Two monsoon road trips for the weekend
The monsoon has begun. If you are the kind who says, â€œOh, No! It is rainingâ€, switch on the TV and watch a grandmother fight with her daughter-in-law. If you are the kind who says, â€œWow! It is rainingâ€, then this is for you! The places around Pune take on an entirely different look during the months of June-August. A road trip is the best way to enjoy the best of the monsoon and if it rains while you are at it, the wow factor just increased. I have given the details of two must-try round trips. Both are one-day trips and would best be enjoyed if you can start early in the day (before 8 AM) to escape the city traffic. Each route also has a custom map created which will also give details on few interesting sights along the route
Route 1: Tamhini-Varandha Route. Click here to see a map of the route.
Total round trip distance: Approx 300 kms. Road condition: Average to potholed.
Tamhini and Varandha are the big bad boys of all ghat sections close to Pune. Notorious until a decade back for wayside robberies, they are still not advised for a late night crossing, if alone. The roads throughout are single laned and full of potholes. But, it is this rustiness that lets natureâ€™s true beauty stand out. You just cannot keep a count of the number of huge waterfalls you would see and every turn on the road would tempt you to stop for a photograph. Start early in the day, stop at Quick Bites for breakfast (just before the main tamhini Ghat section), cross Tamhini, get down to the Goa highway, take a left for Mahad, turn left towards Bhor (into Varandha Ghat). As you climb Varandha and take that one U-turn to the right to face the entire mountain range before you, it would be a sight to behold.
Route 2: Varandha-Mahabaleshwar Route. Click here to see a map of the route
Total round trip distance: Approx 310 kms. Road condition: Good to Average.
Travel the ruggedness of Varandha and then turn to the chaos of Mahableshwar. Go on the NH4, take the turn into Varandha Ghat (at Bhor) , enjoy the waterfalls throughout the Varandha stretch, once on the Goa highway, turn left and go towards the Poladpur Ghat. The poladpur ghat is route taken by mumbaiites to go to Mahabaleshwar. It is beautiful 40+ km long ghat offering great views of the mountain range on either side. The roads are decent with many straight sections, but the highlight of the ascent to mahabaleshwar from the other side are the numerous panoramas on view. Mahabaleshwar is of course famous for its viewpoints, but we will leave that to another trip just to Mahabaleshwar!
Mahabaleshwar is the best picnic spot, whenever one thinks of short vacation from Mumbai this is the best place that comes in mind. Thanks for sharing. EO Cabs.
Yes, many do them. But only if you are the kind who likes getting fully drenched.
Are these trips possible on two-wheeler bike?
Well, after enthused with this blog, I gained some confidence to drive to Varandha. Decided overnight…and drove to Varandha ghat on Saturday (July 13, 2013) with my 2 kids and my spouse. I now started appreciating my decision….it was a amazing experience…though it was raining heavily for every 15-20 minutes with a little gap….we crossed Bhor by 10am…all the way beyond the top we drove….when we returned to Bhor it was 5.30pm. Everywhere water falls….not much crowded….traffic is very less….road condition is not at all bad (I saw wagon-Rs/Santros on road there)….just when a big truck/car comes opposite….you need to be prepared to go off the road a little in some stretches…be careful in those times. That’s all…otherwise day-time trip is simply enjoyable. Thanks Rajaram for sharing these. Keep it up!
Kalakkureenga! Super that you’re exposing the beauty of nature lying just around Pune. This way…you are spreading positive & fresh energy (I mean…”raising confidence”) to many folks/families who are little scary to drive/visit these cool places even though they like them so so so much. I’m one of them of course! God bless you!!
Wow! the second last photograph is just awesome! This pic alone qualifies the trip, thank you Rajaram.