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Bike ride plus trek near Roha: 14th Sep

Posted by itrekz on September 7, 2008

Hello..
Next weekend, Sunday – 14th of Sep would see a bike ride and trek to forts of Avchitgad and Ghosalgad forts near Roha. The bike ride would cover a distance of Kalyan – Panvel – Roha or Mumbai/Thane – Panvel – Roha. 

The total riding distance from Kalyan would be approximately 110-115 kms one side. For those coming from Mumbai add another 30/35 kms to it: approximately 150 kilometres depending on the route taken.

We will embark on Saturday (13th September night) and return back on Sunday (14th Sep).. covering approximately a total distance of 250-300 kms and two forts. We would also try and squeeze in a visit to Mandad caves (if the time permits without delaying our return to Mumbai).. depending on the overall speed.. thats just if it is feasible.

Interested ones can drop in an email at itrekz@gmail.com or leave a reply here.. (emails preferred)

If you are going to ride.. and have your own bike.. it is never going to be an issue, if you are a pillion and are looking for a biker to ride with, please allow some time to accommodate by replying at the earliest. For further queries.. mail at the above mentioned email address…

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Upcoming treks

Posted by itrekz on July 22, 2008

Panhala-Vishalgad is already fixed for the long weekend overlapping with our Independence day leave!
what next..?? Here is it..

Ajoba  trek on  30th August 2008 
Nice retreat in monsoons!

Avchitgad and Ghosalgad Bike trek on 14 September 2008

Cost on an equal per head shared basis!

Mail in at itrekz@gmail.com if interested!

Following up.. come october and you will find long “paaytod” treks as if Lonavala-Bhimashankar and Panhala-Vishaldgad aren’t long enough!

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iRidez

Posted by itrekz on July 11, 2008

Hey, all those who have been following iTrekz till now would have definitely understood the cord that connects us to Motorbiking. It is in response to this cognizance that we finally have decided to go planned and measured in catering to insatiable appetites for motorbiking. We dedicate a full fledged page on our blog and will cater one ride per month program to the enthusiasts.

Although flexibility is the key word herein, we would stick to our protocols and see through that we revv up our throttles and head on for some long rides on a regular basis – One ride per month!

Hail to the riders… but more importantly.. We believe and practise responsible riding!

iTrekz rides so far..

Mumbai-Mandangad-Dapoli-Harnai-Velas-Mandangad-Mumbai (600 kms~ in 2 days)

Mumbai-Bhiwandi-Wada-Khodala-Jawahar-Wada-Bhiwandi-Mumbai (300 kms~ in a day)

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Biking trail to Wada-Mokhada-Jawahar

Posted by itrekz on July 7, 2008

The ride…
250 km for some and 300 km for some… either ways it doesn’t get any easier on roads more curvaceous than a spiral and as narrow as it can get. Well, the rains just added that extra bit of zing for the slippery sheen on the smooth tar that MSRDC has commendably laid to the remotest possible corners in Maharashtra and couple that with the crater-i-form texture that the torrential rains usually leaves on the surface! Whoa.. it was some biking trail visiting the remote and hilly talukas of Jawahar, Wada and Mokhada in Thane district.

The speedo hovered around 50-60-70 kmph for some on the dry stretches of sharp curves, and 40-50 on wet and descending curves with constant pedal on the rear brakes..well the discs where hardly put into action and only when the rear where a bit insufficient to prevent the slide off track! Well that wasn’t the top speed by any means since on the roads that were straight and smooth speedo did not shy away from the three figure mark!

Starting out…
We had a relatively early start and all were present at the scheduled meeting point- Bhiwandi Bypass at 8.00 AM. We were 7 riders in all with 3 pillions and 4 riders on the tourney. A 150 cc Pulsar from Panvel, a 125 cc Shine, another 125 cc Discover and the best of them all the 2-stroke power house 100 cc RX 100! Hot cuppa of tea sips at 8.00 AM and embarked on our journey we!

