How the monsoon in Western Ghats made me an absolute fan of Maharashtra...

5th Aug 2018

A 3-day trip where a friend and I walked through the western ghats with the sole motive of enjoying the beautiful monsoon in the state of Maharashtra and we were in awe of the beauty of nature. A day of camping at Pawna dam lake and 2 days of walking through the forest trails in Matheran was the best 3-day trip we could imagine. The pleasant rain and the howling cold winds were the only things which disturbed the peace and tranquility of nature which seemed almost musical.

Photo of How the monsoon in Western Ghats made me an absolute fan of Maharashtra... 1/1 by Abhishek Bhambhu
Day 1

Day 1:

We took the route from Pune to Pawna which included a local train ride to Lonavala and then an auto to our camping destination. The road ride to reach the camping site from Lonavala was painful but soon the ghats gave up their beautiful secret. Campsite on the edge of the Pawna lake gave a beautiful view of the huge reservoir and the winds gushed on to the camp making the stay worthwhile. The people organizing the campsite were really friendly and made us feel super warm with their hospitality. Luckily I and my friend had the entire campsite to us (no other happy campers were in Pawna that weekend) and the place was super peaceful. The dogs near the campsites of Pawna are super friendly and if you are lucky enough may even pose for your photography.

Photo of Pawna Lake Camping, Maval, Pavananagar, Maharashtra, India by Abhishek Bhambhu

(Alternative 1: Take a local to Lonavala and from there take a cab or an auto, costs a lot (Rs. 900 for us) and the road is very bumpy

Alternative 2: to reach there: Take a local from Pune to Karjat and a shared cab to the campsite, will cost around 80 bucks to reach Pawna)

As the night fell, I and my friend broke out the gorilla pod to take a shot on some long exposure photography at night and we were absolutely awestruck what oneplus 6 along with the pod was capable of producing (photos below).

Cost of Camping at Pawna:

Booked the camping from klook for Rs. 2400 for 2 people. Camp booked was which included lunch, dinner, evening snacks, BBQ and breakfast for 2 people and an awesome hospitality.

We stayed the night at the camp where our camp which was my first camping experience and I was not at all disappointed, the place was magnificent, the hospitality was superb and Pawna was super kind to us. We then headed to our next destination the next morning. We walked to the nearest village Pawna Nagri from where could get shared cabs to Karjat from where took a local to Neral which would lead us to our next destination "Matheran".

Day 2

Day 2 and Day 3:

How we reached there:

We took an auto ride from Karjat to Neral which costed us around Rs. 300. An alternative is the Mumbai local which will take you to Neral for Rs. 20 but we couldn't get the courage to board the overcrowded Mumbai local with our backpacks :P

From Neral you can get a shared cab or a bus to Dasturi which is the last point on the way to Matheran where one can go by a motor vehicle. Matheran, which means "forest on the forehead" is an eco-sensitive region and is Asia's only automobile-free hill station. So if you feel like getting away from the fast-paced big city life, Matheran is the place to be where the fastest you can travel is by a horse.

To enter Matheran you need to get a pass which will cost you Rs. 50 per person and from there on starts the journey to the hill station. There are 3 ways to reach Matheran from Dasturi which are 2.5km apart:

1. Take the toy train from Anand Lodge to Matheran which will take around 20-30 minutes and you can see the view of the valley from the train.

(Ticket cost:

General ticket: Rs. 45

First class ticket: Rs. 300, you get your own coach with 2 sofas in it :D )

2. Walk along the train tracks for an hour and reach the city of Matheran.

3. From dasturi you can get horse rides to Matheran

The first day you reach by noon and explore the local market with a slight caution that anything in your hands can be stolen by the monkeys, almost everything closes at 8pm so hurry on in exploring the local scene and take some rest for the sightseeing the next day.

We signed off on day 2 of our trip with the warm hospitality of Ekvira Sadan caretakers who also guided us for the journey we need to take to view the breathtaking view Matheran has to offer the next day.

Day 3

Day 3:

On the morning of day 3 we headed on to explore the local breathtaking scenes which included Alexander Pt., Rambag Pt, Little Chowk Pt, Big Chowk Pt, One Tree Hill Pt, Belvedere Pt, Echo Pt., Porcupine Pt (Sun Set Pt), Panorama Point (Sun Rise Pt), Khandala Pt, Madhavji Garden & Point, Matheran Railway Station and Louisa Point. It was a pleasant day with light rainfall and cold winds which made our 12km walk through the beautiful forest trail the best trek I ever had. The entire trail was covered by the tress shielding us from the rain or the occasional sun and most places the trail was covered in fog which got us some nice snaps to share with the rest of the world.

Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Abhishek Bhambhu

The entire experience was just jaw-dropping where each point offered a better view than the previous ones, the clouds were covering the summits, the waterfalls looked like they were falling right from heaven and we felt like we were standing on top of the world overlooking the magnificence of nature.

After walking a non-tiring 12km through the dense forest of Matheran we headed back to our airbnb and again had some nice hospitality from our hosts. The next morning we headed out to Mumbai, back to the busy streets and back to the monotonous routine of day jobs.