Read without prejudice and dispassionately. Might just save your life.
In a span of last few years there has been rise of motorcycle accidents on the Chorla ghat. Most of them were motorcycle travelers and not the local people. Many of those turned out to be fatal, sending motorcycle community in grieving. While the ghat remains one of the most beautiful places in the Konkan region, connecting Karnataka and Goa; why does such a site turns into a platform of human loss!
So what happens at Chorla, why good riders before blossoming into inspiring people, meet their end so early and deplorably.
Pay close attention; consider this piece as a survival manual for Chorla ghat.
Chorla is a popular route to enter Goa when coming down from Mumbai or Pune via NH-4 till Belgaum. And then via a state highway entering Goa at the eastern border. It’s a scenic route, very pretty sight at dawn. The curves are spread over a length of 35kms approximately. One must take this route over any other for refreshing countryside vistas.
Now here are some undisputed facts about this stretch which I would like you to drill them in your mind and remember it whenever you are here on this particular zig-zag tarmac.
Chorla road is not wide in size and has back to back curves from start to end. So there exists a high chance of longer/bigger vehicle coming in your lane at the curves. Please don’t go arguing about traffic laws and lane discipline. My vision is to get you home no matter what. So coming to the point there will be times you might need to get your vehicle off the road at least 1/3rd of it for the longer vehicle to pass. Smaller vehicles to the edge of the road. And believe me when I say the long vehicle is not doing this on purpose. But if they do, then his loss is insignificant to yours. This also means you cannot go above certain speed even when there is room. I think my point is clear about where I am going with this.
Next is the thrill of lapping Chorla. Many riding groups have now been promoting Chorla as a breakfast ride, locally. A weekend destination for groups coming from outside. Fact check; Chorla has countless back to back curves. The total distance is 35+ kms and most of these curves are blind.
Only 1 out of 10 in such group rides can keep their nerves in check. Rest are just waiting to be instigated to show some display of “talent” and become ‘talk of the town’.. (At what cost)
Over that there’s a high chance of none having the real skill set of lapping. (Real racing/control is what you see in the documentary ‘A Twist of The Wrist‘.) So after 1 or 2 curves you are doing what I call ‘Banta-giri’. Slang for the great idiot.
Now when the above two scenarios were not enough then there’s the “photographer” act thrown in.
Many or rather all want their cornering photographs on social media asap. So a picture paints up where bikes are parked randomly next to the road (becoming a hazard), everyone doing corners back to back with 1-2 photographers waiting to take their shots from middle of the road. This is something no local traveler or otherwise is anticipating and probability of a crash just went from none to high.
And after all this, still not done; there’s Mother Nature. Chorla road has sudden animal crossings, especially the gray langurs who jump in middle of the road out of nowhere. One touch to your speeding vehicle, panic and disaster awaiting next.
So these are the main events of Chorla that can change your life; a change which you really want to avoid for thousand benefits.
I’m sure with keen observation you can spot more scenerios from which you need to carefully traverse during the ascend/descend of Chorla ghat, and I wish with each passing time you become wiser; not just a survivor.
Read the top line of this article again..
Good Luck, God Bless.