Road trips are a different kind of therapy, however, they are addictive. After a weekend getaway to Dapoli, I was tempted to take another adventure. I was planning something for 15th Feb weekend ( for the love of nature and outdoors) and everything fell in place.
Why Jawhar & How this plan?
I wanted to explore Jawhar from quite some time, however, I am so busy moving out of the state, that I haven’t explored Maharashtra fully. This year I am planning to explore more nearby places.
One morning I got a comment on Instagram from Deepali aka Albatraoz_stories that my travel stories are amazing and I am an inspiration for others. Well, that definitely made me feel good and I checked her profile, got impressed and followed back. She’s a bike rider documenting her explorations and journey to happiness. After some time I saw her story about Jawhar. That picture was with a waterfall and I was curious if that was a recent picture and she immediately confirmed the same. My next step was to connect with Jawhar Tourism and finalize my plan.
The people at Jawhar Tourism are prompt and super-friendly. Vaibhav got in touch with me and helped me finalize my plan, suggested which driving route to take and took our food preferences as well. I usually don’t wait for the company, however, my 2 girlfriends Sharanya and Pragya were willing to join. Girls’ day out on a Valentines day weekend 😉
We decided to start at 10 am. It’s approximately a 4-hour drive from my place to the Jawhar Tourism office. We took the Ghodbunder road and NH48 route as the roads are good, and I am used to driving on GB road as my previous workplace was almost at the end of Thane’s GB road. The route is very familiar till Hotel Fountain. The fun starts when we take the right from there, continue on the NH48 and after crossing Vasai-Virar. I usually take my car out towards Panvel, so the drive seemed refreshing with view of hills and greenery around us. We took a lunch break around Ghol at a Dhaba as after that we leave the NH48 and enter Dahanu- Jawhar Road.
Dahanu-Jawhar Road is a treat to the eyes, a lot of times “Countryroads…” played in the background in my head. It felt good to finally hit the country roads. The road is surrounded by trees and well maintained as well.
As soon as we entered Jawhar, we were greeted by the statue of Maharaj Yeshwantrao Mukne, the last ruler of Jawhar. We missed the turn for the Jawhar Tourism office and realized that we were on Hanuman mandir road. I recollected that Hanuman Mandir was a viewpoint and thus continued even though Google maps kept on saying to take a U-turn. We halted for some time, enjoyed the view and clicked a few pictures there.
After a short detour, we reached the Jawhar Tourism office, a small shop surrounded by beautiful Warli paintings, artwork and handicraft products made by Warli tribe. We met Shubham and Nutan mam there. Shubham was our host for the event, and Nutan mam joined us for the camping. We finished the formalities and began our journey towards the campsite. Well, we had no idea that the campsite was 10 km away from the tourism office, and that it would be such an amazing ride.
Reaching the Campsite village, Dhapar Pada:
We had to follow Vaibhav as he led with his bike and Nutan joined us in the car. We got to know that we were the only group for camping that night. That made us happier and we were like Private Camping yay! We crossed Jai Sagar Dam and Sunset point, which are the two main viewpoints of Jawhar. Thanks to Nutan she kept on sharing information with us.
The roads became narrower and greener as we followed Shubham; with every turn adding to the excitement. We crossed green patches, villages and finally reached the village where we were to camp. We parked my vehicle, and as soon as we got down the first thing we observed the beautiful Warli art on one of the houses. Then we saw a house with a notice on it, which read – “Warli Painting Workshop”. We were excited to try our hand at Warli painting and to interact with the locals.
Warli Paiting Workshop:
We entered the house, a clean minimalistic house with Warli paintings and were awed by the art. Kalpesh introduced himself and we bombarded him with questions about the paintings. All the paintings were made by him. We settled and our workshop started. It was fun understanding the motifs but what was more fun was to interact with them and understand the culture. We did not realize and it was one hour already, around 5:30 pm. My mind was getting distracted by that time as a wanted to watch the sunset I finished the painting and went out for a walk. Once we all completed our paintings and clicked pictures, we proceeded towards the campsite.
