If you need an escape from the buzz of Mumbai and you hear adventure calling, hopping on a bike and taking a trip to Malshej Ghat is the way to go. Malshej Ghat is a beautiful mountain pass that is situated quite close to Mumbai. It is at a distance of 130 kms from Mumbai. For bike lovers, this is an irresistible route since they get to experience rugged hills which are covered in clouds, thanks to the elevation of 700 meters above sea level.
If this is your first trip to Malshej Ghat, it would be an endurance test for you and your motorbike, as the winding roads can be slightly challenging.
Planning The Trip to Malshej Ghat
Best Time for the Road Trip
Summers in Malshej can get really hot with temperatures averaging at 35-40 degrees. The mountains turn dry and the summer heat isn’t tolerable on a bike. This makes monsoons and winters the best time to visit this place. Nature thrives in abundance during these seasons. You would practically feel the fresh air on your bike journey, as you ride through this pass which has some of the most scenic views.
Mumbai to Malshej Ghat Route
To virtually get a better result of your route and trip, it is best to plan the route out. It helps reduce the number of impulsive decisions you need to make on the road which could unnecessarily stress you out while you’re riding your bike.
Here’s a brief idea about the route to Malshej Ghat.
The distance from Mumbai to Malshej Ghat is about 130 kms by road. It approximately takes about 3 and a half hours to reach. We suggest starting this journey by 5 am, so that you’re not getting yourself tired by trying to untangle from the Mumbai city traffic.
We recommend using the Eastern Express Highway to reach Thane. Then, the route goes in this order: Thane – Kalyan Phata – Murbad – Shivale – Saralgaon – Tokawade – Malshej Ghat. Once you pass Kalyan, you would have the company of green trees on both sides of the road and slightly cooler weather compared to the city of Mumbai.
About the Bike Trip From Mumbai to Malshej Ghat
As you ride through the ghat, the views are magnificent with valleys on one side and rocky mountain textures on the other. You’ll cross a partially dark tunnel and you’re surely going to be impressed with the views at the end of it. The tunnel also has a picture point known as Krishna Bela Point. If it’s monsoons, you’ll also come across beautiful waterfalls on this ride. Some of which can be viewed from a distance and some can be experienced as you ride. Yes, they literally pour down on the road during the monsoons. You can take a break from your ride and stand under these waterfalls for a refreshing feel. During winters, the flow of the waterfall is way lesser, but you’d still catch a few waterfalls.
Just a heads up though. There would be plenty of state tourist buses, minivans and volvos who practically own the road when they drive, as they drop tourists by this route all the time. So let them pass and remember to be extra careful of these big vehicles during those winding turns. You’ll also see a lot of monkeys as you ride through this ghat. These monkeys can be aggressive and steal your food or anything you carry on you, so keep a safe distance as you watch them.
It is important to be environmentally responsible when you’re visiting Malshej, as it is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. You will also be visiting a space that has a variety of birds such as quails, rails, crakes, flamingos and cuckoos. The shift in landscape would make you forget everything a city stands for as you’re nearing the region.
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Wear all your safety gear and fill up your tank before going on the trip. Also, ensure that you service your bike for any issues before leaving. Make sure all your bike’s documentations are in place too. Please have sufficient sleep before going on the trip and take breaks wherever necessary. You want to be able to enjoy your ride right from the moment you get the engine revving, and not regret it later.
Ghats are generally more challenging, so it’s best to play it safe. Considering the best time to visit the place is during the monsoons, the roads can get all the more dangerous if you’re speeding. So it’s better to keep a moderate speed and enjoy the view of the valleys. As the ghat attracts loads of tourists, there are points made to stop without disturbing the road way. You can always pull over at Lajwanti point, Krishna point or Prem Sagar. These points have been built as an extension from the mainroad, so people can get a panoramic view of the valleys or just stretch your legs.
This a small checklist of things you should carry. All your legal bike papers and documentation, a helmet, long pants and a good biker jacket. Ensure you’re wearing a sturdy pair of shoes with rubber sole, good biker gloves and raincoats or a poncho.
Interesting Sites You Can Visit
Pimpalgaon Joga Lake
The first time you set your eyes on the backwaters of this dam, you will surely experience an irrevocable sense of happiness for making the decision to reach here. This serene lake with the backdrop of mountains is something you shouldn’t miss if you’ve made it till Malshej Ghat. Pimpalgaon Joga lake is considered as a bird watcher’s paradise. Do visit it during monsoons as the lake is full and makes a perfect reflection of the mountains around it. The Lake is 18 kms away from Malshej and would take you around 30 mins to reach by bike.
The Malshej hills have several options for treks. Some are easy, even though the most difficult treks are also found here. The most famous is the trek to Harishchandragad. Around 90 km from Malshej region of the western ghats, Covered in lush greenery and a blanket of clouds, Harishchandragad Fort is just around 90kms from Malshej region. It’s one of the most famous hill forts. You can take that extra mile on your bike to see the breathtaking views from Pachnai or Khireshwar village located at the foothills of Harishchandragad.
MTDC offers some great views of the valley and clouds. There are railings placed on the edges for safety and benches for sitting so you can enjoy this scenery. The monsoon downpour makes sightseeing at this point an ensemble of waterfalls that cover the mountain. It would be hard to forget the panoramic view of the foggy weather and falling waterfalls.
The Shivneri Fort is a major attraction in this region famous for being the birthplace of the legendary Maratha ruler – Shivaji Maharaj. He lived here for the first six years of his life. There is an interesting point here known as Kadelot point, where prisoners were punished by throwing them down the fort. There is a parking area available and it would take you approx 30 mins to climb up to the fort. So opt for this if you have some extra time to spare on your day trip.
Riding on twisty ghat roads is entirely different from city ones. A bike trip to Malshej Ghat is ever reliable to deliver a sense of adventure and accomplishment after completing this day trip.
See also: Mumbai to Bhandardara Bike Trip