Primary, this was our family trip to my brother's place at Badalapur (near Karjat, on Mumbai-Pune Rail-road). It was a family function - Sneha's, my sister's Kelvan (केळवण) for Maharashtrians. A monsoon trip was planned by my brother's family to a waterfall nearby the village named Savroli.
Being an extended weekend with the Independence Day holidays, we started-off from Pune on August 14, 2011 at 6.15 am. We took the Old Mumbai-Pune Highway instead of the Expressway (to avoid the holiday rush). And our gamble payed-off. At some of the stretches, ours was the only vehicle on the road - no rush at all. By 8.00 am we were at Khopoli eating the Ramakant Special Batata Wada. For those who don't know, Hotel Ramakant was at one time the most sought after hotel on the Mumbai-Pune Highway. Coming-up of Expressway & the one-way traffic in the Old Highway Ghat has reduced its popularity, however the quality of Batata Wadas is still AWESOME.
About 10 kms ahead of Khopoli, there is a road to right for Karjat, Matheran, Murbaad. Road sign is available. Though we took the same, we regretted the decision because of the road condition. Its better to leave this road and take another one 10 kms ahead. Though you'll have to travel almost double the distance, time taken will be much less considering better road conditions. You can see a big statue of Lord Shiva on the left. Take a right exit. Nitin Desai Studio is seen on the left. Road signs are available for Karjat.
However, the road that we took as I told was pathetic. After about 10 kms comes a "T" Junction. You need to take right. Taking Left will take you towards the Mumbai Pune Highway near the N D Studio & Lord Shiva statue (see previous paragraph). I did the same, went till N D Studio and came back - a hit of 16 kms.
2 kms ahead of "T" junction there is a cross road. Straight goes to Karjat, left goes to Neral, Matheran, Badalapur. There is no direction board. Only note that there is a left arrow for Dr. Modi's Resort. Take this road.
This road takes you through Bhivpuri Road and then to Neral. Just before Neral, you can see another "T" junction. Left goes to Matheran hill station, while right will be for Badalapur.
Then comes Shelu & Vangani. And then Badalapur. Road condition all the way from Khopoli exit is not good enough.
My brother leaves at Shirgaon near Samartha Vidyamandir. For this we took left on a road to Ambarnath just after Badalapur MIDC. And then onto Left again after the direction board for Asaram Bapuji Ashram.
Next day morning we started-off for Savroli Waterfalls. Two cars and an auto-rickshaw. We reached Badalapur MIDC (same route as above). There is a cross-road with the area named as Kharwai (खरवाई). Take a road to Right for Kondeshwar (direction board is visible). Then take Rights for next 2-3 "Y" junctions. Its a very narrow road with just one car can pass with lush green trees on both sides. You will also pass over a small bridge with no railings on both sides. This road finally ends at Savroli village. It is a very small village with small houses hand-made (not huts). All the children there were amazed by looking at our cars. They were running behind the cars - the way we see in movies. Unfortunately couldn't capture them in my camera.
From this point the actual waterfall is about 45 mins walking through the hills. We had children and some elders (senior citizens) also with us. Hence we went to a spot nearby (about 10 mins walking). It was a flowing water through rocky terrain. Enough for children to play in the water and for us to get drenched. It's better you take somebody knowledgeable with you since the routes in the hills are tricky and there are chances of getting lost.
Coordinates: 19° 8' 11.07" N 73° 13' 32.96" E
This was a nice trip to be able to witness the rustic countryside and more importantly without any other tourists. It is not that much famous in that region. People are not aware of this place. Since the gardener at my brother's bunglow leaves in Savroli, we knew of this place. And he was with us for taking us near the water.
Nearby is the Kondeshwar temple (Lord Shiva) which, they say, is also a scenic place. Seems that there also is one waterfall. Also Bhoj Dam. However, due to time constraints, as we had to go back to Pune, we returned back. Maybe Kondeshwar will happen next time.
Our return journey was the same route, only thing is that we made a passing visit to Karjat (our another relative) and then we took the N D Studio road to join the Old Mumbai-Pune Highway instead of the bad road we came from.
0 Narayan Peth (Pune)
80 kms Khopoli
90 kms Take Right for Karjat, Matheran - very bad road; ignore; instead take another road 10 kms ahead; a big statue of Lord Shiva on Left and N D Studio on Right - Take Right road here
100 kms "T" junction - take Right.
We lost our way when we took Left - a hit of 16 kms.
116 kms again "T" junction - we went straight now
118 kms Crossroad - Take Left (arrow to Dr. Modi's Resort);
straight will go to Karjat
113 kms "T" junction - Take Right for Neral, Badalapur;
Left will go to Matheran
152 kms Badalapur
8.5 kms from here is Savroli (ask for Kondeshwar Temple from Badalapur MIDC - Kharwai)
0 kms Badalapur
145 kms Narayan Peth (Pune)
Total kms covered: 358 kms (including a shopping trip to Ulhasnagar)
Mileage from my Indica Vista Safire: 14 kmpl (mostly without AC)