Malshej Hills: A Peaceful Excursion Outside Chaotic Mumbai City

Malshej Ghat is a place well-known to many who are fond of hills and mountains, especially people living in Mumbai and around it. A paradise covered by lush green blanket touching the ceiling of white clouds, Malshej Ghat is a location which is a treat to drive or ride around thanks to the numerous twisties and hairpins paving their way through sky-touching rocky and green peaks. While escaping out of Mumbai through Kalyan, one has to take the route to Murbad, crossing which you start getting the slight glimpse of the curvy and peaky Malshej hills. Moving towards it you’ll sense that the excitement keeps on increasing as you start getting a clearer view of mountains which end into sharp rock cliffs on the top. However, you need to store your excitement for longer as there’s always a lot to come as you keep on heading towards it.

IMG_3995

Once you reach the bottom of the hills and start ascending, you come across various tea stalls and canteens which serve hot tea along with a variety of Indian snacks. It’s up to you whether you want to try them and warm yourself up for what’s coming your way or you want to directly indulge into one of the most beautiful parts of mother nature. Moving ahead, you are welcomed with sweeping turns which feels more like a roller coaster to ride or drive on if you have the proper skills. The road along the Malshej hill is a clean piece of tarmac with the lowest number of potholes to distract you from making the full out of drive this gorgeous location. However, you still need to be careful as a few turns may surprise you with the sudden arrival of deep patches which emerge during the monsoon.

Apology! I didn’t share the best view which you are treated with way before starting to climb the mountain. Let me take you back to where the hills just start being visible and there, you will see numerous waterfalls on almost every corner and every valley across the hills, those which will be present only if you are lucky enough to visit here during monsoon. Now, let’s get back to where we left. While you start going up the mountain, the forest around you starts getting denser which only enhances the thrill further. An experienced driver or rider can make you have a lot of fun as the sharp turns are overly joyous if you pass through them speeding. However, a certain limit of speed would be safe.

Now, while you have reached to a considerable height, few hundred feets above the sea level, you will start coming across puny waterfalls which flow down so close that they touch one side of the road. Visitors prefer to stop by these waterfalls to have fun with the hefty stream of pure mountain water. Heading ahead, you’ll be greeted by several such waterfalls. one or two of which directly fall in the middle of the road giving your car the free washing treatment. We recommend you to close the windows to avoid the water entering your car, the extra internal cleaning expenses may be annoying otherwise. If you are on a two-wheeler, enjoy the bath!

IMG_4002

Two or three spots over the Malshej hill are so mesmerizing that you cannot refrain yourself from stopping by them. After ascending a few kilometers, there’s a turn which is extremely sharp, and people have settled a temple at one corner of it which has a rocky roof above which looks as if it has frozen seconds before falling over the temple. Besides, a tiny snack stall is located where the owner serves smocking hot wadapav (bun and fried potato balls). Quite often, you will see various cars being parked at this spot with the visitors enjoying the food and taking in the scenic view of the mountains and deep valleys.

Advance a  few meters ahead, and there’s a tiny hut which is right on the edge of the road behind which there’s a deep valley. This point is also alluring and you cannot move further without spending a few minutes at this place. Now, just like you have a beautiful view of this place while moving towards it, same will it be while escaping away from it. There are various such locations on the outskirts of Mumbai. However, as many I have come across, Malshej Ghat remains the best location in my list.

IMG_4014

 

 

Advertisements

India To UK On KTM Duke 390. Rohit Did It In 90 Days Covering 25,000 Km!!

The journey costed Rs. 8.5 lakhs which was his 10 years of savings.

Rohith-At-Italys-Roads-652x435

How long can I ride at once or what is the longest distance I have covered on a ride till now? These are the most inevitable questions that would pop up in your mind after knowing what Rohith Upadhyay did. A software engineer from Madhya Pradesh Region, Rohith rode all the way from India to the UK astride his Duke 390. And, as obvious, the ride wasn’t an easy one as Rohit had to face a lot of predicaments while on this exhilarating ride.

Duke-390-Ready-For-The-Rough-Roads-652x435

The 25,000 km distance which the rider covered is not the only thing which is interesting, rather there’s a list of uncommon factors which the bike fanatic has shared about the journey. The surprisingly long trip costed him an eye watering price as well since it demanded Rohit to shell out Rs. 8.5 lakhs. This might not be a big amount for grand wealthy people out there but for a middle-class corporate employee, it takes a lot of guts to spend years of savings on such trips. The 32-year old Rohit, who belongs to Bhadutola town of Madhya Pradesh, was saving his precious earnings since last 10 years for such an international bike riding fun.

