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Jawhar, Thane - tribal kingdom

  • Submitted by: Florien, India
  • Submission Date: 22nd Feb 2007

Jawhar is a small erstwhile tribal kingdom on a plateau 600m high, in a forested part of Thane District, about 90km N of Mumbai. By road from Mumbai, take NH8 to Charoti, turn right and 40km away is Jawhar. Or take NH3 to Bhiwandi, turn left onward to Wada, go ahead to vill. Malvada and take the broad road on the left 19km to Jawhar. The best parts of Jawhar are out of the town. 6km on the Charoti Jawhar road on the left, you will come across the beautiful Kawdas reservoir, ringed with mountains. During and just after the monsoons the entire area is covered with wildflowers and butterflies. Further ahead also on the left is the huge Dhamani dam - entry restricted - no problem - go further ahead, walk through the light forests and the expanse of Dhamani is before you to behold. Just outside Jawhar is a deep rift valley on the right. Walk to the edge and look down, it is quite a sight. Across the rift, you will get your first glimpse of the tribal Kings new Palace set in the midst of extensive cashew orchards. On the left side of the road is a beautiful valley, again walk to the edge and enjoy the view. Come back to this spot for the best sunrise and sunset views - skip the official Sunset Point in Jawhar town which is littered with garbage. Hotel Pushpanjali (Rs 300 double) is the only quiet hotel as it is not next to the Bus Stand. Disadvantage - no restaurant, but the ever helpful staff are always ready to get whatever you want from Hotel Guru Kripa nearby. You could also stay at the Govt. Guest House which is brilliantly located next to the new Palace orchards, but badly maintained. Same problem with food, but Guru Kripa delivers. An early morning walk through the palace orchards is rewarding for bird lovers. The air is fresh and clean. The caretaker will let you visit the palace for 'chaipani' but other than the novelty, it is quite dilapidated and musty. The ruins of the Old wooden palace in town is far more interesting. Some of the carved wooden beams and pillars still remain. 5 km out of Jawhar on the Jawhar Silvassa Rd is a beautiful, pristine lake. A walk around is quite rewarding. Climb the small hill on the left side of the road to reach a table top plateau overlooking deep valley views. When we went mid October 2006, all the wildflowers were in bloom with their myriad butterfly visitors. It was delightful. With a packed lunch, one could spend a good few hours at this spot. Further down the very bad Silvassa Rd is the village of Dhabosa. Take the even worse road on the right through the village about 3 km till you reach the most spectacular Dhabosa waterfalls (dhabdhaba in local parlance). This is a scene straight out of Blue Lagoon. Even in mid October, the 100ft falls into the bowl shaped valley below was magnificent - in the rains it must be beyond description, although getting there on those roads must be an adventure in its own right! Divekars Nature Camp rents out tents here for rather steep rates for those who want to stay overnight. The Maharashtra Govt. could develop the infrastructure to make this into a really nice eco friendly tourist spot.
We decided not to go further down the Jawhar Silvassa Road because of the appalling roads and spent the rest of our 2 day stay walking through the fields of 'kurashni' - pretty daisy like yellow flowers grown for oilseed; the gentle forests along the Jawhar Charoti road and just enjoying the fresh air in general. Jawhar town is like any other very small town - strewn with rubbish ! It is better to stay at the PWD Guest house which must be booked in advance gives the contact details. If coming in your own car, do come in from Charoti one way and exit from Wada the other or vice versa, so as to enjoy both drives. This is a place to visit during the rains when there will be countless waterfalls at every turning, but even otherwise, till about end Feb, the climate is pleasant, the air fresh and if you do not have "hill station" expectations, it is a nice change.

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