The circuit as decided to be completed in the day was Bhiwandi-Wada-Suryamal-Khodala-Mokhada-Jawahar-Wada-Bhiwandi – and so did we! The odometer for the day on completetion of the circuit gathered up around 275 kms plus, where as for the Panvel guy it matched exact 300 for the day!

Reaching Wada…
The road from Bhiwandi to Wada is pretty much straight forward and nothing much to excite about when a rider has to negotiate with the smokes and fumes that the trucks and buses emanate and we dodge and zoom past as overtaking opportunity crops up! The ~35 Kms ride is nothing more to write about. Double that with Bhiwandi’s diabolic traffic and pathetic road sense we the ride till Wada is a mediocre experience for any rider..we weren’t spared either. But as always riding in itself offers so much for the seekers that everything else is just a pit lane where there are no pit stops!

Wada junction and another cuppa of tea for us, mere 35 kms on the saddle… oh such a leisure..well that’s what we out on Sundays! A 5 minutes break and we headed towards Khodala, enroute Suryamal. Bifurcating from the junction on the right takes one to Khodala via Parli! Well and that is exactly the route which magnetised us towards this trail. The total distance from Wada to Khodala via Suryamal is ~ 50 Kms and it is a treat! The traffic deviates on the left from the junction and the right trail which we followed is just a ride that any rider would yearn for!

Khodala trail…
The cooing of the birds, gushing of the streams- numerous streams that you pass over the narrow bridges, the lush green and thick forests in between that fight hard and successfully prevents the penetrating suns rays to hit the ground, the drizzling rains that just leaves a sheen on the black road the intermittent pits, rumbles and villages, the sun and the shade and just about everything that makes this route a treat. The road tries hard, but fails against the terrain and struggles to keep straight even for 100 metres. The intervening curves and gradients are what that makes the route even more interesting!

The magic of nature…
12 km enroute is Mandwa village which we bypassed and further ahead 5km was our next halt.. 17kms from Wada is a tranquil village setting: Parali. We stopped our roaring phat-phatis and let the silence creep in the tranquil ambience and the content filling our hearts and souls. The green offered some perfect landscapes to shoot. A quick gaze around and we headed for Suryamal. On the way a couple of stops were just inevitable as the Garjai river criss-crossed our paths and kept inviting us for a dip in the thickets surrounding it! It definitely tried to compete with the Amazon, but alas you know this might be a hyperbole! Well.. it isn’t anyless and a visual treat in its own right: Garjai river bed was amazing and the view overhead was just wonderful as we spread out our arms from the edges and embraced the flowing breeze!

Suryamal retreat…
Not long ago before we reached Suryamal – The highest point in the region. Suryamal is a now a quite well developed village place. There is a large enough school (Up to 10th grade) being managed by a Ashram Sanstha that provided education and boarding facilities to more than 500 students from the nearby tribal areas. It is indeed heartening to see these developments in remote areas and that the slate-n pencil is penetrating in these areas too! We had a brief chat with the superintendent of the Ashram school before leaving for a biped trail on the vast expanse of the lush green plateau. We came across numerous Nachani (Red Millet/Ragi) fields on the plateau. There were number of wells dotting the landscape too! All in all the plateau is well favoured by the rain Gods and abundant irrigation facilities makes it quite a suitable place for Nachani cultivation.

We traced our foot steps right up to the edge of the plateau of looking the Garjai River bed and the route which we gradually scaled from Wada to Suryamal. The enchanting landscape filled our visions before we decided to head our way back to our motorbikes.

Khodala batata wadas…
Suryamal-Khodala is quick route and not long before we reached there, mostly a descent! Khodala is well to do township and you can help yourself with some snacks and lunch here. We savoured cuppa of tea n khari and hot batata wadas as usual. There is no petrol pump in the vicinity, but one can actually get it in black (Rs 60 p/l) in the nearby areas! We moved ahead filling our tummies!

If one wishes one can cut short the journey and head for Kasara from Khodala and get back to Mumbai via NH3. We were however not satiated with the offering so far! We continued ahead towards Jawahar. On the way just 3 kms from Khodala is a beautiful Ganesh temple at Deobandh. There is a beautiful serene river flowing right behind the temple barely 10 metres away. A wonderful ambience and perfect setting for a days outing if one doesn’t wish to roar their engines further! We paid our obeisance at the temple and moved ahead on our tourney.

