look at the fort after crossing saputara. It was a fort on top of a hill and the view was magnificent from the top.

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    Then we reached home slowly by late evening, and the rain blessed us on entering Nashik city.

  9. #9
    Addicted saikarthik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Western Ghats - Weekends Love!!!

    WEEKEND 2:Nashik - Bhandardhara

    This particular place is interesting, it is near to the harishchandragad/ kalsubai wild life sanctuary and in pre- monsoon season there will be a spectacular fireworks show by nature. In the nights millions of fireflies take flight, dance and amuse any visitor. It's hard to stop focussing on them and try some photography. Just google "Bhandardhara fireflies" and take a look what I am trying to make you experience.

    Unfortunate this year, I missed the pre-monsoon visit. But worry not, the place is beautiful even without the fireflies.

    This time, it was raining cats and dogs. So my wife couldn't accompany me, but two of my colleagues did. Our plan was to start early and slowly ride to bhandardhara dam and visit the ghats of Igatpuri/kasara.

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    But complications, we started around 1: 00 Pm. It's a short ride and half the distance is on highway. So we were cool on the delay and started relaxed. But from the beginning rain was ahead of us and drenched constantly. No intervals, was raining so heavy that even with my rain layer/lower on, my inners got wet and was little uncomfortable (many might know what I mean). Added to this, I opted my carbon fibre knuckled (trying not to boast, but ya may be a little to have fun) track gloves, my hands were numb and was worried about the gloves since it was leather.

    The whole route was beautiful, even the highways.

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    Near Igatpuri ghat beginning.

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    Visors were fogged up by breathing in the rain, couldn't see properly with them. Without them, the raindrops were stinging on the face and eyes.
    We took a break for hot chai and some scenery.

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    We had to take a detour before Igatpuri from the highway towards Bhandardhara, roads became little narrower and we saw some nomadic tribes walking with their families and their stuff on the cattle. As we heard, that's routine every year for them.
    It was raining and raining, few minutes it would stop so did we at that time to take a look around. The route was full green, not many vehicles.

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    There my friend was trying some dialogue with a red crab (will upload pic later from DSLR).

    We were close to the dam, was just 20 km away. we enjoyed the calm roads with very few corners. By the time we reached the top, rain got insanely intense. Not just our bikes were flowing in the corners, but also the water. Dangerously slippery and roads got a bit worse, full of potholes.

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    Story follows in next page...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Western Ghats - Weekends Love!!!

    Nice pictures and you are lucky being so close to those fantastic MP roads.
    Ride To Live

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