Story Along NH - 48

6th Aug 2016

Story Along NH-48

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun
Day 7

The Mazaana chocolate factory has a variety of chocolates, Jam, ketchups etc for sale and also it was a sight to observe the making and it is first time in my experience to watch. The place offered us to witness the making of chocolates, Jam, ketchups etc at the Mazaana factory. Now, the significant Panchgani Mandir for collation of 5 holy rivers(Koyna, Krishna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri) gravitated through the divine Nandi’s mouth. There is an adjacent temple of Lord Shiva which is believed to be built during ancient times and it was a quiet blissful moment for us to have it seen.

Photo of Shree Mahabaleshwar Mandir, Old Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Arjun
Day 8

Attired to feel the warmth against the altitude rain, back again to NH, highway never failed to excite us with couple of tunnels to roll over which looks to be built chopping the hills. Thumping for a while, the reduction in altitude resulted in ejection of sweat from our body, but didn’t want to de-attire as the monsoon was unpredictable. But our prediction of unprediction was right, the rain began again along with curves and successive altitude.

Photo of New Katraj Tunnel, National Highway 48, Mangadewadi, Maharashtra, India by Arjun
Day 11

2nd day, woke up, the day's agenda is quiet numbered. We hired a taxi as two wheeler s aren't allowed and we want to experience the Bandra-Worli sea link followed by divine Haji Ali. I was in shorts to beat the heat, which was useful when were crossing the sea lane where the water was splashing but I had to hire a dhothi there to get in to the Dargah post which elephanta caves was the next in our agenda.

Photo of Haji Ali, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by Arjun

Entering the Elephanta caves, trekked for around 20mins, going through all those lively shopping stalls. The destination where there were no lights, blocking the sun lights, broken rock sculptures, yet Trimurti was beautiful. There were many other carvings, which we were wondering how this was built on this Island, we also found a Shivalinga inside. However, people who loves to get clicked, try out this location, great spot for Photos. Completing the caves visit, time for some snacks, tea and a little shopping. While coming back, got chance to be seated near the man who was rowing and shared his experience along, nice time spent and so humble enough to give us a hand on the steering thing for photo sake :-). Rest of the day, we just spent near the Taj!!!!

Photo of Elephanta Caves, Gharapuri, Maharashtra, India by Arjun
Day 1

A journey compiling a blend of explored, unexplored, developed, non - developed, populated, non-populated, beaches, hill stations, heritage, civilized, cloudy, sunny and so on..

The Thump from Namma Bengaluru began at 6:30am via Tumkur highway, while heading to Chitradurga fort post Breakfast, one of our bike got punctured near SIRA. We located the puncture stop but our tool kit was not equipped nor the mechanic's which setback our pace by 2hours to borrow the tool and fix. But, we were conscious to be composed as it is still day1. Now, we are tuned up to fix the puncture and the vehicle is up for the game, time to top-up our tool kit ASAP.

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun

With no choice, we left the roped baggage in the parking itself. Indeed, it was a wistful moment to see the uniformed kids linked with their hands to visit the fort lead by teachers.

Our gait was casual as the foremost view never gave any clue of humongous architecture. Treading ahead, we were bowled over the historical gravity the fort carries. Physically, we were pumped out of progression but still we scaled up on the rocks to air our pictures :-D. Then we left the place envisaging time & energy.

Photo of Chitradurga Fort, Chitradurga, Karnataka, India by Arjun
Photo of Chitradurga Fort, Chitradurga, Karnataka, India by Arjun

It was monsoon's flavor over the wind, sheltered under a tree to make over with the rain gears, a precipitous shock in the course, one of our bike's key got missing. We scanned around 30 minutes with tragic minds, we did not have choice than to reverse our way. We massed up to discuss alternatives of recovery, stood for a while visioning the torrent of upcoming Agenda. Meanwhile, we spotted the key and got into Haveri city from highway to purchase the tools and found our rest.

Day 2

6:30am, geared up to deal with rain while shifting gear, our functions was in lateral with the ambiance of nature!!! moody & lousy, wet roads!!. A hot tea halt made us adequate and handled all the monsoon streams till Dharwad.

Photo of Hubli, Karnataka, India by Arjun
Day 9

New day! all fresh, but with the same dusted rain coats to Lonavala. We head to Lohagad fort, unfortunately, we skipped this spot due to poor planning as it was a trek spot & need almost half a day to complete. Tiger view point, our next spot, took shelter under a tree, still, rain won the debate in getting us wet, waited and spotted the Mumbai-Pune expressway down there, a rail track on the hill and a waterfall, blissful view!! We warmed up ourselves in a tea stall hogging the famous Vadapav which was a mere timing to enjoy the rain pouring outside the shelter.