Sunset, Chai and Photography:
With Khadkhad Dam on one side surrounded by hills and trees, the campsite looked beautiful. The Golden hour had started, so we just kept our bags in the tents and went a little ahead. The sunset was mesmerizing, we dipped our feet in the water and watched the sunset. It was that kind of moment when you feel like putting a pause button on time. All our tiredness or worries were left behind and all we had was that beautiful moment.
We clicked some snaps and soaked in nature and realized we were a little hungry and we should eat. We had earlier decided to go for a walk, but having Chai and snacks were important as well at that time. The previous group was wrapping up and we took our Chai and sandwich. Vaibhav’s dad informed us that the sandwiches we were having was a local preparation exclusively available at Jawhar. They were really tasty and eating two of them cheating on my diet. While having chai we interacted with Vaibhav and his father. He assured us safety and mentioned that a lot of female solo travelers and groups keep visiting.
Bonfire, Dinner & Storytelling:
After it turned dark we did some night photography and shadow photography as well.
Shubham asked us for the bonfire. Pragya had to eat early so we decided to start the fire after dinner. We shared experiences and stories and gazed at the stars. What’s a countryside experience without a bonfire anyway. Sharanya and I were hungry after some time and it was our time for dinner. The home-cooked food was so tasty that we ended up finishing the nachni papad and as a sweet dish, there was gulab jamun. We had another round of stories and experiences sharing around the bonfire after dinner. As we had to start early for the waterfall bathing experience so I thought of sleeping around midnight.
The Awaited Sunrise:
My biological clock made me get up around 5 am. It was cold but somehow managed to get out of my tent to reach the washroom. After some time even Pragya got up and I gave her company to the washroom. It was a bit cold we tried setting up the bonfire on our own but in vain. Shubham got up after seeing us struggle and helped us for the same. The Bonfire felt good and warmed us but we were waiting for the sunrise.
The warmth of the sunrise cannot be compared with any bonfire. I walked towards the sunrise point and tried capturing the first rays of the Sun. Pragya joined me soon and said “Aise kitne sunrises aur sunsets hai jo ham dekh hi nahin paate hain” ( We miss so many sunsets and sunrises in life.) That’s true we take so many things for granted and miss so many beautiful moments. We sat there in peace for some time I even tried some yoga poses and Sharanya was exploring the other side of the campsite.
The checkout was at around 9:00 a.m. So we explored the campsite a little there was a table land and we went walking all the way till there. We thanked Kalpesh and the kitchen crew bought some souvenirs and goodbye lovely village of Dhapar pada.
The drive to the waterfalls was amazing, on the way they were places with excess water of the dam was following which formed a waterfall-like structure. We halted near some fields, which was the starting point of the waterfall hike and had to descend from a slope. The view was amazing from there it looked like a painting.
We walked through the Marigold fields and it was fun. The first view of the fall like structure seemed interesting. We had to cross the stream and go further downwards. As we continued walking we were surprised to see another waterfall which was flowing very forcefully. I was thinking the first initial stream we saw must be the waterfall however this was the waterfall where we had to take bath.
Shubham called us the further and showed us another stream which was very deep, forceful and looked surreal. We clicked some snaps and when to take a bath in the medium stream. It seemed risky initially but once you are inside you don’t feel scared in fact it was pure fun. We got a nice back, neck and body massage. I pushed myself a little behind and I could see the waterfall flowing in front of me. Even after coming out, I could feel the force; I felt I am still below the waterfall.
Well, that was the end of the trip but what a beautiful ending. Shubham saved the best for the last. We walked back, changed our clothes at a local’s house and continued our journey. Again we followed Shubham till Jawhar Tourism office.
While on the way back we acknowledged how beautiful the journey was, how lovely the people were and what an adventurous weekend we had. We do not necessarily need a long trip to relax and refresh sometimes a short getaway is good enough.