August 25, 2013

Pandavkada Falls

While marriage, a subsequent change in the city, setting up a home are all good excuses, i still do not think i should have missed out on writing so many of those posts that were drafts in my head all along these months. Any which ways, today's outing deemed a post and here i am, getting back to writing on the blog.
The first thing that struck me when i was looking around Navi Mumbai is that it is pretty well planned, and green and relatively cleaner than the main city. The locality we chose to live in reminds me so much of Bangalore and the place is inhabited by a lot of south indians. It did feel like home to me in a really short time!
Since the setup and all has been taken care of, it was now time for us to start exploring the place. Scanning the nearby places to visit, we zeroed in on Pandavkada falls. We could not have picked a better day. The sun was looking up after yesterday's rain. No rain = happiness already!

Getting there:

Pandavkada falls is located 5 kms from the Kharghar railway station. So taking the train is a good option to get there. However, getting an auto from the station might be difficult. The entry to the falls is located right next to the Kharghar golf course.
Once you get there, it is a 20-25 minutes hike to the falls proper.

First Impressions:

First thing you notice when you get there is the sudden greenery all around you! It suddenly gets all quiet and you can hear the birds chirping. We got there around 10 in the morning. I had read about an entry fee that is levied but never found any ticket counter anywhere!

The place leaves a lot to be desired with regards to developing the approach path and facilities for the tourists. There is no pucca road, the rocks and stones can get slippery during the climb and one needs to cross two streams in order to get to the falls.  I ended up wading through knee deep water with my shoes on! Also, there are no loos or changing rooms around.

The walk can get a little difficult with the slush around. But what is a waterfall unless it is the monsoons! It takes close to twenty minutes to get to the falls proper. But it is all worth the effort. Once you get to the falls, you can see the breathtaking greenery all around, sit on a rock, listen to the sound of water and enjoy the silence and do all the introspection in the world! Or else, if you are feeling more adventurous, climb down a set of rocks and you land in the pool of water bang under the falls!  The caves behind the falls did not seem to have any approach route but i still saw signs of X loves Y within hearts inscribed on the rocks! People really do crazy things in/for love!

It is amazing that such a beautiful place is tucked away in this part of the town.It has not yet been a victim of too much crowd and commercialization. So much that, there is just one stall at the entrance selling some snacks, that too way above the MRP. So best thing would be to pack your own picnic snack or lunch.
The place is scenic, makes for a good half day outing.

But the flip side of the isolation is that the area is not supervised. Or maybe it is and the people who were doing it had the permission. Nevertheless, i was not happy to see the low intensity blasts happening among the rocks to break them up. Or the trucks at many points along the way, scraping away into the landscape or taking away silt and sand from the water.

Navi mumbai has some greenery left in it. I hope it does not become a casualty of all the land grabbing. It is lung spaces like these that make the place livable. I would love to see the spot having an entry fee to regulate crowds and for the fee to be used to develop a solid pathway to get to the falls and to protect the environs.

It is actually a vicious circle. Sometimes, bounties of nature such as these are better left unexplored, lest we destroy them as we have done a large part of the planet already!