Travel

Amboli

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Last weekend when Nikhil told me about a two day trip to Amboli I was really excited, as the monsoons had started all over and Amboli is THE best place to visit during monsoon. So we booked our room at MTDC Green Valley over the internet. There are other hotels in Amboli but this hotel is very well maintained. You too can book your rooms by clicking here.

Amboli is a small hill station about 100 kms from Kolhapur and about 60 kms from Belgaum. We left on a cloudy morning from Kolhapur; the nature on our way was beautiful with greenery everywhere. On reaching Amboli we first checked in our Hotel. It is a nice hotel, well maintained and with reasonable room rent and spacious rooms. We freshened ourselves and were ready to enjoy the rains at Amboli. The best place to visit Amboli is the rainy season, especially the latter part of the rainy season around July end and August when the falls are teeming to the brim. There could be drought just 100 kms away, but it never fails to rain here. The main attraction for tourists is the incredibly high rainfall (7 meters average per year!) and the numerous waterfalls and mist during the monsoons. There aren’t too many places to see or things to do but it’s quiet, unpolluted and the local residents are good natured and helpful.

Amboli lies in the Sahyadri hills of Western Ghats and is at an altitude of about 700 meters. There are numerous small water falls throughout the Ghat section (High Roads) of Amboli. We first visited the tourist attraction called Amboli Waterfall. The surrounding nature captured our imagination with its green cover, dense mist and rains. This waterfall is the main tourist attraction of Amboli and we could see the huge number of tourists thronging to this place to enjoy nature at its very best during rains.

The rains had just stopped but dense fog had engulfed Amboli. There are proper steps which lead us to the falls where one can forget all their worries in the rain water fall. Water was surging down the steps as well. It was a thrilling climb up those steps. We stopped at a distance from the fall to enjoy the beauty and its grandeur. The climate in Amboli changes so fast that it started to drizzle and turned into heavy rains in an instant. We could feel the warmth of rain water under the falls though we had no intention of getting wet under the falls; the rains had completely drenched us!! The water fall was beautiful and it was coming down with all its might. People were enjoying bathing under the falls and others were enjoying getting wet in the mist of the falls and the rains.

After spending some time at the falls, we took shelter in a road side shop which was selling hot roasted sweet corn (Buttha). Best time to enjoy it! An experience one should have by coming here. The rains had stopped once again and we decided to take a walk along the curvy roads of Amboli.

The road was fully covered with fog and visibility was very low and it was as if you are walking in the clouds. There were many small falls emerging from the hills throughout the roads from in between the greens on the mountainous ghats. This sight was breath-taking. The clouds sometimes broke open to let in some sunlight. The green was reflecting the sunlight which energized our spirits and reminded us that the forest cover, which is fast depleting even in Amboli due to emergence of resorts and tourists, is more than gold. We stopped at a few other small waterfalls on the way.

After the long walk, we were completely drenched and came back to Amboli town. It was lunch time and how could we miss the Fish and chicken prepared in Malvani style. The food was sumptuous and just right and you couldn’t ask for better in this pristine climate.

After lunch we visited some other points in Amboli which include Mahadevgadh point from where we can have a panoramic view of the valley. We visited the Hiranyakeshi Temple from where the river Hiranyakeshi emerges from a cave. It was evening by now and we decided to retire for the day.

The next morning welcomed us with heavy rains. It was raining cats and dogs. We decided to explore the places around Amboli. We had a long drive where we could see small villages and farms. The Mother Nature was at her best with greenery everywhere. We then saw a board directing towards Shirgaokar Point and went searching for that place. The way was flat and full of green. We travelled about 6 kms into the forest. Flora and fauna not earlier seen could be seen here. I envied the local people for living in such surrounding. We felt reluctant to drive back home but couldn’t help as Nikhil had to go to Jaipur that night. Tch…Tch…

The Amboli weekend was very refreshing. Even folks who don’t like rains will certainly enjoy it here, like Nikhil did. Just a word of advice, DON’T POLLUTE, DON’T USE PLASTIC, MAINTAIN THE DECORUM OF THE PLACE!!

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