Monday, 26 September 2016

Veer Dam | A memorable ride

Veer Dam Backwaters

Ride type: Highway

Ride difficulty: Easy

Distance from Pune: 65km

Backwaters with pleasant weather, peaceful and scenic surrounding, clear water and most important of all not much of a gathering. Sounds impossible, right? Well such a place is Veer dam. Built on the river Nira, Veer dam is a very famous site for bird watching.
But me, not being much of a bird watching enthusiast decided to visit this place as an excuse for a nice and short Sunday bike ride with a couple of friends.

Veer dam is about 65km from Pune near Shirwal. There are two ways to reach Veer dam. First is via Dive ghat/Saswad and the second is via NH4 (Mumbai-Bangalore Highway). Though the Dive ghat/Saswad route is more scenic, we chose the NH4 route as it is faster and we were short of time.


Travel on NH4 (Mumbai-Bangalore Highway) towards Bangalore till Shirwal. After about 2km from Shirwal, take left onto Khandala-Loni Road (Also called as Pandharpur Phata). You will see Krantisinh Nana Patil College of Veterinary Science to your left. Continue straight on the main road and after about 15km you will start seeing the backwaters followed by the gate of the Veer dam.

We geared up, started our bikes and left Pune at 7am. Many of my friends told us that it is a beautiful place so we were pretty excited for it. There were three of us and we had a Honda CBR 250R, Bajaj Avenger 220 and of course, my Bajaj Pulsar 220. The weather was very pleasant and the temperature was perfect for a ride. The highway was pretty good except for some very rough patches. So we couldn’t help but slow down.

We had our breakfast at Hotel Puneri shortly after crossing the Khed-Shiva toll plaza. We had Pohe and a cup of tea. The pohe were freshly prepared and the tea was very nice and refreshing. We continued our ride after our breakfast.

After getting off the highway onto the Khandala-Loni road, the picture totally changes. The surrounding gets greener. You start to feel the peace and calmness of a village. There is no more city rush. The roads get better than the highway but are less busy. It is a sheer pleasure to ride on this road. Though there are a few “chai tapris” on this road, there are no fuel stations or tyre repair shops in case your tyre decides to get a puncture. The cell phone reception for Vodafone and Reliance Jio is good though.

After riding for about 13km the backwater begins to show itself and you begin to get the idea of how beautiful the place might be. Little further and there you are! You see an arch with Veer dam written on it. If you have brought a car, then this is where the ride ends for you, and you would have to walk through the dam’s gate and across the dam wall to enjoy the view. But if you have a bike, then you get to take your bike across the dam just like we got to. And you end up right next to the water with your bike (it’s safe!).

The Beautiful Veer Dam Backwaters 

And yes, the place does not disappoint at all. The water, the landscape, the birds all very spectacular. The backwater has waves like that of a sea. The nice breeze helped us cool down since we were starting to feel warm in our riding gear. The place is absolutely serene. Not much of a meditation guy myself, but those who enjoy meditating should definitely visit this place. You get to enjoy a sea-like experience, but without the humidity. Well, so there we were, admiring the beautiful surrounding, and wondering what to do now. We clicked a few pictures and then decided to sit with our feet in the water. You could sit like that, without having a worry in the world for hours together and not get bored at all. One of the best part about such places is that you get to do stone skipping. It is the perfect pastime. Find a flat stone. Throw it across the water and have fun as you see it bounce off the water.


To our surprise, there was nothing to eat over there except grilled corn on the cob (commonly known as “bhutta”). Maybe that was the reason the place was so clean. Anyway, since we were getting hungry, we decided to leave and have some food on our way back. With a heavy heart, we put on our gear, started our bikes and bid farewell to Veer Dam, one of the most beautiful I have been to so close to Pune.

On our way back, we had some food at “Kailash Bhel”, which had to happen as per our ritual. We had Vada Pav and some tea. The Vada Pav was great like always. Big and spicy, with lots of potato filling and the groundnut chutney. As we had the tea, we prepared ourselves for the most boring part of the ride which as everyone knows is from Kailash Bhel to Pune city. Lots of slow moving traffic, the afternoon heat and the never ending road to home. I finally reached home at 2pm. 

Overall, the ride was fantastic and a great experience. Veer Dam is a great spot near Pune to visit with your family as well. Carry some food and water along and it could be a perfect one day family outing. Bored of your routine in the city, well this might just be the perfect getaway for you.