Archive for the ‘India’ Category

A Peace full Soul

A Peace full Soul

Shivneri Fort :

Shivneri fort was on Anup places to visit list for a long time. He used to crib always how much he wants to go to Shivneri and Singhagad. So finally we were at the foothills of the fort. I confess tht Im not such a big fort fan, but until the camera likes it I don’t have a problem. We were yet to decide wether r goin to climb all the steps and see th ruins of the fort or ride back. We asked some vendors around bout the no of steps and how much time it would take to reach to the top n back. They were quite hellpfull and the approx time was tht we would require was 2 hrs. With enough time in our hand me and shiva convinced Anup tht he can climb all those steps.

The two Honda's

The two Honda's

Ganesh Gate - Shivneri

Ganesh Gate - Shivneri

We literally dragged Anup to the top. I after a long time was walking. We bikers get so used to keeping ous ass’s on the seat, pressing a button and twisting the throttle that we almost forget the 11 no bus. So I tooo was struggling to climbing all the steps. God knw how the Marathas used to do this everyday, all this kellogs and bonvitta has made us so weak. We waited at all the gates, there were many of those. Took some snaps for which no one was ready to pose, tooo tired. The irony to all this was a family which we had started the climb after us consisting of children girls and old ladies overtook us halfway. Ohhh my God, salla puri izzat ka falloda kar diya..

Warrior

Warrior

So we had covered 3/4th distance n already our lungs were out. Has some ginger mixed lemon water, must have. Tht was mind blowing, thirst quenching and refreshing surprisingly and tht too jst for 5 rs. We finally made it to the top. I wanted to see a fort n ther was nothing of that sort around there. Everthing I could see was ruins so we all were quite disappointed. We asked some visitors that wht can we see here. Everyone pointed to a distant place, the birth place of Shivaji. As it was tooo far n there was no energy left after such a small endeavor we decided to jump down on to our bikes and ride home.

Shivneri is a nice fort to stroll along but it would not attract the ooo’s n ahhhh’s. The Archilogical department has put some nice sign boards which show the name of each gate you pass through and other structures. There are two gardens and a temple to visit. The climb is not that steep and the administration has renovated the steps for tourist. The only way to reach to the top of the fort is by climbing all the steps, there is no rope way or ny alternate mode.

Dimbhe Dam:
It was around 12 when we finally were back on the bikes. I was still raining and we slowly headed towards Bhimashankar & were planning to go to Ahupe from there. The weather started to get better and the road conditions started to worsen. There were potholes all over and the Honda’s were rattling. As a pillion I was jumping around and nither shiva nor anup wanted to slow down. We reached a village and took a break some 20 – 25 km from shivneri. Asked some villagers around of the route to Ahupe, most of the didn’t knw the place at all. Some rickshawalls told us the route but also confirmed tht there is no motor able route from Ahupe back to NH222 (Malshej) & also told us tht the road are worst ahead. So we decided to move back, the whole Ahupe plan was flop & I was a bit disappointed. We headed back to Junnar and then back to Malshej. We had in mind tht we are goin to visit the lake tht we had seen enoute. So tht was the backup plan but our man objective of offroading was yet to be completed.

While heading back to Junnar anup saw some caves on a mountain. A local told us tht the only was to reach there is on foot & advised us not to go there is would be dark until we returned. We went a bit ahead and saw a small path leadin to the mountain & the anup jumped off the road with my uni of the dirt track. I was a bit astonished seeing the unicorn perform so well even in this terrain. The ZMA was jst enjoyin it & climbing the slope with ease while the unicorn was struggling a bit with itz heavy load & the slope. I had to push it through for sometime. Shiva with his ZMA had climbed up a considerable hight wen some villages told us tht there is nothing ahead. So we headin back to find the tarmac. I was busy runnin behind them clickin snaps, it was difficult. In 20 mins we were back on road, it was the same experience tht you would have on Mars (pathetic roads).

Offroading on the Unicorn

Offroading on the Unicorn

Not on a Beach but near The Lake...

Not on a Beach but near The Lake...

Shiva with his Karizma

Shiva with his Karizma

After covering some more Km’s were again of the tarmac, this time we were climbing the slope wihch had no path. Anup on the ZMA was leading me to the top and shiva preferred to follow us on foot rather than being a pillion. I t was really a wonderfull experience. Parked the bikes & took some snaps, I would not write more on this let the photos do the taking.