Initially, when he set off, he had to take the Seaway up to Iran where he took his motorcycle off the ship at the Bandar Abbas. Then, the moment his bike’s tyres landed over the ground, he was unstoppable till the Isle of Man, UK. Along the way, several beautiful places were served before Rohit to embrace which included Albania, Bosnia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, France, Portugal, Netherland, Belgium, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and finally the Isle of Man, England.

Waiting for the rider were many obstacles along the journey which included non-operating stator of the battery for many days and several wires catching fire due to the cirgarette lighter which he had installed on his bike. He manipulated all these situations bravely and kept on heading towards his targeted destination.

DCIM100MEDIA

Many of you must be wondering what about his job? Fortunately, his humble boss granted him the unpaid leave for the trip which took not less than 90 days to complete. Basically, Rohit wanted to be on a 6 month trip from India to New Zealand which would have demended him to quit his job. However, destiny didn’t wanted him to do this right now and may be he might achieve the endeavour of visiting New Zealand after a while.

With its robustness and reliability, KTM Duke 390 proved a great saddle to be on and covering a 90 day trip is not an easy task for a motorcycle. Rohith’s first bike was an old Bajaj Pulsar 150 which he had bought in Pune after acquisition of his first job. From there, the love for motorcycles went on and he is continuing with the Duke 390. His favourite motorcycle is the Africa Twin, and in India, he thinks his motorcycle is the best in all aspects.

Rohith could be an inspiration for many people who get ravelled with their jobs and daily chores and are unable to take out time for living their dreams. I don’t want to sound impractical, but we must go ahead with our aspirations without thinking too much, atleast for the ones which are feasible at the moment.

DCIM100MEDIA

Rohit Upadhyay shared his story of ride from India to the UK in an interview with Motorbeam.

Sandy Sunday Evening With Drooling Appetizers At Juhu Beach, Mumbai

India is known for its diversified culture which holds various religions, languages, rituals and varied colours of humanity. Other than these, there’s a place India is worldwide known for, and it is Mumbai. The dazzling city of lights and infrastructure welcomes you with open hands to let you experience the most of what a city can offer to a visitor. The gleaming city lights and towering buildings, roads full of vehicles having cars stuck at a place, footpaths lacking enough area for people to walk, everything that a city could have to show, this land has most of it.

2

Being surrounded by sea shore on a majority of its sides, Mumbai incorporates hundreds of beaches with varied nature. Some of them are annoyingly untidy, some are used for the trading purpose and the remaining ones have such an enchanting view to see that they have become a place for wanderers who drop down to Mumbai on vacations or people who have their weekly breaks from jobs. Among such visit-worthy beaches, is the alluring and popular Juhu Chowpati (Juhu Beach).

10

I, with two of my friends, paid a visit to Juhu Beach this Sunday evening and have spent a quality time which offered much more than just the sand stuck in our pockets and pant folds. Besides being known for the amazing sunset view, Juhu Beach could be a place for tasting the quintessential Indian dishes such as Pav Bhaji, Pani Puri, Kulfi, Falooda, Wada Pav, Masala Chana and various other mouth-waterers. Not to forget the chilling Nariyal Paani (Coconut water). Having said all that, I must inform you that we had kept almost all these dishes on the surface of our tongue which made us fall in love with this place, more than we had loved it earlier.

8

It is a place to be visited in the evening, at least in this scorching summer as the sun is at its highest temperature in afternoon. We reached around 6 in the evening and the moment we stepped down of the cab, we had wrinkled foreheads since the place was overly crowded because of the day being Sunday. It is a place to be observed for peace of mind but, that’s not possible on weekends as you won’t see any hint of sand because it gets covered under the countless visitors. And, that is something we couldn’t admire too much. Still, having a camera in our hand, we couldn’t stop our self from clicking a few snaps.

11

3

After capturing a few visuals of the beach, we decided to douse our gastronomical flame by tasting some dishes offered at the nearest food stalls. We figured out the nearest ones and ordered some Pav Bhaji (a dish consisting of spicy vegetable cooked on the pan with roasted bun). There were varieties of it on the menu, from which I selected Pav Bhaji with double butter and my folks ordered special cheese Pav Bhaji. The photos of them will give you a trailer about their deliciousness and we couldn’t stop our self from licking the fingers at the end.

9

7

After having done with the Pav Bhaji, we decided to enter into the lane of food stalls and there was a long trail of them placed in a zigzag manner, offering a variety of foods and deserts. The speciality and uniqueness of this place are that you will be forcefully called by the vendors to visit their stalls as they compete in themselves trying out their best to pull the highest number of customers. And this, after sometimes, start to make you confused and annoyed wondering which place to visit and what to have. Finally, after getting drooled by the amazing posters of deserts and staring at people were enjoying them, we finally called out for Kulfi Rabdi (sweet dense milk made by boiling it for a long time) and Rose Baraf Gola (Crushed ice moulded into sphere dipped in the flavoured beverage). All three of us were fighting to have the most of it and were trying to acquire the biggest bite, it was so tasty, I must say.