Bumpy ride…
The worst part of the road was yet to greet us and we soon realised it just as we moved past Deobandh. The road is riddled with just so many pits and craters that the bikes just rollicked up and down over the rough terrains and bumpy tars! My pillion had a rocking time I must say as I refused to get my hands of the throttle. Oh did he have some goose bumps? Well..he did!

Jawahar palace…
Not long before we reached Jawahar junction. A left turn from here and a wonderful silken smooth road ahead say us covering the following 222 kms in a whisker of the time frame. The road is absolute beauty from here..wonderful curves, but butter smooth surface..and especially after the just passed bumpy terrain! Reached Jawahar!

We made our way to the Jai Vilas palace, the huge palace of the then King of the Warli tribe. The Palace was built and furnished dating back to 1940. Its still very well maintained and has actually attracted many prosperous bidders to take its possession..but to no avail as the owner is not lured in by the bids amounting to even by the tune of 100 crores! A quick visit to the palace and not time for the lunch break awaited us.

We had a good meal in one of the restaurants at Jawahar. It was raining hard and heavy as we were under the cozy shelter of the Dhaba. Another 45 minutes in there and it was time to head back to Mumbai. We made our way over the smooth roads towards Wada again. As always I say and really feel the return journey is a pain..pain because we just don’t want to get back to the urbanized lifestyles..still a next weekends reconciliation is good enough to raise the throttle and move back!

Returning back…
~6kms from the Palce is Dhanu phata. A right turn from here leads towards Dahanu and the straight one leads to Wada. We kept straight and moved further. The road is pretty much a nice drive amongst thick forests surrounding, but well tread! On the way we came across a junction. The route from the right (30 km) to Wada via Vikramgad and is around 10 kms more than the one on the left that directly leads to Wada (20 km). We took the shorter one as we wanted to get back to Mumbai before it before it became too late. A 20 kms of smooth ride got us back to Wada.

Another cuppa of tea, probably the last one for the day together before we headed towards Bhiwani bypass. As in the morning, the Wada-Bhiwani ride was nothing much to write about and through the traffic again we reached Bhiwandi bypass: from where we were to bid adieu. Two bikes headed right towards Mumbai from the bypass where as two headed for Kalyan. It was 9.00 Pm by the time we reached Kalyan.

Adieu time..
Well.. a wonderful trail for the day and as always I would like to say thanks for the wonderful company that I cherished with my friends.. precisely Amod, Pravin, Akshay, Vishwa, Vinita and Shalini… A wonderful day we had together!

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Wada-Suryamal-Khodala-Mokhada-Jawahar-Wada biking trail

Posted by itrekz on July 4, 2008

iTrekz would be doing Wada-Khodala-Mokhada-Jawahar-Wada biking circuit coming weekend, on 6th July 2008.

The route is just pleasure in monsoons and a detour to Suryamal is just wondrous. The Wada-Mokahada-Jawahar circuit is around 120 Kms and from Kalyan-Bhiwandi-Wada it adds up another 80 (to and fro) total riding would be around 200 kilometers.

Hail to the rain god and road departments. )

Interested ones can just drop in an email to itrekz@gmail.com

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Photographs of the biking trail

Posted by itrekz on June 9, 2008

Photographs of the Konkan biking trail..

http://picasaweb.google.com/itrekz/BikeTripToKonkan2Days6Forts3VillagesAndLoadsOfFun

http://itrekzphotos.wordpress.com/

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Konkan bike trip: A Travelogue

Posted by itrekz on June 3, 2008

The prelude…
Standing on the edge of the bastion I was embracing the cool winds flowing offshore on one of those coastal forts in a serene village of Konkan, as my visions were filled with the seamless blending of the emerald green of the Arabian Sea and the Sapphire blue of the clear skies. The gushing sound of the water seemed to dissolve the golden sands on the shores of Suvarnadurga isle as the green frothed into effervescent white and the gold quietly surrendering to the might of the invading sea waves. Such was the magnificence of the beauty that nature bestowed us with in these two memorable days.

