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Reaching Amboli by Road - A Scenic Journey Through the Western Ghats

As an avid traveler and nature lover, I am always on the lookout for offbeat destinations that allow me to experience the raw, untouched beauty of the Indian landscape.

One such place that has been on my bucket list for a while is Amboli, a quaint hill station snuggled in the Sahyadri hills of Maharashtra's Sindhudurg district.

Known for its misty mountains, gurgling waterfalls, and evergreen forests, Amboli makes for a rejuvenating weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Last year, I finally managed to plan a trip to this hidden gem with a few friends. And I must say, the journey was every bit as memorable and picturesque as the destination itself.

Here, I will share my experiences of reaching Amboli by road and offer some tips for your next road trip as well.

Reaching Amboli by Road

Overview of the Route

Amboli is about 490 km away from Mumbai, the nearest big city. One can reach Amboli by road via two routes:

Route 1: Mumbai - Kolhapur - Amboli

This route passes through the busy national highways of Maharashtra before entering the ghat section. The total distance is around 490 km and it takes 11-12 hours to cover.

Route 2: Mumbai - Sawantwadi - Amboli

This coastal route is less frequented but more scenic as it takes you along the Konkan belt. The distance is 510 km and takes about 12-13 hours with stops. We took this route for our road trip.

Our Experience of Driving to Amboli

We started our journey at 6 AM from Mumbai so as to avoid the morning rush hour traffic. Our route map was Mumbai - Panvel - Pen - Kolad - Kankavali - Sawantwadi - Amboli.

The initial stretch from Mumbai to Kolad via Roha and Pen was relatively straightforward along the Mumbai-Goa highway. As we crossed Kolad, the landscape started changing from urban to rural. The roads got narrower but the views of the River Savitri and lush green paddy fields kept us enchanted.

We stopped for a quick breakfast at Kolad before continuing towards Sawarda. The last stretch from Sawarda to Amboli via Sawantwadi was the highlight of our road trip! Lined with gigantic mountains on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other, the scenic beauty was a treat for our senses.

The uphill ghat road had several sharp hairpin turns but we were rewarded with breathtaking vistas at each bend. Tiny colourful villages with tiled houses nestled amidst the hills added a rustic charm to the journey.

We made sure to stop frequently to admire nature and capture it on our cameras as well.

Tips for Driving to Amboli

Here are some tips based on my experience that will help ensure a safe and memorable road trip:

  • Start early: Leave at dawn so you can reach Amboli before sunset. Driving on ghats at night can be risky.

  • Take breaks: Driving continuously for 12 hours can be exhausting. Take hourly breaks to stretch your legs and refuel.

  • Carry snacks: There are limited food options en route, so carry home-cooked food or snacks to munch on during the journey.

  • Fill fuel: Ensure your tank is full before you start. Only Sawantwadi has a petrol pump en route.

  • Follow safety: Stick to speed limits, especially on turns. Honk on blind turns. Put on seat belts.

  • Enjoy the journey: Don't just focus on the destination. Take in the sights and interact with locals. It's all part of the experience.

  • Share driving: If possible, have someone share the driving with you. This makes the long journey more comfortable.

The Allure of Destination Amboli

After the tiring yet exciting road trip, we were ready to soak in the beauty of Amboli. The hill station, at an altitude of 690 m, greeted us with cool gentle breezes and picture-perfect views. Misty valleys, gushing waterfalls like the Amboli Falls and Katari Falls, ancient temples, and quaint cottages - it was heaven on earth.

We spent two days exploring the various trails, trekking to secluded waterfalls, and digging into delicious Konkani meals at small eateries. The morning mist rolling through the hilly terrain was a stunning sight that remained etched in my memory forever.

Our return journey back to Mumbai took less time as it was via the highway route. But both of us unanimously agreed - the coastal route to Amboli had been the highlight of our trip there.


A road trip is often as much about the journey as it is about the destination. And driving to Amboli perfectly encapsulated this. Sure, there were challenges like bad roads or fatigue along the way.

But the breathtaking views of the Western Ghats, interactions with locals, and the sense of achievement upon reaching made it worthwhile.

So if you love road trips or are an adventure seeker willing to veer off the beaten path, I highly recommend taking the coastal route to explore Amboli's natural and cultural treasures.

Have an enriching journey and do share your experiences with me! I'm already planning my next road trip there.


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