After enjoyin the offroadin session and satifying the offroad thirst we headed to the lake. Took some snacks on the way so tht we can eat it at the lake, we were hungry….. Reached back on NH222 and strated finding a route to the lake. There was a small road which leaded to the lake. The road was bad but the area around was so scenic tht those the 1Km stretch is now one of my favorite roads. To our surprise the road adruptly ended and went inside the lake, yes right Inside the LAKE. Tht was scary & weired. I wanted to take some pics with the bikes parked inside water. A lady was washing clothes by the shore we asked here bout the lake and the road, she said the road is used in summer when the water level goes down and assured us tht except a few crocs here n there it was safe. So I started pushing the bike into water and the two lazy bone staring at me. Took some nice snaps. Waited by the lake for some time & then headed back home.

It was an awesome ride & we had done my things Malshej, Shivneri Fort, Offroading, photos by the lake. But we were not able to go to reach Ahupe so tht task is yet pending…………………….

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Title: Riding Along Sahyadri’s
Location: Shivneri, Maharashtra
Route: Mumbai – Malshej – Shivneri
Date: 01 Dec, 2008

The rain had subsided. We had a cup of tea and some good day packets. Start a good day with a bite of Good Day. The dhaba was pathetic, all messy. We didnt have much choice as it was raining heavily for quite some time. We started gearin up for the route ahead. Eicher road map was out on the table to find the route to “Ahupe”. So we wore our jackets and started back on NH 222 (I lve tht no). As usual, we sat in the bikes and it again started raining heavily. This time I was on the front seat riddin the unicorn and gettin wet. Anup was sittin behind me as a pillion for some time and clickin snaps with my sony.

Malshej Ghats

Malshej Ghats

The ZMA & The Flying glove (Spot it)

The ZMA & The Flying glove (Spot it)

The bends atop the ghat

The bends atop the ghat

Peace

Peace

As the km’s increased on the trip meter, showers also started to become stronger. We had to park underneath a tree or would be fully drenched for the nxt 100+ km’s. The rain didnt want to stop. A thought came across tht the ride was a bad idea & we shld turn back home but seeing at the school kids headin to school without an umbrella was enough for us to regain faith in the tarmac bellow. We strated again with a underpowered unicorn and ZMA with a bald rear tyre. The ZMA was wobbling on the wet roads so we were slow. This time anup was riddin and I was shooting snaps.We crossed murbad in the nxt few minutes. The eyes were glued at the “Misal Pav” being served at the small tapri’s in Murbad. I was dying of hunger. Few km’s passed zoom… zomm… and the ghat sections of the NH222 started. I had been on this route during the rain’s. In mid august wen we had been here the surroundins were lush green with foggy climate. I can never forget the scenery. This time it was not green but has a yellowish tint of the dry grass around. Even with this pale yellow colour due to which the surroundings glow during the summer the ghats seemed to be awesome. The camera jst loved the Nane Ghats. The characteristic of this ghat is itz low altitude and properly banked roads.

Nane ghat was a cool ride. With anup on the drivers seat and the roads pretty dry we were at avg speeds of 70-80 km. Soon malshej started. Heaven was around the corner. Ive seen many ghats but the rocks on the mountains and the perfect harmony of trees and mountains always puts malshej on the top. Reachin to the top of the ghats we had a cigy break. I dont rem if they had alight. We had parked the bikes on the edge of the road. The view for there was cool. We could see zig zag roads tht we traveled to reach on the top. in 5mis we were out of there. There were sin broads everywhere “Falling rocks, Donot wait”. We slowly climbed dow the slope. I had captured enough photos to keep me busy for a week. Malshej had ended in a matter of 30 mins.

We were now busy hunting locals andaskin them the road to Ahupe, Shivneri………….

Breakfast on Foothills:

After some discussion with the locals we realized that we were way ahead of the turn for Ahupe. The only reason for this was tht I thought that nane ghat is after malshej where as itz opposite. So now to reach Ahupe we had to take the longer route from Junnar.

With nothing in the tummies we kept riddin . Soon on the foothills of Sahyadris where malshej ghats end and smiling at the Kalsubhai range in the opposite direction, we spotted a dhaba. Not actually a dhaba but a small road side joint. During the last G2G at malshej we had been to this place (Hope chetan n all remember it, bobby’s last ride). As it was early morning, around 9.30 am there was noithin ready. Shiva desperately wanted to have shev bhaji which he had tasted first time at the same place in August. Unfortunately there was no shev, so no bhaji. We settled for kanda pooha and tea. Till the cook was busy in kitchen I started to take some snaps around. The lens had some donkeys, cows and thorny bushes for breakfast. The pooha was takin ages and Anup as usual wanted to kill the owner for the delay. Finally the plates arrived and we refulled our tummies. In the cool climate of malshej the hot tea and warm plate of pooha was taskin awesome.

