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Malshej Ghat - a Walk in the Clouds

Tinsy Thomas | Updated on November 01, 2019 Published on November 01, 2019

A view of the setting sun at the Malshej Ghat. Photo: Tinsy Thomas   -  Tinsy Thomas

Wondering where you could enjoy a 'cool' weekend? Find out more about a spot situated in the Western Ghats is worth a v

Dark clouds hang over the mountains. That's when we realised that the rain is imminent.

We are in Malshej Ghat in the Western Ghats towards the end of the monsoon season. The mountains' lush green foliage is interspersed with numerous waterfalls. The yellow and pink wildflowers add to the colours of the ambience. In the valleys, the rains have sprung forth new life with babbling brooks and rolling meadows of green grass.

The rains have led to seasonal waterfalls that come cascading down steep cliffs on to the mountain roads. Vehicles take advantage of such natural car washes by stopping for an extra 5 minutes under these waterfalls.

Malshej Ghat. Photo: Tinsy Thomas

 

Pimpalgaon Joga Dam

The construction of the Pimpalgaon Joga Dam, near Malshej Ghat, in 1999 created a huge reservoir of water that is filled to the brim during the monsoon season. It is the main source of water for a number of nearby towns and villages. The abundant water supply has led to the cultivation of paddy in the region.

A cool breeze flows in from the high mountains. The sun rises, throwing off flecks of yellow, orange and red light in the sky and on the waters of the lake.

Malshej Ghat. Photo: Tinsy Thomas

 

Things to do

Boating & Camping are popular lakeside activities during the monsoon and winter seasons when sufficient water is available in the reservoir.

Trekking – The Malshej hills have several trails for treks that range from easy to difficult. The most famous is the trek to Harishchandragad, which is a hill fort situated at an elevation of 1,422 m. Ancient temples and fortifications atop the hill add to the experience of the trek. Another trekking option is to climb the 400 steps of Shivneri Fort located 20 km away from Malshej Ghat. Shivneri is the birthplace of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Bird watching - You can spot a wide range of birds at Pimpalgaon Joga, including the Great Egret, the Indian Cormorant, River Terns and Kingfisher. During winter, migratory flamingos visit the area. 

Malshej Ghat. Photo: Tinsy Thomas

 

Best time to visit

The monsoon and winter seasons (August to February) are the best time to visit Malshej Ghat and its environs. The weather is cool enough to enable trekking in the hills. By summer (April) the water evaporates from the reservoir of the Pimpalgaon Joga Dam leaving a barren landscape.

How to get there

From South Mumbai, you can take the Eastern Freeway and the Eastern Expressway towards Kalyan. Follow the Kalyan-Ahmednagar highway to reach Malshej Ghat, which is approximately 150 km from Mumbai and takes between 3 to 4 hours to reach.

Waterfalls at Malshej Ghat. Photo: Tinsy Thomas

 

While heavy rains can play spoilsport leading to landslides and big craters on the roads, much of the highway is in good condition.

Where to stay

Saj by the Lake: A private resort on the banks of the reservoir created by the Pimpalgaon dam.

MTDC Malshejghat: A resort run by Maharashtra Tourism department overlooks the ghat.

(Tinsy is a freelance writer based in Mumbai)

Published on November 01, 2019
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