Magic of Monsoon drive in western ghats 2 - Awestruck @ Amboli!

We promised you with our memorable return trip from Goa. Here we are.

After a lovely get together on the previous day where we met many roadies and their families as part of HVK Forum, we got up early for the Monsoon drive with the group. This route was chosen with great care by HVK himself to take us through some pristine forests of Western ghats. As luck would have it, we were not destined to join them. There was an emergency at home and we had to rush back.

We had an option to go back on the same route we drove to Goa on the previous day. The other option was to drive through Amboli ghat.

It was five years back when we drove back to Bangalore from Panjim in heavy rains. We then drove through Amboli ghat. That drive was memorable. We had actually driven under the canopy of waterfalls. It had rained heavily in Goa for 36 hours forcing us to stay indoors completely. When we left Goa the next day through Amboli ghat - we did not have luxury of different routes then as other routes were bad - we had not bargained for what was in store. We just could not believe our eyes as we drove in fog under canopy of waterfalls. We can never forget that drive.

Refreshing our memories, we did our return drive through Amboli this time. We kept our fingers crossed as we had left early and Amboli is notorious for landslides and roadblocks. Heavy rain on previous day meant that we were in a treat. We left behind Sawantwadi and entered Amboli ghat.  We entered Amboli ghat to be treated to lush greenery all around. A quietude broken only by the sound of an automobile now and then. 

Rains kept pouring off and on. It was not ferocious like the previous day. It was foggy with sun playing hide and seek. Soon we were to see a spectacle. For next five KMs we were treated by myriad of lovely cascades. Each one different. Each with its own character. We had to stop and frame them in the camera. Every few meters of drive we were awed by a waterfall. The grand finale was reserved for the Amboli falls. The Tallest of all. 

Join us for a drive under the waterfalls. Did we say we were awestruck at Amboli? You can see why. We assure you that you will be left spellbound after this journey!

Click on the pictures to see them in original size.

Monsoon drive in Amboli ghat
We enter Amboli ghat! It is green everywhere with a light drizzle 
Monsoon Drive in Amboli Ghat
The complete ghat and valley was foggy. We had to drive real slow. 
Monsoon drive in Amboli Ghat
A trailer of spectacle to unfold - the first of the waterfalls
Monsoon drive in Amboli ghat
Twins.......cascading gently over the rocks 
monsoon drive in amboli ghat
A canopy of water falls beckons us......
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat
This stretch was lovely. A fall at every five meters!
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat, waterfalls in amboli ghat
........and the spectacle continues
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat, waterfalls in amboli ghat
........it gets increasingly beautiful
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat, waterfalls in amboli ghat
This was a bigger one. It was glorious!
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat, waterfalls in amboli ghat
--------Followed by a smaller cousin
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat, waterfalls in amboli ghat
........and this one seemed to be in a hurry!
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat, waterfalls in amboli ghat
This is how it was. We had to wait for fog to clear to get a better view of the cascades
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat, waterfalls in amboli ghat
This one was a beauty. Hidden in the woods and coming out roaring!
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat, waterfalls in amboli ghat
.......and this one too....
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat, waterfalls in amboli ghat
This was taller and gentle
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat, waterfalls in amboli ghat
This was a perfect setting. Canopy of trees, misty on the top, water cascading gently over the rocks. Can it get any better?
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat, waterfalls in amboli ghat
The grand finale when the mist lifted!
monsoon drive in Amboli ghat, waterfalls in amboli ghat
The tallest and the main falls called simply as Amboli waterfalls
How did you feel? We felt rejuvenated. We would have loved to take a U Turn and drive back to experience the bliss. But we had to go. 

A quick breakfast in the shacks near the main falls, held us in good stead till we reached Bangalore. Thanks to HVK that we were able to make it. We missed lovely drive through Kadra - Dandeli - Joida. But we were adequately compensated by the spectacle in Amboli.

Travel Tips

Route - Panjim - Sawantwadi - Amboli ghat - Belgaum - Bangalore

Road condition - Excellent through out. Stunning landscape through out.

Eateries - There are shacks near Amboli falls who provide basic Breakfast. Hot and nice. There is also a restaurant by Maharashtra tourism if you want more options.

Tips - The ghat gets foggy in the monsoon. Though there is no need for fog lamps, need to drive carefully. The series of water falls can be seen only when it rains heavily in the hills. The main waterfalls will be good till november.

