INDIA. Malshej Ghats, Maharashtra: The Western Ghats in Maharashtra are amongst the world’s best for Romantic escapades. Khandala, Lonavala, Malshej Ghats, etc. are some of the exotic places which young couples, families, and people of all ages throng to enjoy and have fun times.
Malshej Ghats is one of the best places I have ever visited. The ghats were simply mind-blowing and I had have never seen so much greenery in my life in one single place. Malshej Ghats has long been on my list. I very badly wanted to go out in the ghats and watch the Pink Flamingos, my favourite avian species, which flock to the place every year.
As I reached Malshej Ghats after a 3-hour drive through some of the picturesque locales from Pune, I was stunned experiencing the magic of rains which added to the overall beauty of this gorgeous place.
Small crabs, monkeys, bees on flowers, and frogs enjoying the rains like me made it more musical and the view of the white streams of water flowing between the greenery on the mountains was just awesome.
On my way to Malshej Ghats and also on the return journey to Mumbai, what I enjoyed the most were the roadside waterfalls, These waterfalls are the beauties of the area in the hilly regions. During rains, the area around Malshej Ghats comes alive with numerous waterfalls around the area. These spontaneous waterfalls form due to the torrential downpour that the area gets. Various waterfalls from small up to huge ones are really worth to see and many are right next to the highway.
At Malshej Ghat, it is just nature and you with your beloved enjoying some natural music played by flowing waters and flora and fauna. The morning fog which blankets out everything in the area, the slight chill in the air that makes you shiver and cuddle up, and a lush green carpet as far as the eye can see is what makes this a perfect landscape. The ghat area which is often dry through the year becomes live on a rainy day ad the rains spark off a miraculous change. The streams and ponds begin to bubble afresh and flora and fauna come to life.
With rains, birds also come out to enjoy in large numbers at Malshej Ghat. These are few migratory birds that make Malshej Ghat their home after flying in here during the monsoons. There were many varieties of birds still there to spot and identify. And I did spot a few such as Alpine Swift, Whistling Thrush, Quail, Purple Moorhen, Pied Crested Cuckoo, cranes, etc.
It is an awesome place to visit. Cool, breezy and silent. It’s more of a place for couples, and the best time is during the rains.
Best Time to Visit:
The monsoon months of July- September is the best time to visit Malshej Ghat.
How to Reach:
The nearest airport is Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai.
The nearest railhead is at Kalyan.
The best way to reach is to drive from Pune via Alephata. Malshej Ghat, nestled in the lofty rugged hills of the Western Ghats is at a height of 700 meters and is at a distance of 130 km north of Pune and 154 km from Mumbai.
Where to Stay?
Since the area is at a considerable distance from a small town, there are not many options of stay here. But you don’t miss all these, because this leaves you with yourself or your partner amongst the greens and the waterfalls.
Flamingo Hill is the best bet here, which is a resort run by MTDC – Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation. Other than MTDC resort, there are other small private resorts where you can spend a day or two. Accommodation is also available in a nearby village called Madh. Madh is about 6 km away from Malshej ghat.
What to Do while at Malshej Ghats:
Bird Watching at Pimpalgaon Joga Dam – The 5-km long Pimpalgaon Joga Dam built over the mesmerizing Pushpawati River is one of the main attractions in Malshej Ghat. The dam is also a haven for several migratory birds.
Trek Up to Harishchandragad Fort – It’s a lovely trek up to Harishchandragad Fort, a 6th-century monument.
Cascading Waterfalls – The beauty of Malshej Ghat is enhanced manifold by the many cascading waterfalls. Visitors coming here throng to these small and big waterfalls for picnics and also to take showers in natural settings.
Trekking Trails – Most popular trails are Ajoba Hill Fort, Darkoba Peak, Jivdhan Chawand Fort, and Nane Ghat.
Visit the historic Shivneri Fort – Located about 40 kilometers from Malshej Ghat, this 17th-century fort was the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire.