October 3, 2017
There is no better place than the Western Ghats in the Deccan Plateau to enjoy the monsoons. The rains lash the mountain ranges and create a lush green carpet which stretch miles on miles. After an overnight stay at Satara we begin our journey towards Mahabaleshwar, driving past the tiny hamlet of Medha we begin our ascent. Nature truly begins to unfurl its beauty at every turn. As the sunlight pierces through the clouds the tiny droplet on the grass blade begins to glitter, we stop by to get the enchanting views of the valley below and the cascading water falls above. It’s a sight to behold! We picked up some freshly roasted juicy corn with some hot tea and huddled into our car as the clouds opened up.
After visiting Shivay’s temple and Panch-Ganga we had some Vada-Pav for breakfast and drove off to Kate’s point. An exemplary work of craftsmanship by none other than the creator of this universe was right before our eyes to feast upon. The Elephant’s Head and it’s trunk carved out from the hill. We then headed to the Lingmala waterfalls, after a short trek when we did reach the viewing point we were spellbound. The rains had quadrupled the water which created smoky streaks as it flowed down the cliff. Plato point is a short climb which takes you to a table top with astounding 360 degree views of the rich flora and fauna. The King’s chair is the seat from where the king would hunt animals who would venture near a lake nearby.
We were in Strawberry land but harvest time is between November and April which is why we picked up some strawberry jams and crush as we drove towards Panchgani. When at Panchgani we stopped at the Parsi point to view the waters of the mighty Krishna dammed in a reservoir. Panchgani houses many schools which have featured in Bollywood films time and again, it also houses five table tops which would be a movie buff’s paradise.
Lonavala and Khandala where next in our itinerary. The land of fudges and chikkis, Lonavala and Khandala have a varied plethora of things to offer. During the monsoons the Bhushi Dam overflows and creates ripples as the water gushes down the rocks, its absolute bliss to sit on the rocks and feel the water force which no amusement park can ever provide. Tiger point a short drive up the mountain was buried under the cloud cover. We stopped by to savor the chocolate fudge as the rains dropped the visibility to a bare minimum. Winding our way up the Khandala ghat and driving through the tunnels was quite unique by itself.
A day trip to Matheran from Lonavala was next on the cards. We started off early and reached Matheran – the only hill station which is to be covered by foot. We hitched a horse ride and covered a few vantage points in Matheran, the Echo point, the Landscape point and Khandala point are a few to name. The view points offered views of valleys down below covered with dense foliage. It was raining and the best thing to do was to have a hot bowl of noodles which was readily available along with track paths. The toy train in Matheran was not operational due to the monsoons. Matheran was a quaint and distinct hill station among the ones we’ve been thus far.
Our last stop was Bhimashankar, which is an abode of Lord Shivay nestled among the dense forests. We drove off from Lonavala and took the road along the picturesque Bibi reservoir. We stopped by to pick up some raw groundnuts and guavas fresh from the fields. What better way to enjoy nature by being a part of it. We reached Bhimashankar in the evening and started off after paying obeisance to the Lord.
The myriad views of the Sahyadris have been etched in our minds, if you are fascinated by the monsoons then this is the place you ought to be.