We started riddin agin after takin some directions from the owner. Eicher road map was always around to help us but we didn’t want to take ny risks. So we started movin, headin towards an unkown territory. After some 200 odd mts we saw a lake. A massive one which seemed to be filled recently by some dam thingy. We wanted to reach the banks of the lake, tried some offroadin but in vain. Later the villagers told us the only way to reach there was from the dhaba we had stopped for food. So instead of goin back some mts we decided to move forward.

So the now the plan was to go to Shivneri fort and then Ahupe and while commin back visit the lake. So we headed forward on NH 222. After some kms there was a inner road goin to junnar which we were supposed to rid eon. The road unlike the NH was very narrow and had many potholes, more than wht we have in mumbai during rains. We were a bit excited as we thought there would be a big change of offroadin in this type of terrain. The unicorn was leadin and suddenly on a turn the ZMA cam runnin. “Guys, U knw wht. There was a beautiful Hen, I jst killed it……….”. Shiva had ran over another animal, but unlike Goa it was not a cow this time. So now Shiva was demoted from “The Cow Killer” to”The Hen Killer”.

Shiva: The Hen Killer

Yellow Beauty

Yellow Beauty

Traffic Jam

Traffic Jam

Into the Jungle

Into the Jungle

Jungle Jungle .......

Jungle Jungle .......

Before all the villagers would come huntin for us we ran from the place. The road ahead was a dirty patch of tramat windin down the ghats. It was a bit scary and almost impossible to bend because of all the rubble around. But as u knw Anup sirji is not goin to be stopped by shabby work of some contractor. Zooom we went through the ghats…………..

We reached the foothills of The Great Shivneri Fort, the birth place of the great maratha yoodha Shivaji.

We will meet Shivaji after a short time. Till then enjoy some road pics………….

Title: Riding Along Sahyadri’s
Location: Shivneri, Maharashtra
Route: Mumbai – Malshej – Shineri
Date: 01 Dec, 2008

On a terror struck weekend in mumbai. 3 bikers and 2 bikes from mumbai decided to visit the birth place for shivaji and ride in the along the calm and peaceful Sahyadri mountains in mahrashtra.

I started to write the triplog. Was thinking a lot of how to start it. Then how can you have a triplog without the reason you planned the ride. I could not resist my self from going through the incidents that took place before this trip.

Here is something that my heart has typed involuntarily.

The two beauties

The two beauties

Were scared to go more inside

Were scared to go more inside

A Wednesday :
The was dull. Heading to office seemed I wondered, how boring it is to work form 9.00 – 7.00. Do the same thing day in an out. Get up early in the morning, not actually early but a bit late always. Then clean the mess, flush out all the bugs frm ur body. Get dressed like a joker with a tie in haste. Run run & run for the 9.07 Dadar local and while ur runnin for the train think of contingency plans in case u miss the train. How boring and dull this schedule is I felt. Even is such a planned day where nothing seems to ever change for 5 days for the week, uncertainty always prevails. One never knws whtz next. Who knws whether you are you are goin to return home today nite for dinner or the Almighty has something else in store for you. May be good or bad, but always as one goes away from his safehouse we call home each passing min during this period bring more and more uncertainty in ones life which is nullified when he comes back home in the evening.

So in this uncertain world with many more variables than Einstein and Newton had thought, I started my journey towards office in South Mumbai. The same usual work at office. Nothin special to cheer about or even thing of. So as the day started it comes to an end as the sun starts setting in the sea. Lovely scene along the worli sea face near my office. As the sun sets the level of uncertainty in your life starts to reduce. As one packs bags and heads towards a stable platform and a fortress of love & harmony the role of luck starts diminishing.

I reached home around 10.30. One of my friend was at my place to take some stuff. Had a bath, a cup of tea. In the background I hear my mom spekin to someone on the phone and saying “Yaa everyone’s fine. Anup & Sourabh both have reached home.” For a sec I thought might be usual chat with my grandpa. My bro come to the room & says there are terrorist firing from AK47 at public in VT station and a bomb has exploded somewhere. I told him to shut up and close the rooms door and get out as I was on the phone. Look at how used to I have become to such terrorist attacks, it now feels like India wining a match. Nothing special, nothing to care, itz nothing so important tht would force me to snap a long distance call get out of my bed and tune in to 24*7 crap news channel. Is it to be taken so lightly?

I lost a person I knew in these terrorist attacks on the trident, I jst came to knw it yesterday. Two of my friends had had jst signed off from duty @ Taj Palace. One works as a supervisor on the 6th floor. I didn’t realize tht how a person jst like me motivated by conspirers and a gun in had can change so many peoples life. On Thursday wen I went to Taj with my friend to find his girlfriend who was missing since the past night, I first time heard an AK47. The sound is horrific and nothing tht I want want hear ever in my life again.

This incident has changed many peoples life. The only ppl to blame for this is each one of us. The only reason 150 ppl lost their lifes was because of carelessness at various levels.

