The previous weekends and trips were planned, to an extent, and so was this particular trip. Decided to check out some beaches close to Mumbai this time as opposed to going out-of-town for beachasms (a term I coined for ‘pleasures attained whilst visiting beaches’ – to be understood spiritually!). Had heard and read about Uttan and Manori. Hence, decided to out for myself, these beaches that were so close to Mumbai (Infact, they are in Mumbai!)
But, before that, I had to go to Ulhas River and capture the sun rise.
The sight of the sun shining over the waters with the fishing boats seemingly after the sun as a marker for their next destination is a picturesque moment that I had waited to capture all this while! Had planned a trip to the Ghodbunder Fort as well but the Republic Celebrations were in full swing and had to postpone the plan for a later day. From Ghodbunder we then moved to Uttan beach. However, for some inexplicable reason, we ended up at Pali Beach, ahead of Uttan. I guess the mistake we did was to ask people about ‘the beach’ and not ‘Uttan Beach’.
The beach isn’t must to talk about though the jumping fish kept us intrigued for some time.
There is the Pali Beach Resort opposite this place and ahead is a small cliff from where a panoramic view of Pali and Uttan areas is visible.
Pali is great place to go to see locals in action or locals just lazing around watching the sunset. The road along the beach keeps going north. Not sure where it goes to but it didn’t seem to end so we turned back.
This time we decided to go to Manori (with Uttan already forgotten about!). On the way we took to off-roading and landed up at Gorai beach.
Though a little unnerving at times, the route landed us right on the far end of Gorai. But since we had planned a trip to Manori, we rode across the beach onto the road and back on the trail for Manori.
Clear waters, lots of sea shells, wonderful sad and lime juice on the beach was just so heavenly! It is amazing that not far from Manori lies Juhu beach, one of the most polluted beaches in the whole of Maharashtra, and here at Manori, the water is clear!
It is a shame though that the beach is so small, for it gets crowded quickly. But what the heck, everyone’s here to have a good time. Manori too, like Gorai, has many resorts around its periphery and most people on the beach were living at these resorts over a long weekend.
There is a certain section of the beach with many sea shells which look, in the scheme of things, akin to gravel being placed on the road – dangerous often but easy to avoid. No dangers here though, only pretty shells. Though some of them did contain hermit shells as we soon figured it out!
It was a low tide while we were at Manori and the receding waters left behind a rocky terrain, something that I am quickly getting accustomed to! It was revealed to us but the receding waters, a couple of pools were made around Manori for people to enjoy the beach and stay cool in the waters the entire day (how thoughtful!).
A long day at the beach made us hungry and since Rock Chic was paying, we decided to eat at a place of Rock Chic’s choosing! Had lunch at Pixxy Resort (whose directions we had followed earlier in the day for our off-roading experience).
While chilling out and unwinding at the resort, we reflected back at the day well spent! Though it went horrible wrong early in the morning with the Fort visit still pending and the trip to Uttan being an epic fhail, it was still a successful day with both thoroughly enjoying the trip nonetheless. Even with all the travelling in the day, it felt like a lazy day. Coupled with lazy service, it just made us plain lethargic! The day finally ended when we, grudgingly, called for the bill, paid the money, and headed back home!
A visit to a pretty beach was what made our day. Just sitting and idling around was fun and for a change we happened to have the time to do that!
With this I end my three part ‘Beach Hopping Series’. If you guys come across any more beaches worth the visit, please to post in the comments! Trance Dude shall check it out!
It’s been a long time coming, a four year long wait to rid myself of the ghosts of the horrific crash that took place nearly four years ago – whilst returning back from Shivneri Fort. That unfaithful day, ended my blossoming hobby of sightseeing on my bike! But come September 20, 2009 and I was all pumped up to ride back up to the birth place of Shivaji Maharaj. Though in two minds, I decided to take on the challenge and rid myself of the fear once and forever!
Met up with my office friend Daniel and his friends at Borivali National Park. Since we were already in Borivali, we took the Ghodbunder road to Thane and finally to the Eastern Express Highway. Asked around a bit and got the way to Kalyan and then to Murbad, our first stop on the way to the Fort. The roads, winding through the lush green fields were a joy to ride on. Impeccably maintained, it was a real treat to be riding my recently serviced Bajaj Pulsar 150.
While on the way to Murbad and just after Kalyan we stopped to admire this standalone rock that was partly hidden by the clouds. Looked Oh! so amazing! Took some amazing pictures, infact all the four of us stopped to admire this lone rock. Soon after the entire rock got hidden by the white clouds, we got back to our rides and headed to Malshej Ghat. Stopped at a sightseeing point and took some more pictures. This was quite a long break for us – spent nearly 45 minutes clicking pictures and chit chatting.
We then headed out to our final destination though a few long cuts did increase our time considerably. We stopped briefly for some snacks – tea and misal pav at a restaurant in Junnar. The lady at the counter had quite some humour! She was helpful in guiding us to the route for Shivneri Fort and in no time we reached the fort. Offcourse, the entire journey took more than 5 hours and perhaps the time could have been reduced had we taken the route from Ganesh Khind, which we eventually did while returning from the fort.
Once at the fort, it was a long long trek. Took bucket loads of pictures! And thanks to the cloudy weather there was a nice cool breeze blowing across which kept the dehydration away!. Spent nearly 2 hours at the fort without breaking into a sweat!
Finally descended to the base and went hunting for food. Came across a veg restaurant on the road of Kalyan. Ordered for Thali and an extra serving of Gulab Jamun. The food was good, well cooked, not as oily as you generally find. Not extremely teekha either. For only INR 45, it was a worthwhile meal.
That was pretty much the last stop, or so we thought until the rains disrupted our ride and we had to take shelter for a good 30 mins. The unexpected rains forced us to search for shelter but by the time we found some we were already soaked! We did stop a few times after that to click some more pics – the most striking of which is the one with the rays of the sun break through the thick grey clouds (More pics on my Picasa album). Some of the pics where the clouds are kissing the top of the rolling hills are just breath taking.
Getting back home took us little less time primarily as we rode a bit faster than in the morning and more importantly took all the right roads!! Total KMs covered is approximately 380 KMs. Quite a lot for a just a second ride out of town.
Overall, a great ride. For most part, the roads were good though an odd pothole here and there played spoilsport in what was otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable ride.
Here is a small route guide: Jogeshwari – Borivali – Dahisar – Ghodbunder Road – Eastern Expess Highway – Kalyan – Murbad – Malshej Ghats – Junnar – Shivneri Fort.
While coming back it was the same road though before we touched Malshej we went through Ganesh Hind. I think it saved us considerable amount of time. Though the roads are not top notch at Ganesh Hind the scenery more than makes up for the disappointing roads!
Here is the web album on Picasa with all the pics clicked: http://picasaweb.google.com/godzi.85/ShivneriFort