Photo of Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Arjun
Day 12

The final day!!! just roaming around the city began with Super Star SRK's Mannat, his office followed view point of Bandra-Worli sea link. Next, we visit the most famous, mumbai's dhobi ghat, the labourers there are aged who have been serving since their young age, we went through all the departments like Dress Re-coloring to stone washing where the workers stand in water for around 3-4 hours continuously and wash clothes. The city's major hotel's, hospital's and other places are the major clients to run the business. Post Dhobhi ghat, we were thirsty and had 5rs lemon juice while watching our typical style of local cricket on the street:). Next, Bombay stock exchange, for the design of the building, as we see only in our news channels.

Photo of Dhobi Ghat, Malad East, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by Arjun

50kms done! we halted at Hotel Sawali in a hushed area at Sawantwadi. We were on the right track and have to be more cautious ahead, guided us the people at hotel.

Photo of Sawantwadi, Maharashtra, India by Arjun

We stood stunned abruptly, the mist was favorable for a while, an Inaugural episode, disbelief of course, can term many phrases like these. The foot of the hill making way to roll our wheels over it, the hill is dressed green & brown, the tiny water flows glittering, the mist above makes the hill stand as high as sky. What a vision!!! and again we lose in the mist war, It sealed the entire place with no field of vision with in few minutes.

Photo of Amboli Ghat Waterfall, Amboli, Maharashtra, India by Arjun

"karkare holiday home", would recommend this stay at the top for the kind of hospitality, cleanliness and the locality. Mr.Karkare, helped us for an effortless cleaning of our dirty bikes caused of endless accel. Now, all set to welcome the dreams post meal at the stay, ohhhh!!!! forgot to offer money at Hundi at the temple given by our friends/relatives, it was chance to seek blessings again at dawn:).

Lavasa!!! Was the spot, a long queue of vehicles and people at the check-post, we also occupied our space to line up. “The entry is abandoned due to landslide” said the people lined up. The security was stubborn enough to not let us in any situation. Somehow, was desperate enough to witness the place and moved to a view point near the lane but it just topped up the disappointment effect due to fog. Okay!! Well!! Acknowledged the reality. Hungriness was adding bitterness to our situation and at the same time, my bike’s disc was creaking which put us in annoyance. Completely DE-motivated!!! we decided stop for lunch and calm ourselves, but even the dhaba out there couldn't energize with the food for its tag. Somehow, our stomach is full now and bike sound also stopped, drove to our destination "Pune".

Photo of Lavasa, Maharashtra, India by Arjun

Journey didn't go smooth till now for the day! atleast need a 2hours power nap before we think of next steps of our plan. It is 4pm, had nice tea, took our bikes for a water wash to give a refreshing feel and we went to the famous "dagdusheth temple" at Pune and roamed around the lively market area and was a satisfying evening.

NH48!! movement of dark clouds, Startled!!!! due to the power of gust swaying us on its way though it was Royal Enfield!!! known for its weight loaded with luggage.

It is blowing & raining still, a small slip, a micro level of oversight or a glide in focus, could drown us very easily at cost of our lives and this challenge to balance against the influence of wind lasted for 45mins. We reached the spot 'Thoseghar Waterfalls', raining, raining, raining……. It was only 4 of us to be classified as crowd and our bikes were the only reason for the parking business at that point. Strolling down on to the view point, we four stood facing different directions and calling each other to show our respective views. It was quiet lengthy from left to right, 3 flows were at a zapping pace while the others were tiny enough to showcase the forceful ones . Managed to click a panoramic view through my mobile though it is not a medium to get along with rain.

Photo of Thoseghar Waterfall, Thoseghar, Maharashtra, India by Arjun

Old Vashi Bridge, bridged over the sea in lateral to another bridge tracked for rails. The first coast of the Mumbai local train over it and the passengers were spilling over. The accommodation in Mumbai are quite boosted for, we checked in to a back packer’s dorm stay in Bandra, which still was a costlier affair than few lavish stays during our journey.

"Welcome to Goa" says the sign board but need 40kms more to perceive it. Traversing all the waterfalls & hairpin curves. Stalled at the check-post under evaporative condition for a while and the emotion of the spot began when we clocked at colossal board “KINGFISHER” while advancing towards Calangute by sailing in a ferry.

