This is the third time i have been here but my first trip on my bullet all the way from Mumbai. I will definitely go there again!
We had been craving for a road trip since quite a few months but could not go anywhere because of our busy schedules. My friends sister was getting married here as it was their native place and thus we had found a perfect reason for us to feel the open road once again. This was also the time when demonetization hit the country.
Since time was short and we had to reach the wedding at 1 pm on Saturday, we decided to take our bikes (2 Bullets, 1 Gixxer and a Vikrant) and hit the road on Friday night itself after office. We would stop at Panvel and spend the night in a friends house who would join us on his Vikrant. There were three others who would also join us the next morning in their car.
The best way to reach Shrivardhan is via NH17, the Mumbai - Goa highway.
Mumbai - Panvel - Pen - Vadkhal - Nagothane - Kolad - Indapur - Mangaon - Mhasala - Shrivardhan
Road conditions are very poor a few kms before Vadkhal all the way till Indapur. If you are travelling by car, it is better to take the Mumbai-Pune expressway, exit after Khalapur and proceed ahead on the road to Imagica which leads to Pali. This road is better than NH17 and goes through a few ghats until you reach Pali only to rejoin back on NH17 a few kms after Nagothane.
Since we had already been through the back breaking patch of asphalt on NH17 we decided not to test our suspensions and take the old but beautiful Mumbai - Pune highway and head to Pali. Guys in the car would meet us the exit near Imagica and continue together from there onwards.
Where to stay
There are lots of hotels and resorts in Shrivardhan where you can enjoy the local cuisine and a comfortable stay.
White Beach House and Subhan beach resort are the ones closest to the beach. I have stayed at both these places and both are equally good. You can also have a barbecue here.
If you are travelling with family and do not want to be disturbed, you can stay at White Beach House which is more secluded and just a 1 minute walk from the beach. It is actually a house which belongs to my friends uncle whom we call Khalu Jaan. It is a quiet, spacious and well furnished place surrounded by beetle tree plantations.
Subhan Beach Resort however is right at the beach just overlooking the sea and is the ideal spot to hang out with friends. They have small cottages as well as bigger family rooms. You can actually hear the sound of the waves crashing the shore at night.
1. Shekhadi is another fine beach just 15 Kms from Shrivardhan with pristine white sand untouched by civilization.
2. Diveagar beach is around 24 Kms from Shrivardhan. Although it is quite commercialized, a drive through the scenic coast will blow your mind
3. Harihareshwar beach is 20 Kms from Shrivardhan. (Next in my bucket list!)
So there was quite a debate with some of the less enthusiastic and lazy individuals in my group over whether we should go on our bikes or sit comfortably in a car. But, me and my best buddy Taher never miss out an opportunity to travel with our beloved enfields. So it was decided, 4 of us would be riding our bikes and the rest will be coming by car. Since the roads were not so good and we had to reach in time for the wedding, we decided to leave on Friday night itself.
So me and Taher grabbed a few seekh kababs and parathas from Nawab in Kurla and set out to Airoli toll plaza where Imran and Gopi were waiting for us. The eastern express highway is much better than the western expressway with relatively less potholes and riding on this highway was always fun. After reaching Airoli toll plaza, we had our snacks and tea and the four of us continued our journey to Gopis house in Mansarovar to spend the night. We reached at around midnight and were a bit tired, but none of us could sleep. We were all excited about the trip, especially Gopi since it was his first trip on his new Vikrant. We woke up early morning and i went down to wash my bike. Gopi also accompanied me while the sleepy heads were still tucked in.
You can tell a lot about a person by the way he treats his machine. Always take care of your bike and she will never let you down!
After a thorough wash, we warmed up our bikes and after getting dressed up, clicked some photos before kick-starting our journey.