Monday, 17 October 2016

Crazy Green | Dudhiware Pass

bikes parked among scenic surroundings at dudhiware pass
Ride to Dudhiware Pass

Ride type: Narrow roads


Ride difficulty: Easy


Distance from Pune: 62km


Its October, monsoon has passed and it’s starting to heat up. The outskirts of Pune are still decorated by the monsoon scenery. The suburbs of Pune are greener now than ever. The farms are filled with crops and the mountains are lush with wild grass. There are no rains, the temperature is pleasant and the landscapes are nice. Trekkers see this season apt to organize treks. As do motorcycle riders, to go on motorcycle rides.


Being a motorcycle rider, even I was planning a ride somewhere amongst the nature. Someone suggested that I should visit Dudhiware Pass and Dudhiware waterfall which is near Pawana Lake. I did a bit of a research on the place and it seemed pretty good. And so, there was my next ride. Dudhiware Pass.

Dudhiware Pass (Dudhiware Khind) is about 62km from Pune near Pawana Lake, Lonavala and is situated at the foot of Lohagad Fort. There are two ways to reach Dudhiware Pass. One is via the old Pune-Mumbai highway if you are on a bike or Pune-Mumbai Express highway if you are travelling by a car. The second route is via Pawana Lake. We decided to take the route via Pawana Lake as it is more scenic than the highway route.

Directions: 

Travel towards Mulshi from Chandani chowk. Follow the main road for about 20km till you reach the town of Paud. From Paud, take the right turn that goes towards Pawana Lake. The right turn is quite prominent and hard to miss. Travel for about 26km on this road to reach Pawana dam. Over here, you will reach a T-junction. Take the left turn from this T-junction which goes towards Lonavala/Lohagad fort. After riding for about 9km on this road, you will reach Dudhiware Pass.

      

We grouped at Chandani Chowk. There were two of us, and we were riding a Honda Stunner 125 and my Bajaj Pulsar 220. It was 6 in the morning and the sun was just peeping over the horizon. The weather was quite pleasant and the temperature was perfect for a ride. The atmosphere at Chandani Chowk was very lively and exciting. Several motorcycle rides had gathered there. Some were waiting for their group members to arrive while others were putting on their helmets, zipping up their jackets and getting ready to leave with an excitement on their face for the ride that lay ahead of them.

the scenic view of sunrise at chandani chowk
Scenic view at Chandani Chowk

the beautiful view of nature near the village Paud on the way to Dudhiware Pass
Landscape near Paud

We geared up, started our bikes and left Chandani Chowk at 6.15am. Though this route does not have the best of the road conditions, the landscapes here are spectacular. The surrounding was so beautiful that we couldn’t help but stop every now and then to click some pictures. This slowed us down, but we didn’t mind it. We reached Paud by 7am. By this time were hungry and were looking for a nice place to have breakfast. But since it was early in the morning, none of the shops were open. So we continued our journey.

the beautiful view from the town of paud on the way to Dudhiware
Landscapes just before Paud

the morning ride to dudhiware via Paud
The road before Paud

From Paud we took the right turn towards Pawana Lake. From this turn onwards, the visual totally changes. There are lush green rice paddy fields on both sides of the roads. Behind the paddy fields, quite far away, are the mountains. Covered with grass and their tops covered in clouds, the mountains add an artist’s touch to the landscape. There are several small lakes in this area which the locals use as a supply of water. Many tourist are seen boating in these waters.

the scenic road to Pawana Lake with mountains and rice paddy fields around on the way to Dudhiware pass
the road to Pawana Lake

The beautiful view of the rice paddy fields along pawana lake on the way to Dudhiware Pass
Rice Paddy fields along Pawana Lake

Since it was early in the morning and was quite cold, the weather had become foggy in some areas. The fog was so dense here that it was hard to see 5 feet away. This also caused fogging up of our helmets. So we had to take a halt after every few minutes to clear our helmets. While we were still looking for a place to have some breakfast, we found a nice little place in Javan, which is about 18km from Paud. The name of the hotel was hotel Rutuja. We had Vada Pav and tea as there was nothing else available at that time. The Vada Pav was excellent and the tea was nice and warming with a hint of ginger in it.

the foggy road near Pawana lake on the way to dudhiware pass
The foggy areas on our way

the view of Pawana Lake for a distance
Pawana Lake from a distance
After our satisfying breakfast, we continued our journey. After travelling for about 8km, we reached the T-junction. We took the left turn from it, and there it was. We could see the Pawana dam from there itself. We went a little off-road to click some nice pictures of the dam. We stopped at a creek which was a few kilometres from the dam and freshened up. We met a local guy there who informed us that our destination was just 5km away. Excited to reach Dudhiware pass, we quickly left from there. Within no time we reached Dudhiware village. The pass is just a kilometre or two from Dudhiware village.

the beautiful view of the pawana dam on the way to dudhiware pass
Beautiful view of Pawana Dam

small creek near Pawana Dam just before dudhiware pass
The creek near Pawana Dam

We reached Dudhiware Pass at around 9.30am. And what a place it was. Covered with dense trees, the pass has huge rock walls on either sides and are covered with moisture. Several shrubs and vines have grown on these walls over the years. The pass is quite narrow, about two cars wide. But it feels really fantastic to drive through the pass. We clicked a few pictures in the pass. Dudhiware waterfall is just before the pass. Now that the monsoon is over, it didn’t have much water and was just a small stream.

the beautiful view of dudhiware pass
Dudhiware Pass

the beautiful view when passing from dudhiware pass
Dudhiware Pass

There was a small snacks stall just after the pass where we decided to take a break for some refreshments. We had onion pakoda (kanda bhaji) and tea. Both were very good. There is a T-junction here. The right takes you to Lohagad fort which is 10km and the left turn takes you to Lonavala which is just 5km from there.

After the nice snacks, at around 11am, we decided to leave for Pune. The weather was very hot and sunny and was not at all ideal for a ride. But once we started riding, the wind cooled us down. Since we were quite full, we didn’t take any breaks on our way back and as we knew the road quite well by now, we could maintain our speed. I reached home at 12.30pm.

panorama shot of the beautiful scenery on the way to Pawana dam
Panorama shot of the route from Pawana Lake

the scenic view of a small lake near the village of kolvan
Small lake near village Kolvan
On the whole, the ride was a fantastic experience. We got to see some very nice landscapes that we had never seen before. The pass was a very nice visual that enthralled us. This ride among the beautiful nature really gives you a break from the routine and make you forget the city atmosphere.

Dudhiware pass is a very nice place for a short and sweet one day trip. You can also visit Lonavala which is very close-by from Dudhiware and if you are a trekking enthusiast, you can also visit Lohagad fort which is a short trek. In any case, this place will not disappoint you at all.

Ride safe! Cheers!

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