Ride De Maharashtra

Monsoons unlock a whole new aura of green and serenity in Maharashtra – like the “green saturation” has been turned to a 100%.

In spite of the recent intense rains which has crippled life in some regions of this beautiful state – we were welcomed with stunning vistas, impeccable roads and the sweetest people who truly personify ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’, a Sanskrit verse that translates to ‘consider the guest as god’.

View from Sajjangad Fort - Motorcycle Touring in Maharashtra

View from Sajjangad Fort of the road leading to Thoseghar Falls!!

Motorcycles:

KTM Duke 390 Touring in Maharashtra - MSH4

KTM Duke 390 on MSH 4

Triumph Daytona 675R Touring in Maharashtra - MSH4

Triumph Daytona 675 R on MSH 4

Day 1: Bangalore > Belgaum > Amboli Ghat  > Sawantwadi

  • Distance: 605 kms
  • Stay: Hotel Renuka Palace, Sawantwadi @ 1260 INR/night/room (Non-AC)
  • Parking for motorcycles: Sheltered parking within hotel premises

Must-do Things:

  • Soak-in the beautiful landscape of Western Ghats laced with mist, waterfalls and the twisty-roads of the Amboli Ghat
  • Belt delicious chaats in Sawantwadi coupled with a lazy stroll around the lake within the town
Riding on Amboli Ghat - Triumph Daytona 675R and KTM Duke 390

Amboli Ghat

Day 2: Sawantwadi > Malvan > Kudal > Ratnagiri (via MSH 4 aka Maharashtra State Highway 4)

  • Distance: 201 kms
  • Stay: Mango Villa, Ratnagiri @ 1600 INR/night/room (Non-AC)
  • Parking for motorcycles: Sheltered parking within homestay

Must-do Things:

  • Ride the MSH 4 – Ditch the NH 66 and take this state highway that offers pristine views of the landscape and beaches along the route
  • Savor delicious food at Hotel Amantran, Ratnagiri (My personal favorite being the meal-thali)
  • Visit the Ratnagiri Fort (south-side to go inside the Lighthouse) – Ratnagiri Lighthouse allows visitors to enter the Lighthouse for public between 4 pm to 6 pm
Maharastra Ride - KTM Duke 390 and Triumph Daytona 675R on MSH 4 Malvan

MSH 4 – Ride along the coast from Malvan to Ratnagiri

Aamras Thali at Hotel Amantran Ratnagiri

Aamras Thali at Hotel Amantran Ratnagiri

Day 3: Ratnagiri > Devrukh > Marleshwar > Amba Ghat > Panhala > Kolhapur

  • Distance: 180 kms
  • Stay: Digvijay Residency, Kolhapur (AirBnB) @ 900 INR/night/room (Non-AC)
  • Parking for motorcycles: Sheltered parking within the house

Must-do Things:

  • En-route to Marleshwar Falls – Imagine looking at about 30+ waterfalls in a single frame!!
  • Ride through Amba Ghat – beautiful twisty road best relished only on a motorcycle!!
  • Visit Panhala Fort, one of the largest forts in the Deccan region
Serene village near Devrukh - En-route Marleshwar Falls with Daytona 675R

Serene Village near Devrukh – En-route Marleshwar Falls

Touring Maharastra on motorcyles - En-route Marleshwar Waterfalls

Marleshwar Falls

Amba Ghat - Touring Maharashtra on a Triumph Daytona 675R

Amba Ghat

Day 4: Kolhapur > Sajjangad Fort > Thoseghar Falls > Satara > Wai > Panchgani > Mahabaleshwar

  • Distance: 235 kms
  • Stay: Hirkani Garden Resort, Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani road @ 1000 INR/night/room (Non-AC)
  • Parking for motorcycles: Sheltered parking within the resort

Must-do Things:

  • Visit Sajjangad Fort and Thoseghar Falls
  • Bun-maska and chai at Lucky Bakery, Panchgani
Enroute Sajjangad Fort Satara

