Saturday, 12 November 2016

Ride to calmness | Pabe Ghat

bikes at the top of pabe ghat
Pabe Ghat Top

Ride type: Narrow roads


Ride difficulty: Easy


Distance from Pune: 34km


It was the weekend just after Diwali. I had a lot of things to do and I knew it was going to be a busy weekend. All the work that I had procrastinated before Diwali was now overdue. But I was not going to miss my weekend ride for any of that. Though it would be a short ride, I decided to go for one. Did a bit of probing and got a perfect destination for a nice and calm short motorcycle ride. Pabe Ghat.


Pabe ghat is a very calm and scenic place just 34km from Pune near the village of Velhe and is located on the Panshet-Velhe road just before the Pabe village. Pabe ghat, famous for its monsoon landscapes, is a unique visual treat in the winters. Stretches of brown dried grass everywhere with hints of green in between. Mountains with some greenery remaining at the foot and dried off tops, wintry air breezing occasionally.

Directions:

Travel on Sinhagad Road towards Sinhagad fort. At the Donje gaon fork (Locally known as Donje Phata), take the right fork that heads towards Panshet. After travelling for about 5km, after Khanapur village, take the left turn that goes towards Velhe. Continue on this road for about 12km to reach the top of Pabe Ghat.

     

There were two of us and were riding a Bajaj Pulsar 200NS and my Bajaj Pulsar 220. It was a quite spontaneous plan and both of us had some work in the morning. So we decided to leave a bit late, at 9am. We knew it was going to get sunny and hot while returning but we were okay with it. We got done with our work by 9 and met at Rajaram Bridge. It was already warm and the traffic was crazy on Sinhagad Road. Without any delay, we started our ride.

lonely road on the way to pabe ghat
Road to Donje Gaon Fork

Evading the traffic was a task. It took about 45 minutes for us to reach the Donje gaon fork. The roads were quiet empty from there onwards. We could see some people on their way back to Pune from their rides. We reached Khanapur at around 10am. We wanted to take a quick break in Khanapur but we decided not to, since we knew we would end up spending too much time there. So continuing our journey, we took the left turn after Khanapur village toward Velhe.

lonely roads wit trees canopy to pabe ghat
Lonely roads to Pabe Ghat

It gets really lonely from here. You hardly see any vehicles. Maybe only the few that are returning. Right after the left turn, you start ascending a small ghat. The roads are pretty bad but since the surroundings are fascinating, you have a good time riding here. The quality of the road is more or less consistent over here. Also there are no fuel stations on this road with the last one being at Donje gaon fork. The cell phone reception is good throughout.

After descending the ghat, the road becomes a bit narrower but the quality of the road improves a bit. There are rice fields on the either side of the roads. Most of the fields were being harvested, giving out the delicious smell of fresh rice. On this route, the greater stretch of the road is covered by a canopy of the trees giving you a nice cool feel even when it’s actually quite warm.

panorama shot of the road to pabe ghat with ride fields surrounding
Panorama shot of the road and rice fields

After riding for about 10km after descending the ghat, you start ascending the Pabe Ghat. Pabe Ghat has moderate quality roads, but has excellent corners for motorcycle riding. It is full of hairpin corners which are a real treat for motorcycle riders. You ought to be really careful while cornering though since there is a lot of gravel on the roads here. This ghat is really a short one and within no time you reach the top of the ghat feeling that you haven’t had enough of its corners. We reached there at around 11.30am

scenic road to pabe ghat
Road just before Pabe Ghat

The top of Pabe Ghat is a small pass and on the left side is a small shop. We decided to take a snacks break here and then return to Pune. We ordered for onion pakoda (Kanda Bhaji) and some lemonade. While the food was being prepared, we decided to explore a bit. We found a small trail that led us above the hill, just behind the shop. We saw a huge banyan tree there and it seemed like the perfect place to relax and have our snacks. There was a small temple just beside the tree which led to another trail that went over all the adjacent hills. This could be a nice trek we thought, but for another day perhaps. We had our snacks over there, relaxed over there for some time and then we started preparing to leave.

small shop at the top of pabe ghat
The shop at the top of Pabe Ghat

We left for Pune at around 1pm. It was very hot which made riding quite though. The roads were totally empty on our way back. The villages en route were deserted, it was their afternoon nap time perhaps. We quickly reached Khanapur and took a short beak to have some water and cool down. We reached home at around 2pm.

huge banyan tree and temple at the top of pabe ghat hill
Banyan tree and temple at the top of the hill

scenic trekking trail at the top of pabe ghat
Trekking trail at Pabe Ghat

beautiful mountains and landscape as seen form the top of Pabe Ghat
The view from the top of Pabe Ghat

Overall, the ride was very nice. It was a quick and pleasant change from the daily routine. If you are into trekking, the trek mentioned earlier can also be a really good idea. This destination is highly recommended if you are really short on time or you don’t want to go too far away from Pune.

Ride safe! Cheers!

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