Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wild West glimpse at Tamhini ghat near Mulshi

Tamhini ghat near Mulshi on Google Maps

Scene of Mulshi lake region in Pune, India
Tamhini ghat is part of mammoth Western ghats of India, also known as Sahyadri ranges, starting from Western and central state of India and crosing over the southern Indian peak. For nature lovers it’s another quick and great escape from urban Mumbai or Pune. From Pune, it’s a day’s trip. Without indulging in trekking or other adventure it can easily be completed in half day.
After series of monotonous, tiring weekends we decided to take a break and go for a days outing. With advent of monsoon, Mulshi lake was natural choice since its only 1-2 hours drive from my house. The drive is scenic since its on a small hill overlooking the busy Banglore-Pune-Mumbai highway. Within 5 kms of the toll you are already away from urban Pune and driving through towns.
Tarzan pose of bird We started at 11:00pm & after taking some photos of scenic route stopped at village to buy fresh buns for our pre planned brunch in Mulshi lake resort which was still about 45 minutes away.
On the way crossed Paud town, which is known for its police station, law court and a road connectivity to phase 3 of Hinjewadi’s Rajiv Gandhi IT and Bio Technology park.
This IT park hosts multiple big campuses of Infosys, TCS, Wipro etc.
Paud hill resorts
Immediately after Paud in next town you saw pack of hill hotels and resorts on asingle hill, but it’s the neighboring hill reclining farming which forced us to stop for few more photos. View was reminiscent of Darjeeling in Assam, India.

Village hut with Dish Antenna in Mulshi, India From there onwards, it’s all rustic villages separated by vast fields in between. After crossing Mulshi Dam, now in control of Tata Power for hydro electricity generation, came across Yoga retreat centers till we reached the resort for our brunch. Had a quick feasting on Missal Pav (blend of spicy curry of potatoes, lentil with dry mixture).

Fine resort at Mulshi Lake, India Location of the Green Table resort at the foothills of Mulshi of cloudy peaks and on the shores of Mulshi lake is ideal. But the landscaping of the small resort is very well thought and immaculate. It was truly amazing to see the beauty and variety of the flowers and plants in the small resort.

Butterfly at Mulshi lake, India
Blooming flowers were attracting many colorful butterflies to draw the nectar. It was indeed a retreating view of butterflies feasting on flower nectar – a sight I witnessed for the first time in my life.

View of Tamhini ghats gorge, India
On resort owners recommendation we decided to travel 30 kms further towards Tamhini ghat. After reluctantly driving we came across mesmerizing view from height of thousands of feet overlooking of cascaded peaks with abrupt valley.

Cloud cladden peak in Tamhini ghat, India

Tamhini ghat flat bed, India
Sight reminded of Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA, with added tinge of cloud clad peaks better than smoky mountains in Tennessee, USA. Few kms further saw flat landresmbling the wild-wild west western landscape of mid western USA, e.g. Monument valley of Utah.

Spiralling road towards Konkan, India

The declining road reminded me of view from peak of Mt Washburn of YellowStone national park in Wyoming, USA.

What is remarkable is that single place offering contrasting views i.e. green and cloud covered Smoky peaks and few hundred meters below one sees dry and barren land. Sight reflecting India’s unity in diversity.

The place is relatively secluded especially after leaving Mulshi lake, yey you would come across villages and off road restaurants. Venturing alone in Tamhini ghats should be avoided as I have heard occasional cases of robbery. If not in a group then daytime travel is recommended. Its safe to travel during daytime.
Also there are many sharp turns and in monsoon season one should drive with good care, especially whenever a heavy vehicle is passing from other side. As there aren't road dividers.

Nearby Places:
Mulshi Lake, Mulshi Dam, Konkan Region, Mulshi Rustic Villages, farms, Mulshi Yoga retreat centers with plenty of options to eat and sip warm tea/coffee in the clouds

How to reach
We started around 11:00 am and from Chandni Chowk, Kothrud in Pune, turned onto toll road going towards Konkan region and Goa. Toll charge is Rs 25.00 for normal car. Came back home by 7:00 pm.
A positive note on commendable effort of Maharashtra government for having regular bus service in remotest places. Something for American government to learn from, especially after petrol prices soaring to $4.5/gallon. Please note that I traveled by car and advise you to start driving with full tank due to regular mountainous terrain.

Nearby Places to see:
Lion point, Tiger point, Lonavala. Karla Caves. Khandala. BhimaShanker

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Anonymous said...

Darjeeling is in WestBengal and not in Assam.

ANAGHA said...

I like your blog!!
Very informative...