If you would like to see nature at its best and also pack in a little adventure, one of the best choices, especially during the monsoon, is Tamhini Ghat. It is during this time that the deep brown hills turn a verdant green and provide a feast for the eyes. The value addition is that you can also explore the backwaters of Mulshi Dam and spice up your vacation with a bit of river rafting.
Tamhini Ghat can be accessed from Mumbai via the Mumbai-Goa Highway. Reach Kolad and after crossing the bridge over river Kundalika, take the left turn that leads to Pune via the Mulshi Dam backwaters. Tamhini Ghat is the stretch between Kolad and these backwaters. The gradual climb opens the doors to a different world of green velvety carpets, gushing streams, dark gray clouds stooping low, and the occasional waterfalls. These impromptu waterfalls caused by the rains – some trickling down the hill smoothly and some literally gushing down in torrents – attract tourists from far and wide.
The rains turn the parched land into a carpet of green with plants and flowers in full bloom. The hills stretch towards the skies like giant walls, partly covered by mist. And all along is a mysterious and enchanting play of light and shadows with the overbearing clouds and the rain creating an effect quite like a flickering lantern. Tamhini Ghat is simply ethereal with its sweeping views and is definitely less crowded than its cousin, Malshej Ghat. In fact, every turn in the landscape holds a surprise, offering fantastic sights. There is also a temple here dedicated to the goddess Vanjai that lies almost hidden amongst dense vegetation. The path to it will remind you of the forests that you may have read of in fairytales.
From the Tamhini Ghat you can take the road that leads to the Mulshi Dam backwaters which will also lead you to the gigantic waterfall at Palse. This particular waterfall is quite a hit with the young crowd and don’t be taken aback if you see people actually jostling each other to get absolutely drenched. As you approach the Mulshi backwaters, you will come across many resorts where you can opt to stay overnight and enjoy the early morning view of the lake. Further ahead is Kolad which is now becoming immensely popular for river rafting that you can do on the river Kundalika. The currents are strong and it is the only river in Maharashtra where you can experience white water rafting. Kolad now has several cottages and resorts where you can book a room.
Things to Do
Following your trip to the Mulshi backwaters, you could take a detour to explore Sinhagad which is just about 30 kilometers southwest of the city of Pune. It was previously called Kondhana and its historical importance is related to it being the site of many an important battle, most notably the one that was pitched here in 1670. Sinhagad was also important because of its strategic location, lying at the centre of a chain of other forts such as Rajgad, Purandar and Torna. Perched on an isolated cliff of the Bhuleswar range of the Sahyadri Mountains, the Sinhagad Fort is 1,312 meters above sea level and is ‘naturally’ protected due to its very steep slopes.
Known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune has a lot to offer by way of entertainment, cuisine, trendy spots for the young and huge shopping malls. There are plenty of places of tourist interest, including the Shaniwar Wada, Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Saras Baug, Parvati Hill, Aga Khan Palace and Vishrambaug Wada. And while in Pune, you must try the Maharashtrian ‘thali’.
How to reach:
The closest airport is at Pune.
Tamhini is not close to any railway station. Pune is the nearest junction and smaller stations that are close-by include Lonavala and Kasarwadi.
Tamhini is 93 kms away from Pune and one has to travel via Paud. From Mumbai, take the Express way towards Pune, exit at Lonavala. From Lonavala, it’s a scenic drive via Aamby Valley to Tamhini.
Image & Information copyright by maharashtratourism.gov.in