Short 1 day trip to Raigad Fort & Gandhar Pale Caves

Travelling through Western Ghats during monsoon season is delightful adventure.

Route taken:

After Bhor Village

Nira – Deoghar Dam


Little bird


I offered EMU some chocolate but she wanted to eat my gloves. I got afraid and ran away from her.

My initial plan was to visit Pale caves only.  After reaching Mahad (NH 17) I took a right towards Mumbai. After few km saw Raigad fort 25 km sign board. I had plenty of time in hand as it was only 9.30 AM.  Road from NH17 to Fort is scenic, twisty and misty. 😛

Raigad Fort is 2,700 ft above sea level and it can be reached by climbing approx 1737 steps or a ropeway. My max speed of climbing stair is 9.5 steps per hour, so bought to & fro rope way ticket for 180 rupees.

Once you reach the fort you need to buy one more entry ticket for 5 bucks.  I didn’t take any guide, but you can get one for 200 for whole fort tour based on your bargaining skills.

Fort Towers





 Ganga sagar talav

 After wandering in fort in fort for 2 hours and 4 glasses of butter milk later, decided to head back to base. For rope way to operate at least 8 people are required on either side. After a long boring wait of 30 min I was back in base.

Now next destination was Gandhar Pale Caves. It’s located from right side of NH 17, if you are traveling from Mahad towards Panvel.

First View

I had learned from my previous mistakes, decided to keep my bag and riding gear at a chai stall before starting the climb.

NH 17

The surface was very slippery because of rain water. I slipped while entering one of cave. My left palm and elbow got bruised badly. My first aid kit was in my bag that I left at the chai shop.  So I came down without exploring the caves.

Missing Pillar

Did first aid and started for Pune via Tamini ghat. Most of the patch was in bad state and my shoulder was also paining.  Maintain speed was getting difficult, so rode non stop to Pune.

P.S. : Sorry for image quality as all the pics are taken by mobile camera. 🙂

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Ride to Uttara Kannada (KA) – Day 1


Extended weekend was coming up every one was busy planning what do to/where to go. I was sitting in my 6 x 6 prison cell staring at my screen, browsing through different travelogues and thinking where to go. Suddenly an invite from Bladerunnerzzz popped up on my  screen asking me to leave the cell and go out and explore the tarmac trails, green forest, waterfalls, sea shores and manmade marvelous sculptures i.e Ride to Gokarna, Murudeshwar and Jog falls. I immediately accepted the invitation and sent the response.

This time we had few new riders joining us for the escapade. Not exactly new, we had many one day rides together but this was a long ride expanding over 4 days, the mods decided to have a pilot ride so that riders can get used to riding styles of fellow bikerz and check if their steeds are in perfect shape. No one likes a break down on such a long ride. The pilot ride started from Chandani chowk at 6.15 AM till Shirwal and without a stop we took a U – Turn and came back to Chandani Chowk (CC). Total 100 km covered in approx. 90 minutes. Not bad for a pilot ride J.

Day 1: Pune – Gokarna:

After few last moment withdraws and confirmation we were 5 bikes and 6 riders.

  1. Ayush & Monisha – Royal Enfield TB 350
  2. Sharath (Anna) – Bajaj Pulsar 220 carb
  3. Neeti – Honda CBR 250
  4. Saumya – Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS
  5. Digvijay – Apache RTR 160.

We all meet at CC at around 0545 and to our surprise Sarthak sir and Rohit also had also came to ride for a few km with us. After our usual bakar session, we hit the NH4, there was lot of construction work for widening of highway, making our way through diversion, early morning truck traffic and bad road we started with a slow speed. Once we crossed the town boundaries throttle happy Anna (lead) increased the pace and I was sweeping at triple digit speeds. The reddish sky, chilly air, green scenery and rushing adrenaline give you the feeling of ecstasy. Slowly but steadily you start to forget about your worries, happiness, and sadness. Your mind becomes blank… maybe that’s why for me best part of the ride is the start.

We took small breaks at tolls as we have to cover approx. 600 km in one day and we were already 1 hour late from the schedule. After Karad the road were smooth and wide. Anna , Nithi and Saumya went kind of mad and sped ahead at 140 + speed :P. Me and Ayush continued at our leisurely pace of 100/110. Well it’s the max speed at which I can do mile munching on apache. We stopped at Sai international before Kolhapur for breakfast. We met 2 HD riders who were heading to Hampi for HOGS India meet. One of them was riding HD fat boy, it’s a beast huge bike.

