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Sunday, 23 July 2017

Bhandardara (Monsoon Ride-1)


 Agenda

 Destination
Bhandardara

 Distance
142km (from Assembly Point)

 Date
8-July-2017, Saturday

 Destination briefing
It's a Land of Waterfalls where clouds hugs mountains. Spread on large scale for tourists. 

 Famous for 
Lots of Waterfalls (Randha Falls the highest 170ft), Wilson Dam, Arthur Lake, Kalsubai Peak, Yummy Local Gaoti Chicken.

Participants 
Lead : Harmeet
Tail :   Meghan
Marshal : NA
Photographer :Rahul, Govi, Vishal, Harmeet & Meghan.
Voluntary Riders : Akshar, Rahul, Vishal, Govi, Sabindu.
Bikes : Avenger 220, Fazer, Bullet 350, Pulsar 220, RC 200, Hornet 160.
   Yes after a long summer gap of 3 months we are back with our official monsoon ride-1 to land of waterfalls where clouds hugs mountains. We have been there twice in alternate Julys of 2013-2015 and 2017 was 3rd visit. Still we think it's not enough, place is so big that every time we have to explore it from other end. (Night Stay Trip).
 This ride was different from regular rides coz it's monsoon and all riders were asked to wrap their gadgets/accessories in polythene and carry extras just in case. We planned to meet at Assembly point (Jupiter Hospital, Thane) around 06:00am. It was past 07:00 and there was no signs of Govi. We were afraid Last year jese Owaiz wala hadsa na hojaye". Gehri neend meh soya rahe aur ride miss hojaye uski. Vishal informed us that we was right behind me then few km away he disappeared. He reached around 07:15am, "His Fazer's right rear tyre explained everything". Yes close guess it was punctured and tyre was cracked from one side. We got it fixed from nearby petrol pump at majhiwada then after team discussion we decided to drop his bike at Meghan's place (near cadbury factory). As all spots of Bhandardara is loaded with potholes and debris.
Assembly Point: Jupiter Hospital (Thane)

   We commenced ride by 08:00am. Sunshine was turning our mood off after and couple of days back we received info on condition of bad roads from Thane to Kalyan. It was true and we kept our bikes on left lane due to huge potholes on center and right lane. After passing Kalyan roads were cleansed, flat & smooth with minimum traffic and there was 1 God's miracle which boosted our ride "Clouds started covering the sky, Overcast took over Sunshine with cool breeze. We reached our Breakfast halt Baba da dhaba at Kasara Ghat around 9:30. Parking was populated with Bajaj Dominor club with 20-25 bikes. After waiting period of 10 min we got our tables and 1st statement from waiter broke all foodie's heart. He told sir misal pav khatam hogaya, nahi milega sirf vada pav aur idli-vada aur dosa hai. It's cool we accepted whatever was available. Skipped Parantha coz it can cause 15-20 min extra. We ended up with snacks before 10:15 and suddenly Kasara got blessed with showers. (Cellphones wrapped inside polythene) YO WE ARE READY TO ROLL!!!!.
Breakfast Halt: Baba da dhaba (Kasara Ghat)
  Rain was fluctuating in Ghats sometimes normal and sometimes high. Avenger is lot slower in ghat sections this is where I (Harmeet) backed-off and Meghan "The Bullet King" took charge followed by Akshar with built to fly with aero dynamics "RC 200". Hornet of Rahul & Pulsar 220 of Vishal chased well. We were pretty happy to ride through home stretch of Igatpuri till Ghoti road. There is a right exit on NH3 at ghoti garden (toll road) which leads to Ghoti-Shirdi road. At last the heavenly route starts which is surrounded by very scenic environment including highest peaks of Maharashtra Kalsubai Peak and lust green fields/trees. There is a spot just 22 km away from Bhandardara which we never miss. As mentioned above "Where cloud hugs the mountain". It was 12:00pm and we were little hungry after few clicks we headed straight to our destination. Few tiny waterfalls along with long distance huge falls were spotted during ride.
Stuuning view of mountains near Wasali.(22km away from Bhandardara)