Two days, 570 kilometers, six forts and three tranquil villages is the concise material description of what we experienced on the just passed weekend. However, the real essence of those moments is just beyond vocabulary to express.

We all started out on the night of 30th May 2008 on our Konkan biking trail, which was supposed to cover six forts and nearby places of interest in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. It was a long drive that we chose to embark on those dark nights on the Mumbai-Goa highway. Of course not many would recommend it, especially with the blaring lights in your eyes that the heavy vehicles throw and rush perilously close to the lining two wheelers. Unless you have the endurance to bear and keep your sights steady against those blinding headlights and endure through the sleepless night, please do not undertake such long night drives on two wheelers. We supposedly possessed these qualities and with a sane head on our shoulders decided to embark on the same tourney.

Embarking from Kalyan…
We started from Kalyan at 11.00 PM on Friday, 30th May night. It was me with my 125cc Honda Shine and Shailendra with his 125 cc Bajaj Discover starting from here. Raj was pillion to me and carrying a heavy backpack on his shoulders. We started out with cognizant minds of the long drive that the dark night had in store for us through those secluded roads. After a drive through traffic filled Shil phata-Panvel road, we reached Panvel at around 12.00 in the midnight. It was at Panvel that we were joined by Nilesh and Rohan Karande, the remaining two riders on the trail. Nilesh was pillion to Shailendra, while Rohan Karande was the lone rider.

So here was the complete team that grouped up and adjusted their backpacks and bikes and was ready to go. Shailendra with a patient head was supposed to stay in front and me in the rear, while Rohan Karande, the lone rider in between us. The pack quietly moved out of the Panvel city and that is when they began to feel the thinning density of road traffic and growing seclusion and darkness. Once they treaded along the Goa highway after bifurcation from the Mumbai-Pune road, it was a cool and calm ambience greeting us with in between glares of the opposing vehicular traffic. As planned earlier, we quickly saw Pen being left behind and approached Wadkhal Naka. We decided to have a break at Wadkhal Naka and helped ourselves with simmering hot cup of tea to stay alert and awake, not really J!

Reaching Mandangad…
After a brief session break at Wadkhal, we started on our journey further. Our next destination for the scheduled halt was supposed to be Mangaon. The metalled road of the highway quickly slipped under the tyres of three motor bikes as we breezed past Nagothane and Kolad. Moving across the lonely roads at a brisk pace and enjoying the cool winds under the twinkling stars was a treat, yet caution was of utmost importance. In a few while we reached Mangaon for our second round of tea. So did we, after nice filler with Omlette Paav we cherished the hot tea and geared up for further journey. Our next destination was direct halt at Sade village, approximately 11 Kms from Mandangad. Sade village was our base for the entire two day trip and more importantly it is the native village of Rajendra.

We reached Lonere and breezed past it and in a few while reached Veer Dasgaon. From Veer, we had to take a right turn and so did we. After few quite kilometers over a bit rough patch, we reached a bifurcation which indicated us a left turn to reach Mandangad via Mhapral village. A road was not the best we had seen so far, but surely was a lot better than the one we had in our stores for the next day.

We moved past Mhapral village and at a point, which indicates Mandangad as 11 Kms away, known as Shinale we had to leave the road towards Mandangad and take a left turn towards Sade village. After a bumpy ride of about 7 kms, we reached Sade, the native village home of Rajendra. It was 5.00 AM dawn and the village was up and awake. We were eagerly awaited and welcomed at Rajendra’s home by the neighbours. We dropped our sacks, stretched our stiffened backs and immediately went flat on the floor. It was a 180 Kms long drive on the dark boulevards and the last stretch being quite bumpy.

Rest awaited us and a much deserved one!

Reaching Dapoli…
We tried to sleep, but forget it. It was 7.00AM in the morning and we quickly woke up towards freshening up for a long day ahead: Consumed by biking.. fort visits… villages.. and much more!