Photo of Goa, India by Arjun

Back to room, powered up with a nap and ready for the day. From the north, the prospect towards ocean and calmness to sense the waves sound thread by thread is the gift for choosing Chapora at daybreak followed by ShantaDurga Temple to offer prayers.

Photo of Chapora Fort, Goa by Arjun

No time to rest, had mouth watering Bhel Puri, Pani Puri etc with a view of Rankala lake. Next, “Mahalakshmi Temple”, surrendered the camera to cops as capturing wasn't a feature here. This temple also carries a belief that one can ‘fulfill all desires’ by offering prayers in this temple. The design of the temple itself was characterizing the era of formation of the structure.

Photo of Kolhapur Malalaxmi temple, Mahadwar Road, B Ward, C Ward, Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India by Arjun

Took hiatus from NH48, a small city surrounded by multiple layers of green mountains and wind mills rotating on the last layer. Our destination was out layered from that of the city, still the roads were good enough. It was new in my worldliness to drive on the ghat section roads where the sight of valley used to be only one side but this was on both the sides.

Photo of Satara, Maharashtra, India by Arjun

2 run over’s for our place of rest, one to get back on the BLR-Mumbai highway which measures 112kms and the other one is 40kms via Koyna wildlife sanctuary. After all, we are greedy humans, we chose the shortest one, the reclining began over curves and so does the decline in the surety of the track, still we elevated. There were hardly any headcounts to re-confirm and few strings couldn’t even be qualified as a track to run the wheels. The fact that kept us moving was the availability of network and our arrow was right intact on the maps.

Photo of Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, Koyna, Maharashtra, India by Arjun

The outset of affair with Mumbai began with the darshan of Siddhi Vinayakji & was blessed to reach during the Aarathi time. While stalking the shops post darshan, we were stuck at a Lord Ganesha’s photo, which we have been seeing in all the social medias. It is known as “The Lal Baugh Cha Raja” when enquired. We just prioritized to see the “Lal Baugh Cha Raja” out of our Itinerary, but the Statue was caged in construction for the upcoming Ganesh chaturthi. We were tutored about the yearly facelift for Ganesh chaturthi.

Then, it was a lane filled with aligned street lights, bent as curved as the letter "C", buildings standing tall & lighted, the fight between the concretes and Arabian sea waves across the right of the lane, the "Marine Drive"!!!!!! the most happening nightfall of our journey.

Photo of Marine Drive, Mumbai, Maharashtra by Arjun

Post breakfast, GPS and momentum between our elbows, was channeling the bike's direction to the next destination "GOA" from the NH. 11:30am, hitting the ghat section, an eventual increase in humid due to the cut back of altitude and condensed rain was the perfect combination to rail our wheels at 80-90kms/hr speed. I would rate this as my most enjoyable rain drive ever.

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun

An exclusive note to Royal Enfield Lovers. Try out this route during monsoon, the love for the bike just multiplies.

Its time for some low margin in ECG of our journey, the service apartment we booked was not governed well and the room was a real downer, we had to fight for but we had to manage with this for a night.

Stalking all the avenue, the breed of doodle of each restaurants was quiet pulling to step in to each of them but wasn't part of the agenda, still, we have the reason to come back to Goa. We took our time off to Hold on few bottle necks after trading through the bottle necked roads ;)

Aguada fort! the shade was one of its kind, we time spent to digest and match it with lens.

Evening, Basallica and St. Francis of Assisi church. We were unschooled about the history but definitely was vibrant when we got into, was bemused by the formation from floor to ceiling.

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun

Departed to Baga to take space at the shacks for the nightfall.

Day 4

After 3 heated days, lastly, we arbitrated for a better accommodation and it was at the most fitting time as there was no line up for the day in our cards. While shifting, one of our bike got punctured, we consigned all the baggage in one itself. Spent time by relaxing at the swimming stage and playing volley ball on the shore of Baga.

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun
Day 5

Post prolonged debate with sleep at cockcrow to defrost from the flavor of Goa, GPS is on for 220 kms to complete this day. Accelerating on a 4 lane road, ringed with hills and curves was an all time new affair in my experience. The louzy zephyr was pulling our eyelids to contact each other which demanded a breather.

