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Western Ghats exploration drive meet - Report
India is blessed to have the best of landscapes offering enthralling views & jaw dropping backdrops and We throttled down to explore our piece of paradise as we always do it.
Start point - Gachibowli (ORR)
End point - Pune (Hinjewadi)
Start time - 05:30 a.m.
Total Distance - ~1300 kms
Objective - Western ghats exploration, Matheran, Lonavla and Lohagad.
1) Volks Wagen Polo (Red)
2) Volks Wagen Polo (Red)
3) Hyundai i20 (Black)
4) Swift Dzire (Pacific Blue)
5) Volks Wagen Ameo (Toffee Brown)
6) Maruti Suzuki Ertiga (Brick Red)
7) Maruti Suzuki SX4 (Azure Grey)
😎 Hyundai Creta (White)
9) Jeep Compass (Red)
Hyderabad (Gachibowli) --> Zaheerabad --> Humnabad --> Solapur --> Indapur --> Hinjewadi (Pune)
1) Lohagad fort
2) Pavna Lake
3) Lonavla, Khandala
Day 1 : Hyderabad to Pune drive details
- Started at 5:30 AM in the morning ( due some delays)
- Breakfast stop at around 7:30 AM at Hotel Mahindra Paradise
- Very few options on this section due to new roads
- Road between Hyderabad to Humnabad is excellent.
- Humnabad to Solapur is pathetic, some sections are too narrow.
- Solapur to Pune is excellent, but recently new have installed speed bumps near villages.
- We had a lunch break at some road side restaurant.
- We reached Pune by 6PM.
- According to admins, we are very quick compared to last drive.
- During last drive they reached Pune at 7PM (started at 4AM)
- I think roads improved!
- We checked into Hotel Siesta which is excellent (Frankly, I did not expect such a luxurious rooms for the price)
Day 2 : Pune to Lohagad fort
- We started at 7/8 AM from Pune
- Since our accommodation is in outskirts.
- We reached highway within 10 minutes
- We had breakfast stop Kamat.
- Pune to Lohagad roads are scenic.
- We reached Lohagad, explored the fort and had lunch break.
- We drove to Lonavala, Tiger view point, We are literally above clouds in some sections.
- We reached Pune by night
Day 3 : Pune to Matheran
-We repeated the same schedule of Day2, till breakfast.
- We hit the famous Mumbai-Pune expressway
- I can clearly see everyone is pushing their cars, it was pure fun for drivers.
- Best experience of Mumbai-Pune expressway is during monsoon.
- Once we divert from expressway, roads to Mahteran are pathetic.
- It took us hours to complete 80 kilometres.
- I loved Mathern, they don't even allow cycles.
- Only transport option by walk or horse.
- Hotels on the hill top are below average.
- While driving back we reached pretty quick on the same route.
- We reached to Pune to 9PM
Day 4 : Pune to Hyderabad
- Drive is was uneventful
- It is similar to Day1
Apart from 1 Polo puncture, drive is fantastic throughout four days.
Hyderabad : Solapur : Pune : Lohagad fort : Lonavala : Pune : Matheran : Pune : Solapur : Hyderabad
Hyderabad to Solapur :
Hyderabad to Humnabad is good and Humnabad to Solapur is bad
Solapur to Pune :
Very good, but i have seen some uneven sections, It is no where close to Hyderabad-Bangalore sections
Pune to Lohagad:
Road are narrow scenic and good
Loahagad to Lonavala
Roads are bad
Lonavala to Pune
Road are excellent
Pune to Matheran
It is a mix of good and pathetic roads
If you read and think I am exaggerating, fabrication is just another style of Pinaki.... I go on my knees to say, I am little mad for beaches and this beach just unveiled the beauty of AP coastal line when I visited Chirala for the first time. I do carry the good memories and excitement in me b'coz it was planned overnight ( in less than 12 hours ) and did bring a name on my list that I can definitely visit more than once .
There are two ways to reach this spot.
You can either start early - take Nagarjuna Sagar Road, enjoy the sunrise , stop at Ethipothala waterfalls, click some pictures go towards Chilakaluripet and go towards Chirala. This route is not excellent or best road to drive and enjoy end to end though the first two spots are great to start your day and lose sometimes on way to Chirala
Early Morning picture towards Nagarjuna Sagar
Ethipothala waterfalls inside the property of Haaritha.
Take ORR - Exit gate 11 - Take Nalgonda
Second route and recommended.
Take ORR - Exit gate 11 - Take Nalgonda Road - Miriyalguda - Piduguralla - Narasaraopet - Chirala. Total Distance - 336 kms. The road is pretty good and have scenic beauty. You can definately mainatain a speed of 100 -120. There are three toll gates on the way.