After toping up our tummies with delicious meal, and our steed with petrol at petrol bunk at HP club petrol pump, we re-started our journey. Roads after Kolhapur are super smooth and wide; soon we were munching miles at triple digit speed and entered Karnataka in no time. For Saumya and Neeti it was first time they were riding on KA roads. They were grinning like a small kid who just got a box full of candies and no one is there to stop him from eating. These 3 again vanished on the roads ripping at high speeds; I and Ayush cruised at our speed enjoying the beautiful scenery and hot winds: P. We took a break at toll after Hebbal. Bad news Sharath’s riding pants were covered in engine oil and engine oil was all over the bike. On inspection we found out the air hose pipe seal broke and engine oil was leaking from it. I will tell you the reason for this breakdown on day 2 as there is a lot of bad news coming in…

After lot of discussion and thinking over all the possible solution (including dumping Sharath’s bike). We decided to temporary fix the bike and take to Bajaj workshop in Belgaum. So we tied the hose pipe using a rope and topped up engine oil as lot of oil was wasted and we were concerned, if oil level goes down engine may seize.  All this jugaad took about 1 hour and we were already short of time, so we started again without any breaks and this time Ayush was leading the group. I was concerned about the fix, after 20-30 km I used to go ahead and check the hose pipe is intact or not. Our jugaad worked well even when we were riding at 100+ speeds. We dumped the idea of going into Belgaum town for bike fix and started towards Dharwad.

From Dharwad we left the NH4 took a left turn then one more left and we were on State Highway (SH1). Now roads were in pathetic condition; we had to make our way dodging pot holes of size of Vredefort Crater, dogs, cows & local racers.  Don’t know why people always think if a guy is riding with gear on he is racing, they try to race with you; intimidate you for race and all the crap. Well we always ignore these fools. After 25 KM painful ride on SH1 we finally hit National Highway (NH 67), road were in good condition except few pot holes, dog and cows on road. I don’t get why people leave their animals on roads, number of dogs and cattle on road in this part was quite high. SH 67 is beautiful straight road though jungle, It looks like 2 parallel green lines made of trees is meeting the blue sky and far horizon and the tarmac road is getting merged with the sky and greenery. After 70-80 km we stopped for fuel break and to get our rain gear out as the weather was getting bad. Within half hour it started raining cats & dogs, saw lot of accident on the road within distance of 3 KM two trucks had gone off the road and one jeep had hit some other vehicle. Now I got little panicked after seeing the accidents, downpour was in its full force, already late by 2 hours and now these accidents. At one place Sharath stopped to check his bag cover and there was a blast in the electric pole near us. I nearly got a heart attack, but cooled down my mind and get control over my feelings again. It’s very important to keep calm is such situation, freaking only makes things worse.

God of rain was angry on us, for last 1.30 hours we were riding in rain praying for rains to stop. We had target to go nonstop till Gokarna, but finally we accepted defeat and took shelter in uninhabited makeshift tea stall. Sharath went to a house nearby to get information about route, found out that it’s a tea stall. Blessing in disguise: D. After munching down onion, mirchi, batata baaji, and gulping down 2-3 cups of tea I was filled with new Enthu. Tea stall owner told us better to take the short cut to Gokarna, roads are good and he daily uses that route. As it was already getting late we took the shortcut. BIG mistake, there were no roads only potholes. 30 km ride turn out to be nightmare, backbreaking roads and my bag nearly fell from my bike, lucky me, a lady on road indicated towards my bag it had slipped from seat and was hanging on right side on bungee cord. Finally we entered Gokarna there after dark, Ganpati celebration was going in town and everyone was covered with red Gulaal dancing on roads. Seeing the people enjoying on dancing and enjoying brought a big smile on all our face and we forget about the poor roads and beating we took in the heavy rain.

Reached Hotel Gokarna International at 7.30 PM checked in. Now search for food started there was a small restaurant adjacent to our hotel. We ordered daal tadka and mix veg turned out be sambar daal  tadka and sambaar mix veg.

At night, our anecdotes sessions lasted till 2330. Most interesting was Sharath’s drag racing days and 3 hit and run cases in same day. Ayush and Monisha Bhabi were planning to leave for Pune next day only. After discussion it was decided they will leave for Pune after visiting OM beach with us and we will go to Murudeshwar from there.

End of day 1

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Suffering !

Suffering Dude (SD): My life sucks I have no motivation to live anymore. My carrier is going nowhere. Had a fight with my best friend, I have no girlfriend, no saving.

Pseudo-intellectual Dude (PD): hmm, you mean you are suffering in life.

SD: Yeah what else you think? I am telling you a fairy tale to you.

PD: What is suffering according to you? When a person suffers?

SD: When you are not happy means you are suffering. When you don’t get what you want. When you are worried about something and you can’t do anything about it.

PD: when was the last time you were happy?

SD: Few weeks back when I went home, spend quality time with parent and old pals.

