Aug 30

Varandha Ghat drive - waterfalls

Tamhini Ghat is the name which most people recollect if you were to ask for the best place to drive through for watching waterfalls during the monsoon. But this is mostly because of the famous mulshi dam in its vicinity. Not many are aware of Varandha ghat. A mention of this ghat usually is accompanied by comments like “not a place to go alone”, “lonely” etc. This is what makes Varandha ghat such a wonderful place to go to.

Varandha Ghat drive - waterfalls

There are lot of waterfalls in tamhini, but most of them are hidden within the thick forests on the sides of the road. In Varandha, the volume of water flow in the waterfalls are much higher. The kids along with us kept referring to them as “Milk Shake waterfalls with the dirtier ones becoming the chocolate shake waterfalls! They are also easily accessible with dozens of big ones just on the road. It was difficult to keep an eye on the road while driving with every turn bringing another waterfall into view.

How to go to Varandha Ghat from Pune: Go to Nh4 and towards the kapurhol crossing. When going from Pune, you would see the left turn for the road to Narayanpur Balaji Temple. Just 10-20 metres ahead, a small road goes to the right. You can easily miss this, so watch out for the exit after you come to the Narayanpur road. This is the road to Bhor. This is a narrow road which goes through Bhor Ghat and then a long flat section and then climbs into Varandha Ghat. If you cross Varandha ghat and get down on the other side, you would touch NH17, the Goa highway. The third point marked in the map below is the main view point.


View Larger Map

Some points about the drive through Varandha Ghat

  • Going from NH4, the last civilization is at Bhor. After that it is around 40-50 kms of wilderness. It is better to go in more than 1 vehicle as a puncture will leave you totally stranded.
  • There is no network coverage for most of the distance on the ghat. We were travelling 4 cars. One of them had gone a bit ahead while we were at a waterfall. The next time we could establish contact was at Bhor after 30 kms.
  • The road is narrow, though in a better condition as compared to Tamhini w.r.t potholes. But the sides of the road are jagged and you have to be careful if you go too close to the edge of the tarred section

Though there are dozens of points along the way to consume your entire time, the main view point is the Waghjai Mata mandir, where you will find many tea shops. The view (when there is no mist) is incomparable. You can see waterfalls as far as your eye can see. There is a huge valley and on the other side, there are steep cliffs. There are two huge waterfalls visible to the north east corner (as you see from the road). These are worthy enough to be named (i am sure that americans would have done so!). It was also extremely windy at this point because of the surrounding valleys. The swaying of the grass due to the wind was a sight to behold. Watch the video below. Nature at her best!

Varandha Ghat drive - waterfalls

Varandha Ghat drive - waterfalls

Varandha Ghat drive - waterfalls

Varandha Ghat drive - waterfalls

We spent a lot of time close to this view point, not exactly close to the tea shops, but just before the u-turn at the end. We came to Varandha from Nh17 and just as we turned, the whole vista spread out before us.

Varandha Ghat drive - waterfalls

Varandha Ghat drive - waterfalls

Varandha Ghat drive - waterfalls

if you have the time and interest, you can do a round trip from Pune – go through either Tamhini or varandha ghat and come back the other way. We went through Tamhini and came back through Varandha. It takes a toll on your body and vehicle, but it is worth it :-)

Varandha Ghat drive - waterfalls

Varandha Ghat drive - waterfalls

written by Rajaram S



43 Responses to “Drive through Varandha Ghat”

  1. 1. Naveena Says:

    Hi, again a good place to visit during monsoons! May be sometime, I can visit it!! Beautiful report as usual. Thanks for that.

  2. 2. sarthak Says:

    great place….also write about panchet dharan and khadakwasla . I have been there those are must visit places during rainy season .

  3. 3. Unny Says:

    Wow. This is an awesome place. We have not been this to place since we were scared to drive alone.
    we will try to get some company next monsoon and drive there.

    cheers

  4. 4. Makarand Says:

    Thanks Rajaram for this blog and beautiful pictures.

  5. 5. fayyaz Says:

    exxxxxcellent……………….

  6. 6. Jiwesh Mishra Says:

    Hi..Rajaram S..amazing…i m from delhi ..i m comming to pune in april last week can we make this trip in 1 day on bike…plz suggest if any other place is…thanx in advance

  7. 7. Rajaram S Says:

    1 day trip is possible. But, there wouldn’t be so much greenery in April (Summer)

  8. 8. Jyoti Says:

    Hello Mr Rajaram

    I was planning a drive through Varandha Ghat in 2012 monsoon with my parents. Would appreciate if you can clarify few doubts. where does this ghat end. We will be coming from thane..read somewhere it joins road to konkan. Do you know exactly where. Wonder if we can do harihareshwar or dapoli with a drive through varandha?
    Regards
    Jyoti

  9. 9. Rajaram S Says:

    if u r coming from thane, i assume that u will be using the Goa highway (NH17).
    The ghat’s two ends are
    - On the Bangalore highway (NH4) – route people take from Pune – it ends at Bhor
    - On the Goa hiughway (Nh17) – it ends at Mahad – around 10 kms ahead of the turn to Mahabaleshwar

