Tapola & Mahabaleshwar road trip
Updated: Jan 16, 2021
Trip date: 25 Dec 2020 - 2 Jan 2021. This is my first long distance ride on Harley Davidson, did over 1500 kms road trip on Harley Davidson. Harley Street bob truly lived up to its expectations and went beyond what I thought it would do. Started my trip from Warangal on 25th Dec, reached Hyderabad and gave the bike for servicing. Stayed one more day in Hyderabad and headed to Tapola on 27th. Took NH65 and the road is really good and then took left from Mohol via Pandharpur to Satara. It was the worst motorcycle experience riding this road to Satara. Every couple of minutes there was really patchy road and riding Harley is really painful. This is almost from Mohol all the way to Tapola which is like 200Kms. The region is heavily used for sugarcane harvest transport. Weird thing is there were barely any sugarcane juice or any fruits being sold on the street. Stayed at Satara for the night and then rode towards Tapola. The road is the worst road but the views are good.
Took the boat from Bamnoli to Tapola and stayed at the resort for 3 days enjoying weather, bonfire at
the resort, meeting new people. Tapola is surrounded by Koyna river and entire region is full of vegetation. Lot of fog up until 8AM which is really good for walking in the morning and doing some yoga. Food is served at the resorts was really terrible because of lot of masala and oil.Did 2 days of kayaking in Koyna river and make sure to tell the resort people that you will spend as much as your time in kayaking and dont need for them to wait. Its good fun and if you are a swimmer you can swim in these calm waters. You can visit some parts of the remote areas of Tapola if you can Kayak.
Photos at resort:
First day took the boat ride to Datta Mandir from Tapola which is a good ride. On the way stopped in the middle of the river at the Triveni Sangam, a trinity of 3 rivers. Make sure to tell the driver to stop at this junction as it is nice and the water is shallow.
Datta Mandirs are everywhere at this region, never heard of this god in southern India. The temples in Tapola and in Mahabaleshwar are not the great architecture and very simple, not so fun visiting these temples. I also heard there is Vasota fort which I did not go to as it is shutdown during the new year time, apparently it is a good hike to the fort.
Also went through the ghat road around the Koyna river by renting another bike as Harley cannot ride these roads. The place is remote and very hard to ride so have to be extra careful. Saw some peacocks and deer along the way and there are very small villages on this route. Met these 2 cute kids, took their shot.
After 3 days spending at Tapola decided to leave for Mahabaleshwar on 31st to see how it is for the new year.
Mahabaleshwar looked very old city and there is not much of architecture here. There are several peaks to visit for a day and probably visit Pratapgad fort, King Shivaji fort. Visited strawberry farms but its not worth seeing. River Krishna flows through this region and you can have a good look at the river.Again food here is made with lot of masala and oil. Unfortunately it was curfew at night so didnt celebrate that much.
Started returning on 1st from Mahabaleshwar via Pune route and rested at Sholapur. Some of the shots of the bike at the near by fort of the Sholapur.The next day left to Hyderabad.
Riding tips: Make sure that you have proper jumper cables to go round the bag on your pillion ride seat. One of my cables got broken in the middle of the trip so had to war the bag. If you wear the bag the best way is to hang it loose so that the bag rests on your pillion seat, that way you do not feel the bag's weight. Also do not wear hoody as it drags you back and will lose your speed. Better get a phone mount on the handle as it is useful for the directions as I did not get it so had to stop lot of places for the directions.
Maharastra on the whole had very bad experience. Their roads are not at all maintained compared to Telangana, Karnataka or Kerala. Their food is the worst of all I had in my life so far as it is full of masala and oil. Unless you stay in fancy hotels try to buy fruits and nuts for better health. And the resort people and restaurant people really are the most dishonest people I met compared to other places. They just want to make money and dont care for customer service at all. I have some of my good friends from maharastra however their vendors/shops/retailers are different story.
The best part of this trip was Harley Davidson really performed well on some of the worst daily roads, huge respect to this bike. And Tapola is good to spend some days during the winter.