PD: Good. So you had a motivation in life at that time, you had a GF and never had a fight with friend that time? The reasons for which you are suffering were not there?

SD: No it was there. Situation is same.

PD: how can you be happy that time and sad now when your suffering was there?

SD: Because I was with my friends doing things that I liked. It’s just that I forgot about my suffering for some time.

PD: Okay. You are saying that suffering is real and happiness is just mirage. We all keep fooling that we are happy and deny the truth. How can one be suffering and happy at same time? If happiness is truth right now you are free to do things that you like forget about the worries and be happy.

SD: Don’t play with words. How can I just forget about all these things? You tell me if happiness is not real why the f**k everyone is running after it. If suffering is truth why all peoples in the word are not sad or depressed.

PD: People are happy because at one point or other in their life, they have accepted the suffering. You know only humans can feel happiness and fear. All other animals can only feel fear and sadness here. Pursuit of happiness is what makes us different from animals. That’s why we look for a reason to live and we feel happy when we are with our loved ones.
The secret of happiness is to accept the suffering and soon you will be able to live with it. For example if guy have only one eye, for you he must be suffering day and night for each and every moment in his life. But that not the truth after sometime he get used to it. He accepts the truth and develops the skills to live with his suffering.

Suffering is truth. Happiness is a lie.

p.s –> SD and PD are fictional character and any resemblance to living or dead soul will be coincidence.

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Solo Ride Across Konkan

Day  1 : 391  KM

Woke up at 3.00 AM  30 min before the alarm would have started ringing, went to sleep again woke up at 4.20  f**k i overslept again. In a hurry packed my luggage on the road flyer and started the journey.

Early morning cool breeze and empty roads is the best part of every ride. Soon i was ripping at 100+ on NH4 towards Mumbai and realized my mistake i was only wearing a wind cheater and it was cold outside my teeth started chattering and hand become numb. But i was enjoying the ride made it to Lonavala  in no time. Got tempted to take a right turn and go to Amby valley  thought for few moments then decided not to go there. Now the best part of the road came Mumbai Pune expressway 😀 till khapoli. Ripped the bike and took a right turn towards pen. This was the first time i was riding on this road, dint know the road and there were not many soul’s on the way so got worried. That’s the fun of riding on new road fear of getting lost makes you more vigilant and you enjoy the beauty otherwise you just keep riding like a robot.
Soon the fog came and the visibility decreased to few meter’s thought of taking pics of fog and suddenly it disappeared like a scene from some hindi horror flick. SPOOKY

Took a butt break after covering around 90 km and then again started towards Alibag. Alibag was a disappointment the sea was too far from where i had parked my bike, didn’t find any shop to keep my luggage. So clicked few pics there and started for kashid.

Got lost in the alibag city and i was again on the road towards pen. After few km realized my mistake and asked directions from a local. I can understand little marathi that too if they speak slowly. Was getting confused in direction and got lost in the city again after wasting nearly 1 hour in Alibag finally found the way towards kashid.

Alibag beach too crowded

Got spellbound from the beauty of  konkan road and houses took few clicks on the way.

On the way saw a good spot, did little off roading to reach there but it was worth it. Facing the Arabic sea and the vast horizon make you feel small. Cant explain the feeling in words.I  was enjoying my moments of solitude and was lost in my thoughts. When few more guys came there shouting and making lot of noise. I woke up from my deep thought,  felt like i was sleeping while standing :P.

Reached kashid around 10.00 Am. Had my first breakfast there. Enjoyed on the beach. Wanted to go for a ride on water scooter but the guy asked for 700 bucks and i had to sit as pillion, so dropped the plan. Next stop Murud.
Stopped at the hotel in Murud for some quick bite. They took 30 min just to prepare omelet 😦 . In the mean time owner of hotel a fine looking gentlemen started a conversation with me

Owner: where are your friends
Me: I am alone
Owner: Don’t you have any friends
Me : I have lot of friends but they were busy so i am traveling alone
Owner: hmm. what about your GF where is she.
Me: (WTH)  I don’t have one.
Owner: You young fella are useless don’t have a GF what happened she dumped you *Grinning*
Me: *Speechless* Kept silent and gave a cold stare to him.

In the mean time they served food. Got confused they have put green chillies in egg or egg in green chillies :P. i asked for water and they gave it in whiskey bottle.

Me : Bhao glass toh la do yaar
Waiter: Naahi milega glass bas daru peene ke liye hai paani naahi
Me : *Speechless again* WTF  all these people are crazy better run away from here ASAP.