En-route Sajjangad Fort

Mota Dabdabba - Thoseghar Falls Satara

Mota Dabdabba – Thoseghar Falls

Chota Dabdabba - Thoseghar Falls Satara

Chota Dabdabba – Thoseghar Falls

Bun Maska and Chai at Lucky Bakery Panchgani

Bun Maska Chai at Lucky Bakery Panchgani

Day 5: Mahabaleshwar > Poladpur > Varandh Ghat > Bhor > Lonavala

  • Distance: 235 kms
  • Stay: Ferreira Resort, Lonavala @ 1000 INR/night/room (Non-AC)
  • Parking for motorcycles: Sheltered parking within the resort

Must-do Things:

  • Varandh Ghat – the most scenic ghat I have ever visited, but laced with the most-horrible roads (worth the scenery)
  • Relish Dryfruit, soft Chikkis at Maganlal and Chocolate Fudge at Cooper’s at Lonavala
Varandh Ghat Maharashtra - Touring on the Daytona 675R

Varandh Ghat – the most scenic ghat I have ever seen in South India!!

View from Varandh Ghat Maharashtra - KTM Duke 390 and Triumph Daytona 675R

Viewpoint at Varandh Ghat

Day 6: Lonavala > Karjat > Mhasa > Malshej Ghat > Alephata > Pune

  • Distance: 270 kms
  • Stay: We were hosted by our dear friend Alok in Pune

Must-do Things:

  • En-route to Malshej – brilliant roads and vistas
  • Stopover at MTDC Malshej for tea and snacks with stunning views of Malshej Ghat (if the mist obliges: D)
Mhasa - en-route Malshej Ghat - Touring on a Triumph Daytona 675R

En-route Malshej Ghat near Mhasa

Malshej Ghat in Maharashtra

Malshej Ghat – Maharashtra

Bhimashankar Wildlife Reserve Forest Canopy - Enroute Malshej Ghat

Forest Canopy – Bhimashankar Wildlife Reserve Forest

Day 7 & 8: Pune – to rejuvenate the motorcycles and ourselves

We revelled with delicious foods @ Puneri Misal at Bedekar Tea Stall and Bun Mask Chai, Kheema Pav at Café GoodLuck, Kalyan Bhel, Marz-o-rin and Kayani Bakery.

Puneri Misal at Bedekar Tea Stall Pune

Puneri Misal at Bedekar Tea Stall Pune

Bun Omlette Cheese at Cafe Goodluck Pune

Bun Omlette Cheese at Cafe Goodluck Pune

Day 9: Pune > Bangalore

The most boring part of the ride, since our Maharashtra Ride was over and the arrow-straight National Highway (NH48/AH47) added to our woes.

Total distance covered during the Maharashtra Ride: 3000 kms

MSH4 - Malvan to Ratnagiri on a Triumph Daytona 675R and KTM Duke 390

MSH 4 – Malvan to Ratnagiri

I truly believe that the monsoons are the best time to visit Maharashtra, everything is so enchanting, full of life and devoid of the tourist-rush.

Thank you for the wonderful hospitality and hosting us and our motorcycles!!

Weekend Monsoon Ride Getaways from Bangalore

Monsoon is the most-awaited season in India, when everything rejuvenates – lands turn green, highways get crowned by lush green canopies and structures, roads appear clean and fresh.

The otherwise disarming charm of places and travel unveil a whole new dimension during monsoons. Presenting the 3 must-visit weekend monsoon ride destinations from my beloved Bangalore.

1) Mekanagadde, Mudigere

Laze around, soak up the pristine air and views of the Western Ghats..

Nestled between Chikmagalur and Sakleshpur, Mekanagadde is the home to ‘Bettada Bhairaveshwara Temple’, a 600-year old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva offering some stunning views of the Western Ghats laced with clouds.

