#KRRC Ride 246 – Adventure ride – “Slopes of hell” , 10th Jan 2021

The name “Slopes of Hell” invokes images of the Dakar Rally, massive boulders, crazy trails and so on. The 36 riders who ultimately enrolled for this ride were given fair warning for what was to come. Special instructions were passed on to ensure each one was dressed in the appropriate safety gear. Needless to say, we were all excited for the ride to come.

As we assembled at 6:00 AM at Green Park, Baner, Pune, the briefing contained the same instructions. “Be careful, avoid hard breaking, follow the line, look for proper footrest in case you stop, stay in the high rev-zone”. Basically a recap of everything that was taught to us in the “Off road training session” (blog coming soon) – Check out the video below for an amazing recap of the session on the KRRC Channel by the very talented Vinil Chacko.

We set off at 6:35 AM, and reached the location on the foothills of the Kamshet ghat in about an hour. Looking up you can see the final destination – the tower right up there at the peak.

As we regrouped, instructions were passed for the ‘faster riders’ to start off. Vikram and Lalit being the hard core offroader in the group set off with a few of us, as we started off.

The actual slopes of hell are fun to ride on. Steep ride up, about 45 degrees slope, with completely broken gravelly, muddy, rocky paths. The rain over the past few days had rendered parts of the path slightly mushy as well. However, thankfully, it wasn’t complete slush, so there was not much loss of traction for the bike tyres.

The last part of the climb was through thick green foliage with a very narrow trail. This was the must fun part, particularly with the hill on the left, and a sheer drop on the right. Rocks on the road meant we were weaving out way around the obstructions, making this an extra challenge.

As we reached the top, we were greeted with some amazing view. Open clear skies, a gorgeous panorama of the Mumbai-Pune highway and clear visibility for several kilometers.

A parallel peak also has activities for paragliding – we saw quite a few people there and parachutes in the air – definitely a spot for you adventures and thrill seekers.

We chilled on the top for a while, with a few folks walking up the steps to chill on the top of the hill. Bikes cannot go to the absolute top due to massive boulders blocking the way (we tried 🙂 )

As there is very less space up top to congregate, the leaders took a call to have the rest of the gathering back at the base. (also chai ki latt kagi thi!). We set off on the way back, and this was a bit more challenging with Mother Gravity playing a role in taking the difficulty up a notch. A couple of bikes had a tough time controlling the speed and did take a couple of minor falls due to emergency breaking, but nothing serious.

Chai commenced with the introduction session of the new riders. We also felicitated riders achieving KRRC milestones

  • Vikram – Badge for completing 5 rides
  • Pinakin – Star for completing 10 rides
  • Abhinay – Wings for completing 50 rides! 40+ of these rides were in the last one year, pretty much a club record of sorts.

Congratulations to all the winners!

The ride didn’t end here. There was a huge open field with a slight elevation right there. The whole group took off riding over the field, and, as always, posing for an epic group photo graph!

Finally, with all our saddling and off-roading appetites satiated, we set off for the short quick ride back home. The ride back was quite fun too, with Ride Leader Umesh zooming off on his Dominar. Brilliant ride back, super fun as always!

Here’s to the next one!

Route Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/rPzHdbiRnxeZviDi7

all images by Anwar K. (KRRC)

Baconbaba in Kolhapur!

Tikkhat Manjhe Swadisht Naahi!

The Kolhapuri Lavangi – A tiny little chili bomb local to this area.This is the flavor that defines Kolhapuri cuisine. But is it really?

There is a saying in Marathi – ‘Tikkhat manjhe swadisht naahi‘ (spicy doesn’t mean tasty). So which is it? Tikkhat? Or Swadisht? That’s what I was craving to find out.

As I had an opportunity to spend a day in Kolhapur with a good friend (who, incidentally, is a local of this city), I had to eat my way through this city. Here are some of the best spots I hit:

Hotel Parakh: Special Mutton Fry Thali

We landed in Kolhapur just around lunch time. The drive form Pune had left us ravenous, and we totally looking forward to our first meal in Kolhapur.

