JourneyWestern Ghats

Experience The Blend Of Nature & Adventure At Igatpuri

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Mumbai houses millions of dreamers. It is a city that never sleeps because people are always on the move. The crowd can get overwhelming at times, and when tired of chasing dreams, people seek to escape and recharge their minds and bodies.

It felt like a really long time since I did what I love, so I decided to go on a road trip to the beautiful hill station Igatpuri. Road trips can change our perspective on life. Leaving behind the past and looking ahead on a vast, endless road can be an enthralling experience.

I will narrate my experience from Mumbai to Igatpuri, which offers breathtaking views with lush greenery, waterfalls, valleys and more.

 

Stop By Bhatsa River Valley

Just before you enter Igatpuri from Mumbai, stop by the Bhatsa River Valley. The valley is a great spot to begin your voyage to Igatpuri. Savouring the rich vegetation and rugged rock formations at the end of Thal Ghat is a surreal experience.

 

Soak In Nature At Camel Valley

Located at a distance of 4 km from Igatpuri, Camel Valley was our next stop. The valley is a few clicks from the picturesque Bhatsa river valley. During monsoons, the valley comes to life with lush greenery and roaring waterfalls that dive 1,000 ft from the valley, creating some of the most dramatic and splendid views.

Draped in clouds, the valley looks magical and is a visual treat. Apart from watching the scenic beauty of the valley, one can also indulge in adventurous activities such as river rafting and river crossing.

 

A Visit To Ghatandevi Temple

From the Camel Valley, a small road leads to Ghatandevi Temple. The locals pray to Ghatandevi Mata and believe the temple to be the ‘protector of the ghats.’ The temple is the most popular pilgrimage place and must-see places in Igatpuri. The majestic peaks of Harihar, Durbar Utvad, and Trimak make this shrine more impressive and eye-grabbing. Entry to the temple is free, and it is open from 6 am to 6 pm.

 

Connecting Dots At Tringalwadi Fort

On the ancient trade route passing through the Thal ghat behind Ghatandevi Temple stands the Tringalwadi Fort at an altitude of 3,000 ft above sea level. The place attracts trekkers and hikers. From the top of the fort, you can capture the scenic view of the surroundings. The top of the fort looks like a turban. If you are good at photography, you can click amazing pictures using your own imagination at this fort. At the foot of the hill lies the Tringalwadi lake with a hanuman temple. Talegaon Lake has situated a short distance from the fort.

 

Catch The Simple Delights At Vaitarna Dam

Forty kilometres from the Camel Valley near JenJon lake lies the Vaitarna Dam, which supplies electricity and water to major parts of Mumbai. It is accessed via NH160. The dam draws water from the mighty Upper Vaitarna river. Vaitarna Dam is also called Modaksagar Dam. It gives spectacular views of the mighty Western Ghats. Standing at this dam and watching fishes and birds, and children play is a simple yet great experience. The beautiful lagoons, spectacular peaks in the background, and trenches of the ghats enhance the beauty of the dam and is more delightful during nights.

 

Myanmar Gate – Entry To Relax & Unwind

I drove 45 km from Vaitarna Dam to Myanmar Gate – grand entrance to the famous Dhamma Giri Math and Vipassana Meditation Centre in Igatpuri, Maharashtra. Driving through the narrow winding road, we reached the mighty gate bedecked in ornate decorations and majestic architecture. Before heading towards the Vipassana centre, we marvelled at the Thailand-inspired architecture and clicked many pictures. The gate is highly regarded for photoshoots and filming because the distant sublime mountains and a small garden nearby creates picturesque ambience.

Next, we went to the Vipassana Meditation Center to live through a rejuvenating experience. The Vipassana Meditation Center gets its serene charm from the misty Sahyadri range in the background. We were lucky to have a volunteer from the centre guide us and explain the significance of Maharashtra’s most visited pilgrimage. Additionally, we were shown a 15-minutes video on the centre’s meditation techniques.

 

Trek To The Everest Of Maharashtra

At 5,400 ft, Kalsubai is an offshoot mountain range peak in the Sahyadri Ranges and the highest peak in the State. It is also known as the Everest of Maharashtra. Trekking to the majestic mountain range accompanied by lush green forests is a treat for nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts. This isn’t to say that the trek to Kalsubai is easy; you will need to be tough and resilient to scale this mammoth of a peak. The peak offers panoramic views of several mountain ranges including Alang, Mandangad, Kulang, and Ratangad to the southwest, and Pabargad, Ghanchakkar and Harishchandragad to the south. Once you have reached the top, you will feel a sense of achievement. If you have no zeal to trek or find the activity intimidating, you can climb the man-made stairs to reach the peak. Perched on the peak is Kalsubai temple, the main destination of the pilgrims.

 

Unveil Mysteries At Maharashtra’s Grand Canyon

The Sandhan Valley is in the Sahyadri region, Ahmednagar, north Maharashtra. The valley and canyon merge between two mountain ranges in the Samrad village near the Bhandardara region. The deep rock lures adventure enthusiasts. You need trekking experience and stamina to go on this challenging trek. The Valley is surrounded by many mountain ranges, including Madan, Kulang, Alang, Ajoba and Ratangad.

The valley is 200 feet deep and 2 kilometres long and offers scenic views and outdoor activities. The sun rays couldn’t penetrate through some places in the valley for which it is called ‘the valley of shadows.’

Igatpuri is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers with mystic valleys, rugged terrains, dense forests, and mountain peaks, covering large parts of the Western Ghats. The ancient temples and meditation centres are also tourist attractions in Igatpuri. This hill station is a perfect getaway for people who are searching for an escapade from everyday life and thrill.

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