There is a saying ” When there is a will, there is a way”
We completely follow this wherever we go and we make plans which generally are not standard trips as per people around us are concerned.
Me and my better half love to explore and every year on monsoons we go on and explore western Ghats again. Since we have explored most of the places, this time we zeroed on “ Varandha Ghat”.
We took the only road which connects Mahad and Pune from Mahad side. This road goes parallelly with Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar road.
We started from Navi Mumbai early and took Khopoli road to reach Mahad. The roads are all broken and pathetic. It took us more than 4 hours to reach Mahad which is just 144 kms from Navi Mumbai. It’s getting repaired and getting concrete now so people will have better experience in 2019 onwards.
Its better if valley is entered from Pune side. Atleast the roads are good but the best views are in Mahad side which no one should miss.
We reached Mahad around 2 pm, had lunch in Mahad and started our Varandha ghat journey. There is a left turn which is not so visible after crossing Mahad in NH66. Google maps are recommended here.
Initial journey is through small 2 lane road which crosses many villages but when you start ascending in to mountains, adventure starts.
In monsoon season the valley is full of waterfalls. I mean literally there are waterfalls in each and every turn of the road. Feeling is amazing and you are suddenly in green heaven.
We crossed Kal river at the start of the road and it went with us for quite some time. River went to different direction after some distance and we started climbing Ghat section. At one point the ascend is quite steep and I realized I have a 1200 cc small car and is very good for this type of climb.
Just look at the pictures below and you will understand the beauty this place possess. We started clicking pictures as if we will not see this kind of beauty again.
There is a spot at the top (Centre of Mahad-Pune road) where there are options of refreshments (Chai, Pakode and other eatables). The rates are normal and service is great. Usually crowdy on weekends but the owners here manages it very well. This place is completely foggy in monsoon season. Headlight and fog light are must at this stretch.
After we crossed this point, we continued getting waterfalls each with unique characteristics and sizes. Moreover Nira-Deoghar dam starts and it went along with road for a long-long time. When we thought the beauty ends at top and we started hurrying for destination but we were in for a huge surprise when we saw the dam alongside road. The dam has both mountain and water views.
Its Unbelievable sight with amazing landscapes.
There is endpoint which is called BHOR after which you can take right and go Panchgani or else continue straight for Satara/Pune.
This place is hidden gem of western Ghats and usually less crowded. Road conditions are just about ok but you cannot drive fast due to single road and sharp turns.
Take ample time for photography and you will not regret it !!