Aug 11

Madhe Ghat Waterfall

A visit to Madhe Ghat was on the plans for quite some time. In fact, the first time when i heard about Madhe Ghat was when i saw an article saying that a new route was planned cutting through Madhe. This route, when completed, would become the shortest across the mountain range and would make places such as Raigad much closer. Then when i searched for this area, i saw that it had a huge waterfall.

Madhe Ghat Waterfall

We always go on a trip every independence day and this time(2013), it was to Madhe Ghat. I didn’t manage a big group, so it was just us and Sunil’s family in two Xylos.

Madhe Ghat Waterfall

Madhe Ghat Waterfall Trip

Madhe Ghat Waterfall

Route to Madhe Ghat from Pune(Magarpatta): There are two options you can choose from. 1) Go on a round trip like we did: Pune – Khadakwasla – Sinhagad – Pabe Ghat – Velhe – Madhe Ghat – Velhe – Nasrapur Phata – Pune 2) go and return by the same route Pune – Nasrapur – Velhe – Madhe and back through the same route. Both the maps are given below.

The round trip route we chose was amazing. Usually people go to Sinhagad and return. This route goes around Sinhagad, takes a left and cuts across the range to reach the route coming from Nasrapur. Both the routes are of the same distance. Take this round trip if you love nature. The roads are narrow, but not bad.

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Madhe Ghat Waterfall route

After you take a left beyond Sinhagad, you will go for a while and then cross Pabe Ghat. This is a beautiful pass. In fact, you will criss-cross multiple ranges and you will be climbing up and down them. I think i counted almost 7 such ranges on the whole trip. Pabe Ghat is a beautiful stretch surrounded by green mountains on all sides.

Pabe Ghat on the way to Madhe Ghat

Pabe Ghat on the way to Madhe Ghat

Pabe Ghat on the way to Madhe Ghat

Pabe Ghat on the way to Madhe Ghat

After you cross Velhe, you will see Torna on your left. Just after this, there was a small waterfall by the side of the road. This was an opportunity for the kids (and us) to spend some time on the water.

Torna fort on the way to Madhe Ghat

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Waterfall on the way to Madhe Ghat

After a few more pass crossings, you finally reach a turn on the road, where the road to the right goes towards Madhe ghat. There are sign boards. Also, you should see tons of vehicles parked haphazardly on the road. Getting a parking spot was a nightmare. From the parking lot, there is a kuchcha stretch of around a km to reach the top of the waterfall. Some people on two wheelers had lot of fun trying to navigate this slippery stretch. So, technically you have to walk for around a km one way. And if it rains (as it was was when we went), it becomes even more fun (or worse) depending on the way you see it).

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Way to madhe ghat waterfall

After this walk, you reach a plateau which is the top of the fall. You can walk right unto the edge from where the fall begins. The 270 deg view from this plateau is nothing short of amazing. What you are looking at is the entire Varandha range side-on. You can actually climb down to the bottom of the fall (not suitable with kids). Notice the people at the bottom on the last photo below.To get a full view of the fall, you have to walk a bit further to the next cliff which faces the falls. The mist was playing hide and seek with us throughout the 30 mins we were there near the falls. The rain and the mist made it a memorable photographic experience.

Madhe Ghat Waterfall

Madhe Ghat Waterfall

Madhe Ghat Waterfall

Madhe Ghat Waterfall

Madhe Ghat Waterfall

We came back through the Nasrapur-NH4 route. It was a wonderful independence day road trip!

written by Rajaram Sethuraman

Jul 05

The monsoon has begun. If you are the kind who says, “Oh, No! It is raining”, switch on the TV and watch a grandmother fight with her daughter-in-law. If you are the kind who says, “Wow! It is raining”, then this is for you! The places around Pune take on an entirely different look during the months of June-August. A road trip is the best way to enjoy the best of the monsoon and if it rains while you are at it, the wow factor just increased. I have given the details of two must-try round trips. Both are one-day trips and would best be enjoyed if you can start early in the day (before 8 AM) to escape the city traffic. Each route also has a custom map created which will also give details on few interesting sights along the route

 

Route 1: Tamhini-Varandha Route. Click here to see a map of the route.

