About 110kms from the chaotic city of Mumbai, and 16kms form the crowded twin hill statsions of Lonavala & Khandala, lies a small town off the highway called Kamshet. While not as famous as the twin hills that precede it (considering you are travelling from Mumbai), Kamshet is a major paragliding destination in Maharashtra, often metaphored as the 'paraglider's paradise'. Surrounded by lakes, paddy (rice & sugarcane) fields and the beutiful mountains of the Western Ghats, Kamshet and its neaby villages offer an altitude of 2200ft above sea level and some of best landscapes one could capture.
The beauty of Kamshet lies about 200 feet above the town, a 13km journey, not easily traversable without one's own vehicle; and the village roads dont exactly make the drive joyful. However, once you cross around half the distance, and reach about half the elevation, the road will no longer be the focus of your mind - for your eyes shall be treated with some majestic views of the lush green fields outlined by lofty mountain ranges embellished with numerous waterfalls.
It is these prodigious views that makes Kamshet an ideal holiday spot, not just for the adventurous but also for the nature enthusiasts. Bad news for the luxurious holiday seekers though; this place is devoid of any resorts or hotels. The only commercial establishments that I have come across are a couple of farm houses that offer stay as well as paragliding courses. Just as it is for the paragliders, Kamshet is a real paradise for the true nature enthusiast as well. However, unlike the paraglider, who may be at a disadvantage during mosoon, the nature enthusiast is at a maximum advantage during monsoon - for that is when this place is at its best. With mountain peaks overlaid by clouds, waterfalls running downhills, and the lake covered with mist, Kamshet treats the eyes with views that could be called 'privilage' anywhere close to cities like Mumbai & Pune. And the fact that all the commercial dwellings in Kamshet are located on the bank of one of the largest lakes there - the Vadivali lake - treats one like some hot chocolate poured over a sizzling brownie.
Further, being a tropical mountain, Kamshet has loads of hilly terrains that could be explored for numerous waterfalls as well as sighting some great variety of birds. So, if you like staying close to nature, away from the city's chaotic life and luxuries, dont hesitate, this paradise is just the right place for a quiet but eventful weekend. Oh, and dont forget to carry those lenses and the cam.
This trip was first published on An Analytical Mind.