Omus’s Weblog

Politics, Trekking, Environment & Personal

Aurangabad, Ajanta, Ellora bike trip-2nd-4th oct-2014 January 22, 2017

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Total Distance: ~1000 kms

Route: Airoli -> Kalyan -> Nashik -> Manmad -> Nandgaon -> Ellora Caves -> Aurangabad -> Ajanta Caves -> Jalgaon -> Dhule -> Malegaon -> Nashik -> Airoli

Date: 2nd Oct-4th Oct-2014

Who: Me & Abanish Mohanty

In: Royal Enfield 350 cc

First night stop: Aurangabad city

2nd Night stop: Nashik Outskirts

Places of interest: Igatpuri, Ellora caves ; Ajanta Caves, Biwi ka makbara (poor man’s Taj Mahal), Daulatabad, Grishneswar jyotirling

Best time to visit: Monsoon (July to Sept) or Winters (Dec to Feb)

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Monty, the monk inside Ellora caves

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Abanish -after tiring 1st day ride

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Biwi Ka Makbara (Aurangabad)

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Poor man’s Taj Mahal, Aurangabad

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Waterfall – Ajanta Caves

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IgatpuriĀ 

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Biwi ka Makbara-Aurangabad

 

 

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Kaas Plateau: 31stDec’16 – 1st Jan’17 January 1, 2017

onward-journey

ONWARD JOURNEY : DAY 1: 31st Dec-2016

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RETURN JOURNEY : DAY 2: 1st JAN-2017

First leg of the trip: Tiger Point (some also called Lion point, depending upon one’s fav king of the jungle).

Tiger point, is some 10 kms from Lonavala towards Amby valley. Lonavala to Amby valley is very good drive, as one pass through dam, INS Shivaji, tiger point , few more view points & then to Amby valley. This being one of the favorite spots of all Mumbaikars & Punekars, much is written on this & so I would skip it.

Parking fees: No; Toilet availability: No; Swachh Bharat Score: 5/10 (My fellow youngsters are too busy in taking selfies, to take care of their trash). Only light snacks stalls available. Nearest lodging/restaurant eating option is Lonavala.

KAAS PLATEAU, SATARA, MAHARASTRA

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Right on Kaas plateau, Behind the railings, flowers grow during the season

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On Way to Kaas from Satara

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On Way to Kaas from Satara

Kaas plateau, also called Kaas Pathar in local language, is situated some 25 kms uphills from Satara town. As tourist place, it is famous as “Valley of flowers”, as wild variety of colorful flower grow here after monsoons, but it is for just few weeks. Thus, recommended time to visit isĀ August, September. Nevertheless, in my opinion the place is also best visited in Winter, if one wants a very secluded place, a place to camp outdoors, a place for star gazing, a place to breakout from crowd, a place just to THINK.

Lodging options: There are few options on way from Satara to Kaas plateau, which are mostly private homes converted to lodging options. The nearest one to Kaas plateau is Kaas holiday. In winters, if you have a tent, best is to camp outdoors at Kasbe Bamnoli, on banks of river Koyna.

Eating options: The lodging facility only have eating options. Else there are none.

Kaas Plateau: The flowering area measuring few acres, comes under forest department & during season, vehicle movement is restricted between 7AM to 7PM.

Few important links to check before planning to go during flowering season:

https://www.kas.ind.in/

https://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/treasures/heritage/kaas-pathar

Kasbe Bamnoli:

The place is some 15 kms from Kaas plateau and drive meanders through a forest and is very sexy drive. On way is Kas lake, which has got eating outlets. One can camp on shores of the lake.

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Kas lake, on way from Kaas plateau to Kasbe Bamnoli

Kasbe bamnoli, sits on dams on Koyna river and has boating, camping & eating options. It is an ideal place for a new year party or a team/family picnic.

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Kasbe Bamnoli

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Bike right on Koyna River

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KASBE BAMNOLI VIEW FROM SURROUNDING HILL TOP

SUMMARY:

  1. Total Distance covered: ~700 kms
  2. Total driving time: ~6-7 hrs, one way
  3. Roads are good by Indian standards. Mumbai to Satara is part of 6 lane golden Quadrilateral.
  4. In my opinion, Kaas plateau is better option than near by Mahabaleswar, may be because I love less crowded & thus a more clean place.
  5. Although tourist season for Kaas is Aug-sept, it is equally good in Winters.

PLEASE be a explorative tourist, not an exploitative tourist. Use dustbins.