Our next target was Dapoli via Mandangad. After a nice Tandulachi Bhakri with delicious Khobra-Mirchi cha thecha, we moved out on our bikes. We visited the Gaondevi mandir in the village and started towards Mandangad. One way towards Mandangad, one comes across Dapoli Phata to the left indicating a distance of 42 kms for Dapoli. We followed this route and it was bliss. The road was decently even with occasional bumps, but the lush green on either side of the road made it a perfect boulevard to ride on. The green and the intermittent cool breeze made it a pleasant experience.

After winding turns and ups and downs, 42 kms were rolled by and we reached Dapoli. Dapoli is quite a developed township and caters good facilities for tourists. We had a quick tea break and further moved on towards Harnai port, which was 13 kms further away from Dapoli. Actually, when we left the tea stall not many were actually impressed by the thought of further biking! Few kms more and we reached Harnai port.

Witnessing the Grandeur of Suvarnadurga…
We reached Harnai and for a bargain of 400 Rs in exchange for boating us to Suvarnadurga and back we hired a boat. Suvarnadurga looks magnificently secluded with its imposing tall fort walls and structures. It is not much far away from the shore and merely takes a 15 minutes boat sail to reach the shores of Suvarnadurga isle. As one steps on the golden sands of Suvarnadurga, one is amazed by the grandiosity of its architecture. The Mahadarwaja is nicely hidden and the fortifications quite intact. The landscape was perfect and the view just surreal. To know more about Suvarnadurga fort, click here…

https://itrekz.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/anjarle-suvarnadurga-kanakdurga-goa-and-fattegad/

After being mesmerized by the marvel of Suvarnadurga fort, one really wonders why this fort could not gain as much popularity like Janjira and Kulaba and such.

We sailed back towards Harnai port constantly turning back to see the imposing architecture of Suvarnadurga.

Kanakdurga, Fattegad and Goa fort…
The Sun was blazing harsh on us by now and it was nearing mid-day. The sweltering heat saw s perspiring profusely, but we made sure that we had adequate intake of fluids as well. After being charmed by Suvarnadurga, we quickly wrapped up the trio of Kanakdurga, Fattegad and Goa fort. Nothing much is to be seen and said about these three forts, other than that they must have served as mere watch towers and protection for Suvarnadurga. Kanakdurga is devoid of any ruins and now houses a Light house and few quarters for the staff manning the light house. Fattegad is completely non-existent and is now a densely populated Koli hutment. Goa fort does offer some nice views and has a Balekilla, which offers a topographic view of the fort as well as Kanakdurga and Suvarnadurga. Some ruins and a magnificent Mahadarwaja are all that is remaining on Goa fort.

We visited these three fort sand moved towards Anjarle village.

More about these forts at
https://itrekz.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/anjarle-suvarnadurga-kanakdurga-goa-and-fattegad/

Anjarle cha Kadya varcha Ganpati…
Anjarle is a small village nestled in the lush green Konkan belt of Maharashtra famous for its Kadya Varcha Ganpati Mandir. Just 4 kms away from Harnai port, we reached there in a jiffy. Later it was renovated during 1768 to 1780.

The temple at Anjarle is considered to be Jagrut devasthan and has one of those rare Ganesh idols with his trunk curved towards the right side (Ujvya sondecha Ganpati). The cliff offers a fabulous view of the landscape including the Suvarnadurg Fort. Beside the Ganesh temple there is a small but beautiful temple of Lord Shiva and a nearby pond with turtles and number if species of fishes. After quick visit to the temple we had a pure Konkan delight with simple poli-Bhaji-Chatni and Amti Bhat served in our dish. The Kairi-Khobra chatni was a treat. We had no less than a mini feast out there and at an amazingly economic price of Rs 40 per plate, and that too unlimited. The Kokam sarbat to top it was delight as well. After a heavy mid day meal, a 30 minute nap time saw all others except me and Shailya sleeping!

Reaching Bankot…
It was 3.30 Pm when we decided to have a move on. The road from Anjarle to Bankot was one of thw worst we had experience so far on this ride. We were surprised to know that it was actually a mud road with Tar craters in between. It was pathetically rough and able enough to loosen our stiffened bodies. An hour and half over these bumps saw us to Bankot village. A steep ascent riding on increased fuel consumption saw us near Bankot fort.

