Last week I had the opportunity to cross over from the state of Karnataka into the Maharashtra , two states that are so critical and important to India in their own way and intricately connected by National Highway 48.
Maharashtra , the second most populas state in India and home to #Mumbai , the financial hub of the country has got a lot to entice the traveler , be it the #Ajanta caves or the hill spots of #Lonavala and #Mahabaleshwar while Karnataka , erstwhile known as the State of #Mysore , home to some of the most powerful empires of India’s glorious past and having the Western Ghats run across its western border is a state worth visiting by road.
So my journey was from #Karwar (Karnataka) to Lonavala (Maharashtra). Karwar is a small town located in the south western coast nestled in the lap of the Western Ghats bounded by the shores of the Arabian sea on one side and the mighty Western Ghat ranges on the other. To reach Lonavala, another hill station of Maharashtra I had to cut across the Western Ghats winding my way through the mountain ranges till I reached the plateau on the other side.
The route taken was driving on the State Highway 52 which passes through small towns of Yellapur, Kalaghatgi and finally reaching Dharwad city. It is a pleasure to drive on State Highway 52 as the highway cuts across the Western Ghats and offers the visitor the chance to see the rich diversity and greenery all around. The highway is tricky and needs careful driving but believe me an early morning drive on this highway will open up the senses within.
The vistas are all green and heavily forested slopes of the mountains on a well maintained single carriage road that winds its way through the forested region.
Rest stops on SH 52
Just before the town of Hubli , the traveller can take the diversion to joing NH 48( AH 47 ) . This move ensure that one does not have to enter the city limits of Hubli town thereby enabling one to cruise onwards smoothly.
The Asian Highway Network (AH) also known as Great Asian Highway is a cooperative project among the countries of Asia and Europe to improve the highway systems in Asia. It is one of the three pillars of the Asian Land Transport Infrastructure development (ALTID) project. A total of 32 countries are signatories to this theme and project.
Now AH-47 also known as NH-48 is the erstwhile NH-4 post the renumbering of the highways by the GOI in 2010. Post 2010 all national highways were renumbered with the theme of all North-South highways being even numbered while the east west highways are odd numbered.
Note. NH48 is the erstwhile NH8/NH4 highway and the nomenclature is still visible at many places, just don’t get confused by this .
The NH 48 which originates at Chennai is met just at the outskirts of Hubli town and one should take this 6 lane highway right till Mumbai. The major towns which come on this route that are bypassed and lie few kms to either side of the highway are
In case one needs to take a halt in the journey, I would suggest do the same at the town of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, spend a day seeing this historical city of Maharashtra. This princely state in the pre-independence era was a nineteen-gun salute state ruled by the Bhosale’s of the Maratha Empire. Worth visiting would be the famed Mahalakshmi as well as Jyotiba temple which will potray the religious side of India. On the Cuisine front, I would recommend the Maharastrian Misal as well as Kolhapuri Non-Veg Thali(meal).
Traveller Notes on the journey
- Ample refuelling points all along the highway
- The cruising speed to be kept at around 80-100 km/hr to have a control on the eco system around which will keep changing
- Lunch break can be taken between Kolhapr to Karad with numerous options on the highway itself.
- Use rest rooms at the better managed petrol pumps of HP, IOC.
- Watch out for heavily laden tractor trollies carrying the local produce of Sugarcane near Satara as they dominate the driving lane and are immune to traffic rules .
- The tool booths are evenly spaced and quick to process with hardly any waiting time .
- On approaching Pune city limits , expecttraffic congestion.
- Do try evening tea as one leave Pune city limits behind, recommend Doshi Vade wale.
- Use the Pune-Mumbai Expressway to continue towards Mumbai.
- The stretch of Expressway bordering Lonavala-Khandala is tricky and one should exercise real caution out here.
That’s it then, a short article hoping that this quick read helps next time one is travelling from Karnataka to Maharashtra .