Vihigaon – a gem

Mumbai monsoon always reminds me of an impromptu road trip we had taken a few years back. It was raining all day and we friends decided that next day we’ll go on a road trip ..where? Nobody had an idea. We just took off in the car early morning at 7 to enjoy the rains. We took the Nashik highway , and on reaching Kasara ghat took a detour to Jawhar. Nobody knew where this place was or how long will it take to reach there. We just saw a signboard which showed left for Jawhar and off we went. We did reach Jawhar an undiscovered hill station close to Mumbai but not before discovering the hidden gem Vihigaon.
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The roads were so good that we dint want to stop. The rains had painted the whole place green. It was so beautiful and calm that we wished time just stops here. After driving for long on those beautiful winding roads we reached khodala road. We could hear the sound of waterfall somewhere but couldn’t locate it. We kept looking outside the windows but couldn’t see anything , we could only hear the sound of gushing water. A few kms ahead, we came across this little boy who was walking towards his house. We stopped the car and approached him, asked him is there a waterfall closely. This little boy only spoke Marathi , he dint know Hindi. Luckily for us, everyone in my group knew Marathi ,they started talking to him but they couldn’t find a word for waterfall in Marathi and kept repeating waterfall. This boy was clueless as to what the hell is waterfall. He kept saying there is a dhabdhaba here…and we kept arguing that we wanted to know about the waterfall. After arguing for 15mins we finally realized dhabdhaba is the Marathi word for a waterfall. Dumb people that we were. Err
As seen from Khodala road..after walking for a few kms.

As seen from Khodala road..after walking a few kms.

So the boy agreed to take us to this Dhabdhaba which was close to his house. He asked us to park the car near his house and follow him. We walked for half an hour and finally reached the waterfall. Till then nobody of us knew that there was a village called Vihigaon or that there was a vihigaon waterfall. The boy took us to the top of the waterfall from where we could just sit and enjoy the place. When we looked down, we could see loads of tourists enjoying in the water, there was also an adventure group trying their hands at Rapelling.  It was such a beautiful sight. We were glad that we were the only ones here while the crowd was below us, as this gave us all the privacy we needed.
A closer view of the Vihigaon falls

A closer view of the Vihigaon falls

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Our new friends showing us some stunts.

Our new friends showing us some stunts.

The boy along with his friend showed us some stunts in the water. Told us a lot so stories about his family, school, his village etc. the falls itself was so beautiful that we could stay here forever and the drizzling rains added to the fun. Both the sides were covered with lush green trees. It was a perfect place for camping. After spending some time here at vihigaon and saying goodbye to our new friend we then moved on to Jawhar. We passed the Old British bridge on our way to Jawhar. We stopped here for some photo ops , bridge was such a beautiful sight to see…with the river flowing below… And greenery on both sides , the bridge looked picture perfect.
Taken from the Old British Bridge.

Taken from the Old British Bridge.

The river flowing below the British Bridge

The river flowing below the British Bridge

We continued our journey to Jawhar. With no hotels or restaurants in sight it was getting difficult as we were damn hungry. As soon as we reached Jawhar, the first thing we did was hog like a dog. And then we set out to explore the place. Somebody told us there was a famous waterfall called Dhabhosa a few kms ahead which is known for adventure activities like rappelling, river crossing etc.   On our bid to explore Dhabhosa , we came across this neglected little lake which  looked like it was almost covered with trees when seen from the road. We stopped our car and walked a bit to this lake. The locals were moving around with their goats there. The whole place was so green as if someone had just painted it. The most serene place we came across in this whole trip.
The most beautiful place we came across.

The most beautiful place we came across.

After about half an hour, we reached Dhabhosa. The place was crowded. And there was some kind of construction going on. Because of which the whole water was brown or muddy. We stood at the viewing point and wondered if not for all the construction this place would have been perfect. We could see people doing Rapelling, river crossing etc. There were a lot of adventure groups there. We realised that we dint know about all these places even if we stayed so close to them. It was just a four drive from Mumbai yet nobody knew about them. But the whole fact that this place is not popular among tourists added to its beauty as it is not yet commercialized. There are just a handful of hotels /restaurants and more of natural beauty. That’s what I liked about this trip. It was all about discovering these little hidden gems in your own backyard.
Dhabhosa Waterfall. We could not click a lot of pictures as it started raining.

Dhabhosa Waterfall. We could not click a lot of pictures as it started raining.

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The clean almost new and perfect roads, greenery on either side, waterfall everywhere,  the British bridge , the little boys that we met, the drizling rains which painted the place green, wild flowers and the wild turmeric on the edges of the road , everything was picturesque and made our trip a memorable one.