Please check out the first part of the monsoon drive in Western ghats here


For a complete list of experiencing monsoon in India - drives, waterfalls, places to god, treks etc. - please click on this link below.

Celebrating Indian Monsoon - A List!

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Monday Medley - Monsoon and the Scorpio!

We are naming our Monday posts as "Monday Medley". Yes, this will be a potpourri of interesting articles, posts from fellow bloggers which we liked, interesting images of fellow travellers or images from our own portfolio. We hope it will be a good start to the week. 

We all love our cars. Don't we?

We wanted to profile the mean machine which carries us all around the country. A faithful companion which has taken us to the remote corners of Chhattisgarh, the mountains of Sikkim, the shores of Kushi beach and to the waterfalls in Western ghats and many more. The Scorpio. Incidentally we just completed 125,000 KMs in last three and half years yesterday.

In the last week's monsoon drives to Goa and this week's drive to Sirsi -Yellapur, we clicked the mean machine in different surroundings. Take a look and we hope you like them the same way we did framing it.

Please click on the pictures to see them in original size.

Next to a lovely sun flower field between Birur and Tarikere off highway.
Next to a lovely sun flower field between Birur and Tarikere off highway.
In front of a lovely lake near Soraba, Karnataka
In front of a lovely lake after Soraba, Karnataka
On a  beautiful stretch of road on the way to Gudavi bird sanctuary, Soraba
On a  beautiful stretch of road on the way to Gudavi bird sanctuary, Soraba
Inside a green tunnel in Yellapur forests
Inside a green tunnel in Yellapur forests
Soaked in rain. On the way to Unchalli falls, Sirsi
Soaked in rain. On the way to Unchalli falls, Sirsi
scorpio and monsoon drive
We saw this lovely patch on the way to Unchalli falls. Lucky to take off the road and get this clicked

Scorpio and monsoon drive
In Anmod ghat, Karnataka 
scorpio and monsoon drive
In Amboli ghat. On the way to Belgaum from Goa
scorpio and monsoon drive
A bit of off roading in Yellapur forests :-)
BTW the man machine gets ready for another chance to hit the highway this weekend again!

For complete list of celebrating monsoon in India including our drives, water falls, treks, itineraries etc. please click the link below

Celebrating Monsoon in India - A List!


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Skywatch Friday - Monsoon skies in Kashmir

This blog is celebrating Indian monsoon in the last few posts. 

We have written about monsoon magic in the western ghats. How does this magic transform the mountains in North India? In the Himalayas?

We had a first hand experience last year when we went to Kashmir to trek the great lakes. Landing in Srinagar, we had to travel to Sonmarg in a bus. We were a large group taking this trek. Rains had lashed the Kashmir valley in the previous weeks. We were keeping our fingers crossed even as we looked at the overcast sky.

Leaving the narrow roads of Srinagar behind, we headed towards Sonmarg, our camp for the night. A drive for an hour, we are in the middle of rural Kashmir. We parked the bus next to a Dhaba for a tea break. It was bang on the bank of Indus river which was flowing full. Around the river were green fields of paddy. Stretching for miles. Disturbed only by rows of poplar trees.

We walked around the area to feel the fresh air and savour lovely vistas. Here are some pictures. Click on them to see in original size.




Monsoon is a lovely season to visit Kashmir. No crowds. Streams and waterfalls rolling down the hills. Clouds kissing the mountains. Yes, you will not be able to see the snow capped peaks. That will be an excuse to come back again either in autumn or summer.

Because, you will never be tired of Kashmir!

Here is a list for celebrating Indian monsoon in all its glory. Click on the link below.

Celebrating Indian Monsoon - A List!

We invite you to check out the following posts on our Kashmir experience.

Spectacular Srinagar 1 - Floating market on Dal Lake

Spectacular Srinagar 2 - Lullaby on Dal and Nagin lakes!

Spectacular Srinagar 3 - Magnificent Mughal gardens

Yusmarg - the hidden wonder of Kashmir

You may also take a look at other posts under Skywatch series here

Skywatch Friday

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Magic of Monsoon Drive in Western Ghats 1 - Amazed @ Anmod ghat!

We hadn't driven in this monsoon while we were egging everyone to get out and get soaked in the rain. We could only blame it on late arrival of rains. But when you get a chance to be with the legend of Indian road trips for a monsoon drive in Western ghats, you don't miss it. Do you?