  10. 10. vedashree Says:

    Hello Rajaram..
    you really provde amazing info…really…u r true wanderer! :)
    i would like to ask you one thing…we too will b coming from Thane…so if we plan a two day trip…will there b any hotel nearby to stay overnight?
    thnx fr an answer! :)

  11. 11. Rajaram S Says:

    Lot of places on the Goa highway to stay for the night. In fact, there is one just opposite Kamat’s hotel, which is 3 kms before the Varandha Turn (coming from Mumbai)

  12. 12. swethanaidu Says:

    I Saw Your Site It is Really Amazing Superb Ya

  13. 13. C.B.UPARKAR Says:

    Rajaram, No words for these pictures.
    I do travel during the rains for various waterfall & greenary. Konkan rail & Dajipur are among favourite. Last we drove through Tamhini. Is Varndha difficult to drive due to lot of hairpin bends?? Is it closed for passanger traffic in the night??Have u been to Dugarwadi??

  14. 14. Rajaram S Says:

    varandha is not difficult to drive. Just that there is no civilisation after bhor until you reach the end of the ghat and there is no mobile connectivity for most of the distance. It is not closed any time for traffic. Havent heard abt Dugarwadi, what is special there?

  15. 15. Aatish Says:

    I am from Pune and have been to Tamhini every monsoon for the past 3 years. Durgarwadi near nasik is also similar place with a huge water fall, unlike tamhini we cannot drive upto the waterfall though. i am plannning for a weekend trip via varandha ghat this year. Can we reach Mahabaleshwar in the eve via bhor-varandha?

  16. 16. Rajaram S Says:

    From the Waghjai temple viewpoint on varandha, it would take around 1hr and 15 mins to reach mahabaleshwar, as you have to get down from Varandha, then climb the entire stretch of Poladpur ghat.

  17. 17. Vishal Says:

    Hi,

    Can you please let us know whether this spot is for 1 day picnic since we are planning to go there but have 1 day only. We will be coming from Bombay

    So please guide us.

    Thanks
    Vishal.

  18. 18. vivek Says:

    sir, i have been an ardent fan of ur exploration drives.. i am a waterfall enthusiast and as such the numerous jeweled ghats of maharashtra are special but contrary to what you think the americans have not named or profiled even one single waterfall from here.. in fact most major ones from maharashtra including those in satara (vajra, thoseghar are relatively unknown)..
    if possible, since u have been there and sen those falls, can u please tell me how many therein were major ones.. apparently, from the videos n pics at least, i can spot four.. i will, besides writing to world waterfall database, post some pics to publicize these beauties, if i have the permission to use these pics, with acknowledging ur contributions of course :)

  19. 19. Rajaram S Says:

    yes, its possible, though you just have to stop over by the side of the road for a picnic.

  20. 20. Malvika Gadekar Says:

    Hi Rajaram,

    Can u please help me with a good route from mumbai via varandha to mahableshwar

  21. 21. Pramod Pokharkar Says:

    This is very beautiful location for visit . Many waterfalls are waiting for you, to shower you. I have my own land in Varandha ghat area. I am regular visitor of this ghat. Anybody wants any information then please contact me on my cell no.

  22. 22. Ravindra Nerpawar Says:

    I visited this place on long weekend of 17th, 19th and 20th .. I started off from Pune –> Varandha Ghat –> Shivthargal –> Mahad –> Raigad –> Thamini –>Pune. This was amazing trip… 100s of waterfall .. on the all the way ..

    We started from Pune at 8:00 pm .. Had breakfast at Natraj Hotel on Mumbai –Banagalore Highway and took right turn at Bhor. We enjoyed Varandha Ghat and then we went to Shivthargal. We took right turn after 2 km from Monkey Point for Shivthargal. From that right turns its around 9 Km but road is not that good. While coming back from Shivthargal, we went toward Mahad road this road is good as compare to earlier one. I would recommand to come down from Varandha Ghat and then take right turn for Shivthargal.

    Then, we stayed at Mahad Hotel just opposite to Kamat Hotel. Hotel was decent and next day morning we went to Raigad. Raigad was amazing. Views were too beautiful, enjoyed waterfalls while climbing. We have to climb Raigad there was waiting for Rope way for along 3 hrs. Hence, we decided to climb up to the Raigad Fort. It took us around 2 and half hrs to climb with Kids. While coming also we could not get Rope way as waiting was for 3 hrs, hence we decide to coming down by walking, it took as 1 and half hrs. Then, we agian stayed at Mahad at different Hotel inside Mahad city.

    Next day morning we started for Thamini and enjoyed it .. agian enjoyed lot of waterfall. We all were tired by the time we reached Pune.

    All in its Gr88 place to visit Varandha — Shivthargal — Raigad — Thamini Best place to visit in Monsoon… Enjoy

  23. 23. reshma Says:

    Wow, this looks wonderful.