I hope that we stand up once again united and take the responsibility of securing India.

Shivneri & Malshej

Shivneri & Malshej

Winter Rains

Winter Rains

The Ghost Rider

The Ghost Rider

The Night :
Mumbai under siege for the past two days, my office had declared holiday even on Friday. With my laptop in office I was pretty my bored at home. Suddenly phone rang “Anup”, so there was a hope that Saturday may be bright. Had a concall with RazorBlades to decide where we are heading. But after a discussion of about one hour we were yet in Mumbai. The main problem was bikes. There ppl and one bike in ridding condition. Anup’s ambitions engine had flu and needed to visit a doctor. There was 0 breakin on razors RTR due to the wrong tyres tht he had purchased last week. We failed to persuade Razor to bring his friends Bullet.

We called up Shiva to see wht he was doin on Saturday and as expected he was free for a ride. Four people on a concall will to ride somewhere but don’t knw where. Razor was hesitating to come for ny ride due the constant headache he was having for past few months. The doctor had said him to rest. So he was out of ny ride. So it was Me, Shiva & Anup “The Lonely Trio” again for a ghostly ride. We don’t knw the destination yet. We had first planned to go to Sinhagad and Shivneri fort through pune. But we cancelled it. Anup told he will find a place to ride to and call us back in an hour.

So by midnight we zeroed in on a tribal village called “Ahupe” on the foot hills of Sahaydri. The route planned was Nane Ghat – Malshej – Shivneri Fort – Bhimashnkar – Ahupe – Nane Ghat. The agenda of the road trip was “Off Roading”. We wanted to explore a small off road route from Ahupe to Nane Ghate. So with the route map ready we ready to go.

Early Morning

Early Morning

The Rider & The Pillion

The Rider & The Pillion

Sunrise

Sunrise

With a Honda Unicorn and Hero Honda Karizma were were all ready to go. The one other problem was cash, we only had 1500 for the full ride and we would have to save every penny and every drop of petrol tooo. We started \from thane around 5.30. It was drizzling throughout. Filled tanks of our Honda’s at a petrol pump near bhivandi bypass, Rs. 500 petrol for the ZMA and Rs. 500 for the Unicorn. We headed towards Kalyan and the drizzle was turning into rain. We had not expected rains at all, but assuming it would stop we kept ridding. Instead of stopping the the rain God was showering his bessing on us. On one side my heart wanted the rain to stop but on the other hand I knw the rain would make the climate in Malshej awesome. We finally stopped at a dhaba and waited for the rains to subside.

Kolkatta, the city where I’ve started my Professional life, the city that has been my stepping Stone for success. The which was India’s capital until 1912 during the British Raj & today holds many beautiful & marvelous architectural monuments. Now I guess that’s enough about the city, this write-up is not bout the city but about my experience during the All India Bandh called by the Left parties to protest against the growing inflation.

I’m not from Kolkatta but I’m from Mumbai. I frequently visit Kolkatta for Business purpose, Ive some client in Kolkatta who love me & to whom im very thankful. Monday I arrived in Kolkatta for a new prospect meeting, the plan was to stay here for the whole week. After reaching we were informed that on Tuesday the Left parties have called an All India Bandh & so we were trapped the on Tuesday in our Hotel rooms. On Monday night it had rained heavily for around 2 hrs but Tuesday morning was Hot as if we were in middle of a dessert, thx to the Samsung AC’s in my room the ball kept rolling. Kolkatta is a very unique city in India when it comes to Bandh, they follow it here as a religion. So on Tuesday morning everything was closed, No vehicles on road, Public transport shut down, everything closed. So Bandh can be defined as the only holiday where one can spend time with His/Her family as there is no other thing to do.

INOX, Kolkatta

INOX, Kolkatta

By evening everything was almost normal, some people were back on the streets & some vehicles & the Yellow cabs were to be seen & heard honking on the empty road. We decided to go down & get our self out of this prison where we were captive from monday night. My boss wanted to go to the Gurdwara, after some inquiry we got the address of Elgin Road Gurudwara, It was around 1.5 Km’s so we decided to walk to the destination rather than getting in to the big yellow cabs. I too wanted to walk for quite-sometime. There are two advantages of walking, its good for health & the second is you get to know your surrounding, you see the minute detail of the things in & around your. Kolkatta is a beautiful city & under the moonlight on an empty road the magic of the British Architecture are clearly visible on the Building partly eliminated by the street lamps. On Elgin Road among all these magnificent & beautiful building lies a sample of modern architecture, A mall housing INOX Multiplex & Shopper Stop. This Modern building just blends with its surroundings & instead of becoming the black sheep reflects the surroundings. I liked the concept. Soon we were at the steps of the Gurudwara, time to bow in front of the almighty.

