Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bhimashankar - Ahupe: A pure riding adventure!

|| प्रियांका प्रसन्न  ||
(Thanks to permission from my wife, Priyanka, for this ride!)

For a change, let me start with a very good quote...
“I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” - Robert Frost
How much of truth in it? We found out on our three day riding adventure to Bhimashankar-Ahupe region...
Another of those long weekends coming up with 15th August, I thought of planning something. A monsoon trek or a ride somewhere, after thinking over couple of options, decided to explore the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary and surrounding region. Spoke to Prashant (His excellent blog), he then confirmed he was able to join with another of his friend. Prashant is a hardcore trekker and never had been on such a motorcycle ride before. I also asked my cousin, Manas, from Nashik, if he was able to join too and he was ready too. Just day before of ride, Prashant's friend, Nilesh, who I've heard is a nature freak, dropped out due to some other commitments. So now we were three of us left on three different bikes. Manas was going to join us at Manchar from where we would head to Bhimashankar.

Day 1: A day of true adventure

After packing the bag, we left on Saturday morning around 8. Reached Manchar through the NH50 at around 10 AM. Manas soon arrived and we then headed to Bhimashankar. He had more distance to cover than us so he had left quite early. It wasn't raining much till we reached the start of Bhimashankar ghat, right after the Dimbhe dam. As we started climbing the ghat, the rain started and it was persistent right throughout the trip. It was very much foggy as we started riding towards Bhimashankar.


The Team...
Manas(L), Prashant and Hrishi(R)

The Bikes (Honda Dazzler, Pulsar 150, Baja Caliber  Chroma 110)
Bhimashankar Ghat
Kondhwal diversion
Scenic Kondhwal road

After passing Taleghar, we took a tea break and enquired about the possible road which would connect to Ahupe going via Kondhwal. They told us it was not possible to ride through and it had to be on feet. Little apprehensive of this talk, we still headed there. Just before Bhimashankar, a right diversion takes you to Kondhwal village. We took the less traveled diversion to Kondhwal. Soon after taking the Kondhwal road, the road became narrow and went through thick woods. All this area happens to be part of Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a very scenic road and goes alongside a big stream which then falls down as the Kondhwal waterfall. 


Road towards Kondhwal

Stream

Kondhwal waterfall as the backdrop
The Greenery

Kondhwal Village


One has to walk down a bit to get a full view of the falls. Soon after we passed the Kondhwal village, the road turned into a dirt track. It was here where the actual adventure started. The track was rocky and slushy in patches.

The track


After about 500 m, we can across a larger stream with strong water flow. It was 2:30 PM by now. A stream with decent current of water in between and not sure whether this track would lead us to Ahupe. After asking few local villagers, we got to know that the track was not motor able till Ahupe. We decided to explore it till it was motor able. I rode all the three bikes out of the stream and tell you what, it was exciting and so much fun to cross it three times!
The stream to cross
Bikes before the stream

All around it was very scenic with rain, streams, waterfalls gushing down and thousand shades of green. The track for most times was like a green carpet with rocks underneath. It was a very slow affair but really enjoyable with ingredients of a true adventure ride.
The green carpet!
Crabbie

Crab Sushi!

The hurdles!

The streams!

The track!



 Soon we found out that we couldn't go far and decided to spend the night in the Jungle as there was no other option. With relentless rain pouring, there was no way other way to spend the night but for my new tent. The idea of sleeping in a tent really excited us and camping in middle of nowhere with not a soul in sight. From long I've been longing for a night like this and here it was! We soon found a good stable ground overlooking a small lake. We weren't sure about the tent thing as the winds were strong with good amount of rain. We set up the tent and then settled in it.
The pitched tent

Middle of nowhere!

Happy inside the tent!

Not a place to spend the night!


