Forested area near Mumbai and Vashind

Trip Start Aug 07, 2011
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

 Pristine area near Vashind, on the flip side of the Tansa Sanctuary

About one hours drive from Bombay along NH3, depending of course on traffic conditions, is a small road   on the left side of the highway near Vashind.  From this point on the highway, there is a magnificent view of the Mahuli fort and pinnacles.

The road on the left goes all the way to the water pipe lines at Aghai from where the road trifurcates, one lane going to the Tansa reservoir, the other to Wada and the third to Ambadi and Bhiwandi.  
A fairly dense forest appears approx. 3km along this road, shortly after the village and lake at Dahagaon.  There is not much visitor traffic on this road, hence the forest remains fairly unspoilt except for the odd grazing animals, illegal fire wood collectors and sand dredgers.  
 
 It is also a bird watchers haven.   Racket tailed drongoes, paradise flycatchers, woodpeckers, bulbuls, orioles, sunbirds, crested serpent eagles, are some of the many varieties easily spotted here.
 
In the monsoons, a multitude of streams come alive, with decent sized rapids   and waterfalls appearing at several places.  

During and just after the monsoons, the entire area becomes wildflower paradise, a veritable Valley of Flowers.    The forests also host several species of wild epiphytic orchids notably dendrobium peguanum, dendrobium ovatum, aerides maculosum and rhynchostylis rhetusa.

From about September to December, butterflies rule the roost. Excellent in all seasons, even if just to enjoy a peaceful walk through the forest, along the well tarred road or along the water courses.   

The forests here are home to the pretty yellow flowering endemic tree Erinocarpus Nimonii



If you want to trek up the Mahuli mountains from this side, get hold of a local villager at Dahagaon or Pivli to show you the easy way up, or just follow the general direction.  

This is an ideal half or full day picnic spot for nature lovers from Mumbai.
If you leave early enough in your own vehicle, you can beat the city traffic and be here in just over an hour.  Pack your food and beverage, as once you leave the highway, there is nothing available.
 
Logistics:
By own vehicle from Bombay: NH3 upto Vashind phata [just beyond Jindal Steel Works].  Left turn at phata.  The forest begins just after Dahagaon.
 
By train: Local to Vashind station, auto rickshaw thereafter.    You can also take an ST bus and get off just after Dahagaon, and walk.  Jeep taxis also ply this road.
 
Food & Drink: Several dhabas and restaurants on NH3. 
 
As with all trips to forested areas, wear thick trousers, walking shoes, and keep a tube of Odomos handy to ward off biting buchees [not too many around except near animal dung].
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Comments

sameer on

This is not a Matheran , description.. misleading

indianature
indianature on

What gave you the impression that this is Matheran?

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