It had been raining pretty heavily for past 4-5 days and hence we opted to drive down to Pabe ghat, and further up-to Velhe village. A friend also suggested to go and visit the Madhe ghat waterfall as it was 19 Kms from Velhe village. We started at around 7:15 am and took the Sinhagad road. One can also take the NH-4 highway via Katraj but the drive via Sinhagad a surely picturesque and since we are into birding as well, it gave us that extra chance to see some birds along the way. We took our 1st break at Khadakwasla where we had tea and vada pav. As always we saw the Kingfisher and Cormorants at Khadakwasla. We soon passed the Donje village and after driving for another 2-3 Kms we had to take a left which leads to Velhe. We again took a break where we halted after a Km or so to capture some landscape pictures. You will see good landscape views all along once you are on the road to Velhe. Numerous streams, green paddy fields and lot of mountain peaks. Our next break point was at Pade khind, which is probably the view point from Pabe ghat and does offer some lovely views. We captured some pictures at this place and continued our journey to Velhe.
We soon joined the other road which comes via NH-4 -> Bhor to Velhe. As I continued to drive, we approached a small bridge and just next to it I saw a couple of Lesser Pied Kingfishers, which obviously meant another halt :D. The light was less and it was raining intermittently but still managed some clicks of this black and white beauty. This particular place had good amount of bird activity; we also saw common kingfishers, cinnamon bittern, wire tailed and red rumped swallows, Oriental Magpie robins, white breasted waterhen and Indian lored tit. After spending a good 45 minutes are this place, we resumed our journey and soon reached Velhe. From Velhe, we took a right as per the sign board which leads to Madhe ghat.
Once you take the right, after driving for around a Km, you will see another signboard to take a left. We took the left and continued our journey. Soon we reached a point where the road widened but was not a tar road. There was also a very small tar road next to it on right which was going down. I obviously thought the wide road was the main road and drove along. It was fine initially but soon I realized it was a new road which was being made which was all muddy due to rains. It is a stretch of around 2 Kms and I somehow managed to drive through it. The correct way is to take the small road at right side at the start. This is the old road, not in great condition but still much better. After a super slow drive to cover the muddy 2 Kms, we finally go onto proper tar road which lead us further to the Bhatti ghat. The drive from here is just lovely. It’s a relatively steep ghat but the views are really good and you will see multiple waterfall just like at Tamhini. Driving ahead you start descending and then reach a point from where you need to go left to Madhe ghat. This is more of a kacha road but pretty drivable. We drove for around a 1 KM and saw few vehicles parked. We started our way towards the waterfall (No signboards, just followed the crowd :P) which is around 2 Km further ahead. So we reached the waterfall and for sure this is one classic waterfall.
We spent a good hour at the waterfall enjoying the lovely weather. It was raining heavily when we walked towards the waterfall so I had lost hope to take any pictures but just as we reached the waterfall, the rain stopped and sun came out. Seemed like one lucky day for me. What surprised us is that the crowd seemed pretty less compared to places like Tamhini or Mulshi which obviously meant the place was much cleaner and greener. We started back by 2:30 and this time I ensured I took the correct road. We reached back pretty late as we got stuck in evening traffic at Khadakwasla. Only then I realised that while coming back I could have actually taken the NH-4 road. So what we thought of as a relaxed drive eventually turned out to be nothing less than an adventurous drive.
How to reach
1. Take the NH-4 road, at Kapurhul junction, take a right and drive all the way up-to Velhe and then to Madhe Ghat
2. Take the Sinhagad road, drive via Khadakwasla - > Donje village -> Velhe. (Note that if you follow the road from Donje village, you will reach Panshet. Keep an eye for a left to go to Velhe).
1. Carry packed lunch. Nothing is available at Madhe ghat. Also, the hotels at Velhe aren't any good.
2. Don’t rely on completely on google maps. Google maps defaults to the muddy road I mentioned. If required, as the locals.
3. Keep the place clean
Drive safe and enjoy :-)
- Rudraksha (www.whistlingtrails.com)