Visited near by places in murud as there was not much to do so decided to head towards diveagar. Someone told me best way to reach there is by Jetty and one will be leaving in 20 min. So i hurried towards the dock but again because of  lack of knowledge of   marathi took a wrong turn and missed the jetty by few mins. Next jetty was after 1 hour so decided to go by road.
The route was amazing it was nice experience riding on ghat roads with Arabic sea on your left and sun behind you. Roads were good and there was one Toyota Quallis accompanying me. Made it to Divigar via raigad  in approx 2 hours.
Went to beach it was nice clean beach. Took my bike on the beach there one coconut vendor told me bikes are not allowed on beach and if cops caught you they will take lot of money, so parked the bike near the beach.
Enjoyed there on the beach for sometime but got bored so decided to head towards Harihareshwar. Initially i had planned to stay in Divegar on day one. But there was nothing much to see and i was way ahead of my schedule. So started towards Harihareshwar.  I was riding through the jungle on a small road and most of the part i didn’t saw any vehicle coming. I was wondering if i got any trouble here i would be in deep trouble.

Kashid beach

Haveli of Nawab

Second breakfast at crazy hotel

Janjeera Fort

on the way to divegar

I asked a guy to take my pic on beach he asked me to pose in this way 😛

Reached harihareshwar now i was confused to go inside the temple or not. I had ate egg in the morning and did not wanted to angry gods as i had a long journey ahead also didn’t want to miss the chance of dharsan of kashi of west. So called my mom to take advice she assured me that  if  i say sorry gods will not be angry. After lot of thinking went inside the temple. Every one there was staring at me as if  i am alien realized that i had not removed the knee and elbow guards :P.
After darshan went to harihareshwar beach stayed there for some time. Now i was confused should i head back to divigar for night stay or go to Dapoli and stay there. Asked one of cab driver he told me take a jetty from here and you can make to dapoli with in 40-50 min.
Followed his advice rode towards  dock again took a wrong turn. After about 10 -12 KM found village there a old guy told me i had came wrong way so started back again. Wasted precious 40-45 min. Loaded ma bike on jetty and crossed the sea it was wonderful. I always feel scared when on a boat but jetty ride was smooth.
Now the road become worse and for some patch there were no roads my average speed decreased to 30 Km/hr. To add to misery there were no road signs and at every junction i was getting confused. Took wrong turn many times as i was depended on the locals for directions and for many long patches there was no one on road. After some time i got impatient and was trying to ride hard and fast. Took a right turn too fast and realized my mistake too late pulled the brakes to fullest but  ended up in wheat field. Lucky me that there was lot of grass in the field and some how managed not to fall.
i was stuck in the field as the road was at much higher level than field.  After off roading for few meters in field found a way out. Decided not to push myself and ride more carefully.
After few KM from the crash found tea stall stopped there for tea. From there good patch of road started and i again started ripping through the Forrest. 😛  After some time i saw an alto parked near the road  and a guy was changing the punctured tire. Those guys were also going to Dapoli so decided to stay with them so if some trouble comes someone will be there to help me.

10 Km before Dapoli those guys stopped for a break i bid adieu to them and continued. After reaching dapoli asked a guy
Me : Where is beach here ?
Guy: there is no beach here
Me : *WTF am i at wrong place* But i had heard there are beach in dapoli where you can watch dolpin and all.
Guy: for that you have to go to murud.
Me: :O *Did i keep riding in a circle* bhao i am coming from murud only
Guy : laughed at me and went away

Now got pissed and confused, i thought there are 2 dapoli and i landed up in wrong place. It was already late and i am screwed. Asked a Autowala he told me in hindi that there are no beaches in Dapoli. i have to go 15 km to karad there is a good beach and there is murud beach also.  ohh there are 2 murud not 2 dapoli.

Went to karad after a lil search found a room for 500 bucks a night. Unloaded my luggage and made the hotel room like my room, so that i dont feel away from home. Enjoyed the sunset at Dapoli beach. I was famished and gulped down full konkan thali in few minutes. ordered for one more thali ,  girls sitting next  to my table were not able to control their giggle when i ordered the second thali.
Did some journal entry in diary and crashed for the night.

Bike on jetty

Nice roads after crash

Highway to hell 😛

Green past and Dark Future if keep cutting trees

Direction were lost so was i

Sunset at Dapoli

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Sweet Sunshine 0′ Mine

My heart Cry
But my eyes are dry
For the promise that i made
I suffer day and night
Waiting for my sun to shine.

In the darkest hour of night,
Saw a angel who cant fly
She was glowing like early morning sunshine
Darkness cant survive
When i got my angel by my side
Waiting for my sun to shine

My Angel is my beautiful Sunshine
But her heart is broken and she is crying
Wanted to be with her but
But cant see her crying
oh my sunshine fly away from me
My sun is dying
Waiting for my sunshine.

– Digvijay Singh

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