Total round trip distance: Approx 300 kms. Road condition: Average to potholed.

Tamhini and Varandha are the big bad boys of all ghat sections close to Pune. Notorious until a decade back for wayside robberies, they are still not advised for a late night crossing, if alone. The roads throughout are single laned and full of potholes. But, it is this rustiness that lets nature’s true beauty stand out. You just cannot keep a count of the number of huge waterfalls you would see and every turn on the road would tempt you to stop for a photograph. Start early in the day, stop at Quick Bites for breakfast (just before the main tamhini Ghat section), cross Tamhini, get down to the Goa highway, take a left for Mahad, turn left towards Bhor (into Varandha Ghat). As you climb Varandha and take that one U-turn to the right to face the entire mountain range before you, it would be a sight to behold.

Tamhini Ghat

Varandha Ghat

Route 2: Varandha-Mahabaleshwar Route. Click here to see a map of the route

Total round trip distance: Approx 310 kms. Road condition: Good to Average.

Travel the ruggedness of Varandha and then turn to the chaos of Mahableshwar. Go on the NH4, take the turn into Varandha Ghat (at Bhor) , enjoy the waterfalls throughout the Varandha stretch, once on the Goa highway, turn left and go towards the Poladpur Ghat. The poladpur ghat is route taken by mumbaiites to go to Mahabaleshwar. It is beautiful 40+ km long ghat offering great views of the mountain range on either side. The roads are decent with many straight sections, but the highlight of the ascent to mahabaleshwar from the other side are the numerous panoramas on view. Mahabaleshwar is of course famous for its viewpoints, but we will leave that to another trip just to Mahabaleshwar!

Varandha Ghat

Sunset point mahabaleshwar

written by Rajaram Sethuraman

Jun 27

Though Arthur’s seat view point is quite far from the Mahabaleshwar town centre, it is one of the most popular view points for its dramatic “grand canyon” like views. The drive is through heavily forested areas and during the monsoon, the mist makes the drive eerie as well as enjoyable.

Arthurs Seat View Point Mahabaleshwar

Arthurs Seat View Point Mahabaleshwar

Rains and Butta make the perfect combination for anyone in Maharashtra and it is no different here. Of course, add a chai to it :-)

Arthurs Seat View Point Mahabaleshwar

Arthurs Seat View Point Mahabaleshwar

Arthurs Seat View Point Mahabaleshwar

Once you get down from the parking place, you will get a view of your final destination i.e. the actual srthur’s seat. This view is motivating enough to make anyone consider the 30 min walk to get there. The walk is an easy one with stone/mud steps for most of the way. It might get messy during the monsoon, but that is part of the fun. There are lot of vendors all over the route to keep you busy with food in case you get tired.

Arthurs Seat View Point Mahabaleshwar

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If you are a photography enthusiast, the walk will take much longer as the views of the cliffs all along are great. There are also named viewpoints like the Savitri Point.

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Arthurs Seat View Point Mahabaleshwar

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Location of Arthur’s Seat View point: I usually visit the view points and then head over to Mahabaleshwar town centre for lunch. I have given a detailed route map starting from a point on the Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar road (A). If you follow the below map, you can three interesting sights before heading over to a break at the main marketplace. A – Point on Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar Road where you should turn right (coming from NH4 – Pune side), B – Kate’s Point along with Needlehole point/Elephant View point, C – Krishnabai Temple (source of river Krishna) – not to be missed during the monsoon, D – Arthur’s Seat View point and E – Market.


View Larger Map

Once you reach the view point, you have to jostle for space as it can get quite crowded in the small space. A photo taken from the steps above the platform would cover the dramatic view. You also have local photographers waiting to take your take your pic for 50 bucks. There are lot of monkeys around. Akshara was trying to swing, but a small movement in the branch terrified her as she thought that a monkey was close to her!

Arthurs Seat View Point Mahabaleshwar

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written by Rajaram Sethuraman