Here's another reason to visit the hill station of Mahabaleshwar. Vintage Miles, India's first museum dedicated to vintage two-wheeled wonders has come up in the popular hill station in the Western Ghats. From the petite Luna to the 1930s military green Matchless, the museum showcases a huge variety of iconic wheels.
The two wheelers are from the personal collection of Punekar Vinit Kenjale, who has collected over 500 mopeds, motorbikes, and scooters in the course of many years. His enduring love for vintage two wheelers has also seen him featured on a show on The History Channel.
The amazing collection is organised in three sheds, including one for mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles. These vehicles were once an indispensable part of Indian households. From the Luna, which at one time was the most preferred family vehicle to the Bajaj scooty, two wheelers have had a close tie with India's past.
The museum provides visitors with audio-visual aids so they can hear what these automobiles actually sound like when taken for a ride. Some of the vehicles are also accessible for rides and excursions at a price. The aim is to keep younger generations in touch with their roots, to get a feel of what commuting used to be like in the 1960-70s.
As transport modes in the country gradually go electric, many feel that it'd be a good idea to preserve these heritage means of transport that have so many stories behind them - remember the two wheeler that Amol Palekar tries to woo Vidya Sinha with in the classic Hindi film, Chhoti Si Baat? Or that iconic bike in Sholay featured in the song 'Yeh Dosti'?
The modified version of 1942 BSA WA, the bike used by the British Army has stayed on in people's minds even today. No surprises if this museum turns out to quite the crowd puller then - as much as the strawberries in Mahabaleshwar!