When H V Kumar ( Check out this facebook Group page for details H V Kumar - Fan, Forum and Message board) organised a monsoon drive last week we had to say yes. It was a god sent opportunity for us to drive in the monsoon. Being road trippers ourselves, we had to go.

We normally start around 5 AM and there was no difference this time too. Driving early in the morning before anybody hit the road helps you to pick up speed and cover distance quickly. As Kumar always say, cover half the distance to destination before others hit the road! That's what we did and before people could hit the road we were in Davanagere relishing "Benne Dosa" for breakfast!

The sky was overcast throughout and started raining off and on. The road throughout was excellent. A detour at Dharwad took us through one of the picturesque roads to drive on. We were sceptical about this road as we had nightmarish experience few years back. Checking with Kumar in advance helped. He confirmed that the road is excellent and we decided to drive on. What a pleasant surprise it was.

We reached Mollem in Goa and joined others in a convoy. Winding through the roads of rain soaked Goa the convoy of 55 cars arrived at a spectacular place for a break in North Goa.

Join us on this drive in the rain. Get soaked in loveliness of nature!

Click on the pictures to see them in Original size.

Rain drops on the windshield of the car as we hit the highway
Rain drops on the windshield of the car as we hit the highway
The road from Dharwad to Goa via Ramnagar is top class with lush greenery on either side!
The road from Dharwad to Goa via Ramnagar is top class with lush greenery on either side!
We saw this small lake with lotuses in bloom waiting for the rains.
We saw this small lake with lotuses in bloom waiting for the rains. 

The railway track to Goa, the one we had trekked last year to Dudhsagar
The railway track to Goa, the one we had trekked last year to Dudhsagar
Rains in forest means clear tarmac and lovely greenery!
Rains in forest means clear tarmac and lovely greenery!

Surprised to see terraced farming in this area. Isn't it beautiful?
Surprised to see terraced farming in this area. Isn't it beautiful?
We crossed a river which was coming to life with bountiful rains.
We crossed a river which was coming to life with bountiful rains.
First waterfalls spotted. Hidden inside the thick foliage!
First waterfalls spotted. Hidden inside the thick foliage!

Fog enveloped as we drove. Rains splattering every now and then.
Fog enveloped as we drove. Rains splattering every now and then.
We had to stop on seeing these series of waterfalls!
We had to stop on seeing these series of waterfalls!
Four little waterfalls at their glorious best!
Four little waterfalls at their glorious best!
As we drove on, we saw another one!
As we drove on, we saw another one!
Soaking in the rain!
Soaking in the rain!
We stopped again on seeing this. A stream gently hurtling down the rocks!
We stopped again on seeing this. A stream gently hurtling down the rocks!
Some more rain, this spot will be wonderful.
Some more rain, this spot will be wonderful.
We join the convoy at Mollem
We join the convoy at Mollem
We wind through the roads of Goa soaked in rain!
We wind through the roads of Goa soaked in rain!
A Portuguese bungalow in Goa. We loved the contrast in this picture.
A Portuguese bungalow in Goa. We loved the contrast in this picture.
We reach this spectacular hillock with painted rocks in Vagator
We reach this spectacular hillock with painted rocks in Vagator


Cars parked in the open area at the foothill
Cars parked in the open area at the foothill
Time for a hot samosa and chai in the rain!
Time for a hot samosa and chai in the rain!
Panoramic view of Vagator beach from the top of the hill
Panoramic view of Vagator beach from the top of the hill
A small cross installed atop the hill
A small cross installed atop the hill
On the hill, in the rain.
On the hill, in the rain.

It was a pleasurable drive and amazing vistas on the way. A drive where every minute was memorable. 

The route - Bangalore - Tumkur - Chitradurga - Haveri - Hubli - Dharwad - Ramnagar - Anmod - Mollem

Road condition - Excellent through out. A small rough patch in Anmod ghat. No worries.

Eating places on the way - Enjoy Benne Dosa at Kottureshwara in Davanagere. 

Loo breaks - Cafe coffee day at Dabaspet and Haveri, Kamat outlets at Dabaspet, Sira, Hubli 

Wait. The fun is not yet over. Look out for next part of our return drive to Bangalore through canopy of waterfalls in Amboli ghat. 

Till then make plan to go out this monsoon. Here is a list to help you. Everything you wanted to explore and enjoy rain - drives, itinerary, places, waterfalls, monsoon treks.......

Celebrating Indian Monsoon - A List!

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