6

4

This Sunday, with its numerous food wonders and beautiful sea view, has shown us an iconic side of Mumbai which I was missing over the last few months, since when I have migrated here. I am sure the fun does not end here and, with every passing day, we will explore more spots of this city, which offers more energetic time-spending venues.

Chikhaldara Hill station On Chevrolet Beat: A Drive On Festival Of Colours

On the day of a festival, if you don’t want to meet and face the tantrums of your relatives and friends, the best idea would be to set off for a drive at a peaceful place nearby. That’s exactly what I and my family did on the day of Holi.

First of all, Holi is a festival of colours celebrated in India. It involves either powdered or liquid colours being splashed and applied on each others face and these colours aren’t permanent and could be washed out. But, we didn’t want to celebrate it as we preferred peace, rather than the noisy and messy fun. For an outing, near enough to return back before the end of the day, the perfect spot was one and only Chikhaldara.

IMG_20170313_115611 (Copy)

A land of mountains, Chikhaldara boasts of contorted roads mixed with steep valleys alongside. We live in Amravati, a district situated around 70 kms away from Chikhaldara and it is the most common place for us to visit on holidays. However, we didn’t have any intention to hang over there, what we needed is just a short drive. We left home at 8 AM in the morning without having breakfast and just a few sips of tea. In an hour, we were out of Amravati and were reaching near Paratwada which is a town arrives on the way. It took another hour to cross the bustling Paratwada area and, we started entering into Chikhaldara.

Pic_1

Pic_2

Once you start getting nearer to this place, it isn’t difficult to identify so as the view of the mountains in the offing is a clear indicator. The most loved part of this place is the miles of contorted and sharply twisted roads which we start to enjoy immediately after touching the bottom of the mountains and start scrambling upwards. The roads are a mixture of smooth tarmac and undulated sections. The intensely serpentine roads could be a challenge to move on as they are crampingly narrow and the deep valleys literally threaten you of falling down.

As our car, the Chevrolet Beat was a quirky little hatchback, it didn’t demand to be driven much carefully. Except for the times when the turn would be so sharp that we need to stop and let the coming vehicle to pass. The roads were surrounded by dense forest but the trees had got leafless as the summer has started and the sun is getting hotter day by day. Yet, the scenery was something to admire and the deep valleys running beside the roads were thrilling and fascinating at the same time.

Pic_4

Pic_5

After driving for a few minutes we reached the top of the hill station and now it was time to visit various points and enjoy the view of towering hills and cool breeze flowing all over. The first point that arrives the very moment you enter into Chikhaldara is Bhimkund. It is a point located at a considerable height of a mountain where you are surrounded by deep valleys and chiselled-like-hills. Standing at a corner of this point, you can see an alluring view of layered mountains and the ones at the far distance are covered by haze. What adds to the treat is the frantically flowing wind which makes you stay still over there for minutes and enjoy the feel of nature. Along with various birds, the creature you will see in the highest number are monkeys who enthral you by their daredevil stunts but are equally annoying when they forcefully grab the eatables from your hand and run away.

Pic_6

Once the Bhimkund was done, we moved on further and reached a lake which is a point for boating and horse riding. We did both. Boating wasn’t too much fun as the lake had dried and we didn’t an ample of the area to float on. But, the horse riding was something to talk about. The owner of the horse arrived us riding it with a great pace and it attracted us to do it. However, it wasn’t as easy as it looked. I couldn’t manage to ride it at even at half of the speed of which the owner did. It was frightening and made me realise that it requires days of practise to ride a horse.

Pic_7

Pic_8.jpg

Boating and horse riding ended being an exhausting activity and now it was time to visit Panchbol point. The significance of the name is that, when you stand at this point and shout loudly, you can hear your echo five times. The way to Panchbol point was filled with gravel, rocks and giant potholes. The rough terrain made us drive at the speed of 20 to 30 kmph and it was downward inclined. When we reached, there weren’t too many people over there, maybe because the talk of hearing your echo five times has just become a myth. And we experienced that as my voice was heard only twice after shouting. After clicking a few pictures, it was time to move back home as the sun was about to set.

Pic_9

Again, while returning, it was time to enjoy the same twisties, however this time it was downwards and needed to be driven carefully. Though this place is not known to too many people in India, but those who live about 100 to 200 kms away, it is the best holiday destination for them.