 I must admit the tent didn't allow a single drop of water inside it. It was a 2 man tent but enabled three of us to sleep inside. Manas had got some delicious home made idli with him which, we quickly finished. After munching on other food items, we went to sleep. We were woken up intermittently by the noise of strong winds hitting our tent and never ending rains. At times we thought the winds would blow away the tent but it holded up quite well. A night to remember, indeed.

Day 2: Slush, mud, scenic waterfalls and beautiful Ahupe

I got up at around 6 AM and it was still raining. Slowly everybody got up around 7 and started to pack things up. Due to the rain, all our gear was drenched with no chance to dry up. Wearing wet socks and shoes after getting drenched the day before is a feeling one should experience!
When to come out!


The morning


We first thought of reaching a place where we would have our breakfast and then plan for the day ahead. As we started riding back towards Bhimashankar, the water level of all the streams had risen due to the over night rain. If you really love riding off roads, you will know the rush when you ride in these conditions.
the kind of  unkind roads!

Break

The misty track


First bike trip and how!


After negotiating the track we came back to our main stream crossing. This time it had more flow.
The same stream with stronger flow
Thinking about the crossing



 I rode my bike through it and then Prashant's bike. Manas decided to cross on its own this time.

The greens!

Now that is some smile!


After that we reached the Bhimashankar-Manchar road and then stopped at a small dhaba for breakfast. Utilized this break to dry up few things and a hearty breakfast. So then after the discussion, we decided to head to Ahupe. We asked whether there was any road via Taleghar, which would lead us to Ahupe. It seemed there was a route but it was a bad track and almost everybody advised us against taking that route. The more obvious route was to go via Dimbhe Dam Wall. We decided to to ask someone in Taleghar about the route before taking a final decision. After we reached Taleghar, we asked jeep driver and he told there was a route going via Mahlunge to Ahupe but the road was real bad, esp. in monsoon. We just wanted to know whether there was indeed a road or not. Bad road? Well, that’s what we wanted in the end and we started riding towards Mahlunge. I must admit this is a very scenic road which climbs down the valley into the backwaters of Dimbhe. Amazing road indeed.

Road to Ahupe

Road to Ahupe

The road to Ahupe

Dimbhe backwaters

Dimbhe Backwaters

Dimbhe Backwaters


After about 30 min, we reached Mahlunge after crossing a concrete bridge built across the dam waters. This road actually ends up at Patan which is kind of a dead end. From Mahlunge, a dirt track on the right goes to Ahupe. A dirt track in heavy rains! And we decided to take the less traveled track. Well, no soon we took the right turn from Mahlunge, the road was all but a road. Slush all around. It was Prashant's first bike trip and how! This stretch of road brought back memories of our Sikkim sojourn. Manas, Me and Parag encountered exactly the same kind of roads there. This road passes beside the dam backwaters all along.
The road less traveled!

Never ending Adventure!

Scenic company

The unending adventure!

Yeh to hona he tha!

The grand vistas!

Amazing road!

Just won't stop!

I'm lovin it all!

Somehow we managed to control our bikes and reached a village from where it was tarmac. I wondered how not even single one of us ever slipped! The road gradually climbed the mountain and after some time we reached a junction and the Dimbhe-Ahupe main road. From this point onwards it was still a 20 KM run over top of the mountains. After about 30 min of riding we reached Ahupe at around 3 PM. Ahupe is a very scenic village situated on a cliff over looking Konkan. Just before the village, there is a sacred grove(Devrai) which has a temple. This temple accommodates 10-15 people so we decided to spend the night in this temple. We met a villager who offered to make food for us. As hungry we were, we readily agreed and went to his house. We chit chatted with his small children who were all studying at the Ashram school run by the govt. It seems this is a very good school which provides boarding and fooding facilities for children from these villages at no cost. Heartening to see that. It was the only big structure in Ahupe. We had to wait for good 2 hours for the food to arrive. They had made delicious Anda/Egg Curry and rice bhakris/chapatis.
Miss Ahupe!

Happy Faces!

Great food!

