The year is 1947. A man sketches the silhouette of a car in the sand of a Welsh beach. That car is Land Rover. Tough, intrepid, it goes on to change history, mastering all manner of terrain and capturing hearts around the world and when it comes to long drive searching new routes and places…. your brain will tickle you with only one brand ” Land Rover” There was no fun testing all new 2019 Discovery Sports in the city or for a just short drive, so we decided to take this beauty to my in-laws native place “Tanali” a remote village near Chiplun (KONKAN / Maharashtra India). Our house is situated in one distinct corner where there are no tarmac roads. It’s a perfect place for Land Rover Discovery Sports to go in her habitat to test its real skills and most important to check the car’s PRACTICALITY.
Our village lies in coastal area call KONKAN, So being coastal there are lots of things to experience like discovering remote beaches, jungle, local people and most important food. Food is a culture here and non-veg is a part of their life.
We selected the Mumbai – Goa National highway NH 66 as the shortest, safest and easy route.
We planned our journey by starting early in the morning to avoid some Mumbai traffic but somehow we ended up leaving by 8.00am, as usual, we took almost 2 1/2 hrs just to reach famous Wadkhal Naka after that traffic was at ease, we were managed to speed up a little bit. For many years in spite of, one of the busiest route, the process of converting NH66 into expressway is going on and finally, constructions have been started and we faced lots of bad roads and single lanes make our journey little bit irritating. We stopped just before Khed town for lunch, surprisingly Chicken thali was yummy and we enjoyed that scrumptious meal.
The weather was really bad, with the car indicator showing 41 degrees outside. The hotelier told us that due to the road construction going on lots of trees were cut down, leaving the entire surroundings barren like a dessert, making the whole area super-hot. We literally felt as if we were sitting inside an oven. After lunch, we started our onward journey and surprisingly, in spite of outside temp of 40 degrees plus, we felt very comfortable inside the Discovery Sport which was set at a cozy 23 degrees.
Looking at the time, we decided to go directly to Guhagar for tea/ coffee at my friend’s Hotel, The Durga Pearl. The temperature dropped down drastically to 34 degrees just because the surrounding was covered with lots of trees. I just hope that the expressway contractor plans a huge tree-plantation drive on both sides of the road, which will make that area cooler. We reached Guhagar at 5-5.30. After are a refreshing coffee break, we immediately headed towards Palshet beach to capture the sunset, along with some exotic shots of the car. On the way, we saw a beautiful spot from where we could see an aerial view of Guhagar beach. A beautiful frame indeed, enhanced by one quaint temple in the middle.
After that quick stop we moved ahead in narrow hill road and then one 200-300 Mt slope section was really bad no tarmac just gravel with stones but Discovery Hill ascent makes that section very smoothly and safer, immediately after that section we saw beautiful Palshet beach but sadly I was not getting proper spot for photo-shoot so we moved here and there and found a beautiful spot where actual Seashore activity happens, so I decided to incorporate in my frame with Discovery sports.
Nearby, we came across a lovely, sea-facing bungalow, and luckily the owner invited us to see his property! We were surprised to see its interior built using all local material; the best part was a huge picture window overlooking the Arabian Sea! The owner, Mr. Wayne Dlima showed us the entire house in detail. We discovered that he, along with his architect, share a close bond with nature. So this artistic house was constructed in tune with the local surroundings.
I didn’t miss the opportunity to click Discovery Sports from his house and trust me those two shots were best in my collection, soft light after sunset, top angle showing Moon roof and of course, RAW surroundings make a picture perfect, a typical “Brochure” shot.
We reached our native place around 9 pm. The road near our house was very rough, but as usual, Discovery made our path easy. The day ended with hot and spicy chicken made by our Ramesh Uncle. Post dinner everyone slept like a log, the journey tiring us all out but thankfully the Discovery Sport easing out a lot of that tiredness.
Next day we got up around 7 am and decided to give a nice bath to the Discovery Sports pre-shoot.