Nagaon..!

As I walk down this beach, feeling the cool breeze on my face, the brown sands on my feet , i realize that why this place was chosen for the song “Sagar Kinaare Dil ye pukaare.” I cant make up my mind if the song was more beautiful or the location. The lush green trees all around, the clear blue skies merge with the blue waters makes for a perfect landscape…Its just perfect here.

Nagaon Beach

Nagaon Beach

Nagaon just 7 kms from Alibaug is not frequented by tourists like its counterpart. And hence, its much more cleaner, quieter and serene. Most of the cottages here have a konkani feel to it with a hammock and private access to the beach, making it a perfect place to just laze around watching the sun go down .For the adventure enthusiasts, Nagaon offers a lot of water activities like para sailing, ATV rides , banana boat rides etc. And for nature lovers like me its a place where you can just sit read a book or hold onto to your camera and just click away .

Banana ride @Nagaon Beach

Banana ride @Nagaon Beach

The Jet skii was a thrilling experience.

The Jet skii was a thrilling experience.

We stayed at Karpewadi which is an agrotel, a place that practises agro tourism. It has no Television and they believe that this is what makes people enjoy the vacation to the fullest. And i second that. They have a private access to the beach which gives you complete privacy with just a few hotel guests around. They also offer water sports.

For a little more crowd, you can head straight to the main Nagaon beach which looks like mini goa minus the thousands of crowd. It has all the potential to become the next “Alibaug”. With horse carts, water scooters, camel rides the beach promises to be a perfect weekend getaway that rejuvenates you. You can also take the boat ride to spot dolphins. And yes we did see not one but 3 of them.

Dolphin spotting@Nagaon

Dolphin spotting@Nagaon

I have been to Nagaon twice, once with friends and second time with family and still this place never ceases to surprise me . I love the fact that its not yet too touristy like the other beaches close to it. I love the fact that its not bombarded with too many hotels, resorts, eateries etc. I love the fact that its simple, clean and serene.

Horse ride

Horse ride

Kids having fun in the water

Kids having fun in the water

Another thing that wants me keep coming back here is the beautiful Sunset and Sunrise which makes you forget the world. You have to be there to believe it. A photographer’s delight, the different shades of sand and the sparkling waters makes for a picture perfect moment. There’s something about this place that makes you heart and Camera go “Click”.

Perfect evening setup for a Romantic walk on the beach.

Perfect evening setup for a Romantic walk on the beach.

Hidden village

True to its name, Hidden Village at atgaon 10kms-12kms ahead of Shahapur on the Mumbai-Nashik highway, is a nature lovers hamlet hidden away from the world. It’s just an hours drive from mumbai which makes it a perfect weekend getaway. The moment your car enters the gate you get a feeling of being somewhere else. So Calm, so Raw, so peaceful and serene. All you can hear is the chirping of the birds and sound of river flowing. At the entrance we saw a stone with Hidden Village carved on it , a lil further you see a little wooden bridge which leads to the entrance of this hidden treasure.

A quiet sitting outside our room.

A quiet sitting outside our room.

Hammock..our favourite resting place

Hammock..our favourite resting place

After a round of local authentic maharashtrian breakfast, we were allotted a room with an attached bathroom. We kept our bags there and within a minute stepped out to explore the place. We headed straight to the beautiful waterfall that we passed on our way to the room. The waterfall as mentioned in their website was a natural waterfall created by the resort guys With the help of the dam water that flows through their property. The water here comes in so much force that it’s impossible to stand under it for more than 5 minutes. We had a great time splashing the water, swimming and posing for photos. The place was not crowded so we had the whole waterfall for ourselves. To add to the fun, it even started raining.

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At the other end of the river , we spotted a few ducks when we tried getting close to it they ran away. They have a games room with TT, carom and pool, which we never visited as we spent all our time at the waterfall. They also have a natural swimming pool in which I tried to dip my feet but had to withdraw within minutes because it was freakingly cold.

The place where the waterfall is has A small section for the guests to get their natural fish pedicure done. You can sit there and relax while the fishes nibble at your feet. However, we dint get a chance to do it because we had been there during monsoons and monsoon is not a good time to get a fish pedicure. In fact you don’t see dr.fishes at all during that time.

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The rooms are cozy but basic & clean with bamboo plantations  & with a hammock outside your room. There are also a variety of barn animals at the property , you get to see them while your having your breakfast. This is a place where you can do  absolutely Nothing. The place actually makes you feel like your living in a village, it cuts you out from the outside world. Its a place just to unwind.

on our way back...greenery all around

on our way back…greenery all around