Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Five day road trip into Western Ghats from Pune - day 4 and 5

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
Ernest Hemingway 

Related links:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Day 4: Dapoli to Raigad fort, Kolad
Distance covered: 143 kms

Day 4 dawned cloudy on the beach as we woke up a bit more leisurely and decided to make a move. Our intent on day 4 was to travel less but instead spend time trekking to Raigad fort. The route to Raigad can either be along the beach which we travelled for some distance before heading back inwards towards the mainland. We reached the base of the magnificent Raigad fort by afternoon.

I wish I could say we trekked to Raigad fort. I wish I could say we explored the fort end-to-end and had a scenic view of the entire landscape from above. I wish I could say we did true justice to Shivaji's capital.
The throne at Raigad Fort. More visible is the mist around the same, rather than the throne itself
Unfortunately, amidst heavy rainfall, we were forced to go to the fort in a more-comfortable trolley instead. A trolley can be fearful for someone suffering from vertigo, but that is only when you can see what is around you. Right from the moment we stepped into Raigad, we could only see mist and the clouds descended imperiously to ensure that visibility was at bare minimum.
Water droplets, at Raigad fort

We walked through the clouds, a heavenly experience in itself; but not all that heavenly when one can't even see more than few feet ahead; whilst the intent was to enjoy the scenic beauty.

We spent some time at Raigad fort without understanding too much about the same and chose to go back down in the trolley instead of trekking.

Since it was evening by then, we moved on towards Kolad and stopped at one of the many hotels on the state highway.

Indulging in some photography experiments in the heavy rain, we attempted capturing the falling water stream from the roof of the hotel.

The parallel lines are the sheets of water pouring down due to torrential rains.
Taken at infinite focus, attempting to hide the lamp light; and shutter speed of 30 seconds.

Map for Day 4

Day 5: Kolad to Tamhini ghat, Tamhini Waterfalls, Lavasa, Pune
Distance covered: 185 kms

Discarding our plans for rafting (from Kolad) due to paucity of time, we chose to go on towards Pune via Tamhini Ghats.

Again, we were mesmerized with our last sighting of the amazing greenery and multiple cascade waterfalls flowing from the hills alongside.

One of those many waterfalls, a fairly large tiered waterfall was Tamhini waterfall, flowing from above and turning into multiple streams by the time it reached us at the base of the road. With a sigh  of disappointment that our trip was coming to an end, we moved on towards the city-side.

Tamhini Waterfalls. Enormously tall, the head of the falls are not visible in this picture.
A large-tiered fall!

We planned to visit Lavasa which is a couple of hours drive from Pune, and we then realized where did all tourists from the city typically go on a weekend. 

Lavasa is an upcoming man-made hill station near Pune which is still under construction. The place is wonderfully placed with two dams as sources of water expanse; and at a good altitude. The European styled city itself is beautifully constructed and is worth visiting once. However, it seems to be in the news for multiple wrong reasons too. 

We reached Lavasa by afternoon taken aback by the astounding landscape that presented itself amidst the picturesque buildings that have been constructed therein. We had lunch at Lavasa, with limited time on our hands we couldn't do much more as we got caught in torrential rain as we made our way back to Pune.
Beautiful landscape of Lavasa. Mist and cloud overhanging this European-styled city!

We reached Pune at 5.30pm well in time to catch our respective mode of travel to different destinations back home; capping off a fantastic trip.

Map for day 5


With little knowledge of what to expect, Western Ghats took us by surprise. Travelling around 900 kms over five days, the greenery and the heavenly water-rich state amidst dense clouds and graceful mountains left us salivating for more. But time is always at a premium and we had to head back well satisfied, yet disappointed. 

There are a plethora of beautiful places in this country - some well explored, others unseen and unheard off! Let us respect nature and continue to cherish and enjoy all these wonderful places.

Related links:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3