We moved to one plain smooth road where we can take some panning shots. Panning/tracking shots are trademarks for Motorworld India.com and such high skill shots test the photographer’s skills as u have to adjust all camera settings and properly
Later, we went to see our organic farm, where Ramesh Uncle has cultivated lots of vegetables like green and red chilies, ladyfingers, lima beans, cluster beans, coriander, radish, groundnuts, cashew nuts, lemons, kokum, and pineapples.
After a heavy breakfast, we started our journey to explore some exotic beaches. On the way, we stopped in a local market looking for some organic vegetables and of course, some Mango delights which the Konkan region is famous for. That’s why this place is called the California of India!
After some shopping we en route to Dabhol saw devastated Enron closed project then moved towards Anjenwel, this place is out of the world as u can make out from the photo.
Two color sea water makes it different from other places, from there we choose some offbeat path moving inside dense jungle spotting some rare birds like Scarlet minivet, White-cheeked Barbet at one point My daughter couldn’t resist shooting Discovery sports at this place when perfectly sunrays peeping out from the trees falling on the car.
It’s now 2 pm and everyone was starving so we decided to move fast to Palshet village to have some authentic veg meal at Athrav Bhojanalaya This place is famous for Marathi cinema and witness a few couple Marathi movie like Kakasparsh.
from there we moved towards another beach Karul, it was a lonely beach with no tourist only local fishermen were present.
I couldn’t resist shooting Discovery sports in the middle of the road in their village where flags were moving with air giving some nice effect on the frame.
After some shots, we moved towards Velneshwar beach and here the test for the beauty as there was a steep climb around 45 deg but Discovery sports climb easily with the passengers and luggage easily. From the top, we got some nice panoramic view of Velneshwar beach. Taking the aerial shot of the beach is a class apart and you can actually appreciate the beach and its natural surroundings.
After reaching the seashore, we had fresh coconut water looking at the lovely sunset. From there, we moved on to our last destination, Hedavi, which is famous for Ganesh Temple. The name of this Ganesh is ‘Dashbhuja Ganapati’. This ‘Laxmi-Ganesh Temple’ is not only ancient but also rare. This temple may have been erected in the period of Peshwa. The deity has been found on the top of a mountain. The Ganesh idol has been carved in white stone. Such stones are normally found in the Kashmir region. The specialty of the idol is that it is 3 feet high and has 10 hands. Now with it being time for our last dinner, we had to have fish which is found in abundance in Konkan.
Our friend, Mr. Khare, owner of the Durga Pearl Hotel, cooked shallow-fried kingfish on a chulha enhancing its earthy flavors. We enjoyed this meal so much that we will remember its taste forever.
We reached our native place around 10 pm while going back moon roof was out and we enjoyed ride looking at the stars from the top clear glass, its a completely different feeling can’t express in words. Being a fan of night photography I have decided to end this trip with a nice Milky way Galaxy photo. My native place is ideal for this as there was no city/village lights nearby giving a nice clear view of planets, stars and Galaxies.
We have kept our kitten from Tanali house …” Discovery”
The next day we started our journey back home to Mumbai with the same route, but with unforgettable memories stored in our minds forever. It was indeed a memorable trip as we discovered lots of beautiful and photographic places from where we can do justice to nature through the lens. The icing on the cake was Discovery Sports, which made our journey most comfortable, relaxing and safe. A few of the locations couldn’t have been possible without this beautiful Land Rover. It is really a practical car for your daily travel and long drives, as it takes your journey on the next level of exploration and enjoyment for your family and friends.
We drove the car safely on the entire route and here is the proof of our driving skills …. The drive statistics in the car says it all….
During the monsoons the entire topography of this same area changes into a lush green belt…. so stay tuned for Part II from the same place, but with a different Land Rover!
Driving Skills – Mr. Aditya Vijay Edvankar
Acknowledgment – http://www.motorworldindia.com & Jaguar Landrover India.