Do you agree – the weekend, monsoon season, and being out in nature goes hand in hand. But before going out we keep considering things like which place to go in a day, is it cost-effective, safe, worth visiting? But do you also think of going to some secluded places and get that absolute joy and positivity of living in the laps of nature? If yes, then come let’s explore these hidden gems – Laalwadi, Bendewadi, and Thokarwadi Dam.
You must be thinking if it is so secluded and beautiful, it must be too far away from the city, Right?
Not really, it is just 60 km from Pune city and about 150 km from Mumbai. If you are staying in Pune or Mumbai, surely, you must have visited Lonavala, Khandala, Lavasa, and a few more renowned places, that too ample times. No doubt, these places are beautiful and worth a visit but exploring any hidden gem can leave you awestruck and make you rethink planning journeys in a different way furthermore.
My Journey to Laalwadi, Bendewadi and Thokarwadi Dam in Khandi Region
Pune – Kanhe Phata – Jagtap Waterfall – Laalwadi – Bendewadi – Thokarwadi Dam (Gmaps link) –> ~80 km Drive
I started from Pune and took the Mumbai-Pune highway, I enjoyed the ride because of the drizzly weather. After reaching halfway, that is, Kanhe region, I witnessed, the scenery started changing gradually going farther. Slowly, leaving behind the city life, started entering into the place where there was more greenery on all sides and less urbanization.
And what a blissful feeling it was to be greeted by lush green meadows, mountains, and then by umpteen waterfalls. Just an hour and a half drive brought me to this not so famous, untouched Sahyadri Hills.
I realized driving to this place was a wise decision, relying on public transport won’t have been a good idea, owing to the less frequency of buses here. In this whole region, I saw only a few buses plying throughout.
So, my piece of advice to anyone traveling here would be – better to arrange your means of transportation. Also, it will help you to halt at a few spots to eat, click pictures, and praise the beauty of this wonderland.
Now, these little waterfalls at every nook and corner started adding more charm to this land. I found this place perfect for trekking junkies also, it would have been fun to trek those small patches. But, I was running short of time, so kept this thing for the next trip.
Enroute, different waterfalls kept greeting me, no matter how farther and farther I went. Also, the drive was along a huge lake that runs parallel to the mountains on the other side.
I stopped near the lakeside and sat here for a while. It is beautiful and calm still not a safe lake for swimming. The warning board there also tells “Do not enter the lake” because of reptiles, weeds, and quicksand. After exploring this place a little, I again drove towards the Khandi region, and the journey yet continued with endless greenery and waterfalls.
After a while, reached Thokarwadi Dam and this place had extremely enchanting beauty on both sides. It was scenic to the last point my eyes could see no more. Also, this can be one of the first destinations to get drenched or take a dip under the dam.
This isn’t only, there’s much more at this place, going ahead one can quench their waterfall thirst in this land full of it. There are huge waterfalls – Laalwadi waterfall and Bendewadi waterfall ahead, where adrenaline junkies come for waterfall rappelling, trekking, and of course to take a bath under it. Even if you don’t wish to do either of them, you can simply sit there in peace and enjoy the beauty of the falls and views all around.
Laalwadi and Bendewadi Waterfall
Also, owing to less popularity, I didn’t see many people and felt as if I own this wonderland. 😛 To reach near the waterfall, I climbed some rocks and sat near it. The experience of sitting right near the falls and enjoying getting wet in the showers of flying water was incredible. The huge fall falling on the rocks and splashing water is a wonderful sight in itself. But more than the beauty of the falls, what I usually enjoy the most is the bathing. But this time, I just sat quietly near the waterfall and enjoyed the views! 🙂
Also, there is a Jagtap Waterfall apart from Laalwadi and Bendewadi, which comes under private property and can be accessed by paying 100 bucks. Although it is the first roadside waterfall that comes along the way, I somehow missed seeing it and while returning it was about 6 PM, and the property got closed. 🙁
Visiting Jagtap Waterfall is the only costliest thing I found. Apart from it, eatery options are cheap here, that won’t cost more than 50 or 100 rupees depending on your choice of dish. So, if you are looking for a shoestring trip near Pune, this place can be on your list.
Please maintain the beauty of this Region
This is strange but I too learned about this place after being in Pune for more than three and a half years. Still, it isn’t so popular yet so beautiful. Maybe, this very thing is maintaining the charm of this place. And not just the place but the whole route made me stop to praise its calmness and beauty.
If you like to go on a long ride or quietly sit and just enjoy being in nature, or have some family time, trek a bit, try out some adventures, or get drenched beneath so many waterfalls, this can be your perfect secluded destination.
But let me warn you, go well prepared to get lost and engrossed in its untouched beauty!
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Thank you! ♥