Saturday, August 18, 2012

Drive to Shivthar Ghal

On our recent visit to Pune Malay and Kalpak landed up at Kothrud and we proceeded to Shivthar Ghal in their Maruti Swift as per plans. Apart from knowing that there was a waterfall and a cave, I had no clue what this place was about. Anjali decided to join us at the last moment and we started the drive of over a 100 kms. Fifty kms were on the Pune-Bangalore highway and we turned at the Bhor phata and hit the state roads which were not too great. We drove on and on, past the Neera Davghar dam, up into the hills, the Varandha ghat, and through miles and miles of rich greenery.
Elephant's back

The first sight that makes you catch your breath is the hill that is shaped like en elephant's back. It is a lovely sight, more so on monsoon. We stopped and clicked some pics there.
View from the top

Across the hill ranges one can see several waterfalls pouring down the hill ranges.And then sometime after about 3 and a half hours from Pune, we started descending down into the valley where the waterfall was. We parked in the small parking place and joined other tourists as they made their way to the waterfall.

The waterfall is not too big or imposing like the ones you see in Karnataka but there are several and thee is much water. There is a cave where Swami Samarth Ramdas, wrote the 'Das Bodh'. Shivaji Maharaj, the great Maratha king, also came to Shivthar Ghal to take Swami Samarth Ramdas's blessings. There are paintings that show the scenes, both inside and outside the cave.
The waterfall and Anjali

There is no fee to go in and if you are at lunch time, you get to eat some prasad. The place is maintained by Shri Samarth Seva Dal and Sundar Math Seva Samithi and they do a fine job of it.
Kalpak exiting the cave

Out in the open there are several vendors selling American corn, chai and some other stuff to eat. After a half hour spent at Shivthar ghal, we ate some bhutta and started our journey back.
The waterfall in the background

The road is not in great condition but the ride is worth it if you are in no hurry and if you get the right weather. Overall it was well worth the ride for me because the return journey had the mountain tops swathed in clouds that reduced visibility to about 10 meters and gave me the Mani Ratnam movie kind of an experience.
Bhutta by the stream

 I loved that - a first really. Back home to Pune for some hot wonderful lunch and another story to tell. Would I have ever been to Shivthar ghal on my own - I doubt it. So thanks a ton Malay for the ride and prompting the trip. I had a great time and I suspect so did Malay, Kalpak and Anjali as well.


Anonymous said...

Pls share how much time it took roughly for you guys.. it would be really helpful fr others who goes through this post..

the info like, 50 kms drive on Banglore-Mumbai high way of 100kms from kothrud is Very much appreciated information. Keep Sharing info & happy info sharing..

Sai praV

Anonymous said...

Superb post, the info shared was very helpful for us. thanks alot. Sai praV

Harimohan said...

From Kothrud, say, two and a half hours easily.