In the monsoon of 2017, Kharghar, a locality near Mumbai in India pleased us in many ways. Our first attempt of getting close to the most popular waterfall in Kharghar failed. So the second time, we attempted getting close to the second most popular waterfall in Kharghar. Husband had been here once before in 2016, so he was very confident it would be a success this time.
I know there are people who live in Kharghar yet they have no idea about the existence of this seasonal cascade. Pandavkada, the most popular one is famous owing to its location. Pandavkada waterfall is visible from the widely used broad street of Kharghar named ‘Raintree Marg’. But, its junior counterpart, Fanaspada waterfall is tucked away behind a hill in the wilderness of the valley.
On a monsoon day with occasional downpours at consistent intervals, we took the lane adjacent to the Golf Course from Raintree Marg and started walking inwards. The husband had been here before during monsoon 2016,but it was my first. I was stunned. I expected one waterfall but here, I was exposed to the view of multiple waterfalls. The sight of so many waterfalls plunging from various heights, with varying speed and whiteness of the water made my jaw drop.
We were not alone; there were many others like us. People dancing under water, families elated with joy, girls and guys giggling innocently, but the people best enjoying the seasonal delight were the kids! During monsoon, this is definitely the happiest place of Kharghar.
The joyous dance, fun and frolic were taxing on our energy. To re-energise our bodies there were makeshift food stalls and trucks serving local delicacies like vadapav, kandabhaji, samosa and many more. We, being fans of corn on the cob, grabbed ourselves two of those. Packed snacks like chips, cakes and biscuits were also available. Faluda, icecreams, cold drinks and lemon water stalls were present to fulfil the need of the sweet seekers.
We left the asphalt road and started walking on the pebbled track. We balanced ourselves on the little boulders, water channels and mud water. A few minutes later we reached to the shore of a seasonal river. Fanaspada waterfall was visible from this point. The river was shallow but the water current was no joke. Inspite of the water current, we saw men, women, kids and oldies having fun in the river. We were particularly surprised seeing old people in action. Very carefully we crossed the river without tipping over in the water. As usual we were more worried about our camera and phones than we were about our own well being.
The next stretch involved ascending the hill till we reach the waterfall. A pack of well bread bulls and oxen welcomed us after we crossed the river and landed on the opposite shore. Their horns were threatening. Somehow, we got past them.
Gradually, the sound of the waterfall became audible. We saw people standing on hilltops. We saw people walking along its length. We kept our focus on the waterfall. “Climbing the hill is for another day”, we thought to ourselves.
We were really close to the waterfall when we got stuck on the slope. The angry sky finally spoke. A very heavy shower started. We didn’t dare to be carefree since we were carrying our precious camera. So under the shade of a colourful umbrella we three huddled together, me, my husband and our gadget child. Beside us sat a youth smoking weed. The weed lover was talking to us in a trance.
We started walking towards the waterfall when the intensity of the shower lessened. Now that it had rained, the path became completely treacherous. A small mistake and we would fall down the ridge.
Fanaspada waterfall was in full gusto. We talked in high voices to hear each other. The sound of the waterfall was overshadowing all other sounds. The mere spray of the waterfall was enough to get us wet. Unlike Pandavkada, there is no pool at the base of this waterfall. The water falls straight down a cliff and flows forward along the slope. We enjoyed our time with Fanaspada and came back to the valley along the same trail.
On our return journey, we took a quick dip in the very shallow seasonal river. The valuables with us were kept on the shore. The current was crazy high and we had to hold on to the boulders in the river to help ourselves from getting carried away.
Standing directly below the plunge of Fanaspada was both impossible and deadly, so we fulfilled that wish of ours by standing below the umpteenth small waterfalls at the base of the hill. We were two happy wildlings of Kolkata waddling in the waters of the Sahayadris in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra!
How to reach– Local trains on Harbour line from CST (ChattrapatiShivaji Terminus) railway station in Mumbai halt at Kharghar station. It takes about one hour to make this journey on train. From Kharghar railway station, bus number 54 and 55 can drop you at the Kharghar Valley Golf Course bus stop. It is opposite to the Kharghar Central Park. Alternatively, shuttle services are available a few metres away from Kharghar railway station which can drop you at Kharghar Valley Golf Course bus stop. Follow direction on my blog from Kharghar Valley Golf Course to reach the small waterfalls zone or the Fanaspada waterfall.
Alternatively if you have a car or hire a private vehicle, drive on the Raintree Marg road at Kharghar towards the golf course. Take the first diversion to the left adjacent to the golf course. Drive till the road runs bad or parking space lacks.
Cost– Free obviously!
Duration – Two Hours.
Time of the year – Monsoon is the only time to catch the waterfalls, streams and greenery. The place is pretty busy on weekends.
Have you heard about this neighbourhood of Mumbai? Did considering Kharghar your weekend getaway destination ever cross your mind? If you happen to travel to Mumbai during monsoon, will you check out this place? Comment below and let me know!
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