One hour was enough to have a good look at Bankot. The chor Darwaja, Mahadarwaja and all the ruins besides interesting history associated with Bankot saw us refreshed for a good Sun-set at Velas. We moved on towards Velas village.

Velas…
From Bankot village, proceed towards Velas village along the road which runs parallel to the coastline. Velas, the birth place of very diplomatic Nana Phadnis of the Peshwa is a very tranquil village merely two km from Bankot. The residence of Nana Phadnis, even though now in ruins, still bears testimony to the great person that Nana was. Calm beach and the perfect village setting make it surely worth a visit.

There is an old temple of Shri Bhairi-Rameshwar and in this temple all twelve months water is made available taking the benefit of favorable geographical conditions. A statue of Nana Phadnis is present outside his house. In Velas Mahalakshmi temple and Nana Phadnis house are the places to visit.

The Sun set through the Pine trees on the horizons of Arabian Sea was a treat to our eyes.

We retraced our way back to the comforts of our base at Sade village by 8.00 Pm and after a nice dinner of plain Varan bhaat with chatni, we retired for a good nights sleep.

To know more about Bankot fort and Velas click here
https://itrekz.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/bankot-for-and-velas-village/

Sunday morning wake up call…
Early morning rise up at 7.00 AM seemed a bit too early after a long previous day. We quickly had the morning freshener with black tea to liven up the spirits. We set of towards Mandangad fort. With a mud road now trailing right up to the summit of Mandangad, we were quite ready to do it in a jiffy in spite of the previous two hectic days. We quickly moved out of Sade village and reached Mandangad, where a nice Misal Pav helped us to fill our tummies. After a quick breakfast we moved towards the steep grind of the winding mud road that took us to the top of Mandangad fort. The fort now is in ruins and except for a Ganesh temple a Thorla Talav next to it, there is nothing much atop except a few ruins. A ride up and down the mud trail was no less than dirt track driving and carefully negotiating the pebble strewn path was a fun to be experienced.

To know more about Mandangad visit https://itrekz.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/mandangad-fort/

After visiting the fort we moved back to the well trodden metalled road and started on our return journey with halts at Mangaon and Wadkhal respectively. The luncheon at Wadkhal was too heavy with nice Punjabi dishes on the platter. We bid farewell to each other at the end of a wonderful biking tourney and visits to some of the most wonderful forts on the Konkan coastline waiting for its due share of recognition and to be thronged by the tourists.

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Konkan Biking trail

Posted by itrekz on May 17, 2008

Tentative itinerary for the upcoming event list
The schedule is subject to change as the circumstances on the actual outing dictates and on the general consensus of its majority of the participants.

Bike trip to Konkan region
Mumbai-Mandangad-Bankot-Anjarle-Harnai and back

  • Mumbai-Panvel : 45 Km
  • Panvel-Pen : 25 Km
  • Pen-Wadkhal : 7 Km
  • Wadkhal-Nagothane : 23 Km
  • Nagothane-Kolad : 21 Km
  • Kolad-Lonera : 32 Km
  • Lonera-Mandangad : 23 Km
  • Mandangad-Bankot : 30 Km
  • Bankot-Anjarle : 16 Km
  • Anjarle-Harnai : 7 Km

Mumbai-Harnai : 230 Kms
To and Fro, including the circuitous visits to forts and nearby areas like Velas : 500 Km

Forts to be covered:

  • Bankot
  • Goa
  • Fattegad
  • Harnai
  • Suvarnadurga
  • Kanakdurga
  • Mandangad

Rough plan:

  • Friday night departure from Mumbai; i.e. on 30th May
  • Saturday : Bankot fort-Velas-Anjarle-Harnai-Goa-Kanakdurga-Fattegad-Suvarnadurga; i.e. 31st May
  • Sunday: Mandangad fort and return journey to Mumbai; i.e. 1st June

The exact plan and the details would be discussed and elucidated at the pre-tour meetings.

All those who are interested can drop in a mail at itrekz@gmail.com

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