Best Routes & Places for Bike Riding to Explore The Western Ghats During Monsoon

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date_range03 Dec 2020

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It's heaven to ride in the monsoon for every biker out there. Monsoon Bike rides along the beautiful Western Ghats makes the experience even more mesmerizing and magical. The lush greenery, the wildlife around, the balmy monsoon, picturesque waterfalls, and the pleasing earthy smell – Western Ghats is a fairy-like place. It’s beautiful all around. Here are a few monsoon road trips we have listed for bike riding along the Western Ghats. This list is prepared based on the experiences of riders from Royal Brother’s biking community.

"If you don’t ride in the rain, you don’t ride." 🙁

4 Best Western Ghats Road Trips during Monsoon

  1. Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar
  2. Pune to Malshej Ghat
  3. Munnar to Kodaikanal
  4. Wayanad to Coorg (Madikeri)

1) Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar

Distance: 261 Kms (Approx.)

Average Journey Time: 5 hours 15 mins 

The feeling you get on reaching Mahabaleshwar is just heavenly. This place has something to offer to everyone - be it a nature lover or a travel enthusiast or a history geek. Known for its scenic beauty and refreshing setting, Mahabaleshwar is by far the best place to visit in the Western Ghats.

The Best Sunset Point in Mahabaleshwar

It tenders amiable sight of the plains along with the pea-green forest that looks amazing. With more than 30 viewpoints this place is an ultimate spot for the travelers all around. Venna Lake, Arthur’s point, Lodwick point, Dhobi waterfall are some of the well-known sites of Mahabaleshwar.

As a fact, during the British rule, Mahabaleshwar was known as the “Summer Capital of Bombay Presidency”. Since then, many heads to this place to beat the heat and take a refreshing break from their chaotic city.

Boating at Venna Lake, Mahabaleshwar

Route 1: Mumbai – Panvel – Vashi – Nagothane – Kolad – Mangaon - Mahabaleshwar

Route 2: Mumbai – Pune Expressway – NH 4/48 – Panchgani – Mahabaleshwar

Based on Royal Brothers riders’ journey, we suggest you take route 2. No one would want to miss the Pune Expressway for the starters. Bike rides in the monsoon on such a blissful, well-maintained highway are quite amazing. The weather on this route makes you experience a breezy-refreshing ride. You can take a quick ride to Lonavala in case you have time to explore more. While being on the Expressway we advise you to take a pit-stop at the famous Kinara Dhaba.

Moving ahead on the NH 4/48, the weather keeps getting cool and refreshing. During monsoon, you need to be careful as it’s foggy all around. Keep moving and you enter the actual Western Ghats. The view here is picture-worthy and mesmerizing. You can see the lush greenery and waterfalls around the valley.

Soon you enter the Panchgani area. We don’t really need to say much about the very famous, Mapro Garden. If you haven’t heard of it before we’re not going to spoil it for you. Trust us and take a stop here without any second thought. While going deep into the world of strawberries don’t miss out on the Wooden Pizza. We can see you thanking us later. 

Needle Hole Point or Elephant's Point in Mahabaleshwar

Once you move from Panchgani to Mahabaleshwar, you will experience heavy traffic as the road is too narrow. You will cross Venna Lake, one of the main tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar. As you reach the Mahabaleshwar bus stand, that’s exactly where the local market starts. Well known for locally made goods, you may find too many shops with good quality Kolhapuri slippers or even high-quality leather bags. If you’re planning to stay overnight, I personally recommend you to book a room in Nirvana Inn. Situated at the mountain top, this hotel provides a breath-taking view. And during monsoon, Ahh! It’s just eye-perfect.

2) Pune to Malshej Ghat

Distance: 194 Kms (Approx.)

Average Journey Time: 4 hours 25 minutes

Malshej Ghat, popular among the trekkers and nature lovers, is known for being the home to a varied species of flora and fauna. This place is the ultimate go-to spot for some peace of mind. Surrounded by lakes, mountains, and waterfalls, Malshej Ghat is a perfect weekend getaway as it has a host of attractions to pass time and this magically pulls visitors with ease.

Whether you’re an amateur or a professional trekker, there are trekking trails of all kinds to suit your handiness. A few of the most popular trails are Ajoba Hill Fort, Darkoba Peak, Jivdhan Chawand Fort, and Nane Ghat.

