It’s been a rumor that engineers live a boring life, struggling with their shift duties. To some extent you may be right but still I managed to move out of my busy life to enjoy the nature and I hope I will do enough justice with this travelogue.
Speaking about myself
Hi, everyone I’m Yogesh Gupta from Bhilai (CG) age:28 years (Production Engineer at Steel Plant). I always had a feeling to explore places at my own with no strings attached so had gone and explored few places which further evolved with my perfect lovely wife Shuchi Gupta and my lovely strong wheels YAMAHA FZ16 which never led me down at any place and at any moment.
THE RIDE PLAN:
Some trips are meant to be unplanned.
Feb 22nd 2016 8:00 am, It was a normal morning, my wife asked me to plan and take her to Shirdi and with no second thought I said her lets Ride all the way from Surat its only 322 KMS as per Google MAP and took 2 days leave from work. We packed our basic things in a bag pack and started for the Divine Trip at 10:00 am from Surat with basic safety and papers.
As it was not too hot nor too cold we took our light jackets to save ourselves from the wind as of that time I never felt of investing in riding equipment & travel gears as earlier I have done my Malshej Ghat - Lonavala Ride easily with this basic things.
THE ROUTE UPDATE:
Surat on-wards nice smooth highway & clear roads, only last 25 km uphill to Saputara was slow & rough with little bit of potholes may be the monsoon had eroded the road. I would suggest that best time to visit Saputara is in the last week of August. On way to Saputara we passed by Vansda National Park. When the first time in 2013, I suddenly saw the Cheetah sitting at cruising speed of 80 KMPH in the mid of jungle and nothing around, it gave me shivering Goosebumps and soon realized it’s a dummy so within a second cooled off.
On further riding ahead just before 50 kms to Saputara there is a Huge Giradudh Waterfall which almost dried. Also, the actual Giradudhfalls after rain which I have clicked earlier is attached below.
Upon reaching Saputara by 2:00 pm we had our lunch then after further proceeded with a small break. Here at the top there is a fuel station, restaurants, hotels to stay at budget or luxury and several other adventurous activities can be done like paragliding, zip line, cable car, enjoy the sunset from the edge, boating, etc. Here I got a chance to click this beautiful hill station from table point in Saputara.
Surat to Saputara, I have been here many times but this time I felt smelling the purest air while passing by the villages and seeing fresh grapes, vegetables hanging all over the fields along the road as passed across Gujarat into Vani, Maharashtra. Also many Vineyards were seen on this route. I really appreciate the State Govt. of Gujarat for maintaining the roads as the difference in the condition of roads was felt soon on entering Maharashtra as even outskirts of Gujarat villages had smooth roads.
Road update as noted on Feb 2016:
• Saputara to Vani - excellent road with 11 unmapped ridiculous bumpers
• Vanito Niphad slow & wrecked road. I'll not prefer it again will better take Nashik highway next time.
• Niphad to Bharvaspata- good road you can touch 80 km/h but still 5 ridiculous unmapped bumpers.
• Niphad to Bharvaspata to Shirdi- good roads.
Bharvaspata to Shirdi:
• 0-20 km road is great,
• 20-35 km pathetic road, also one bridge work over a river is under construction, I hope it would have been completed by now FEB 2017. I wondered during rains this by-pass road gets submerged into the river bed.
• 35-46 km mind blowing smooth road.
Finally reached Shirdi around 6:00 pm, checked in a room after bargain at simple hotel with a/c for Rs.600 near DWARKA MAAI temple side. We were very lucky as there was no crowd and we managed to get the blessings by Shirdi Sai Baba and we worshiped every location around within an hour and later she got some time for shopping, as per my wife she have been here earlier and almost took 3-4 hours for the visit.
Today we started around 8:00 am towards Shani Shingnapur and reached by 10:00 am and finished all the rituals by 11:30 am and where free to move but confused as I had one and a half day of time more to roam and enjoy. Till now we never discussed where we are going next also queried some of my Travel group friends for location which could be covered in that time.
Lonavala, Bhandadara Dam, Imagica, Aurangabad, Ellora where some of them I remember as too many options where given.
Now, looking back into the Google Map Surat via Nashik was 380 KM but I had a doubt riding all that long will be tiring and boring and found among the options Aurangabad had some interesting historical monuments and was only 82 KM’s from Shingnapur.
On reaching Aurangabad we first passed by Bibi Ka Maqbara also can be called Chota Tajmahal but was disappointed to see as it is not well maintained. Then moved into the city and got a budget place to stay at Mewad Lodge near Anjali Big Cinemas for Rs.1000 with a/c which also had huge parking space for my bike.
Road update as noted on Feb 2016:
• Shirdi to Shani Shingnapur awesome clear smooth road only last 13 kms was rough as patching under progress.
• Shani Shingnapur to Aurangabad nice smooth roads also got my broken clamp welded on the way near around 15 km to Aurangabad.
This was my last day to sum-up the ride so decided to visit Ellora Caves and places on the way. As heading towards another direction for Ajanta caves was not possible to reach Surat in time.
Checked out at 6:00 am from Aurangabad and on the way saw many historical monuments like Gateways built during Aurangzeb, Daulatabad Fort, Shri Badra Maruti Temple, Grishneswar Jyotrilinga Temple etc. and reached Ellora caves by 9:00 am took a nice look around and proceeded.
On way riding over the Chalisgoan Ghat section was amazing, I wondered how amazing it would be in monsoon.
Just before reaching Dhule, I stopped for air check the mechanic speaking with his fellow mate said in Marathi “Hey Forienger Riding in Hot Weather”, as we were both packed soon I replied “Bhaiya Hum Indian Hai” gave him a nice hand shake opened our helmets took a break along with nice chit chat with the guy.
Road update as noted on Feb 2016:
• Aurangabad to Ellora- nice stretch of smooth roads
• Ellora to Dhule Road Condition
- 0-20 km nice roads
- 20-35 km ghat area mixed roads, good and worst,
- 35-70 km slow patched roads
- 70-125 km good & ok road
• Dhule to Sakri - Good roads
• Hotel Vishal Dhaba on the Dhule - Sakri Highway almost at Dhule exit was the best place to eat food with pure Dhaba kind of Jute Bed to seat.
• Sakri to Songadh - ok & patched roads, 2 lane roads. 4 lane work never started on this area yet it's NH-6.
• Songadh to Surat-butter smooth roads. Also got the amazing view of the Ukai reservoir near the Navapur railway station where over bridge work and road widening is going on.
• Last stretch to Surat from Songadh on-wards NH-6 to NH-53 is good but distance in-between two petrol station was almost 25 KM over the 60 KM stretch where I saw the pure beauty of nature with both sides only greenery and nothing else.
Do’s & Don't, TIPS:-
• In this ride I was on my own, so kept updating my last location with a family member and a friend every 5-6 hrs over whatsapp location sharing.
• Filled full tank whenever saw pumps after riding 200 KM.
• Sometimes only mechanic & puncture shops were at the pump station.
• I avoided riding with my wife after 7:00 pm as new places and unknown roads condition were unknown.
• Kept ourselves hydrated and on reaching back bought a hydration bag for the next trip.
3 days 1104 KM's -2 Ghats 5 cities with plenty of emotions & blessings from everyone behind...
My Trip Route: Surat – Saputara – Shirdi – ShaniShingnapur – Aurangabad – Daulatabad – Ellora – Chalisgoan Ghat – Dhule – Bardoli – Surat
Thanks to my lovely companion and our big wheels FZ16 and my immense love to the Group HVK GJ/RJ for providing me the on the go updates.
I hope the video made you travel along with me: