Thokarwadi Dam – the best waterfall road trip near Pune
It is not often that i get floored by scenic beauty that i attach words like “best” to it, but this was one such trip. In the many years of travelling around Pune, particularly in the monsoon season in search of waterfalls, this route was the best i have ever been on! And, it is so close to Pune and the roads are very normal ones to drive on! Look at the bottom of the post for updates from my second visit.
The route: On the old Mumbai Pune, the toll plaza is at Somatane, close to Shirgaon and the Birla Ganapati. Around 15 kms ahead is the Kanhe Phata. You have to turn right on this and go on the road to Khandi. This is a 30 km one way trip. We had planned the round trip with the return coming on the other side of Thokarwadi, but as it got late we came back the same way. Villagers said that the other side doesn’t have good roads, but i guess it should be manageable. The below map shows the way from Magarpatta city. Essentially, it is a Kanhe Khandi road trip.
A few kms after Kanhe (after crossing the railway gate), the scenery starts. We have to cross a river. When we went, the river was almost to the level of the bridge and it was quite scary. There are numerous waterfalls to the side. The road is such that we have the mountains on the left and the backwaters of the dam on the right. The road is quite good with the occasional potholes. The first prominent waterfall was quite cool. It was on a private area and the old lady at the gate charges 100 rs per person. Totally worth the money! No idea who designed it, but they modified the natural waterfall to make it ten times more fun. Imagine you have a great waterfall, an infinity pool, a bushi dam feel all combined into one. There is a pool dug out at the base of the fall for people to swim in (and it is not too deep i guess as i saw even kids going in). Then the water flows over a series of steps making the whole place extremely photogenic.
The next 10-15 kms had the highest density of falls i have ever seen and all of them big ones! It had rained heavily for the past few days and the water levels in all of them was amazing. You just have to stop every few min for a photo!
A short drive later, you will see a board on the road pointing towards the left with a waterfall photo and mentioning food option! Don’t miss this! I have given the approx location of this place in the map below. There was no network there, so couldn’t mark the place. This will lead to a house. a 5 min walk from this house will take you to one of the most beautiful, crowd free, pollution free waterfalls! You can order food at this house and they will have great maharashtrian thalis ready for you when you come back (150 rupees for unlimited pitla, bhakri, rice and dal).
Here are some videos from the trip.
Update from my Aug 2017 Trip:
This time, we went behind the waterfall. As you approach the fall, a narrow path towards the left takes you behind the fall. This is a 10 m trail and a very easy one. Many were attempting to go behind the fall by crossing the stream, which can be dangerous in heavy flow. I have also uploaded the contact details of the person who lives in the house (where they serve food & you can walk to the waterfall from).
Check out these photos from my second trip.