Bike Ride to Malshej Ghat - Monsoon Road Trip

Enjoy the cascading waterfalls spread all around the Malshej Ghats. It’s pleasing to the eyes during monsoon. Not to name any specific one but all the waterfalls here makes for a good picnic spot among visitors on a monsoon bike ride.

A visit to Malshej Ghat is unfinished if you do not hike up to Harishchandragad Fort. Many devotees line up to bow in front of Lord Vishnu at the amazingly carved Vishnu temple here. Another attraction here is the Buddhist caves situated nearby.

Shiva Linga - Kedareshwar Cave Temple is located at Harishchandragad, a hill fort in Maharashtra.

Don’t miss out on the 5 km long Pimpalgaon Joga Dam built over the enthralling Pushpawati River. The dam is a dock for several migratory birds like Flamingos. This place is a delight for birdwatchers as birds like Quail, Pied Crested Cuckoo, Alpine Swift, Pink Flamingos, etc. make regular appearances.

Route 1: Pune – Mumbai Highway – Lonavala – Karjat-Murbad Road – Mhasa – Malshej Ghats

Route 2: Pune – Nashik highway – Chakan – Rajgurunagar – Narayangaon – Junnar – Malshej Ghat

It feels like both the routes have just been made for the monsoon bike trips. But we'll be specifically talking about route 1 as to why take a short route when there’s a long one which has much more to offer? Starting off from Pune the weather is quite temperate. Not to mention again about the Pune expressway. No one will miss such a beauty. Once on the expressway keep moving towards and exit to NH48.

The reason why bikers prefer this route is that it’s just not about Pune to Malshej Ghat bike ride but exploring different places in between. Do take a detour and ride along the Ghats of Lonavala. Take out some time and hike the Lohagad Fort and don’t forget to have a cup of Chai at the famous Tiger Point.

Now head to Karjat Khopoli marg. It’s worth taking a quick stop in Karjat too. This place has its very own charm. With short trails to explore and the cool weather around makes Karjat halt worthy.

Waterfalls Destination in Malshej Ghat during Monsoon.

Keep following the Karjat-Murbad road to Mhasa, going into the Malshej Ghats. Once you go through this road you will catch the Malshej waterfalls all around. The steep turns and such a splendor view all around is purely orgasmic to bikers. There’s nothing like a Western Ghats road trip to Malshej Ghats. It’s a magnet to riders in its very own way.

3) Munnar to Kodaikanal

Distance: 168 Kms (Approx.)

Average Journey Time: 5 hours 10 minutes

One of the most visited destinations in Tamil Nadu, especially for the new age travelers, is the hilly town of Kodaikanal. This place is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in India. The rolling slopes of Palani Hills introduces Kodaikanal as “The princess of Hill stations”. Beautiful climate, mist-covered cliffs, and waterfalls around come together to display Kodaikanal as the ideal setting for a perfect getaway.

Kodaikanal means – The gift of the forests. This place is home to Pine forest. It’s a refreshing terrain where you can do anything from casually taking a walk to camping to spotting a Deer or a Nilgai. A walk here will surely make you feel like walking on a magic-land.

Kodaikanal Lake - a manmade lake in the Kodaikanal City, Tamilnadu

This place is a host to two stunning Lakes - Berijam Lake and Kodaikanal Lake. Both the Lakes are home to an amazing diversity of flora and fauna. Birdwatching is the most exciting thing in both these attractions. The beauty of both the Lakes will bring out the photographer in you without even you realizing it.

Kodaikanal is home to eight unique waterfalls. Thalaiyar Falls and Bear Shola Falls are the two most famous around visitors that offer a heady combination of great views and appealing surroundings. We suggest travel-hop and enjoy all the waterfalls around.

Caves, viewpoints, trek trails, etc. etc. - Kodaikanal has many things to offer and if I go on writing about all the attractions, this blog would be really never-ending. We suggest you go unplanned and explore whatever comes your way. That's the beauty of riding, isn’t it?

Manjalar Dam - A dam over the Manjalar River in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Route 1: Munnar – Suryanelli – Pariyakulam – Kodai Ghat road - Kodaikanal

Route 2: Munnar – Udumalpet Rd. – Kolumam Rd. – NH83 – Palani-Kodaikanal Rd. – Laws Ghat - Kodaikanal

Both the routes are ride worthy in their own way. If you love riding on National Highway with serene greenery on both sides route 2 is for you. On the other hand, if you love having a monsoon bike ride through the city chaos, challenging Ghats, rolling hills choose route 1 without a second thought. I’ll be specifically talking about route 1 as it’s my personal favorite.

