Friday, 31 October 2014

Drive to Aamby Valley

The purpose was driving. To a new place. Not too far, not to close.

The agenda was to drive till Tamhini Ghat, laze around, watch the hills from a distance and gaze at the sky.

We had not planned much expect the meeting point and time. We all met at Western Express Highway near WEH metro station at 7:00 am. We took the new Chembur Santa Cruz Link Road. Getting through Vashi – Belapur – Kharghar – Panvel was easy as Mumbaikars were still sleeping (I think). We decided to hit the Mumbai Pune Express Highway. It was a smooth ride on the expressway till the toll plaza.


Mumbai Pune Express Way

Tunnel Approaching

We had a short stop at the Food Mall for breakfast and then resumed our drive. The climb to the ghat was surprisingly quick considering it was weekend when Mumbaikars head to Lonavala.

Zig Zag Roads

We didn’t halt at Lonavala and headed to Tamhini Ghat. We dint halt at Bushy Dam and continued ahead. Passing Bushy Dam we crossed Tiger Point of Lonavala, 15-20 mins from Bushy Dam. We decided to halt there on our way back. Around 5 kms ahead we crossed the Lion’s Point. We again decided to enjoy the view on our way back.

To reach Tamhini Ghat, the route would take us through the super luxurious residential colony Aamby Valley. The drive was through narrow ghats and the drive was amazing.


The road was pretty smooth up to Aamby Valley which was unsurprising. Considering the super rich and affluent of the country own residential mansions in the place, the route to Aamby Valley is expected to be amazing.

The dense forest through which this route passed was at places so dense that the shrubbery blocked out the sun and plunged the route in darkness.

By now we had started feeling restless considering the slow and meandering pace that we had till now. Coupled with absolute loneliness on the route and horrible roads, safety concerns cropped up. By a vote it was decided that we will abort the journey to Tamhini Ghat at the current point and will not pursue this route any further.

Lion Point

From there on it was a pretty standard return journey.  Being Sunday afternoon, it was time for the rich and famous to take out their big toys back to Mumbai. As such we had a series of Porsches, Mercs and Audis overtaking me us at regular intervals.

On our return we stopped at Lions Point. The view from there was spectacular.  This is a sight worth traveling all the way. It is guaranteed to de-stress, rejuvenate and maintain your mental hygiene!
We stopped over again to savour baked corn with masala and lemon. Had lunch in Lonavala and then headed to Mumbai.

The drive was nice and smooth. It rejuvenated all of us and we were full of energy to be back in the corporate world.  Will be heading again sometime to explore Tamhini Ghat.


Places to see:
Mulshi Dam, Tamhini Ghat, Karla Caves, Khandala.

Things to buy from Lonavala:

Chikki, fudge and jelly chocolates. You will find these items in various flavors in the numerous shops lining in the streets of Lonavala.

Drive slow especially while driving the steep hill.

Read 10 things to do in Mumbai

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