Amboli is a small village and hill station (690m above sea level) in the Sahyadri Ranges in Maharashtra. It is probably a lot like other places in the Western Ghats. Come monsoon and it takes on a beauty that’s next to none with lush emerald green mountain ranges and a multitude of pristine waterfalls dotting the landscape. This post, my first one on travel photography, is about Amboli – Mountains and Waterfalls.
I had heard much of Amboli from a couple of friends. We couldn’t make it there during the monsoons but visited just after, in late September last year. Our daughter was home on a short break from college and my sister was down on a little holiday. We decided to spend a day out at Amboli which is just a little over a couple of hours by road from Panaji in Goa. The four of us and the resident pooch piled into the car early in the morning just before the sun came up. We drove through Sawantwadi, which is where the climb up the Ghat road to Amboli begins.
The British declared Amboli a hill station sometime in 1880. Four months of heavy rainfall during the monsoons makes it perhaps the wettest place in Maharashtra. It had heavy forest cover during the British Raj and wild animals including tigers meant that Amboli wasn’t a desired summer retreat. It is just the opposite now. We found the road up to Amboli busy with noisy holiday makers who unfortunately take away from the experience. Amboli is best avoided during the weekends in tourist season. There are quite a few places in and around Amboli to visit whether waterfalls, fort ruins or temples. We visited a few as we had limited time on hand.
Fresh corn in very much in season and sold roasted on the cob over a wood fire. This is one of the pluses on this trip. A whole row of food stalls diagonally opposite the waterfalls sell a variety of food. The must tries are the coal roasted corn, crunchy Sabudhana Wadas/ Fritters, Mirchi Pakodas/ Bhajjiya (green Bhavanagiri chillies that are batter fried and crisp) and steaming hot cups of tea.
There are monkeys everywhere near the falls. Though wild, many of them have lost their fear of people and can be quite dangerous. These two seem to be in the middle of a serious conversation…..