Starting your ride alongside the tea forests is quite dazzling. When you start your journey on this route it takes you through tea greenery. You will find many locals working in tea plantation farms. The roads are so beautifully done that riding a bike through this route is altogether a luxurious feeling.

The whole journey will keep your eyes tiring as you will not only concentrate on the road but timely fall in love as well with the picturesque Western Ghats around. Once you keep moving you will experience the life of Munnar. You will come across Churches, camping points but don’t stop. Once you exit Munnar, you will see yourself riding through the turns of NH85 surrounded by forests on both sides. Keep moving! Keep moving!...

Palni Hills, range of hills, an eastward extension of the Western Ghats in southern India.

…BECAUSE the real thrill kicks in when you see the Kodai Ghat ahead in front of you. Ever wondered how adventurous bike rides would be on the Ghats? Once you ride through this share of Western Ghats you will get to know. Why we call it adventurous is because you will experience “joyful fear”. It’s not really easy to ride through the Ghats. But riders are born for it, right? The Ghats will perfectly blend into gorgeous Kodaikanal. We repeat again, go unplanned as this place is home to everything loved by a traveler.

4) Wayanad to Coorg (Madikeri)

Distance: 125 Kms (Approx.)

Average Journey Time: 3 hours 25 minutes

Coorg, known as the “Scotland of India”. It’s one of the best places to visit during monsoon in Karnataka. Monsoon bike rides to Coorg starting from anywhere is a mind-blowing experience in its own way. A ride to India’s own Scotland comes as one of the preferred Western Ghats bike trips.

Scenic hills, waterfalls, and rich greenery – are what defines the beauty of this place. Not only this but locals here are welcoming and that really adds to the whole experience. A bike ride to Coorg in monsoon is worth all your time. 

Abbey Falls, Madikeri - A popular waterfall in the Western Ghats in Karnataka.

Abbey Falls, Irupu Falls, Tadiandomal trek trail, and the Namdroling Monastery are a few major attractions around. Once you cover these head straight to Dubare Elephant camp to spend some time in feeding or bathing these majestic creatures. 

Don’t really miss out on the sunset view from Raja’s seat. This place offers striking views of the mountains and valleys surrounding it. There’s much more to explore in Coorg. You really need to plan for staying overnight to make the most out of this bike ride to Coorg - one of the best places to visit in the Western Ghats in Karnataka.

Madikeri, Coorg - A hill station town in the Western Ghats mountain range of Karnataka.

Route: Wayanad – Ponnampet – Gonikoppal-Kutta Rd. – Kanoor Rd. – Madikeri-Virajpet Rd. – Madekeri

This route comes with a variety of things to experience on the journey. From temples to coffee plantations to waterfalls to a lot more – it covers every kind of travelers’ interests. The sloping roads encompassed with tranquil greenery in the surroundings make the route a biker’s paradise. 

A ride in the rains along this route is very enjoyable and the monsoon adds to the whole road trip. The road conditions are so good that our riders love travelling frequently on this route. The monsoon adds to the whole experience as the weather changes to its best. The dwindling raindrops with cool breeze tranquilize the mind. You would forget all your worries and would just ride into the present, happily. We really recommend planning a monsoon bike ride from Wayanad to Coorg (Madikeri) as it’s going to be certainly worth every penny, every second of your time.

Monsoon bike ride in Western Ghats of Southern India.

Bikers try their best to not miss on a monsoon bike ride. But not really everyone out there has a bike to take themselves out for experiences like these. Here, Royal Brothers comes to the rescue. Now one can easily rent a bike and take himself/herself on a ride. Royal Brothers is present in over 40+ cities in India. Log on to our website or download our app to book a ride of your dreams. #werentdreams 🙂

When you go for a bike ride trip along the Western Ghats in monsoon, it’s quite important to plan and equip yourself as per the changing weather conditions. Here are a few monsoon tips by Royal Brothers:

  1. Check the tyres’ condition.
  2. Carry some waterproof gear for yourself that fits over your riding gear.
  3. In monsoon, tyre pressures recommended to be one or two psi below the ideally mentioned number.
  4. No speeding and brake gently.
  5. Ride with headlights on in case of rain or fog.
  6. Take care of yourself and your machine.

Please let us know in the comments section if we missed on something. #keepriding 🏍

AUTHOR

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Anuj Seksaria
Moody Photographer. Marketer. Weird Funny. Can't do without Sky, Beaches, Travel and Tea.
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