Pack your bags. Leave the world behind. Let the clouds show you the trail. And in no time you will find yourself surrounded by a million waterfalls. That is Malshej Ghat for you.
Clouds blocking the rays of the Sun. Blue sky turning gray. Cold water and breeze rushing across your face. And the weather turning you into a poet.
Malshej Ghat is at a 2 hour drive from Mumbai, and the best time to visit this place is - No points for guessing - Monsoons. We left for the place sharp at 6 in the morning. Accompanied by light drizzle and morning radio songs, we started our journey.
What's so special about this place? Scenes like these, which makes you wonder if you really long to go back to hills, or stick with the Monsoons here. May be you just need to live in the moment. And follow your bliss.
The fun starts much before you are in the heart of Malshej. As the city is left behind and the Ghat starts, the path turns into a welcome mat with waterfalls making their appearance from all the directions. Since we visited Malshej right in the middle of Monsoons, the waterfalls were massive. Otherwise, in off season these waterfalls turn into a thin stream of water trickling down. The way towards the Queen is full of breathtaking landscapes, and at times even the clouds entering the car.
If you love to drive, this is one place you cannot afford to miss. Making our way through the waterfalls falling right in the middle of the road, families making individual waterfall their own private picnic spot, guys dancing their hearts out with bass all over their car - The place had life all the way through. We also contributed our own share to the happenings and took a dip in the chilly water - We took Ice Bucket Challenge much before it was invented.
At the highest plateau in the region, you could actually see clouds and rain in the valley, even if it is perfectly clear above you.
Now if you have come to Malshej, you cannot skip visit to Shivneri Fort and Ozar Vighnahar Ganpati Temple. Shivneri Fort - Though the main attraction of this place is being the birth place of the Great Shivaji, one can only admire the brilliant views all the way through the trail to the top of the fort.
It's around 40 minutes hike to the top of the trek. We reached the place at around 12 in the Noon.
These places are webbed together very close to each other and can easily be covered in a single day. After descending down we halted for lunch and then made our way to Ozar Vighnahar Ganpati Temple. The temple of Lord Ganesha is carved inside the caves. Though the way to the Temple is a mere 20 minutes hike, it's much more demanding than it looks at the first sight. Again, no need to mention the view throughout the hike is something to watch out for.
For the religious significance of this place, do read this.
And by the time we reached Pimplegaon Joga Dam, it was still drizzling - And guess who complained about it? Right. No one :D
Looked like we were not the only ones who favored this weather. While we trespassed the "No Entry" sign to enter the dam, the paddy farmers waved at us while working in their fields.
With the strike of the twilight,we made our way back to home - With lots of memories and a spirit to visit more of such places. Leaving you guys with some more memories from the trip
The Twilight ..
Just as these ravens started settling in their nest .. Mother Nature decided to throw the blanket of most dramatic colors all over the place .
Possibly the only place in the area devoid of a waterfall
Malshej - Check