Hotel Parakh is a simple, no frills place with a basic menu – they do what they do best.

One of the best mutton thalis I’ve had in a long long time. Hotel Parakh, Kolhapur puts out this gorgeous plate of meat with perfectly cooked mutton fry and a lovely mutton kheema. 250/- for this plate of awesomeness is a steal!

But the showstopper here are the twin rassa bowls – Tambda and Pandhra.

The Pandhra rassa is a lovely white mutton stock base, lightly spiced. Dunk your bhakri and mutton fry to oomph up the flavors, or drink it up as a soup.

The Tambda rassa is spicy, but not what you expect. Cooked in mutton stock, you can see bits of Mutton fat floating around, giving it a bit of richness that only fat can give. It has a spectacular back of the throat hit, without putting your palate on fire. You can happily chug a few bowls of this fiery looking gravy without feeling numb lips or burning your throat. If anything, it triggers the taste buds, taking this lovely thali to the next level.

Chappal Alley

A whole lane dedicated to Kolhapuri Chappal stores? This one I could not miss!

The best Vada Pav in Kolhapur?

Right at the bustling Rankala lake sits Mr Ramchandra Patil, owner of Priyadarshini Mobile Canteen. What really set this apart is the MASSIVE vada served with a slice of bread and coconut chutney. The jumbo vada pav is delicious, very different from what we get in Pune/Mumbai, and the chutney truly makes it a delicious experience

Will the real All India Bhel please stand up?

All India Bhel is one of the iconic spots of Kolhapur. Affectionately known as ‘Raja Bhau Bhel Center’, this was set up in 1965. Over 50 years, they have created their legacy, and defined the street food scene in Kolhapur. The entire street where this is located is lined with food stalls, with the maximum crowds gathering around Raja Bhau Bhel Center

They work at lightning speed, preparing your bhel, customized to your liking (dry/wet, spicy/medium) in less than 30 seconds. Take a look:

The bhel itself is delicious – sweet, spicy, sour, with hints of raw mango, garlic chutney and chillies.

The funny part is the number of ‘All India Bhel Center’s that have propped up. I counted about 15 of them in a line at Rankala lake. All of them serve great stuff, no doubt, but the original is undoubtedly the best 🙂

Dinner Scenes – Mutton at Opal

Another one of the iconic food spots in Kolhapur, Hotel Opal was set up in 1968. Today, about 50 years later, they continue to carry on the legacy. The food here is excellent. Must try the mutton thali (tambda-pandhra rassa, mutton fry, mutton curry and bhakri). Do not miss the solkadi to cool down the senses.


Dessert Feels – Imperial Cold Drink House

Imperial goes beyond being called a legacy. Set up in 1910, this centurion is Kolhapur at its finest. Do not miss the Imperial Special Cocktail (with cake). Ice cream, milkshake, tooti fruity, jelly, dry fruits, fresh fruits (if u r lucky, u’ll get mango bits too) – this has it all. This is an absolute must after the spicy tambda rassa!


Basundi Chah

We noticed this board on the way to Imeprial, and HAD to try it out. It is exactly as the name suggests – hot basundi, mixed with hot tea. The taste? Well, imagine drinking tea with condensed milk – super sweet, dessert-y, thick, creamy, with a flavour of tea. Definitely worth a try. You’ll find them lined up along Shivaji chowk after 5PM in the evening.


Misal Scenes!

You can’t leave Kolhapur without eating Misal! Breakfast the next day is Misal at the oldest Misal joint in Kolhapur – Hotel Bawada Misal.


Established in 1923, they serve a form a misal very different from what we get in Pune. The tarri is a lot thinner, and contains a blend of matki, chana and potatoes, topped with shaved coconut and dahi. And contrary to popular belief, it isn’t burn your mouth spicy. It is a very balanced blend of spices, that will keep you craving for more.


One day is not enough to explore the true beauty of the food that this lovely city has to offer. But what I experienced in these 24 hours provided me enough fuel to go back on another gastronomical excursion to further explore this city. #baconbaba will be back!