Super Seven
   After reaching near Yash resort we called up our Camping guy to assist us with his location. We reached camping spot Bhandardara around 12:30pm. Due to rain and strong winds our tent's location was switched to fields otherwise lake would have been more adventurous. Quickly we changed our clothes and went for Lunch. Lunch was finger licking good. Lip smacking Dry chicken, desi gravy chicken, bhakri, rice, chapati and salad. Dil aur pet kholke khaya sabne, yaar yeh sabh type karke hi bhuk lag rahi hai. They also have Sony 5.1 music system under roof.
Surprise...Camp owner Mr. Shivram told us you can take 1 guide with you to enjoy all tourist spots. Abhi gps ki jarurat hi nahi, sorted hai!!.  We kept Randha Fall for nxt morning. On 1st day we explored spots which were far coz we had time till evening. 
Food Court of Camping: Finger Licking Gaoti Chicken, Bhakri, rice etc
  Lets begin with sight seeing.....We decided to leave Akshar's RC at camping coz bike would might get damage due to bad roads. Sabindu & Akshar hopped onto vacant bikes. We came all the way to get wet in wild, yes I mean bathing under waterfall. Nani Falls which was 13 km from our Camping. Water was very very very cool. View was fantastic coz there is small walking bridge perfect for selfie lovers. 10-20 feet hiking will take you hard rocks which we named backstage of waterfall. Meghan, Vishal did photo-shoot as they were not willing to dive into water. Akshar & Sabindu were chilling out on rocks. Govi, Rahul & Me (Harmeet) were enjoying every little moment. By 04:30pm we left that spot and moved to last destination but not least Sandhan Valley which was another 12 km.

Nani Falls: Water is very cold (13km away from Bhandardara Camping)

Nani Falls: Backstage

Power Shot: Xperia X

Nani Falls: Bathing in cold water



 We were lucky that rain was not in full flow otherwise Sandhan Valley remains close during heavy rain. Went through a small habitat village, Atmosphere over there was mesmerizing. Walking down to valley was similar to Matheran but after that hardcore trekking begins. Rahul, Vishal, Govi and me (Harmeet) went pretty far. Khatron ke khiladi hahaha jokhim leke aage tak gaye. Seriously at some points force of water and depth was beyond imagination. After a point we have to end our trek coz without trekking equipment we can't proceed and hey we are not here for real trekking, let's go back. What we found after getting back to surface "Dense fog" view was awesome. Rahul was worried that moisture might trouble the DSLR's lens. We clicked few of group pics and moved on to our camp site. Thanks to Akshar for bringing Shock & Waterproof Portable speaker. Don't know what went wrong with this guy. He was grooving into all Punjabi songs. Mera bhi mood hogaya bhangde ka bike pe nachte nachte aur gaate hue gaye burrraaaaahh
Mini Trek of Sandhan Valley
Mini Trek of Sandhan Valley
Sandhan Valley
Sabindu; Akshar; Govi; Vishal
Me trying ultimate adventures & Rahul posing for dp shot

Risky Climb and he did it
Yaatra Safal hui.....Point of Safe Return (Sandhan Valley)

Fog almost covering landscapes

 It was totally raw tent stay don't expect luxury beds and changing rooms thoda adjust karlena chahiye kabhi kabhi. Bathroom was located just at 1 min walking distance and it was clean and well maintained. Barbecue was waiting for evening. Chicken for all of us except Vishal. He opt for Paneer. Desi chicken & Paneer both were yummy. We decided not to consume much coz late on our tummy won't be able to intake dinner. We winded up barbecue after 1-2 rounds. wese bhi daaru peene ka kiska mood nahi tha, kaun piyega, kya piyega aur lene kaun jayga usmeh hi 1 ghanta chale gaya. We went for a night walk to Arthur Lake before dinner, it was merely at 2 min walking distance. Winds were blowing as their best. Played few paranormal gags. Our tummies gave a feel that it's time for delicious desi dinner. Menu was similar to lunch which was perfect. One more thing Drinking Water was different they use stream water. Trust me, it taste's similar to normal water magar isko kitna bhi piyo pyaas nahi mitegi.
Desi Barbecue: Roasted Chicken

