Special feature: Unlocking freedom with Hyundai Grand i10 Nios
It was sometime in the middle of March when I decided to start working from home as that was when the ongoing pandemic had started to spread rapidly in the country. Life was not the same, as the government, like in other parts of the world, in its efforts to safeguard the lives of its citizens, announced a complete lockdown, allowing travel for only essential and emergency situations. Days transformed into weeks which then changed to months, and all we could do was to stare out the window, hoping all of this ends soon. In the first week of June, the first phase of easing up on restrictions - Unlock 1.0 - was announced wherein one could travel, adhering to all the guidelines mentioned by the state government. It was time to head home from Mumbai and be with the family in Nashik, which we did with a road trip.
And to do that, we got the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios - a hatch that left a positive impression on us during our first-drive experience. In the present situation, the traffic movement in Mumbai is still not at its peak; this scenario helped us reach the outer limits of the city in far less time than what it would usually take. I had chalked out an itinerary for this road trip, which involved a scenic drive, a visit to one of the cleanest sources of electricity generation, a trip to the highlight of the city and a visit to a location that is synonymous with the city.
Thanks to the rains, the weather had become pleasing. Instead of taking the Mumbai-Nashik expressway to reach Nashik, we took a detour from a village called Atgaon and drove on the beautiful countryside road that runs around the Tansa river. Surprisingly, the tarmac in this area is impressively smooth and offers an interesting combination of straights and twisties, which was perfect for us to enjoy the driveability of the Nios. Be patient with throttle inputs and the Nios will not disappoint you. On the contrary, it will impress you with its torquey nature. The plan was not to get into the review mode, but rather focus on places to visit to understand the versatility of the hatchback. But before we could start out for our next location, there came heavy rains which messed up our itinerary, forcing us to cancel the visit to one of the most beautiful and cleanest locations around Nashik where power is harnessed - something that we'll save for another chapter.
The next day, we headed to Ramkund. Nestled in the centre of Nashik on the banks of Godavari river is Ramkund, a holy place that has a strong presence in Indian mythology, as it is believed to be the place where Lord Rama bathed during his 14 years of exile. This sacred location also hosts the Kumbh Mela every 12 years. As a holy practice, the ashes of the deceased are brought by their relatives who perform the last rites before immersing them in these sacred waters. We are sure the aerial pictures look impressive but what you can't see is the pollution caused by the people staying in and visiting Ramkund. This highlights that it is not just the government alone but also our collective responsibility to ensure that the legacy of such historic places are well maintained with our combined efforts.
Now that we had finished with the scenic roads and one of the important highlights of the city, it was time to call it a day with a visit to the most popular attraction of the city. It is the large collection of vineyards with the different kinds of wines that
have earned Nashik the title of the 'Napa Valley of India'. In fact, many from around the country drive and ride down to Nashik only to enjoy the weekend at these picturesque vineyards. We drove down to the Gangapur Dam backwaters, away from the otherwise bustling city, to visit the York Winery, which is known for its different wine varieties like Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon and more. Spread across nine acres, York offers the best view of river Godavari, from its tasting room. However, we decided to get an even better view of the river, by driving into the vineyard and then witnessing the beautiful sunset view.
Needless to say, the Nios was a perfect companion for this road trip as it is compact in dimensions, comes loaded with many segment-rivalling features like wireless charging, rear view camera, rear AC vents, etc, and offers a powerful yet efficient diesel drivetrain. Sure, we were impressed with all these aspects but what stood out was the confidence that it offered throughout the journey.
Starts Rs 4.98 Lakhs
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