 After the food it was time to visit the cliff edge for a view of Konkan. As always with any Konkan view, it was so beautiful with Gorakhgad and Macchindragad visible on our left side and the Murbad region of Konkan.
That is Gorakhgad Pinnacle and Macchindragad on the left and Prashant on the bottom right!

Konkan View!

The waterfalls flowing in reverse direction due to the wind

Scenic Ahupe village

The rain now had again started to pick up, we went to the temple and settled in it. There was a little fireplace which we were able to light up and then tried to dry up few things beside using it to warm ourselves.
Temple where we stayed

Fire place inside the temple

When I checked by sleeping bag, it was completely drenched in water and was not usable. So I decided to setup the tent without the flysheet. Manas's blanket also got wet so in the end he ended up sleeping with in the tent inside the temple. Wasn't best of sleep but still managed a decent sleep for few hours.

Day 3: Towards the end of it all

Got up leisurely around 8 and then packed up. Went to the same villager's(Lokhande from Madhli wadi) place to have breakfast. Manas helped them make maggi which we feasted on. We left Ahupe around 10 am. The road back to Dimbhe is one of the most scenic route you will find near Pune. For a large part, it snakes around the Dimbhe backwaters before ending up near the Dam site. Had lunch before Manchar and then headed back to an uneventful drive back to Pune.
Ahupe-Manchar road

Ahupe-Manchar road

Ahupe-Manchar road


So Yes, “I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

:)





30 comments :

  1. “I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” yes that is ture. No.1 blog with gr8! Adventure

    ReplyDelete
  2. one hell of a ride this one! :D :D
    i read it twice already.
    and love the 'priyanka prasanna' bit! :D :D
    hey wasn't this Prashant with you during the Vasota trip 2 years back? His face seems familiar.

    Cheers to many more adventures :)

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  3. @Shrikant
    Thanks for those kind words!

    ReplyDelete
  4. @quaintkal
    Glad you loved it!
    Had been to Vasota for three times now but never with Prashant. Did few treks with him before and again, he has been to many many treks so you might have seen him somewhere maybe.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @quaintkal

    Hey sorry! Yes, Prashant was with me on one of the Vasota trek. I forgot. The other group was Trek Mates i suppose

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesomeeeeeeeeee!!!!! simply amazin!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. gr8 !!!!
    Priyanka Devi ashich प्रसन्न hot raho ....!

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Shantanu Saheb
    ho na ti प्रसन्न rahna khup mhatvacha zalay nahi tar aavghad aahe! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. || प्रियांका प्रसन्न ||
    He he he...
    Awesome photo ahet!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. jabardast photos aahet..! Vasota cha trek mast aahe, full on greenery aahe.

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  11. Nice pics and
    || प्रियांका प्रसन्न || - :D :D :D

    ashich devi prasann raho he shubhecha !!! :-)

    -DARSHAN SHAH

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  12. saw all ur pics dude....awsmm..!

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  13. Loved the beginning of d post (Priyanka prasanna!) ;)
    Awesum pics. Miss Ahupe is indeed v photogenic.
    You have a knack to put it down in words so well...u make other feel the adrenaline rush...gr8 going dude!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice trip. Thanks for sharing your trip experience. Pune, with its glorious Maratha history and Osho connection, a host of sightseeing attractions, pleasant weather, and a largely dynamic crowd of students and young professionals, proves wonderful for a vacation. Explore all about Bhimashankar temple.

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  15. Pravin ShrisunderJuly 21, 2015 at 10:38 PM

    Great , will be there this season for sure, but by Car with Common route.. Adventure days are passed for me. all the best and thanks for refreshing

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  16. Awesome Ride Guys... riding the Route From Bhimashankar to ahupe in somedays .. Thanks For the valuable Info

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  17. Nice trip, great adventure ,thanks for sharing your trip experience.

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  18. Excellent trip. We are planning to hike Bhimashankar to Ahupe ghat via Kondhaval. Is it possible to do so.

    ReplyDelete