This trip was due long time; and we finally started off for Tamhini ghats on Sunday at around 7:30 AM from Pune. The weather in Pune seemed to be overcast and sunny for most of the times; however we still hoped to get some rains at Tamhini. Another reason to go to Tamhini was to see the colourful Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher. As soon as we crossed Paud, we could see the lovely green paddy field all along the way. It did seem the area had got some rain in last couple of days. We stopped at couple of places to take some shots of swallows and black drongos. White throated kingfishers also seemed to be a common sight. We finally decided to take our 1st stop for breakfast at Male village. There is a junction at this point where a right will take you to Valane; rather to the famous Malhar Machi resort and keeping left will take you to Tamhini ghats. After having a typical Maharashtrian breakfast (Poha, missal pav and tea), we resumed our journey. Driving for another 1 KM and we heard a lot of bird calls at a small bridge. We saw Brahminy starlings, Oriental Magpie Robins, Egrets and a common blue kingfisher.
Driving ahead, we could see the lovely lush green landscapes and peaks covered with clouds. It’s always a pleasure to drive in such weather; where in it may just rain at any moment and all you see is greenery all around with a lot of water streams crossing across. Soon we reached a point where we got a good view of the Mulshi Lake; and thankfully the rain stopped as well; which gave me some good landscape shots. We also saw quite a no. of Oriental Magpie robins here; at-least 4-5, and also the White throated kingfisher, Oriental white-eye and Coppersmith Barbets. I was busy clicking pics of the valley and suddenly it started pouring down. We got back into the car and resumed our drive.
Another surprise was that we hardly got any traffic; for once I wondered if people were unaware of this beautiful place. We soon reached a turn where there was a mini waterfall. The waterfall wasn’t too exciting as it was pretty small but what caught our eye was the steep valley view we got right opposite to it. We also heard the melodious Malabar Whistling thrush at this point. Yet again the rain forced us to get back into car and from this point; the rain actually never stopped. The rains got heavier and heavier, up-to a point where we could hardly see the road ahead. I have to say the roads indeed have been maintained pretty well and the drive is really enjoyable; especially in rains. We kept driving as we could see so many waterfalls on the right side (we did not even bother counting!); search for a place from where we could get the best view. We did stop at couple of places to take pictures; which was another task in itself considering the rains.
After spending a good amount of time; we decided to stop for lunch and head back to Pune. It was around 2 PM and only then we could see the crowd coming in. I would definitely suggest starting early as the pleasure doubles when you don’t have traffic. We had our lunch at a place called Paradise Cafe; slightly over-priced but food was tasty. The highlight was the Patiala Lassi, served in a huge bronze glass (At-least 1.2 litres!). Thankfully we had ordered just one which we shared amongst three of us.
Surely this was one of my best driving experiences; thanks to the rains and the lovely roads. Unfortunately I could not find the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, which only means that we are planning another drive to this place immediately after the rains. Anyone who just wants to enjoy rains in lush green surroundings; this is definitely a must visit place!
How to reach: There are two options from Pune: 1st one is via Bavdhan, where-in you take the Mulshi-Paud road and keep driving until… Well till your heart is content 😀 (This road eventually leads to Kolad junction). The 2nd option is through Hinjewadi; where-in you go to Phase-I, continue driving down to the Maan Village and keep following the road which comes out at Pirangut on the Mulshi Paud road. We took the second option as it was closer from Pimple Saudagar. – Rudraksha