Archive for June, 2009

 

Bhandardara (Orignal by ShadowBoy)

Bhandardara (Orignal by ShadowBoy)

Title: Bhandardara – First Rains of 2009
Location: Bhandardara, Maharashtra, India
Date: 21 June, 2009

This seems to be a suitable title for this ride log. I dont want to get into how the summer was killing me & I wanted dark clouds to arrive ASAP, but yaaa this is true. I might have send soo many mails to GOD@gmail.com, GOD@yahoo.com requesting for rain (wen i was fast asleep). Until last year the only picture of rainy season in my mind was, flooded streets of Mumbai, mucky by lanes of the local market, getting drenched on the way to office. I hated rains! But last year the Sahyadri’s (mountain range) opened my eyes to the magic of rainy season, it was so green out there that anyone falls in love with it preciously.

Bhandardara, this was one place on my wish list for the last 6 months, since I had seen my friends Anup & Razor’s pics of off roadin there. My last ride was Mnt Abu that was some odd 60 days back & the Bike & me were desperate to hit the roads. Many people ask me wht is this place wid such a weird name. Bhandardara is a small isolated hill station, isolated from modern world lying amidst the Kalsubai mountain range. Even in summer this place tend to be cool, but don’t expect a cozy cozy weekend here. This is wonderful place for people who want be close to nature & love water. Places to visit, Bhandardara Dam itz an hydro electricity producing dam, u can get wet here even in summer. Wilson dam, a century old dam build by Britishers & Randha waterfall. There is an MTDC resort wid a lake facing view, jst for the perfect weekend, one can find a place to stay for 500 – 2500 a night. Best time to visit this place, Monsooon, the mountains talk to you in rains. Bhandardara is around 150km from Thane & 180km from mumbai. One need to take the Mumbai – Nashik highway from Thane & follow it till Igatpuri. Take a right around 20-30 km from Igatpuri, one can ask the locals the road ahead. The ride was scheduled on Sunday 21st June but due to some reason it was prepone to 20th. This was my first ride will all the new people in the group, due to some or the other reason I was not able to go on any small rides recently, so I was a bit uncomfortable & also excited to be wid new people. Eternity mall was the meeting point, sharp 6.30 am. After the Mnt Abu ride the bike had not been to the garage for a long time, the Friday evening was spent wid the mechanic. The bike was already fueled up & ready to ride.

The Bhandardara gang

The Bhandardara gang

Itz a Dam

Itz a Dam

Strugling the take the bike on road.

Strugling the take the bike on road.

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://bit.ly/bhandardar_album (Zoomin.com)

I was & eternity mall sharp at 6.20, yaaa before time, quite unusual for me but yaaa all these changes are the part of the restructuring program ive planned for my mind & body. Some old folks & new buddies were waiting wid their bikes. Had a cup of tea, quickly had the introduction session & then waited infinitely for the rest of the lot to join us. Everyone was assembled & all geared up for the ride by 7.15. The bike were on NH3 by 7.30, the weather was overcast and it had started drizzling. For jst in case reason I also had a proper raincoat wid me. Didnt want my Sony SLR to get wet. We crossed Kalyan phata in no-time, the roads ahead were a combination of 2 lane & 4 lane. The 4 lane work on the NH3 is goin on so there are many diversions, not a place one would like to be on a bike or a car. The ride so far was pretty smooth, everyone was ridding in their own comfort zones & at safe speeds. I was tailing, Bibek & Deepak were on ahead of me.

Suddenly, a cling sound as if some metal part had broken form the unicorn. To my surprise the rear break pedal had broken in 2 half’s, disaster. Parked the bike & got the second half which was lying on the road. Bibek was waiting for me some 200mt ahead. On the highway you don’t generally need rear breaks but it acts as an emotional support for jst in case situation & also it was required in Bhandardara. So the mission now was to find a welder, or a mechanic. Both of these species were no where to be seen, was praying they have not become extinct in this part of the world. Me, Mastermind & Bibek were riddding together. I completed the dangerous Kasara ghats with one the front disc. We found a welder & wid the help of Mastermind’s vast experience we were able to fix my bike. Had a nice do it yourself experience, the welder had only electric welding for which we needed to remove the petrol tank. Mastermind did everything for me, thank you Sir this ride would not be possible without you help & all tht experience. Total repair cost Rs20 only. The rest of the group was waitin for us near Ghoti.

Bhandardara Dam

Bhandardara Dam

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://bit.ly/bhandardar_album (Zoomin.com)

The approach road to Bhandardara from Ghoti is a small single lane road, all patchy. There is small toll booth on the road, dont knw the reason but they charge cars some Rs 30. The roads were not so good but the place was very scenic. The roads jst become worst as you come close to bhandadara, need to be very careful on these roads. In the next 1/2 hour we had reached bhandardara. Luckily there was power generation goin on at the Dam so we could the waterfall. Had some nice photo session on the road leading to the dam & nxt stop MTDC resort for food. As always we took the wrong road & were on top of the dam near the lake. Again photo shoot time, some of my friends had climbed on the dam doors, the doors were 30-35 feet tall until someone came & shooed them off. Asked some locals bout the route to MTDC resort & we were there in 15mins. The resort has a very nice location, facing the mountains & the lake. A guide there suggested that we have our lunch at a local restaurant, so we did soo & yaa we didnt regret our decision. The chicken was so delicious & i was trying to eat more roti’s even wen my stomach was full. When we reached bhandradara the climate was sunny & no sign of rains but in the next 1 hr from somewhere the dark clouds had some , GOD had finally replied to all my mails & finally it was raining. I was really very happy & was tryin to get wet, yaaa jst tryin.

