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The International Writers Magazine: India

Kolad Escape
• Jitendra Bhojwani
If you are fed up of rushing, maddening city life, if too much of polluted air has started blocking your lungs and you want to head for some peaceful abode then think no further! Just Go to Kolad! This small beautiful village with its simple hospitable people will embrace you wholeheartedly.


Situated in Raigad District of Mahrashtra state, this small village is blessed with various boons of the Mother Nature. The place has a lot on the palate for nature lovers as well as adventurers. One of the main attractions here that will capture your attention is Kundalika River. The river is kept ever flowing by the water released by the nearby dams. This perhaps, the fastest flowing river is South India, is an ideal location for showing your adventurous skills. It is also a preferred location for White Water River Rafting, the out worldly pleasure of which cannot be expressed in words. Besides a considerable stretch of exciting rapids (whopping 14 kms!) gives you complete 1 and a half hour of he unique experience of white water rafting. The pleasure of river rafting is at its height especially in the monsoons when the water levels are very high. A word of caution though! Rafting, or any water sports for that matter, is not for everybody. You will need a lot of courage and bravery along with the adventurous spirit.

The other activities that might interest you as an avid adventurer are Kayaking, Paragliding, and river crossing. If your fear always gets better of your courage than you should better head for boating as the Rive banks various magnificent natural sceneries full of lush greenery.

Tamhini Hills Tamhini Hills: As the water baby in you is still an infant, why not head towards another amazing waterfall just near the Kolad. Named Tamhini Falls, It is a magnificent tourist attraction. Bearing many waterfalls through hilly rocky terrains, it is a place rich in flora and fauna. The tranquility prevailing here also enables you to completely savor in this pristine beautiful feeling of "being here". Beautifully surrounded by dense forests and charmed by variety of beautiful birds, it is the best place for bird watchers.

Don’t forget your handy cam to capture these "Living Art" of the nature. It is surreal to see this exotic live painting created by the nature itself the magnificent hues of which keep on changing every moment only to enhance the beauty. Though no water sport is available here (thank-ingly as it retains the peace of the place!), swimming is advisable. And the best season again is Monsoon during which the waterfall will take a mighty look.

Ghosala Fort: This architectural wonder of gone by era is another place that will surely make its place in the album of your heart. This magnificent building was constructed in the 16th century for the purpose of coordinating defense activities. Showing the phenomenal architectural skills of ancient Indians this place has got various structures like prison, parapets, stores and chambers. The tourist is instantly impressed by the presence of 2 temples and a darga just in front of the fort.

Kuda: When you have handful (or heart full) of water splashing, you can satiate the historian in you by visiting Kuda. This small village located at splendid hills of janjeera is famous for Buddhist caves. These caves built between 1st to 6th centuries BC were once used as dwellings by the monks. One of the finest examples of Buddhist cave art, these caves will leave you spellbound with their marvelous architecture. The caves have two levels with individual blocks being on the upper level. You can also feat your eyes on stunning views of valley below. A recommendable place indeed.

Ghadbunder Road Gaimukh: You don’t have to guess to know that it is a religious place. You see, Here you are getting an experience of 3 different tours adventurous, archaeological, natural and religious (ooops!! it even amounts to 4) only by visiting one place. Quite economical, isn’t it? Well, GaiMukh is a small village popular for its Old Shiva Temple. You can color yourself with spiritual hues and pay respect to the almighty during 15 day Gaimukh Mela during the occasion of MahaShvRatri.

During this periods not only the locals but also the outsiders even those living far away gather here to enhance the charm of the festival. Other places worth seeing here are spring and cave temple that was dedicated to Kuramvars. See the "pathemaries" a type of country boats and other small, beautiful boats navigating through the creek. Nagothane is located at the bank of Amba or Nagothana rivulet. Studded with various picnic spots like beautiful Ganesh Mandir, Raigad Ropeway, Alibaug Sea face and Hot Springs at Udhar, this place is recommendable for family picnic.  Musalman Bridge is a magnificent historical monument built in year 1580. Believed to be built by Kaji- Ala_ud-in to facilitate the march of troops from Ahmmed Nagar, treading this centuries year old bridge is an experience that cannot be described by the words.

Tala Fort: Located at the 1000 feet above the sea level in Tara Town at southern bank of Malti Creek, it is a sturdy, fortified building paying tribute to the architecture of yesteryears. Built to watch on the beautiful Rajpuri Stream, this strong building was made in the reign of BhojaRaja in 4th century. The bottom of the hill on which the fort is placed is beautifully bordered by thick woody forests. It was a place of prime importance centuries ago, now it has become a major tourist attraction.
Tala Fort

Sutarwadi Lake: This beautiful lake is situated in the backdrop of majestic sahayadris. One can feel the proximity to the nature in the calm and pristine ambience of this place of this stunningly beautiful place. The natural peace here is beautifully accentuated by the chirping of various birds that inhabit it. If solitude is something that bring smile on your face, then you must head for this place. Enjoy the luxuries of the nature that abound here, the chirping of the charming birds that will be more than music to your ears and savor in the beautiful sunrise and sunset that will have an extremely impressive effect on your heart. The Nature itself seems to reside here. Monsoon again has a special role to play here.

The Fog, Mist and rain adds vivid hues to this another beautiful "Live Painting". High hills of Sayahyadri hill also enhances the beauty of this place. Also bring your whole family here but please tell them to maintain and respect the peaceful atmosphere here. No noise making devices (that "shout" instead of sing the songs), if possible, please. Also maintain the cleanliness. That is the best tribute we can pay to the nature.

Kolad: Reaching there:
By Air
The nearest Airports are Lohegaon Airport (Pune)(PNQ) (Distance 81 KM); Chatrapati SHivaji International AIrport Mumbai (85 KM); Gandhinagar Airport, Nasik (185 KM); Kolhapur Airport (228 KM). Normally it costs around 2,800 from Mumbai to Kolad in taxi.
By Train:
Roha and Mangaon are 2 nearest railway stations to Kolad at 10 KM and 19 Km respectively (Aerial Distance).
By Bus:
Kolad is well connected with buses with various cities.
© - June 2012

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