We were yet not satisfied with the few hours of freedom we had won, so we decided to walk to the Rabindra Sarovar lake which was around 6.5 km’s away. If we get tired we would take a cab & reach the destination. Walking through empty streets is a very different experience specially when one is not worried about reaching the destination in time. The mind is at peace & gets time to wander around and make sence of the objects around it, feel them without touch. As we were new to Kolkatta to strolled around the  inner roads with the aid of my GPS Unit making our way to the Rabindra Sarovar lake. Not a single shop was open when we started from the hotel, but by now the situation was improving & there were some shoppers on road & some open shops. There was a lingering tension in the environment but I guess the localities have got used to this & have made the Bandhs a part/routine of their like. Just to have some more fun & the Underground Metro experience we jumped downstairs to the Metro Station @ Jatin Das Park, I earlier had a Metro experience last year which was not pleasant at all, so wanted to give it a try again. Sooo if uve been to the Delhi Metro, then dont expect the same here. But its was a modern marvel for India in the Old days, 1984. Metro was almost empty & we got down the next station Kalighat.

Rabindra Sarobar Lake

Rabindra Sarobar Lake

Kolkatta Metro - The first Coach being raised down to the tracks.

Kolkatta Metro - The first Coach being raised down to the tracks.

By the time we reached the lake, it was a dark & also windy. Wonderful place to walk wid ur loved one, very silent & peaceful. So after spending some time at the lake we decided to head back to the hotel. We walked back to the hotel again around 5-6 km, instead of getting a cab. By the time we reached hotel we had walked around 14 km’s in my formal shoes & my legs were paining & blistered. The day ended wid an hour under the shower & yummy dinner under the blankets.

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Title: Rajmachi – Ultimate Offroading
Destination: Rajmach, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India
Trip Meter: 100 Km
Date: 28 Jun, 2009
Rajmachi Route Map

Rajmachi Route Map

Route details captured by Nokia Sports Tracker GPS.

Saturday, best thing to do watch movies or series. Thts what I was doin, finished Boston Legal Season , good series for ppl wanting to be intellectual. I mean what a boring weekend. Last week Bhandardara was an awesome ride, memorable one. But this weekend I was rather planning to rest & catch up on Terminator Salvation, big weekend for Hollywood. I resigned from my position at my current office this friday & was pretty much confused in which direction to move forward. Im the evening me & Sweta were supposed to meet & discuss that but then you never know which way the wind will blow. Instead was wathcing the action packed Terminator, I decided to go for a ride wid Sweta. Knew a bit bout the Rajmachi ride organized by Pune, but didnt knw nyone joinin them from Mumbai. Called Bibek late in the evening & got the whole plan from him.
Had to convince Sweta lil bit for the ride, as she didnt knw nyone. Bibek had told me there was a some offroadin on the way to the fort. Rajmachi is around 25 – 30 km from Lonavala. There are two forts on top side by side. The route is famous in the trekking circles, we were soon to find out if our horses would like it. Sunday mornimg 4.30, moms sleepin so yet so definitely the alarm on my N95 was disturbing my sleep. It was not more than 3 hrs tht i fell asleep. Sweta was already ready to leave from her place & here I was jst opening my eyes. I picked her up from the station at 5.30 sharp, it was raining so we both were tucked under plastic sheets called raincoats. Headed to the nearest petrol pump, my Honda wanted itz morning breakfast. It was 6.00 am & we were already late, called up bibek to inform him of the status & hit the road in nxt 5 mins, he was wating for us at Panvel. The road was wet & i was ride a lil carefully rather I would say wid all the caution I can take. We took the Airoli route via Thane to reach Panvel, it took us 60 – 75 min to cover 50 km. As we were late no one was present at the McD, Bibek was waiting somewhere ahead near a petrol pump. I was supposed to be me, Bibek & Rohit riddin to Lonavala & meeting the Pune guys. Saw Bibek waitin for me near a BP pump. As we came close by saw A Red R15 a a lil figure on it, undoubtedly it was DarkKinght & to surprise there were more than 10 ppl waiting for us & swearing at me for the delay. Had a gut feelin tht this one is gonna be a biggggg ride.
The tarmac was wet & we were riding very slowly. DarkKnight aka Nitin was leading, he is a good person on his R15, responsible knws wen to pull the throttle & we to cool down. For a change calvin was not tailing, itz odd. We had an Honda Aviator wid us, a scooter is seriously one comfortable ride jst u feel the lack of power. Ive taken my friends Activa to Malshej one evening, itz so comfortable tht you jst dont feel like ripping but wen u want to there is nothin much to rip there. Sweta was very excited to be with such a big group, this was her first time with all my friends. We reached Khopoli in no time, then the ghats & fighting the traffic on expressway we were finally in Lonavla in not more than 1 hour.
DK Bhau wid his spanking JoeRocke

