Mumbai to Rajmachi Cycling
Addicted in love: Friday, May 05, 2006
the love of my life!
(written by AnuRAG Singh)
The three of us (me,vinay and PD) decided to go to a hill called Rajmachi on cycle – for that we had to first reach Lonavala which is around 100kms from Mumbai..we had earlier thought of going there by train..so friday nite we set out on our journey..we reached thane to catch a train to Lonavala..but alas the luggage booking was only done till 5 pm so we cudn’t book our cycles..so we had the option of taking our cycles illegaly..but it was ruled out considering the crowd that was there..we started looking for alternatives…we could have caught a local till Karjat and look for something after that…but as fate would have it, we missed the local 🙁
then we went to the bus stand but all the buses had stopped plying since it was 12:30 in the nite…the people there kept pouring us with suggestions…we finally decided to cycle upto a place called Panvel which was 35kms from thane and then look for something else…it took us 2 hrs to reach Panvel..on the way we saw DAKC…simply awesome 🙂
having reached Panvel we started asking the truck-waalas for lift..there was one nice fellow who stopped his gigantic truck just to tell us the directions to reach lonavala…he cud have given us a lift but he wasn’t going there 🙁
we kept trying…finally one truck stopped but he was also going somewhere else..and the main problem was that the vehicles can’t stop midway on the Mumbai-Pune express way..and Lonavala was like an intermediate point on the express way..so only a gaadi of lonavala could give us a lift..but that truck-waala decided to drop us at a point 2-3 km away from Lonavala after exiting the express-way..thats the best we had..we loaded our bikes in the truck and took off 🙂
it was a pleasure to ride on the express-way “one of the best roads India has ever built” 🙂 i managed to take a nap while on the road 🙂
we reached Lonavala at 5 in the morning..thanking the truck driver we started with our actual journey…both me and vinay knew the way..but the starting points were different…we decided to take vinay’s route – it started from a lake called Tungarli.
the road wasn’t very friendly by the looks of it..but we had come for “that only the adventure and the bumpy ride.we started cycling there came a point when we had to carry our bikes on our shoulders to clear a patch which would lead us to a cycle able road…it was painful but we were enjoying it.the only concern was that the cycle shouldn’t breakdown…and the road seemed to be very much against any mechanical device with wheels….keeping all the worries at way we carried on with our business..there were times when we had to tow our bikes….in fact while going up almost for 75% of the way we had to walk on foot…the road didn’t seem to come to an end…and the rockiness kept on increasing.but amidst all the tensions we didn’t forget to appreciate the scenic beauty of the place…it can’t be described in words ..u have to be there to feel it
we would often stop..take some rest and snaps too..one of the screws of my bike had gone loose..and i had to check it every 2 minutes, to keep the cycle running
after 3 and a half hour of this treacherous journey we finally reached the village on the top..we cud see the astonished look on their faces…later on we were told that we were the first ones to come to that place on cycle…now it was time to give some rest to our aching bodies and the cycles too…we entered a house and decided to have our breakfast..they served us with Poha..it was sooooooo tasty…one wasn’t enuff…we had enuff of it to fill our bellies.and then decided to take some rest…floor pe hi flat ho gaye 🙂
par wapas bhi pahuchna tha isliye so nahi sakte the..delta rest lene ke baad hum log actual top ke liye nikal pade.it was the watch tower of Shivaji Maharaj from where he could keep an eye on most of his forts..it was just a half an hour trek to the top..top se view to kuch bhi tha.every other thing seemed so small.we felt like being on top of the world 🙂
top par thoda stunt marne ki fite maari par jab laga ki it was getting riskier we decided to climb down :DDD
the lunch was ready but we decided to take a bath first..there was lake abt 5 mins away from the village..mujhe to paani dekh kar hi kuch kuch hone lagta hai -aur itna saaf paani ho to fir kya kehna..:) we took off our clothes(well almost all of them :DD) and jumped into the water..the first touch of the cold water was soooooo rejuvenating!!
we spent one complete hour inside the water, trying to regain our energies and senses too 🙂 try to catch some fishes too but they were too fast for us lesser mortals 🙂
after tht wonderful bath we had our lunch, we got to taste some of the local delicacies…it was 3 pm so we immediately set out on our way back – it seemed to be like any other day in that village..on asking one of the villagers he told us ….hum garib log hain, humare liye to har din ek jaisa hi hota hai.. fir bhi sab khush the. in their own ways…there’s a lot that we can learn from them..they live high but still they are close to earth!
sabko goodbye bolkar hum log nikal pade…it was a downhill journey for most of the path ..but the rockiness was the same…and we had to put in extra efforts to maintain a safe speed for our bikes….brakes maarte maarte haath mein pain hone laga tha…climbing down took us 2 and a half hr.
we reached the highway and we only had the option of taking a lift to bombay…had chai at the dhabba there…and started asking for lift…but the truck walas didn’t seem to very helpful in that part of the country 🙂 no one stopped….:(
we decided to cycle to a place called Khopoli (8 km from there) and catch a local at 8:08 pm from there..it was already 6 and getting darker with each passing moment.the good thing about the road was that it was mostly downhill and that too a very steep downhill..we could actually go faster than the motorized vehicles 🙂
the only constraint to our speed was the miserable condition of the road..it was a national highway..a shame in the name of an NH!
anyways we continued with our biking…some truly amazing things were awaiting us….after going down for a while the NH merged with the Express-way for some 3-4 kms…bas aur kya chahiye tha…it was like a dream come true…to cycle on the express-way…no two-wheelers are allowed on it….but people told us that for that particular stretch we could take our cycles…fir bhi beech mein ek board aaya tha on which it was written “TWO WHEELERS AND PEDESTRIANS NOT ALLOWED” :)))
aur sone pe suhaga..raste mein humne ek tunnel bhi cross ki 🙂 might seem like a small thing, but it was great for us
it seemed that luck was very much favoring us…it was sad to leave the express-way and get back on that shitty highway..:( we reached khopoli at 7:30 and we realized that we dint have much time to catch the train and the station was still far away..we kept on cycling-a bit faster then.
we managed to catch the train on time..with the final train journey our odyssey to the paradise came to an end! it was 10:30 when we entered the gates of iitb
well…we were satisfied..not just satisfied..we were happy for having done something like that…truly an unforgettable experience..!
Very good note of your experience of cycling from Lonavala to Rajmarchi hill.It was very useful to me as we 11 of our childhood friends are planning to visit this beautiful place in the coming December.We are planning to treck this mountain on 25th of December 2015 morning starting from Lonavala.Brother,can you please guide us whether we could get some rented cycles at Lonavala as we are coming from Andhra Pradesh.,Or do we have any other options? Please guide us if you have the idea…
Uma Rama Krishna,