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun

10:45am, thumping all along the ghat section of Amboli, the roads were steep and densed, the rain and Mist shoke hands to accompany us, the magical mist was a real wand to overtake and block our vision. The headlights are on to improve our vision, hands on handles, wind & rain are the shelter, honking to advertise that a huge mammoth is arriving.

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun

The indication of vehicles on the road was mere with sound & blurred lights. A bike was hitting our way with blurred light, a sudden heart stroke, it was a truck with a light not in operation, but we were in control as were crawling. Back to NH48!! Mist, rain and breeze separated from us, reached destination of the day "Kolhapur", settled in our stay around 3PM.

Then, we registered our turn in the shopper's list of Kolhapur chappals before rest.

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun
Day 6

Done with the duty, we bundled 40 pieces of "Guliyappa" for 80Rs from the tiny stalls at the temple entrance and closed our breakfast at a delighted bottom level budget ;) . Thanking Mr.Karkare for all the services with tea, agenda demanding to exit Kolhapur.

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun

Here again, NH48!! Pouring densely, geared up, finger wipers on!! all the 2 wheelers were limiting their speed and finding shelter, it was a heroic moment to accel harder and emerge on the middle of the road facing rain. After all, it is western ghats, acceptance of terms & conditions of uninterrupted rain is mandatory.

Thereafter, KAAS PLATEAU were the text entered in the map’s destination layout. The images we browsed for this place during our planning was the valley of colorful flowers, we are under the guidance of GPS and nothing to be seen in match to the images we saw, in fact, nothing was seen due to rain & fog. A relaxation and acceptance break was must.

35kms done, the downpour was heavy, the road was small, we were moving in lateral and a signboard flashed "Do not harm Leopards". It was a psychic laugh on our faces, how can we even harm them, we were scared and repenting on the sounds from our bikes which we were enjoying everywhere else. Not sure if 112kms would have given the memorable experience which we got in the 40kms to find our rest in Mahabaleshwar.

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun

A moment of realization from the time we entered Maharashtra to know about Maharaj Chatrapathi Sivaji worshipped all over. Respect _/\_!!!!

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun

We stepped in to a petrol bunk to top up the tanks and fill up the air. While filling air, people there spotted us and were just keen to listen to our journey stories and wished us the best for completion of our expedition. It's pouring heavily and chillness was an added flavour of bitterness to move forward. But, we have to move on than to get in to a crime of wasting time.

Rolling our numbed wrists over an elevated route with our coats wet, managed to find a slot to park our bikes. Hot Bajji's, Pakoda's and tea was the remedy and could not feel the clamber pressure due to the attraction of commercialization all the way up. When we reached aloft, we witnessed the Karla caves, the day-trippers were dashing towards boundaries for shelter while we just smiled at each other as we were accoutered to withstand rain and forwarding towards caves. The caves wasn't very convincing for us considering the elevated way. However, had been a place to remember our struggle.

Photo of Karla Caves, Karle Village, Karla, Maharashtra, India by Arjun

A raise of 60kms in our speedometer for our return journey to Pune, spotted a chats Jugaad shop, the total of Rs.220 was the payable amount for tallying our desire for taste and satisfying our hungriness. Overall, Pune gave us a lively & tasty experience. Bye bye Pune.

Day 10

Our beast’s occupancy level on the track could compete to the level of the a basic 4 wheeler, but traffic rules doesn’t have such exceptional clause for the 2 wheelers to enter Mumbai – Pune Expressway. We were on the normal route with a train finding its way into a tunnel in parallel, the intersection of expressway road and the surroundings were greener. The evolvement of our journey towards destination and that of the city’s from the green landscapes was a random click of running thoughts.

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun

Fortunately, we got premier Padmini car which is a Mumbai fame to reach the Gateway of India. Now, stunned to see TAJ, but, boys!, it is time to catch the boat or else we waste our day. This is my first ever lengthier experience to travel on water witnessing the huge ships, shipments, crude oil tankers as lengthy as a quarter kilometer roped on to the sea anchors, passing through the wavy sea and warm wind.

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun
Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun

The climax, we handed over our bikes to the Gati Courier services to transport it to bangalore and next day we boarded our flights to Bangalore. One of the most experienced journey it was :-) thanks to one and all for the best wishes and blessings.

Photo of Story Along NH - 48 by Arjun
Day 3

Midnight power cut, the tune of flies disturbed our sleep, couple of us decided to trip on to Baga, took interest in spinning the Bike inside to capture it with a wavy background. Then we were meandering around trying some Barley's ;-).

Photo of Baga, Goa, India by Arjun

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