Sunday, 24 July 2011

ठोसेघर (Thoseghar), चाळकेवाडी (Chalkewadi) - July 10, 2011

Following last minute cancellation of our long-planned Mahabaleshwar trip, we were thinking of some short one-day outing just to refresh ourselves from the daily chores of work. And then came this pleasant rainy season and I decided to plan-out a short trip. I had Malshej Ghat in my mind; when suddenly Thoseghar (ठोसेघर) Waterfalls came-up. I searched it on the net. Came across a nice blog of places near Pune. Got the basic info required.

We left Pune at around 7.15 in the morning. We took the Sinhagad Road. By 8.30 we were at Shirwal (शिरवळ) eating Batata Wadas & Bhajis at “Shree-Ram Best Wada”.

Climate was perfect for an outing. No heavy rains at all. Just an occasional drizzle. It was a pleasure to drive. More importantly, a scratch-free road over till Thoseghar.

from NH-4 before Shirwal
You need to go till Satara on NH-4 (leave the Wai-Mahabaleshwar exit). Take exit for Satara (सातारा) City. Once you enter Satara its better to ask the passers-by about Thoseghar-Sajjangadh road, though I could find the direction board for Thoseghar at one place. Just remember to go along the foot of Fort Ajinkyatara.
अजिंक्य-तारा, सातारा
Once you cross the Tunnel (Bogada) the scenery changes completely – from the houses, buildings & shops to lush green grass, trees, farms, mountains & valleys. Just enjoy this drive till you reach Thoseghar (about 25 kms from here). Not sure what it is like in Summers.

Take a left at Gajawadi Phata. Just ahead comes a Y fork. Take the right road that goes up-hill. Leave the Sajjangadh phata to the right (Sajjan-gadh is 1 km ahead). After this exit you can see the Urmodi Dam on your right side below (built on river Urmodi).

enroute सातारा ते सज्जनगड
Unwind the turns of the ghat. Keep going on this road. Here we could see the clouds all around. It was a feeling of a drive in the clouds. Just after crossing the Thoseghar village there is a shabby board on your left mentioning the Water falls. It’s a pity that such natural beauty is not even provided with a befitting information board. Parking place is available, but for not more than 7-9 cars. Half of the parking was mud-filled due to rains. However you can park your cars on the roadside ahead of the board. Actually it is better; to avoid hasty parking done by the people in the Parking Space. We reached here at about 11.15 am.

Water-falls are Majestic. Seeing the water falls from another hill with a valley in-between has its own pleasure. Please note that these water falls are to be seen, photo-graphed, shot, entrenched in your memory. No need to get drenched under it. It is dangerous to go past the railings.

The viewing gallery is nicely made; with sufficient height. It is provided with holes in its wall to allow children to look at the falls. That was a nice consideration. Good path-ways & steps with proper railings are provided to go to the main viewing gallery. There are two more viewing points very well connected to each other & to the parking. This helps to have a look through different angles.
The third and the top-most is the one from where the water is gushing towards its fall. It’s an interesting site. There is no platform construction; it is all rocky; however railings are there.

We decided to turn back. It was about 12.45 pm. We had gone about 4-5 kms when we saw few wind-mills on the hills ahead. Then I thought of Chalke-wadi (चाळकेवाडी). I had read about it in that blog and hence we asked a villager. He told us it is just ahead of Thoseghar. We decided to turn back & just have a look, if we find anything interesting; if not just turn back home.

About 3-4 kms from Thoseghar, is Chalkewadi village. Just ahead of the village on the road uphill, there is a plain plateau. Road is not good.
ठोसेघर ते चाळके-वाडी
When we reached there were clouds / fog everywhere. We went ahead upto 1.5 kms but we were not able to see any thing due to clouds, not even 15-20 meters ahead. Just when we saw the clouds move away and the part of a Wind-mill was visible just by the side of the road.
Then we saw two more. By the time I could stop the car & come out for a snap, it was again covered by the fog. We could here the hustling sound made by the blades & the internal mechanism of the wind-mill.
We waited for about 5-10 minutes to get a clear weather, but no luck this time. Hence we turned back. Actually this plateau is full of wind-mills which we normally don’t see that close. Hope next time we have a better luck.
- view from चाळके-वाडी to सातारा
Return route was the same we came through. We had lunch at a dhaba-types Hotel Sahyadri just after Pachwad toll booth. Rain was lashing with its full might in between for about 10-15 minutes. We reached Hingne (Sinhagad Road) by around 5 pm.

All-in-all superb trip. After a long time really; much awaited for us; first time in our car with only two of us. Though could not be a substitute to Mahabaleshwar, but still a superb one.

Odo readings:

0              Alka Talkies (Pune City)
1.2          Dandekar Bridge (take Right onto Sinhagad Road)
4.5          Hingne (Sinhagad Road)
           Just before the over-bridge take left to join the Mumbai-Bangalore Highway – NH-4 (Pune Bypass)
23.9       Khed-Shivapur Toll
39.3       BP Petrol Pump (onto the left)
52.5       Shirwal (Shree Ram Wada – Famous here – give it a try)
77.5       Wai – Mahabaleshwar phata (onto right – you go straight on NH-4)
91           Pachwad
97           Aanewadi toll (near Pachwad)
104        Satara phata (take exit here to enter Satara Town)
          The first big square (Chowk) – take Right
112        Second big square (a miniature Eifel Tower) - go Straight
Shahu chowk – Y junction – take Left
118        Another Y junction – take Left – you can see a tunnel here (bogada) – Right will take you to Kaas, Bamnoli, Tapola, Mahabaleshwar.
Just after the tunnel there’s T junction – take Right – Left here will go to Karad, Kolhapur.
123        Gajwadi phata – take left
Just after comes a Y-fork. Take right to go uphill.
135        Sajjangad phata (Sajjangad is 1 kms to right) – you go straight
Just after Sajjangad you can see a dam on the right hand side, that’s Urmodi Dam on River Urmodi
143        Thoseghar (ठोसेघर) Waterfalls
150        After that we were heading backwards and we enquired about Chalkewadi. We came to know that it is ahead of Thoseghar water falls. Hence we turned back again to Thosegar waterfalls.
154        Chalkewadi - चाळकेवाडी (ahead of Chalkewadi go uphill; from here the Windmills start)
185        Satara
200        Aanewadi toll
Hotel Sahyadri (just after the toll onto Left)
224        Khambatki tunnel
243        Shirwal
270        Khed-Shivapur toll
297        Pune City (Narayan Peth)

Thoseghar          17° 35’ 47.84” N    73° 50’ 44.98” E

Chalkewadi         17° 35’ 12.74” N    73° 50’ 02.42” E

Fuel consumption by my Indica Vista Safire (Petrol) is 17 kmpl mostly without AC.

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