Riding The Tillari GhatFeatured, Riding Sunday, August 26th, 2012
I have driven quite a few ghats in southern and western India. But nothing comes close to the treacherous Tillari ghat in Maharashtra. Its only about eight kilometers long but the steep inclined sharp bends make driving quite an experience. After crossing the Tillari ghat on four wheels several times in the past, today I decided do it on two wheels. After breakfast this rainy morning I pointed my Royal Enfield Thunderbird towards Tillari and went for a solo ride.
For those of you who appreciate a good view there is a very interesting spot right on top of the Tillari ghat that I chanced upon many years ago. Right at the top before you start descending down the ghat there is a side road that goes downhill. It very easy to miss it as it has grass grown all over it. This is the old road which was abandoned years ago, I presume due to landslides.
The road is a dead end with boulders strewn all across it. You need to be very careful since the heavy rains have eaten away the sides of the road year after year. On an earlier trip I had taken my Suzuki Vitara down this abandoned road as much as I could. However, I would not recommend you do that unless you know exactly what you are doing. Here is a picture I took around a year ago which gives a good idea of the state of the road, or whatever is left of it.
I took my Thunderbird right down. This is the view of the abandoned road as seen from the dead end.
Here is the gorgeous view from the edge of the Deccan Plateau. It’s well worth the 70 km ride from my house in Porvorim, Goa.
This is a view of the dead end. I remember years ago I had come here with a few friends for a picnic. At that time the road was in a much better state and I had driven my good old Suzuki Zen right up to the dead end.
The landslide activity still continues as can be seen from the widening crack in this rock face.
If you are not the kind of person to risk life and limb for a good view then you may want to stay on the main highway and veer off a little to a safe view point.
Ironically, this “safe” view point is exactly above the cracking rocks I showed you earlier. So if there is a landslide you will be part of it before the people enjoying the view below you. ;-)
If you are new to the Tillari ghat there is something else you need to know about it. The road is virtually non-existent in most places. See for yourself.
Also there are rock faces that literally hang over the road and drip rainwater all over you.
I look forward to riding the Tillari ghat once again.