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Weekend ride to Kaas Plateau & Tapola

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  • [Photo Feature]: Weekend ride to Kaas Plateau & Tapola

    The last weekend ride to Lonavala was to venture out on a weekend to experience riding in rains. However that was all about riding but no rains. Well, to ride or not is in your hands. Leave things to god that you cannot control.

    So, we decided to get out riding once again on the weekend, hoping that rain god would shower his blessings on us. To make things easy for him, we decided to ride to a place where he normally showers his blessing aplenty! A ride to Kaas Plateau and Tapola on the backwaters of Koyna Reservior.


    Initially it all started as a medium tour after a couple of short ones on the previous weekends. All plans were made a week in advance and we had confirmation of around 7 riders for the event.We all logged ourselves as visitors to Kaas Plateau with th Forest Department. We didn't want to leave any stones un-turned for our appoinment with the rain gods. With all the
    news in the paper over Kaas plateau, we were prepared for the same.

    Everyone got their bikes (all RE's) checked as usual before the rides. Everyone made sure that they had riding jackets,riding gloves etc ready for the ride. Ensured that we had a pump, couple of Accelator and clucth cables, spanner set just in case it is needed.

    Meeting time and place was fixed. As in most of the cases, Chandani Chowk was confirmed for the rendevouz.

    On the day of the ride
    As they say, one must expect the unexpected. 3 riders dropped between late night confirmation untill early morning start. Finally 4 riders, Sanjay, Nilesh, Hemant and Self started around 6:45AM from Chandani Chowk. Traffic was sparse and we quickly made it to HP petrol pump post Khed Shivapur, next to McDonald's. Got our bikes filled with petrol and the group started towards Satara.

    After a shortbreak at Shri Ram wadewale at Shirwal for Misal, Wada Pav and Tea, the group cruised to Satara in no time. Until now, no news of rains anywhere, but there was a big smile on our faces for we could see rains in distance in direction of Kaas Plateau.

    Quickly, entred into rain zone and were riding up the towards Kaas Plateau. Slight windchill could be felt through soaked riding jacket, but we were there exactly for this experience. We soon reached Kaas Plateau where we wanted to stop and click few photographs. But, it was too foggy with constant drizzle. We moved on through dense fog until we were 10 kms short of
    Bamnoli. We were out of clouds and wasn't raining. We stopped to soak in all the nature beauty that was in front of us.

    Here are few snaps.

    As we approached Bamnoli

    Amazing road that RE's took in their stride

    They call out every weekend for a ride!

    Wish, Could stay here forever

    We reached Bamnoli at around 11AM. We stopped again for snacks and tea. We chanced upon to meet Starpanch of Bamnoli. Exchanged few words with him. After a good rest and our tummy's full, we started towards Tapola. The road that hugs the coastline of Koyna backwaters. Due to topography of the region, road constantly turns on the either sides and goes through troughs and crests. Its a bikers paradise. Road is fine and RE can take it in its stride without any issues. Rain followed us now and then. We came across numerous waterfalls.

    Windmills dotted most of the mountain line around Satara

    Lush Greenery everywhere along the route

    Perfect recipe for weekend ride

    We reached Tapola - Mahabaleshwar road and started our ascent towards Mahabaleshwar. Again somewhere in between we took a halt to appreciate nature. One of the rider complained of "kat" noise coming where ever he applied brakes. We investigated the matter and found out that the nut that connect rear wheel drum with swing arm was loose, causing the drum to move in the slot and apparently making noise. Tightened the screw with spanner no 18 and the noise went away. Luckily we had carried the tool kit as spanner 18 is not available in the bike toolkit.

    View of Koyna Backwaters from Tapola Ghat

    Wish I was still riding here as I pen this experience

    We moved on and entered into dense fog again while climbing towards Mahabaleshwar. It started raining heavily again. Both the rains and fog continued to accompany us until we reached a small restaurant "Rainforest" ahead of Mapro Garden towards Pachgani. We avoided Mapro Gardens as it was too crowded and noisey. It was 3 PM by the time we reached Rainforest. Had piping hot Hot & Sour soup. That helped to keep the cold at bay. Followed by hearty lunch, we left for Pune by 4 PM.

    Pasarni Ghat is again a biker's paradise. Excellent road, twists and turns, not too much of traffic and in no time we reached NH4 at Surur. From here on, it was straight drive to Pune. However, word of caution, especially for bikers. Due to construction work going on for 3 rd lane of the highway, here is lot of mud that is strewen on the highway, making is riskier for bikers to ride. We came across to an incident where one biker had skidded and fallen few moments earlier. He was wearing helmet and that saved him the day. Apart from few bruises, he was fine. 10 minutes later and Ambulance arrived at the spot and took him away to the hospital near by.

    From then on, we reached Pune in company of rain gods all the way until Katraj. Endured some very strong cross winds as soon as we exited Katraj Tunnel. Reached home safely around 6:30PM

    On the whole, excellent circuit for one day ride. Total distance covered was 343 kms consisting of highway riding and 4 ghats sections.

