Friday, 9 September 2011

Panshet – Varasgaon (पानशेत – वरसगाव) – 8-Sep-11

Again the same three from Lavasa trip decided to go for a short trip on Thursday. Our original plan was Kaas Plateau, however due to some cancellations by others; we three went ahead with this short stint; again this time in Tushar’s i10.

Considering the heavy down-pour that was for almost a week and the Mutha River flowing at a dangerously high level, we were expecting some awesome scenes at Khadakwasla, hoping the water gushing through its gates. But, nothing of that sort happened as the rain almost vanished since the day before.

We left at about 1.30 pm from Sahakar-nagar (Pune). Took the regular Sinhagad Road (सिंहगड रस्ता - नरवीर तानाजी मालुसरे रस्ता) till just after Khadakwasla (खडकवासला) village. Here there is a Right turn before the water catchment area which takes you to Dam walls. About half a km of descend and you come across a bridge. On the left from this bridge you can see the Dam Wall and the water gates. It must have been awesome scenery when most of these gates are opened. We were unfortunate, only one of them was opened; however the dam was full till the brim. Even the water was tumbling over the edge due to the waves.

Then we turn back and joined the Sinhagad Road again. About 6-7 kms ahead there is a Donje Phate (डोणजे फाटा), a cross road. We took left for Panshet – Varasgaon dams. Straight will take you to Sinhagad Road, while left for the Donje village.
Sinhagad - as seen from Donje Phata
About 20 kms ahead on the same road, there is the Y Junction. You will come across villages like Khanapur (खानापुर), Gorhe (गोर्हे), Rule (रुळे). At the junction, take the left road (marked for Panshet Boating & Varasgaon Dam) and immediately take a left ascend. Straight will take you to Neelkantheshwar, Lavasa, Surya-shibir, etc.

After this ascend there is a statue of Baji Pasalkar (बाजी पासलकर) a Maratha Warrior from Shivaji era, with another Y Junction. 1 kms Right will be Varasgaon Dam (called as वीर बाजी पासलकर dam) boating and 1 km left will be Panshet Dam (called as तानाजी सागर) boating.
Varasgaon Dam
Panshet Dam
Panshet Dam
We did our bit of boating at Panshet Dam. Here proper ticketing counter was available and rates were reasonable. At Varasgaon, there was only one boatman and he was asking 100 Rs per person for a Motor Boat ride. He was also not willing to disclose how much time this ride will take. Snacks centers are available at both. We had bhaji and tea (भजी and चहा) at Varasgaon.

After our boating we left for Pune by about 4.30 pm. On the was back home we took an off-track towards Velhe (वेल्हे) – about 15 kms from Panshet. I had heard about some extremely scenic ghats in the region – Madhe Ghat (माढे घाट) – the name I was not remembering at that time and I didn’t had the contact number of my friend who told me about it. But we decided to just go for some kms and try to get the information. So that next time we can plan the outing here also.

After going for about 4 kms we returned back. Even this short off-track was also beautiful. Small turning road in the midst of thick forest around.

By about 6.15 pm we were at Sahakar-nagar having a sip of boiling tea on a road-side tapari.

Odo readings are:

0          Pune
17         Khadakwasla Dam – Just after Khadakwasla village, before the Dam, take right turn – road descends down.
24         Donje Phate – Take Right (Straight will take you to Sinhagad Fort, Right to Donje village)
43         Y section – take Right (board sign mentioning Panshet Boating, Varasgaon Dam, etc)
Immediately take Left for Boating (both for Panshet & Varasgaon)
45         Y section with a statue of Baji Pasalkar – Left will be Panshet Dam & Right will be Varasgaon (about 1 km each)
48         Again the Y section on main road (while returning)
62         Velhe Phata (just before Khanapur) towards Right. We took a right turn to just have a look for Madhe ghat
70         we return back & came to the same Panshet-Donje Phata road
80          Khadakwasla Dam
97          Pune

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