Paneer on top right corner

hahaha...Santa in July, total tp

Camping without campfire is incomplete. This session was stuffed with pranks, leg pulling etc. To add some craziness I (Harmeet) took out Santa's cap from my bag. Folks reacted kya chalu hai July meh Christmas...hahaha. We missed most of our rider's who didn't make it specially our Comedy circus king "Kapil Vig". This was the 1st time we went to bed early around 12:00am. Tent was waterproof and air lock with small ventilated system not even a tiny ant can enter inside. Discovery's Man vs Wild feeling. 1 tent can easily accommodate 2 person and we were given 2 tents. I watched everyone knocked out early. Don't know why I was not able to sleep. My body was burning from inside then I realised jyada chicken khane se heat hogayi". Subhe 4 baje neend lagi.
Preparations for Campfire

It has begun

We Posses Superpowers of Pyro, Fire-Bender & Nova
   Waky Waky it's Morning.....as always maggie (Meghan) got good habit of waking up early in all rides. This time even I (Harmeet) got opportunity to open my eyes by 07:00am. After getting fresh I was on my way to tent, a lovely sight paused me for few minutes. mehne Phone nikala aur khichte gaya yeh sabh pics. 
Magnificent Morning click by Xperia X




Set to go for Randha falls and bathing.
 Meghan & I decided why not utilise this time coz our check out time was 11:00am. There was 3 hrs window. We decided to roam around left over spots and grab our breakfast after coming back. This was 1st time ever we all woke up early. After sipping tea/coffee we headed straight towards Randha Fall which was just 7km away. When Nature calls then why to bath in regular facilities. let's do bathing in waterfall or lake. Every1 agreed to get ourselves clicked at 170ft high Randha Fall before getting into water, after viewing one of the largest waterfall of Maharashtra we proceeded to upper deck of Randha Fall's for bathing. for open shower. It was damn slippery. Already we witnessed couple of people losing their grip and sliding few steps down. Har ek group se ek insaan toh gir raha tha. Unfortunately it was our turn. Vishal encountered will fallen. We were teasing, laughing but his pain got worse and his shoulder and back was hurting badly. (Breaking News: After coming to Mumbai X-ray report detected fracture in shoulder.) That's sad bro...Vishal Get well Soon...Jerseys off!! I meant draining of clothes. After spending leisure time we returned to our base.


Rahul with Guide leading the trail.

European background at Randh Falls.


Randha Falls: 170ft drop (7km away from our camping)


Another Deadly falls on other end of Randha.

Randha Fall's upper deck for bathing.

Be careful coz 1 person from every group encountered with brutal injury.

Drain mode

Sipping Tea/coffee

 Shivram bhai (owner of camp) told us aap log plz thoda time wait karo nashte ke liye, kyunki subhe jo banaya tha woh thanda hogaya. isliye fresh breakfast bana rahe hai, jabh tak aap apna saaman pack karlo. We replied "tht's cool". Poya was ready with another rounds of tea/coffee. Frankly speaking this guy takes hospitality to another level. It was our 1st tent stay still, We would like to recommend Bhandardara Camping. Food Quality & Taste was beyond expectation, Ever ready Service and Staff's cool behavior with helping nature made our stay pleasant.  
We geared up and left Bhandardara by 12:30pm and reached back to our homes around 05:30pm with 2 halts (fueling and snacks). Return ride was wonderful experience as after crossing Kasara Ghat there was heavy rain till Kalyan. Visibility was hardly 30-40 meters with extreme showers. It gave feel of "RIDERS ON THE STORM".


Hope you enjoyed reading this post! 
Blog written & edited by Harmeet Banwait

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