DK Bhau wid his spanking JoeRocket

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

The bullets shaking Rajmachi

The bullets shaking Rajmachi

The tarmac was wet & we were riding very slowly. DarkKnight aka Nitin was leading, he is a good person on his R15, responsible knws wen to pull the throttle & we to cool down. For a change calvin was not tailing, itz odd. We had an Honda Aviator wid us, a scooter is seriously one comfortable ride jst u feel the lack of power. Ive taken my friends Activa to Malshej one evening, itz so comfortable tht you jst dont feel like ripping but wen u want to there is nothin much to rip there. Sweta was very excited to be with such a big group, this was her first time with all my friends. We reached Khopoli in no time, then the ghats & fighting the traffic on expressway we were finally in Lonavla in not more than 1 hour.

Nitin knew the road so we were following him. A left from a the main road & we landed on a small bylane leadin somewhere. The tarmac was fully eroded but it looked tempting. A little more downhill n we got rid of the tarmac & landed on gravel & dust. I was excited but was worried but the MRF Zappers & their poor performance. There was gravel everywhere & the road, it doesnot qualify for offfroad at all. But then tooo nythin excites me than tarmac, doesnot allow me to sleep while ridddin. Sweta was a little bit excited but also was a bit nervous, we had gone for many ride earlier but no off-roads yet. Every 100 mts the road was gettin worst & terrain tougher. As everyone else I was more eager to know how the R15’s perform here. The stunting team was all present to do wheelies & stoppies. At some distance we could see 2 ZMA parked , the Castrol ZMA & a Red one. So MG & Inder were waiting for us, finally we reached the destination. Mmmm no Inders bike had some problem so Inder decided not to go ahead & MG waited to accompany him. That was sad, no punewalla’s wid us for the ride. Took some quick snaps & after failed attempts to convince MG to join us we decided to move ahead.

The Aviator guy tooo was a bit reluctant to punish his ride & he didnot want the air filters on his ride to get wet in muck so he too decided to stay back. Now the real Rajmachi came into picture, the gravel suddenly disappeared & was replaced by brown earth & big rocks. The fun had jst started, offroadin. The first test, there was steep slope & the road was bit slippery & wet here. Ride to the top wid the pillion, mmm “Lets try atleast, im not gettin down” Sweta said, struggin for grip & openin the throttle lil by lil we were on top. This was the start. everyone was watin there wen a group of Bullets passed us, zooom they went. Road Shakers, a group of bikers from pune riddin the bullet’s wherever they desire. Sweta started to click some pics, yaaa this time she had the shutter wid her & I was a mere spectator. Nitin had someone in the group whom he knew so he was a lil busy chattin wid a Road Shaker while we were busy lookin a the lush green valley. Nxt 5 min we were back on the dirt, soon it was only Nitin, Ashish, Bibek, Buroiest & Me. No one else was to be seen on the RVM. Ashish had got his Enticer instead of the R15 & he had come along wid his brother Anup. So the Enticer & the Unicorn had pillions.

Rishab & His Raw R15
Rishab & His Raw R15
The Enticer
The Enticer
The Bullets struggling up the slope
The Bullets struggling up the slope

I was becommin a lil bit nervous wid Sweta around but she was as comfortable as she is on the couch, girls are weird. Finally a road pointed to Rajmachi, Nitin said that 4-5 Km now, he was sayin this for the sometime. The terrain was really touch & I had realized that my Adidas Trekkers had a better grip than the MRF Zapper tyres on the bikes & was using the shoes to keep the balance. My dad always says me that learn to control the bike using gears & not breaks, I realise today why. In such a terrain breakin is very risky & useless wid the zappers around & the gear this surely gives a bit control. Bibek a small slip & the pulsar was on ground, some one from the Road Shakers group came runnin to help us, they had parked the bullets & were waitin for someone. The bike looked great but had turned from black to brown. Now it was lokkin like a offroader, the Pulsar 200. Had some discussion bout how we were daring to cover wid this terrain wid our plastic bikes & stock tyres wid Road Shaker members. It feels good to hear that from such experienced ppl. We moved on, the R15 & the Red Pulsar were parked at the top a dangerous incline & Nitin & Burouist were havin tea at one small shop. Opened the throtle & vrooom we went to the top, right behind Ashish’s bike, goood move to impress girls who r wid u as pillions. I really cannot forget the look on Ashish’s face, he was starrin at me Sweta. So the Unicorn had proved itself to me n my confidence level was a bit up from wen we had started riddin on this trail. We had crossed a dry river bed to get to the top, 1 month later there would be water gushing through & it would not be possible to cross it on the bike. I took the cam & took some pics of the trail & the bullets struggling to reach the top. Wen we had confirmed that we were the only 5 ppl to come this far & to continue further we heard the K&N from the R15, 3 R15’s & an RTR were back in action. Rishab on the R15 wid the pillion, R15 had proved itself.

