Weekend Travels | Road Trip | Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar
Unplanned trips are the trips that mostly become successful, the trips which are usually planned well in advance get canceled in some way or the other. Mahabaleshwar was one such trip. It wasn’t planned a day before it was decided to go to Mahabaleshwar to celebrate mom and dad’s birthday it happens to be one after the other.
Also, the new car hadn’t been on a long drive since it was bought so thought of taking it to the trip the first road trip in the Elite i20.
The trip didn’t start early in the morning as planned but we were a little late to leave, got some breakfast packed and left for the trip, the fuel tank was filled and began our journey.
As it wasn’t a weekend and also not very late in the day the roads were empty and we left Mumbai in an hour, We decided to go by the Mumbai-Pune expressway and come by the Mumbai-Goa highway. So after paying first of the many toll we were going to come across stopped at the usual place for some snacks. Had some idli vada sambar and tea, collected some chips and biscuits for the way, and began our journey.
The journey wasn’t a very tiring on the road were great till Pune city once you enter Pune the usual traffic and stuff as many bridges and roads were under construction after the city the roads were again nice a 4 lane highway till Katraj tunnel. A tunnel and ghat later we took a right under a bridge and took the Wai road to Mahabaleshwar, this is a two-lane road so we have to be careful of the oncoming traffic as there is no divider.
The road goes straight to Panchgani. It was already two so had lunch at one of the roadside Dhabas, The place was nice and the food good. It is once you cross Panchgani and move towards Mahabaleshwar.
Finding a hotel in Mahabaleshwar:
On reaching Mahabaleshwar it is not difficult to find a hotel to stay in, You will get surrounded by people who will help you search for hotels from the cheapest to the most expensive ones that too free of cost they are actually paid a commission by the hotel people.
The place where we stayed was away from the noise of the Mahabaleshwar city as we were a little away from it after resting for a while we headed for the sunset point but could not see the sunset as it was cloudy.
From there we went to the market and visited a few shops but there wasn’t anything to shop as most of the things are available in Mumbai. We had food at this Marathi place which served awesome homemade food, it’s near the police chowki in the market. The food was good for the price. The next morning everything was about sightseeing.
First, we visited the polo grounds its nothing but a large ground where maybe people still play polo, but it was used by tourists as a place for horse riding or driving their cars in the ground.
The next location was elephant point and Lodwick point is a km of a walk after you park your vehicle. There are horses available to take you there but it is fun walking.
The name elephant point is derived maybe because if you go to the furthest end of the point an look back the mountain resembles the head of an elephant. Throughout the journey the roads are great and there are forest check posts that collect 10 RS at various locations may be to improve the life of villagers and the area as a whole and it can be seen by the roads and the upkeep of the various points.
The next point was Veena lake, It’s a big lake it is actually clean as the villagers here depend on it for water and also the hotels. There are two types of boat rides one, the paddle boat and other rowing, we selected the rowing boat as it was fun, I also got to row the boat if you ask the rower to give you chance. After talking to the rower for some time he gave us info about the places to visit eat and information about the lake.
After the lake, we rested in our rooms, visited the Strawberry farms and the market. We bought strawberries and the sugar-coated chocolates had had dinner in the night returned to the room at night as had to leave for Mumbai the next day.
The next day we got up early packed and left for Mumbai after having breakfast of Poha at a local joint. We took the Mumbai Goa road this time. The roads are good, only a patch of the road towards Panvel is very bad as construction is going on for a 4 lane road. The route is picturesque but there are 2 lanes so you have to be a little careful of the oncoming traffic.
The journey took us another 6 hours to complete same as the expressway but minus the toll. The ride was comfortable and the car had no problems whatsoever during the journey. This was my first long journey which I drove on my own and it was a successful one.
Hope to complete many more journeys in the elite i20 and burn 1000s of kilometers in it.
The average that the car gave was something about 13-14 it being a petrol one and the cost of the trip was 10k for 4 including the food hotel and sightseeing. All in all, it was a good 3 days spent in the company of nature and with the family.
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