  24. 24. umesh Says:

    Hi all, varandha is always a best place to visit esp. in monsoon & I would also suggest one more route I.e. ambadi ghat from bhor to wai via mandhardevi a good alternate to normal mahabaleshwar route. Another best option is to get down from tamhini on nh17 from pune, do raigad trek & climb from varandha do shivtharghal, & divert through ambade ghat to mahabaleshwar. WORD OF CAUTION: Don’t cross either ghats during night. WISH U SAFE & HAPPY DRIVING. ALWAYS FOLLOW TRAFFIC RULES.

  25. 25. Puneet Says:

    This place is much better than tamhini. :) :).. May be because of the silence or many be because of being less explored. But really much better. It made my monsoons worth this year… :) :)

  26. 26. Pratyusha Says:

    This website is very informative. Thanks for putting in the info with the driving directions. Me and my family are planning a 1 week trip for places around Pune this december. It would be great if you suggest some good places to visit in december. Thanks in advance for your help.

  27. 27. Rahul Ranjan Says:

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info specially the last part :-D I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck. For me this kind of information is very important because I am not a regular traveller, as a traveller I have only experience of Indian Tiger Tour

  28. 28. Mani Says:

    Superb post. Thank you much very much for sharing valuable information. by the way What is the best time to visit these places. Can we expect the same experience u had when we go in April.???

  29. 29. aruna Says:

    hello mr.rajaram
    which places we can visit in this month,we r planning to go out from 24th mar to 29th mar,can u plz suggest me places for one day (or)1nt and 2 days.wait for ur valuable suggestion.

    thanks
    aruna

  30. 30. Rajaram S Says:

    Any of the beaches i.e. Kashid, Diveagar, Murud would be good. The ghats would be dry/hot.

  31. 31. Binu Says:

    Hi Rajaram,
    you site is the 1st reference point for my trips around Pune.
    I am planning to go Varandha Ghat this week with my family (wife,kid and parents) in alto. Do you really recommend i as I saw the road are not good and lonely place with no connectivity. Is it a factor to be taken care of when we go alone ?

    Thanks for your excellent blogs

    Binu

  32. 32. Rajaram S Says:

    yes and No.
    Though it is better to have company in case of puncture (and bad weather), but i have crossed Varandha many times alone.
    But, if you are going alone , make sure that you enter and exit Bhor during day time. From the highway (Nh4), it will take you at least 1 hr (without any photo stops) to reach the varandha view point. So, if you are driving into varandha, keep 4.30-4.45 as the point of return so that i r back on the highway in day light.
    yes, the roads are bad, but not so bad as to cause concern. They are not kuchcha roads, but broken tarred roads

  33. 33. Ranjit Ajgaonkar Says:

    Dear Rajaram,
    Many thanks Dear for this extra ordinary treat. Yr narration, snaps, mapping all is fantastic. Just one question. How does one go there from Mumbai ? Which is the closest exit on Mum-Pun Exp leg ? Or should we try thru old Mum-Pune Road & climb up somewhere fm Karjat/Khopoli ? Pls advs.
    Warm rgds / Ranjit

  34. 34. Rajaram S Says:

    From Mumbai, you should not go thru the pune expressway.
    You should take NH17 – the goa highway and turn left from Mahad towards Bhor.

  35. 35. Dhir Kumar Says:

    Hello Mr.Rajan,

    Firstly, beautiful review. Very useful. I have a couple of doubts though, one, i will be traveeling from pune with a friend by bike, is it safe for two people to go by bike? Two, are there any good restaurants in the area? Three, is second week of September a good time to vist Varandha ghat? Please give your feed back.
    Thank you..
    Regards

    Dhir..

  36. 36. Rajaram S Says:

    replied on email. Varandha is ok for bike travel, but sep would not have that many waterfalls.

  37. 37. Partha Deb Says:

    Hi Rajaram,

    was pleased to go thru your above travelogue..m planning to go to Dapoli during this Diwali, thru Varandah / Bhor ghat since this seems to be the shortest route (& this is how I stummbled upon your related blog).. can you pls advice whether it’ll be wise to do so since I’ll be travelling with family consisting of 2 toddlers, without any other company..

    thx n rgds,
    Partha..

  38. 38. Rajaram S Says:

    replied on email. Just ensure that u r on the ghats during daylight

  39. 39. Sagar c Says:

    hi,

    I really thank you for the information you provided. i didn’t know this place but will plan to visit. and i appreciate your work as you given a complete details.

    Thanx again.

    Regards,

  40. 40. Sanjeev Says:

    Hi Rjaram,
    How is the varandha ghat road condition for a 50 seater bus till Shivtharghal and to go ahead to Bombay Goa Highway.Also i heard there is a shortcut to shivtharghal while travelling from Pune.

  41. 41. Rajaram S Says:

    replied on email

  42. 42. Dhananjay Says:

    Planning to go to Dapoli via Varandha ghat coming April. Haven’t been through this ghat before. Could you please tell me how difficult this ghat is for drive. Is it one way ghat or both way traffic. also roughly how long the ghat is ?

    Thanks

  43. 43. Rajaram S Says:

    replied on mail

Leave a Reply