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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
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.
Hyderabad to Maredumilli plan
Frustrated with Hyderabad traffic and bad roads due to rains, I have decided to get out of the city and explore the farm lands of Godavari district and the forest range of Maredumilli.
Idea is to go on a quick getaway.
All the accommodations at Maredumilli are full.
This did not dampen my spirits.
Its not about the destination, It is the drive that matters to me.
Did some quick research and booked accommodation at the nearest town which is Rajahmundry.
Hyderabad to Maredumilli route plan(best route):
Hyderabad to Maredumilli has two routes
Route 1 : Hyderabad --> Suryapet --> Vijayawada --> Tanuku --> Rajahmundry --> Maredumilli
Route 2 : Hyderabad --> Suryapet --> Khammam --> Kothagudem --> Bhadrachalam --> Chintur --> Maredumilli
Route 1: It is the best route to take. Completely 4-lane till Rajahmundry
Route 2 : Avoid it unless you are planning to cover Bhadrachalam
Day 1 : Hyderabad to Rajahmundry Day 2 : Rajahmundry to Maredumilli Day 3 : Exploring villages around Rajahmundry Day 4 : Rajahmundry to Hyderabad
Places to visit in Maredumilli and Rampachodavaram (link)
Excellent post @Surya78, your post helped us a lot.
Best places to visit in Maredumilli
1. Bhupathipalem reservoir : gmaps
2. Rampa Water Falls : Gmaps
3. VanaVihari Eco tourism : Gmaps
4. Bamboo Chicken is available near VanaVihari resort : Gmaps
5. View point, there is no name to this place, you will find it en-route to Amruthadhara : Gmaps
6. Amruthadhara waterfalls : Gmaps
Best resorts in maredumilli
Vanavihari Eco Tourism Center Aranya Eco Resorts Jungle Star Nature Camp Site Birds Nest Resorts
There are few private/small resorts at exotic locations. Need to do some research on those places.
Book the resort in advance during holidays/weekends.
I regularly commute on Hyderabad to Vijawayada highway, almost once in a month from the past 10 years.
Hyderabad to Vijayawada distance :275 kilometers
It is a single lane road, not enough to fit 3 vehicles at a time. It used take me 7 hours to travel from Hyderabad to Vijayawada. Blind curves. Highest accident ever occurred in the country. One of the busiest, mostly filled with trucks. Worst road condition, filled with unlimited potholes. Driving at night is a suicide.(zero visibility with those high beams) Some overtakes used to take me at least 15 minutes, Imagine 10 trucks trailing each other with no space between them, on a single lane! No proper hotels and washroom Worst fuel quality But I used to enjoy the drive, it is challenging and fun.
Year :2017(after a decade)
Now it has a 4-lane road, truck lay by lanes, emergency lanes and bridges across villages. It is taking me 4 hours from Hyderabad to Vijayawada. I am saving 3 hours. Many good hotels available, no issues with washrooms. Toll road, with road assistance and standby ambulance for safety. Continues patrol across the highway, last year a huge industrial truck was stuck on highway while taking u-turn. Patrol guys arrived within 15 minutes and took the situation under control.
Hotels between Hyderabad to Vijayawada
1. Village Aharam : Malkapur
First decent hotel on the highway
2. Highway 9 Restaurant : Nalgonda
Good for break fast
3. Hotel Vivera : Nalgonda
Recomended, If you are planning to diver towards Nalgonda.
4. Maa palle ruchulu : before suryapet
Village style hotel, don't expect luxury.
5. Hotel 7 : suryapet
Best in quality, very good washrooms. Recommended for families.
6. Numerous hotel in Suryapet.
You get all types verities over here.
7. G-hotel : Suryapet
8.Once you cross Suryapet, you won't find any proper hotels, though you can find many road side dhabas.
Please correct If i miss anything.
You can find then in every 20 kilometers radius.
It is a complete toll road, elevated 4-lane, on an average you pay around 1 rupee per kilometre, so it should be under 250/-
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