Triumph Daytona 675 R at Bettada Bhairaveshwara Temple at Mekanagadde

Reveling in the pristine air of Mekanagadde!!

Useful Information on Mekanagadde:

  • Route: Bangalore > Sakleshpur > Anemahal > Hanbal > Devarunda > Mekkanagadde
  • Distance from Bangalore: 255kms
  • Road Condition: Brilliant tarmac till Devarunda (the last 5 to 10kms to the temple is being repaired, so be cautious)
  • What to see: Bettada Bhairaveshwara Temple, Mekanagadde
  • Where to Stay: Mekanagadde Home Stay
  • Where to Eat:  Sakleshpur – choose from Hotel Surabhi or Hotel Ashritha (both are right on the highway with good amenities)
Bettada Bhairaveshwara Temple at Mekanagadde near Hanbal Sakleshpur

Bettada Bhairaveshwara Temple in full glory!!

Touring in Sakleshpur on a Triumph Daytona 675R

Its ok to stray off the highway 😛

2) Ayyana kere, Sakharayapatna

Witness the magnitude of 2nd largest lake in Karnataka, the biggest lake in Chikmagalur..

With the backdrop of Shakunagiri Hill towering at 4500 feet, this 900-year water body was created to support the farmers overcome shortage of water for irrigation by Raja Rukmangada.

Ayyana kere at Sakharayapatna about 20 kms from Chikmaglur

Ayyana kere – Be stunned by its vastness..

Useful Information on Ayyanakere:

  • Route: Bangalore > Chikmagalur > Sakharayapatna > Ayyana kere (Chikmagalur-Kadur highway NH173)
  • Distance from Bangalore: 225kms
  • Road Condition: Brilliant tarmac all the way up-till the lake-bed
  • What to see: serene roads en route to the lake
  • Where to Stay: Chikmagalur
  • Where to Eat:  Not many options to eat at Sakharayapatna (recommend to eat/carry food from Chikmagalur)
Coffee plantations grace the Sakleshpur to Belur (SH112)

Miles and miles of coffee plantations 🙂

Sakleshpur to Belur State Highway (SH112)

Green Tunnel 🙂

3) Kotagiri, Ooty

Tea Estates and delicious chocolates..

Relatively ‘not-so commercialized’ (yet) amongst Ooty and Conoor is Kotagiri (Mountain of the KotasKota is the traditional tribe of Nilgiris), blessed with beautiful roads and hectares of lush-tea estates guarded by cloud-clad Nilgiris.

In fact, the limelight on Kotagiri faded once the direct road from Mettupalyam to Conoor was built – before that one had to reach Ooty via Kotagiri from Mettupalyam.

Touring on the Daytona with Arai Helmet in Kotagiri-ooty

Infini-Tea Plantations grace the Kotagiri-Ooty Highway

Useful Information on Kotagiri & Ooty:

  • Route: Bangalore > Chamarajanagar > Satyamangalam > Bannari > Mettupalyam > Kotagiri (for the love of twisty roads)
  • Distance from Bangalore: 315 kms
  • Road Condition: Brilliant (I am yet to encounter bad roads or bad food in Tamil Nadu!!)
  • What to see: Kodanad View Point & Catherine Falls
  • Where to Stay: Lots of lodges, villas, cottages in Kotagiri
  • Where to Eat:  Head to Ooty (lots of options and don’t forget to relish home-made chocolates)
Roasted Almond Dark Chocolate Moddys or Modern Stores Ooty

Never miss a chance to ride for chocolates 😀

Touring on the Triumph Daytona 675R near Kotagiri-Ooty

Lush green hills and step-farms adorning the Nilgiris 🙂

These monsoon weekend ride getaways are best relished with great company, your favorite music, motorcycles and the numerous breaks along the highway for chai and charcoal roasted corn laced with spicy chutney.

Bon Appetite and Safe Riding!!