The Stunt team on dam gates.

The Stunt team on dam gates.

Bhandardara

Bhandardara

Bahndardara

Bahndardara

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://bit.ly/bhandardar_album (Zoomin.com)

It was 4.00 pm wen we finished food. The guide took us to the dam. There is a small garden that leads to the dam’s water outlet. The water around us was so clean & the force was jst too much, so if u ever go to bhandardara dont enter in water. We were very close to the water outlet & were getting wen by the small small water droplets. Everyone wid camera’s was busy taking photos and all the rest were busy possin for one. It was a lil bit hard to protect the lens from the water droplets. It was around 5.30 & we decided to leave back for mumbai, enough for the day.

A hut & A mountain

A hut & A mountain

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://bit.ly/bhandardar_album (Zoomin.com)

On our way back, it sky was gettin ready for rains. It was thundering  & the combination of clouds over the mountains was really looking very goood. It had started raining heavily from Ghoti. Once we hit the highway I wore my backup raincoat & rode non stop around 60-70 until there was enough light. Rishab, Me, Shadowboy & Mastermind were together. At night even wid the best light you cannot see anything, so were preferred to ride a bit slow. We were back in Mumbai by 9.30.

First rain of 2009……………….

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This is a pretty small entry by all means. It was September 2008 I guess a year back. 4 months back I had got my new Honda Unicorn & jst two months had passed for new Sony cam. It was a blunt sunday afternoon a pretty drowsy day, raining outside a perfect day to tug inside a blanked have a cup of coffee & surf the web. Mmmmm tht was the exact thing I didnt want to do. The ridding bug had bit be a few months back & my solo ride to Lonavla & my first XBHP ride to Malshej & the the ghost rider in me wanted some fresh air.

Didn’t knw where to go as it was afternoon already & a long ride was not possible. Back then a 100KM ride was a big thing, mmmm. So jst thought of riding on the NH8 Mumbai – Ahemedabad highway. Called up a friend who was instantly ready to join me on my quest to find mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, dont knw wht but surely something. We left home around 2.30pm. It was drizzling then, I ditched the windcheater for the rain coat. Looks uncool but serves the purpose. The swanky Unicorn was looking messy  due to mucky India roads, but as someone said “A Tourers beauty lies in Dirt” (God knws who said this). We went to a HP petrol pump on NH8, as usual borrowed money from my friend for fuel. The road was fully wet I was a bit scared, even today I’m scared of wet roads u never know when the MRF Zapper (tyre) would ditch you. Then tooo was managing to ride around 60km.

Route Map

Route Map

Superman Truck

Superman Truck

Crater On Road

Crater On Road

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://www.zoomin.com/AlbumViewV1.aspx?AlbumGuid=8cd4188c-858b-4094-9477-d181ba28cbd2&

As we didn’t have a destination there was no point in ridding fast. Both of us wanted to jst ride slowly & observe the beautiful nature around us. I had never done such a thing, It was raining so we were almost drenched. The cam was out & it was becoming a bit difficult to keep it dry. Sony actually had done a pretty good job at building a strong & a lil bit waterproof outer shell. The NH8 ahead of the ghodbunder bridge was in a pretty bad condition, we both were cursing NHAI (National Highway Authority of India). Some 5Kms from Naigaon, there is a small railway overhead bridge, there was a lil bit of traffic there. We parked the bike a lil before the bridge & went ahead a bit to investigate. Some workers were tryin to fill a pot hole on one lane, rather I would call it a crater. Half the trucks Tyre would fit easily in there, the bike would easily drown I guess. We took some pics of the crater, the supervisor was looking at us suspiciously, so we moved back to the bike before he could come & object. A bit ahead of the bridge a road to the left leads to Naigaon station. Instead of going ahead on the straight highway we decided to take the left & explore the new route.

So we moved on the our newly found route, a small single lane road leading us to Naigoan station. The road wad not that coool, all patchy & filled wid potholes. The whole route was dotted by small villages. Yaaa there are some villages on the outskirts of Mumbai.Where ever we possible we used to stop & take some pics. There was a small railway crossing tooo, the village type one. Soon we reached Naigaon station & then it was dead end. We were in Naigaon East & to go to West the only route was from Vasai. So we headed back to the highway. A km from the station we encountered a small signboard stating the road to the left would lead us to Vasai. We jst toook a look at it, the starting 500m on the road were all mucky & big potholes, but the road ahead was a bit better. So we went ahead. Parked the bike in the muck & took some pics.  The road ahead was pretty good, properly tarred and few potholes.  5-6 kms on the route and it was 6.00pm. Time to head back home. THen too took some more pics of the green field & some weird trees.

A soul on Mars

A soul on Mars

The Unicorn

The Unicorn

A weird tree

A weird tree

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://www.zoomin.com/AlbumViewV1.aspx?AlbumGuid=8cd4188c-858b-4094-9477-d181ba28cbd2&

(Jst posting this trip log as im eagerly waitin for rains to bless us)