Given a choice, would you like to sit by a lake under a tree and watch birds going about their activities in the unruffled waters or would you prefer to stand under a gushing waterfall and feel the thundering water striking your body with force? Actually, you can do both. Maharashtra has an abundance of lakes and waterfalls (especially the ones that come alive during the monsoon) which can make your trip that much more exciting.
Like Bhandardara, close to Nashik. It’s a monsoon beauty. Packed with picnickers, the Randha Falls plunging into the valley are a huge attraction. The same goes for Malshej near Pune which also happens to be popular with trekkers. At an altitude of 625 meters, the twin hill-stations of Lonavala and Khandala have green valleys and spellbinding waterfalls.
Then there are the waterfalls at Thoseghar, just 20 kilometers from Satara. You will find here a series of amazing torrents cascading down the hill faces, one of which is about 500 meters in height. The best time to enjoy their full power is during heavy rains. There are other such waterfalls, all of which promise fun aplenty. Like the Chinaman’s Waterfall located in the Koyna Valley near Mahabaleshwar. Apparently it got its name from Chinese convicts who used to cultivate the fields surrounding these falls.
But if it’s just a bit of lazing around that you would like to indulge in, and perhaps enjoy a boat ride, visit any of the state’s 23 lakes. Thane, near Mumbai, is popularly known as the ‘City of Lakes’ with Talao Pali Lake and Upvan Lake being the most frequented. The Rankala Lake in Kolhapur, said to be the oldest in Maharashtra, has a ‘Padpath Udyan’ for a lakeside walk and is close to the Mahalaxmi Mandir. A favourite with both locals and tourists, it provides a true picnic ambience with a garden besides it and snack vendors selling local delicacies.
At Nashik is the Ramkund Lake and according to mythological tales, Lord Rama and Sita used to take bath in this lake during their exile. Then there are the other lakes such as Mulshi near Lonavala, Venna in Mahabaleshwar, Khindsey and Ambazari near Nagpur, Lonar in Buldhana district, Pashan in Pune, and Tansa, Tulsi, Vihar and Powai Mumbai which make for perfect getaways. So what’s it going to be? Get soaked or go boating?