India is infamous for its shabby roads, but at the same time there are many fantastic driving roads spread through the length and width of our beautiful country. OVERDRIVE has been fortunate enough to experience quite a few of these roads, and we want to share the joy with a weekly feature of a fantastic road that you should aspire to experience someday. For this week's best driving route, I have chosen the route from Nasik-Kalyan that lies on the AH47 as most of my weekends trips are done from Mumbai to Nasik and back.
If you have been to Nasik already, you might be aware of the calm and soothing climate of the city. The road that starts from Nasik is a proper dual-carriage highway with smooth roads. It is a part of the 2,057km-long AH47 that runs from Gwalior and connects cities in Karnataka. The intensity of traffic isn't much on this section, and one can easily cruise at higher speeds. The first landmark that you come across is the Shree Dharmachakra Prabhav Tirth, a Jain temple located in Vilholi. Known for its artistic carvings, the temple is constructed with white marble and pink sand.
Once you cross that temple, the road gets extremely scenic with vast green pastures spread on both sides of the highway. The best stopover option for vegetarians has to be Hari Om Dhaba which serves amazing range of parathas. The roads are reasonably smooth, and one can easily travel at higher speeds on the straight sections until Igatpuri. One has to pay a toll of Rs 100 in Ghoti. If you are travelling during the early morning hours, often the area has dense fog wherein it is advisable to drive more carefully. A quick stop at the Manas Resort for breakfast is highly recommended.
Then comes my favourite section, which also ranks high among other enthusiasts. It is the Kasara ghat section. The wide, properly laid tarmac road can be a serious treat with multiple corners and tight sections. It was infamous for fatal accidents until early 2000. Post 2009, however, separate roads were made for each direction. As soon as the Kasara ghat ends, there is Akshay Dhaba on the left which serves amazing vada pav and is one of mypit stops before proceeding ahead.
After Kasara village, the condition of roads are decent and has its share of uneven undulations, not much of a discomfort though. This is seen all the way until the Asangaon toll naka. The density of traffic increases after crossing this toll section all the way to Kalyan. The last eatery on the Nasik-Mumbai Road, whichis strongly recommended by Lijo, is Shawaya Dhaba located on the opposite side, close to an HP petrol pump near Bhiwandi and is only 13km away from the Kalyan intersection. It serves non-veg delicacies like Raan biryani and chicken biryani. The proportions are generous to satisfy five and costs Rs 1,500. The dhaba itself is very spacious and is open from 11am onward. Something I am looking forward to in my next trip.
Raan biryani served at Shawaya Dhaba