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Discovering the Hidden Gem - Amboli Waterfalls

I have always loved chasing waterfalls. There is something magical about standing in front of powerful cascades of water tumbling down rugged cliffs. When I learned about Amboli Falls in the Western Ghats, I knew I had to go see this hidden gem for myself.

Where is amboli waterfalls

Landing in Coastal Maharashtra

I arrived in the coastal city of Sawantwadi after an overnight train from Mumbai. Stepping out of the tiny local station into the humid air, I hired an auto-rickshaw for the 40 km ride inland to the village of Amboli.

I was transported through vivid green rice paddies and small farming communities. The landscape grew increasingly jungle-clad as we approached the foothills of the Sahyadri Mountains.

After a bumpy yet scenic 2 hour ride, we arrived at the misty hill station of Amboli. Nestled at an altitude of 690 m, the toy town had a relaxed vibe. The main bazaar had just a handful of stores selling snacks, fruits, and rubber slippers.

Friendly locals gazed curiously as I checked into my homestay. I dumped my backpack and set off to find the elusive waterfalls.

Locating the Amboli Waterfalls

I accosted a paan shop owner for directions, hijacking his attention from gossiping villagers. He gave vague hand gestures towards a leafy trail. "15 minutes walking only, very nice falls", he smiled. My excitement to see the falls overcame my nervousness of going alone into the forest. After getting a hand-drawn map on my palm for reference, I was on my way.

The muddy trail was fringed by gigantic ferns and moss-covered tree trunks. Butterflies careened drunkenly in the damp air. The faint roar of falling water echoed through the woods. My heart quickened as I scrambled over boulders following the sound. And suddenly through a veil of leaves and mist - I caught sight of cascading white waters.

Beholding Nature's Glory

I pressed through the foliage into a rocky clearing to behold the 30 m high Amboli Falls in all its glory. Three streams converged over the cliff as a singular churning, thunderous column that pounded a frothy pool at its base. Mist hung like diaphanous silk, coating my skin with a glistening dew. It was both mesmerizing and intimidating to observe the raw power and beauty of nature.

I edged as close to the falls as safety would allow, letting the negative ions boost my mood. For nearly an hour I sat alone, enjoying the meditative company of rushing waters. Troops of cheeky grey langur monkeys occasionally emerged from the jungle to also admire the views.

Bounties of the Jungle

I reluctantly tore myself away, keen to maximize my time in Amboli. I continued hiking along the river, stumbling upon smaller cascades and swimming holes along the way. Tiny purple flowers cascaded down the banks, while orange and black butterflies flitted across the path. I smiled at groups of school kids splashing about, reveling in the simple pleasures of rural life.

As the winter light faded, I returned to my homestay. My host served a humble yet sumptuous meal of dal, rice, and spicy fried fish fresh from the village market. We chatted long into the night about his experiences living in Amboli for 60 years. I realized locals respect the jungle bounties and coexist carefully with its plants and animals.

Looking to the Future

Encountering untamed places like Amboli Falls brings mixed feelings. I feel blessed to enjoy unspoiled nature, yet concerned about encroaching development. Unchecked tourism and deforestation could ruin fragile ecosystems and sacred sites like this.

However ethical and educational tourism also empowers local communities. Hopefully, visitors heed the calls to reduce plastic usage and respect these habitats.

In Summary

My day in Amboli gave me a greater appreciation that we humans are just one thread in the tapestry of life. Watching those timeless falls flow endlessly as monkeys foraged overhead, I felt part of something far greater than myself.

I will be returning to Amboli Falls to bask once more in its restorative powers. I hope responsible travelers can also access its magic for years to come.

So now you know exactly where to find this hidden gem in the Western Ghats! Just follow my route to Amboli village and hunt out this spectacular waterfall in the woods.

Tell me if you discover any other local secrets - I'll be sure to check them out on my next visit.


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