    Comments on couple of riding gears that is worth mentioning here. I was using DSG Nero Jacket and it kept me dry in Mahabaleshwar rains. Rainproof pockets worked like charm and wallet kept there along with couple of papers were absolutely dry at end of the drive. Rain pants from BtWin kept me completely dry through out the drive. It was tested in heavy rains and its worth every penny paid for it. Rjay's tankbag is good. It safely shielded a point and shoot camera + an SLR completely safe. Driving at 80+ speeds did not affect the bag at all.

    Hope you liked my first attempt to put in my travelogue on Xbhp. Critics, do put in your comments for me to improve. Hopefully this one inspires other fellow members who have not driven on this circuit to do it. In September, Kaas Plateau is in full bloom, but at that point, it will be too crowded. July/August, is the perfect time for this ride.

    take care and ride safely


  • #2
    I am green with envy! Seriously, you guys down south are blessed!
    Join xBhp On


    • #3
      Great Ride there buddy...Greenery everywhere...Looks amazing...
      Ride Hard !!! Ride Safe!!! Enjoy every moment on your machine !!! Cheers....


      • #4
        Nice ride and lovely pictures Rajesh ! Hope to see many more rides. logs and pics from you

        Cheers & Ride Safe


        • #5
          A nice, short n crisp log!
          Great pics as well !

          Keep riding Rajesh


          • #6
            Wow what a greenery, those pics are awesome...

            I wish, I could be there....
            KTM RC390 - Current
            Yamaha R15 v2 - Sold
            Hero Hunk - Sold
            An IT Engineer by profession and a rider by soul.

            Delhi to Sach Pass -
            Delhi to Mana -
            Delhi to Munsyari -
            Spiti circuit -



            • #7
              Originally posted by Sunny View Post
              I am green with envy! Seriously, you guys down south are blessed!
              +1.... ....yes
              Pride & Prejudice: Ladakh Ride,

              Ride To Raajmachi - Highway, Off Roading, Tent fire & Dhamaal

              Madness in Rajasthan - Travelogue

              "ATGATT, because sweat dries faster than skin heals"
              Riding faster then every one else will only guarantees you will ride alone.



              • #8
                wow!! Greenery sceneries look awesome buddy... nice ride and pics too..
                Highways gives me a H.I.G.H., Roads the Rhythm of L.I.F.E.


                • #9
                  Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. Sahyadri mountains or the Western Ghats widely known as very special during monsoon seasons and its paradise for biker community like us.

                  Please find below the route map on google.

                  Pune - Satara - Kaas - Bamnoli - Tapola - Mahabaleshwar - Pune - Google Maps

                  Planning to go to Shivthar Ghal on one of the up coming weekends. Will uploads the photogrpahs of that ride soon.

                  take care and ride safely



                  • #10
                    Nice pictures there.. Could you share any pics from the Kaas Valley? I know there will not be any flowers now, but want to know how it looks. Thanks
                    Photo Gallery[/B]


                    • #11
                      Super Pics! Btw How was the road condition from Bamnoli to Tapola and Mahabaleshwar?


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ananth View Post
                        Nice pictures there.. Could you share any pics from the Kaas Valley? I know there will not be any flowers now, but want to know how it looks. Thanks
                        @Ananth, We wanted to take pictures of Kaas Plateau and surroundings but it was seriously too foggy. Also there was a constant drizzle. Considering both, we did not take any snaps there. Even while riding, we had to ride concentrating on the tail lamp of the rider in front.

                        Originally posted by roamer View Post
                        Super Pics! Btw How was the road condition from Bamnoli to Tapola and Mahabaleshwar?
                        @Roamer, Road between Bamnoli and Tapola is completely tar road and the condition is pretty decent. Minor pot holes in between. If you are aware of Tamhini road, then comparatively Tamhini road is far more pot holed as compared to road between Bamnoli and Tapola.

                        Tapola to Mahabaleshwar is little more wider than road between Bamnoli and Tapola. I would rate condition of the road (pot holes, rough edge etc) same as Bamnoli to Tapola.

                        However, a note of caution - while exiting Satara, climbing towards Kaas, initial stretch of about 2-3 kms is unsurfaced tar road. Little difficult to navigate turns on such surface, especially so for RE's.

                        I would say - for road conditions, I would rate 3.5/5

                        take care and ride safely



                        • #13
                          Thanks for the detailed info,Rajesh. Considering the remoteness of these places, roads are far better than few in city it seems


                          • #14
                            More random pics from the ride

                            Hi All,

                            I am posting some more random pics from the ride. They are of course, courtesy Hemant who was also part of the ride.

                            First halt at HP Petrol pump near McDonalds

                            Lush Fresh Green everywhere

                            Stretch between Tapola and Mahabaleshwar

                            William Wordsworth's Solitary Reaper?

                            take care and ride safely