None of us knew what at horrific road was ahead. The 5 of us decided to go ahead while the rest wanted to wait & take a break. The road ahead was pathetic, the bike was jst slippin everywhere, no solid ground to be seen nywhere around. It was all mucky & puddles & everthin on the bike & my shoes was brown. But it was a rleally exciting & wonderfull experience. Sweta was helpin me to find a safe passage & pushing me hard to go though the terrain widout telling her to get down, she was doin a great job. There was a slope downhilll & there was no was I could do it wid a pillion. There was no grip & the bike was jst slidin down hill even wid tyres locked, but we made it. This was really bad & I knew while commin back it was goin to worst on this slope as ther was no grip. Ahead there was a traffic jam, all the bullets & our bikes were stuck on a uphill steep climb, everyone was pushing all the bikes & all the treckers on foot were now overtaking us. I went 75% uphill but then touch down, the Unicorn fell. Anup, Ashish’s brother rushed towards me to help & after some struggle the bike was at the top. Sweta had clicked all this struggle of the Bullets & the Plastic bikes in the Sony. Never been so tired & breathless riddin a bike, this was jst great. Soon we could see a Scorpio SUV attempting the climb, it came half was up & the wid the tyres locked jst slid down as if the tyres had no traction at all.
Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoading

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoading

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoading

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoading

In the next 15 mins we were @ Rajmachi village & it had started raining. Regrouped wid the Pune team & all the Road Shakers. Rajmachi is a very small village wid a small school & they have a small solar power plant tooo for electricity. It is a very remote village & inaccessible during the rainy season by any vehicle. There are two forts here, Shrivardhan & Manranjan, ppl say the view from the top is excellent. We didnt visit the forts as we were too late. Me & Sweta were trekking around to get try some macro & then wid everyone from the jungle to a small pond nearby. Had a much awaited posing session there but we were back before the rains. I was a bit worried bout the camera as it was now too much clouds. One problem in foood, there is no non veg available here i.e no chicken, but egg’s were available. It took around an hour for the food to get ready, so plz order first n go for the hike to the forts. It had started to rain while we were havin foood & the I was a bit worried bout the decent now. We left from Rajmachi around 3.30pm. Soon it had started raining heavily & it was very difficult to control the bikes. The bikes were falling after every 100mt now. After some km’s the rain stopped but was replaced by dense fog & drizzling. The visibility was very low but in an hour & half we managed to reach Lonavala. MG was waitin for near a chai stall to welcome & congratulate us.

We had finally conquered Rajmachi on our Plastic Bikes……….

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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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In nxt 15 mins we got of the highway and started riddin on the bad road which would lead us to Hubli. The patch of road was really bad and the dust around was makin it more difficult in the scorching sun. The road was being renovated so construction material’s were all around the place. It was a nightmare (Im goin to repeat this again & again from now on…..). For a moment I thought, I did the right thing by not takin the Uni. Potholes everywhere & wht not, I had a opinion tht Hubli was a important town & was not expecting such poor connectivity. Finally we reached Hubli around 11.30 and for much of relief to everyones wallet we found a ATM. After pouring some cash in we ready to hit the bad roads again, really bad ones. Vikram had shopped some sweets for his mom, I don’t knw how did he expect them to reach back home. We were now finding our way to Hampi on the by lanes of Hubli. The language barrier was persistent and very visible, an advise to all travlin to south plz learn a bit of the language or ………. Luckily Vikram knew a bit of malyali which came handy. From the looks Hubli is a small town with nothing much to talk about. This is the last town where one can find ny modern aminities like ATM etc. The nxt town on the route with a proper hotel or a ATM is Hospet which is around 150 km’s away, so keep cash handy in case of emergencies. No petrol pumps on this route accept plastic money (credit cards).

