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Exploring Tamhini Ghat - A Scenic Drive from Pune

As a resident of Pune who loves road trips, one route that has become a favorite weekend getaway is the drive to Tamhini Ghat. Nestled in the Western Ghats, Tamhini Ghat offers breathtakingly beautiful vistas of rainforests, waterfalls and mountains that you don't want to miss out on.

Here's my guide on how to make the most of a drive to Tamhini Ghat from Pune.

Overview of the Route

The drive from Pune to Tamhini Ghat via the Mumbai-Pune highway is about 85 km long and takes around 2.5 - 3 hours one way. You'll drive through the ravines of the Western Ghats, passing by the dense tropical forests of the Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary. The last stretch is a ghat section that has 48 serpentine curves until you reach the top.

I always make it a point to start early at around 6 AM to avoid traffic on the highway and also beat the heat. Leaving early allows me to take breaks to enjoy the waterfalls and vantage points on the way. I also carry enough fuel and snacks to make pit stops when needed.

tamhini ghat from pune

Key Stopovers on the Drive

As you drive from Pune, after about an hour you'll reach Bhimashankar temple which makes for a nice quick visit to seek blessings before the mountainous journey ahead. Don't miss the Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary here which has trails for short treks to spot some unique flora and fauna.

Just before the ghat section starts, there is small village called Peth Shahpur that has numerous roadside waterfalls. Streching your legs here and enjoying these cascades is a must. My favorite is the Kanheri waterfall which falls from a great height on the road.

Once the ghat section begins, one amazing stop is the Mokhana village perched on top of the mountain. The views of the rainforest valleys below and the Bhimashankar ranges is simply spellbinding from here.

Driving Up Tamhini Ghat

As you start ascending the ghat, you'll quickly realize why it is called the 'valley of shadows'. Lush green paddy fields and villages dot one side while precarious looking valleys form on the other side.

The experience of driving along the 48 hairpin bend ghat road is thrilling. It twists and winds its way uphill revealing breathtaking valley views along the way. Early mornings there is generally a cover of clouds, making it seem like you are driving above the clouds.

While the views are captivating, one must drive slowly and steadily to avoid any unwanted incidents. The mountain roads have loose gravel at parts so keeping the steering balanced takes some care.

I like to take short stops at some hairpin turns that have small parking spots. These vantage allow you to soak in just how high up you have come.

Exploring Tamhini Ghat Top

In about an hour of driving uphill, you'll finally reach the top of Tamhini ghat. Nestled perfectly here is a beautiful lake called Palseshwar that I make sure to spend some peaceful time at.

Surrounded by mountains on all sides, the vibrant green lake waters seem to change color from emerald to turquoise blue. The jungle trails around make for nice walks through the rainforest as well where I've spotted many colorful birds.

The shops nearby provide hot meals and snacks. I like to carry my own packed lunch for a picnic however to soak in the views. Having bhel, chai and vada pav at the top makes for a perfect pitstop.

Descending Down

While ascending up was the thrill, descending down the mountain is equally adventurous. The hairpin bends come one after another as you drive down carefully balancing the wheels. By this time the brakes also need proper care on the gravel roads.

I prefer taking a long break here on the way down to rest my eyes and grab a coffee. Driving continuously can be taxing.

The descent feels faster but the views remain consistently beautiful. In just under an hour you'll be at the highway once again.

Why I Recommend Driving to Tamhini Ghat

Over the many times I have driven on this route, the natural beauty enroute leaves me spellbound every single time. It makes for the ultimate monsoon drive given the rainforests and waterfalls.

While the drive requires caution and skill, it is an easy weekend escapade from Pune's hustle. The fresh air, magical views of the valleys and fun of the hairpin bends - all makes this an unmissable trip.

So if you haven't checked this route out yet, take my word and plan a visit soon. Leave early and take it slow. Carry snacks and keep your tank full. Stop whenever something catches your eye. Tamhini Ghat never disappoints and I'm sure it'll be one of your favorite routes soon too.


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