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Monsoon fury: Heavy rains kill 45 in Gujarat

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New Delhi: Continuous rains have swollen many rivers and created a flood-like situation in Gujarat, even as at least 45 people have died following heavy showers in Saurashtra and south Gujarat, officials said.

Amreli district is the worst hit, with 36 deaths reported on Wednesday. The meteorological centre at Ahmedabad on Thursday predicted moderate to heavy rains in the coming days.

“The south-west monsoon has covered the entire Gujarat. Monsoon is active over Gujarat region and vigorous over Saurashtra,” an official of Ahmedabad Meteorological Centre told media outlet.

The official said: “Moderate to rather heavy rain would occur at most places in Gujarat region, Saurashtra-Kutch and in Diu, Daman, and Dadra Nagar Haveli. The weather is about to remain same for the next five days.”

“Floods too cannot be ruled out at the moment,” he added.

According to All India Radio, 13 people died when two houses collapsed in Nani Vabhaniya village, near Bagasara town of Amreli district.

Three people died in Bhavnagar district, two in Gaondal in Rajkot district and three lost their lives in Surat district due to the floods.

Gujarat Chief Minister, Anandiben Patel, who reviewed the flood situation at a high-level meeting in Gandhinagar, urged people not to panic.

She also held meetings with senior officials and the Indian Air Force and discussed the situation with district officials.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the IAF have been pressed into service for rescue and relief work in Amreli district.

Additional companies of State Reserve Police (SRP) have been sent to all affected areas. Over 100 people were airlifted in Amreli, while about 1,000 people were evacuated in Surat. (IANS)

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Monsoon Road Trips from Mumbai

The hills are alive this monsoon. The best way to feel the cool winds and witness the mountain storms is to do it on one’s own terms – behind the wheel

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Here are some top recommendations for your next best road trip in this season of Monsoon. Pixabay

The floods in Mumbai have been in the news lately, an annual chaos that seems to have become part and parcel of life in the country’s financial capital. However, the monsoons are not a season to dread and just outside the city, as the curious traveller ventures higher into the Western Ghats, there are some picture-perfect destinations for the season. Here are some top recommendations.

Lonavala
Lonavala would be on top of the monsoon destination list for most Mumbaikars. Wrapped in fog, this historic region gains a completely new avatar in the rains as the forested mountain slopes regenerate and the waterfalls come to life. One of these is Kune Falls, which roars amidst a pristine verdant scenery.

The Lohagad Fort has always been one of the most captivating sites on this route and the monsoon mist gives it an allure straight of a medieval-theme video game or movie. A trek to Liones Point is recommended – the season would require special precautions like monsoon-ready footwear and waterproof clothing. While in Lonavala town, a visit to the lake is not a bad idea.

Khandala
Just next to Lonavala, one can reach the quaint hill town of Khandala, perched at close to 2000 feet above sea level. The mild monsoon temperatures and dramatic scenery make this place an ideal weekend getaway from the bustling metro, not to mention the splendorous drive on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Some of the popular viewpoints here are the Tiger’s Leap and the Amrutanjan Point. Other attractions here include the Buddhist cave temples at Karla and the calm and placid Bhushi Lake.

khandala
The mild monsoon temperatures and dramatic scenery make Khandala an ideal weekend getaway from the bustling metro.

Mahabaleshwar
A jewel tucked in the lap of the mighty Sahyadari Mountains; Mahabaleshwar offers visitors a curious mix of colonial heritage and striking Indian history. Built by Shivaji, Pratapgad Fort has an enigmatic presence in the landscape here, a site of many important events.

Those looking to enjoy some of the high elevations will love a trek to the summit of Wilson Point, famous for its panoramic views of the valley below. The Needle Hole Point is another famous place to catch a glimpse of the scenic landscapes. Venna Lake is another centrepiece attraction at Mahabaleshwar while the hilltop Krishnabai Temple is famous for its architecture and Krishna statue.

More and more travellers are choosing a car rental over public transport. Rates are increasingly affordable and self drive gives total control over the pace of the journey. One can make impromptu stops and detours and there is complete privacy.

Finding a car rental in Mumbai is as simple as a few taps on an app. With platforms like Zoomcar, registered users can book a vehicle in a matter of minutes. One can choose from a wide range of cars – maybe a hatchback or sedan for the family getaway – or maybe a large SUV for the boisterous group road trip. 24/7 on-road support is one of the assurances that self drive rentals offer.

The hills are alive this monsoon. The best way to feel the cool winds and witness the mountain storms is to do it on one’s own terms – behind the wheel.

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