Sunday, January 01, 2006

Meandering Malshej

The Malshej Ghats lie 150 kms North-east of Mumbai. The area is filled with erosion-carved peaks (breathtakingly similar to pictures I've seen of the Grand Canyon) and beautiful golden grass meadows. We started Picnic point 1 and walked up to the MTDC resort around 7 kilometers away. The MTDC canteen provides hot food to the hungry explorer and is situated at the top of a stunning cliff. A few kilometers down the cliff is a lake formed by a dam. The area is absolutely pristine with awesome scenery and provides a much needed succor on a weekend visit from Mumbai.

To get there: The Malshej Ghats fall on National Highway 220 from Mumbai to Aurangabad, 83 kilometers from Kalyan. Kalyan is an hour and a half's train ride from the Victoria Terminus. State transport buses regularly ply from the bus stand opposite the station to Malshej and the trip takes 3 hours one way (yeah ... slightly far). I would however advise anyone going there to go in a car or a bike - for one, the sights and the road is much better experienced that way and secondly, the ST buses are rickety old machines which rock you like a roller coaster and tire you out. Recommended time of visit is July-September, when the flamingos come visiting, but the area is beautiful even at this time of the year.
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