Posts Tagged ‘Off Roading’

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: 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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