It takes 6 hours . We did start at 3.30 in the morning , had a break at Piduguralla and reached Chirala by 10.15 am.
Chirala has very limited options. I have tried my luck at two different spots.
a) Sea Breeze Resort - Definitely a good place. Most of the travelers prefer staying here . Rooms on weekends go off soon and can be a problem if you go without booking. The resort has different varieties of rooms. Do not fall for room types. Request for information on the room location inside the resort, ventilation and facing of the room. Sea facing are only available with Deluxe room and cottages. Rest of the sea facing room are actually garden facing.
b) Lotus Buddha - The management is cooperative however the property is not well maintained . I was almost in depression of spending two nights at this resort. It is just in the middle of village with fishermen and local crowd. The smell and the not so maintained locality dampen the spirit and feeling for the place.
You can definitely order your food at the resorts. The quality, quantity and the service support is very decent and well maintained.
They do serve dinner on the beach at night. They charge you INR 500 for the effort. The experience is great if you go during full moon night. You see the sunset followed by the full Moon in the sky , high tide and the breeze.
the variety of food is also quite grand at Sea breeze. You have options from fish to chicken to Biriyani . Atleast they serve you what you see on the menucard.
A lot of people told me, they do order food from outside. Local villagers are great cook and serve you hot chicken and local dishes.
The beach is just opposite to the sea breeze property. My first trip was in September. The silver sand and the non sticky quality brings softness to your feet and happiness as you walk down the clean beaches. The water was so clear , it was literary blue. The beach is stretched over almost 7 kms and also have awesome tree lines across the road. Incase you feel you want a shade while you want to be on beach - simply go and take a seat under the shade and sip coconut water in the morning or in the afternoon and leisurely drink your fav one in the evening.
Collect broken or new designed shell, shoot around with crabs , or just lie down on the silver sand.
Check in - Check Out - Your check in time is 9 AM and check out is 9 PM. Breakfast is complimentary and includes Dosa, Idli, Kheer, Vada, Poori, Omlette, Juice , Tea, Coffee.
There is no local spots to drive around. Though you can visit the local saree mill for some handwork sarees or can even drive down to Narasaoraopet for Kotappakonda Temple . The Temple is on the top of a hill and has amaziong scenic beauty. The drive up to 5kms is really amazing and can be a good disconnect for sometimes.
Give Chirala a try! After all, small things bring more happiness so why you let this one go?
Apologies for the late reply. I finally completed the trip and it was a great experience.
I visited the below locations in span of 6 days and drove 2400 kms.
Nallamala Jungle camp Horsley hills Chennakesava temple Sompalam Kadiri Narsimha swamy temple Talakona waterfalls Tirupathi Srikalahasti
Hyderabad to Nallamala Jungle Camp
My planned route is Banglore highway i.e
Hyderabad ---> Jadcharla--->Kurnool-->Nandyal--->Nallamala Jungle Camp Pacherla
Excellent road conditions. I started my journey at 6:30 am from Hydearabad and reachd Nallama Jungle camp by 10:45 am , with a break in Kurnool for breakfast.
For 4000 Rs ( you will get cottage, breakfast,Lunch & Dinner at Nallamala Pacherla) , beware of Monkeys. Safari tour was adventurous but hardly we spot any wild life.
Nallamall Jungle camp to Horsley Hills
Planned route Nallamala Jungle Camp --->Rayachoti---> Horsley Hills (1-day break)
Roads are very good until Rayachoti. From there to Horsley hills it was pathetic , they are laying new roads and the present condition was worst. Please avoid this road by all means.
Horsley hills is a pretty good place to chill down and relax. The weather is pleasant always.
Here we had spend two days exploring Horsley hills and neary by places.
Chennakesava Temple at Sompalayam is a ancient forgotten temple with unbelievable architecture one should go and watch.
We also visite Kadiri Narsimha swamy temple on the way.
Halt at Tirupati (enroute Talakona Waterfalls)
Planned route Horsley Hills--> Talakona waterfalls --> Tirupati
Roads are pretty good with speed bumps at some places .
Tirupati NAM expressway Tirupati--->Srikalahasti-->Nellore-->Kavali-->Ongole-->Nalgonda-->Hyderabad.
While coming we took Nellore Kavali NAM express towards Hyderabad. The road condition is Ok with so many toll gates and some huge repairs in between. Somehow I feel and suggest to take Kurnool route to Tirupathi which is really good.
Attaching few photos from my tour , please have a look.
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