After an hour of struggle we were on the state highway which would take us to Hospet. The road was persistently bad and the hot and humid climate was dehydrating us faster than we thought. More than eighteen hours of continuous ridin was takin itz tool on the body. I was really very tired and sleepy. As my dad who’s a doc says “Human body can only work efficiently for 8 hrs continuously after tht it would not allow you to do you’re the task at hand with precision. Take a power nap of 2hrs after every 8 hrs.” Sometimes you need to listen to your parents, it helps. One thing I would like to repeat at this point is wht Anup keeps on sayin continuously “Drink as much water as you can. Keep on drinking.”, unless you are in a desert this would help. My FastTrack was showin 3 in afternoon and yet Hampi was a distant dream 100km’s away. We stopped at a small shack by the SH for food. I jst wanted to reach Hampi as soon as possible and was a bit annoyed by this halt. Jst settled for tea while the others had a proper mean, it took us half hour to settle the bill & get out meanwhile I had a 30 min powernap which helped a lot. Now I wanted to ride nonstop to Hampi. It was 3.30 and only 3hrs more left for photo everyone wanted to cover km’s as fast as possible.

https://i2.wp.com/imgthumb02a.zoomin.com/1238048167/395126741_v.jpg
A Temple…

Itz not Goa itz Hampi

Itz not Goa itz Hampi

I snatched winzee’s bike keys from his hand and was riddin the pulsar now. The road was really bad not at all a state highway feel. Karnataka gov should do something bout this, itz a matter of prestige. Really bad experience on roads., the bike was jst bangin into pot holes. Not a good thing at all. After riddin some distance I realized I had lost all the others and was quiet ahead of them. So as it was already late instead of waitin for everyone I decided to go on & meet them at Hampi. Hampi was around a 2 hrs distance but the top speed on thos crappy roads was jst 50 – 60. Finally after an hour I could see a black ZMA on my RVM, atleast someone was able to catch up. Spidy & me took a break for 2 mins & then started riddin again. I wanted to reach Hampi as soon as possible before the sun sets. After the potholes it was time for the speed breakers, ohhhh it was hell down under. It was square of wht Mumbai was 2 years back, no no it was cube. My *** was pain like hell, we were standin & ridin the bikes.

Me & spidy we riddin together for about 30 mins wen we first saw the magnificent bolders of Vijaynagar, the lost kingdom. It was a stone quarry bout the big rocks on the mountains were jst magnificent. Took some snaps & moved on. It was around 4.30 now & Hospet was around 20kms distance. Now Hospet had something very unique in store for us tht we didn’t ever imagine & will not forget. Dedicated speed breakers for each house, a bit exaggerated. But in a 3-4 km stretch in the city there were around 25-30 speed breakers, my poor bike. The city like ny other city in India is fully chaotic, but the people were helpful enough to guide us en-route Hampi.

……….

The Pink Periwinkle

The Pink Periwinkle

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Filly after a long journey of more than 14 hours and 750+ kms we were finally standin in front of the gates to the capital of the Vijayanagar, Hampi. The huge white gates and jst too awesome & inviting, I bet they looked more royal back during the kings. We were at the gates but the city was more 4 kms from there. Spidy & me decided to reach Hampi rather than waitin for the rest. In 10 mins we were in Hampi & I yet remember the roads, beautiful ones. There is small slope uphill that leads you to Hampi & on the other side is heaven. Really the first thing that you see is a garden & in between there is a big idol of Ganpati. The scene was mesmerizing & we two poor souls were lost in the beauty of ruins around us which were once the pillar of the capital city. Without wasting ny time we parked the bikes and tried to contact Anup, but no one was pickin the call. It was around 5.30 now and the sun was ready to go to bed. Received a msg from anup tellin us to take as much snaps as we could as there we goin to miss the party.

I took the camera & started shottin everything I could. We had one hour to shoot wht we could. Hampi is too big to be covered in a day in an hour it was really not possible. I would advise nyone planning to visit hampi to at least remove 3 days, thtz the minimum.
& also take a guide along you can find many in the city. All the photos that you see are of a place near the entrance of Hampi, jst imagine how beautiful Hampi is. Spidy dis a bit of poser stuff & we ended up wid some cool pics. There are a lot of monkeys around so one needs to be a bit careful. After about 30 mins the gang was there, regrouped and in 2 mins we were back on the bike. We decided to take a look around and pick up some spot to explore. Finally we found a place to hang out. Parked the bikes and shiva & spidy we jumpin from one rock to another & then the macho Anup also tried to pull some tricks. It was really funny. Then suddenly from somewhere the police came in and we had a tough time after that, lets not get into the details. But it was a bit shockin scene there. I would advice everyone visitin Hampi to get them registered with the local Hampi police sation & knw wht can be photographed & wht not. It was dark by the time the issue was sorted out & the other had missed Hampi. I promised myself there & then tht ill be back to explore Hampi with a better camera and lots of time on my hand.

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We clicked some snaps in dark & reached Hospet is search of food & shelter. Hospet has some deent hotels where one can stay for the night for some 1000 Rs. The food at the local restraint was also good. The nxt day morning we leaft for Mumbai & I was at home by 12.30 midnight.

Hampi – A Stone Dream……………………

Hampi – A Stone Dream (Part 1)

Hampi – A Stone Dream (Part 2)

Hampi – A Stone Dream (Part 3)