Living in the city of Mumbai is kind of a blessing in disguise. Barring the crowd and chaos of the metro,
the natural landscape surrounding the city is truly incredible, especially in the monsoon. And what’s
better in the rains than to experience it in the heart of nature?
A recent trip to Malshej Ghat, added to that list of incredible experiences. Despite having lived in the city for a decade, I had never been to
Malshej Ghat, until last month my workmates planned for a day trip one weekend. The rains had picked
up in the city and it was the perfect time to head out to the countryside and explore the greenery. We
took a comfortable minibus on rent in Mumbai and headed out on NH 61. It was a three-hour drive
through the suburbs of Mumbai and Thane and into the quiet countryside.
The Drive: Visit The Waterfalls of Malshej Next Long Weekend
Driving through the thick of monsoon, surrounded by misty air and waterfall-streaked hills, never gets
old for me. No matter how many times I travel, I am always in awe of the rain-soaked beauty of
The Western Ghats. Whenever the rains stopped, we would roll the windows down and let the cool air fill in
the van. Soon, we left behind the concrete skylines of the cities and towns and landed in the green
valleys of the Sahyadri Mountains. From the highways, we merged into narrow country roads with views
of mountain peaks in the distance, shrouded in mist. As far as we could see, it was all patches of velvet
It was the perfect place to spend a rainy day. The lush hilly slopes with dark grey clouds looming
overhead and the infinite waterfalls streaming down the mountains made for a perfect landscape. The
local villagers went about their days and drove their cattle towards the fields.
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Exploring Malshej Ghat: Visit The Waterfalls of Malshej Next Long Weekend
Malshej Ghat sits at an altitude of 700 meters from the sea, which makes it a much cooler place than the
neighbouring cities and towns. And with the incessant rains, the weather that day was much cooler than
we had expected and we had to keep our jackets on all through the day. But the biggest highlight of
Malshej Ghat is the reverse waterfall that attracts hundreds of visitors. We headed straight to the
Junnar fort which overlooked the reverse waterfall.
After driving for a while, we had to stop our vehicle and walk the rest of the distance to reach the fort.
As soon we started walking through the muddy roads, it began to rain. We contemplated for a moment
whether to continue to hold back till the downpour stopped, but what fun would that be? So, we left
our phones and belongings in the car, rolled up our pants and threw caution to the winds. We reached
the fort area but the climb here was tricky and we took the path towards the point from where we could
see the waterfall. Many other hikers and tourists were enjoying the walk in the rains and we joined
them. In some time, we were walking through wooded areas and crossing gurgling streams.
We followed the roaring sound of the torrential streams and finally reached the viewing point. At first
glance, the cascade appeared to be flowing in reverse. But the theory of gravity couldn’t be all wrong,
and I realized that it was the strong gusts of wind at the elevation that pushed the flow of the water
backwards, making it look as if it was upside down. Standing in the rains and watching the foaming
waterfall was indeed an exciting experience. Soon, the rains stopped and we headed back to our car.
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Birds of Malshej: Visit The Waterfalls of Malshej Next Long Weekend
Another highlight of Malshej Ghat, which I forgot to mention, is its rich avifauna. While in most places,
migratory birds are seen in the winter, Malshej Ghat gives you that privilege in the monsoon as well.
During this season, flocks of flamingoes come here and make for great viewing. They nest around the
water bodies and make these hills their home for a couple of months and fly back to their places of
origin just as the rains recede.
To spot flamingos, we had to drive down the valleys and into the grasslands and lakes, where the birds
nested. We drove down to the Pimpalgaon Lake where there were chances of spotting these beauties.
Thankfully, because of the rains, there weren’t many people around, which makes it less intimidating for
the birds. We waited quietly on the edges and as the rains stopped a few of them flew in and strutted
around the banks, looking for food. There were also a lot of kingfishers, storks, and blue thrushes. We
spent some time watching the birds, doing nature photography, and enjoying the rains.
The sights, sounds, and the fresh smell of rain were truly rejuvenating for our mind and body.
If you are planning to travel during peak monsoon, avoid driving yourself and book a cab from
Mumbai to Lonavala.
For flamingo sighting, the best time is between June and July. Check with the locals for the best
time of the day.
Have you been to Malshej? I definitely will try to go there on my next visit to Mumbai.
Disclaimer: This post is for educational basis and has been sponsored. Read my full disclaimer here.