Igatpuri Travel Guide Igatpuri is a tiny town about 1,900 ft above sea level embedded in the Wester Ghats

45 km before Nasik While Khandala has traditionally inspired young couples from Mumbai to blush at the thought of a certain kind of weekend fun that chefly comes rubber coated igatpuri mysteriously has only been a railway junction in most minds or in a kinder analysis a tiny town where some people take a vow of silence for many days in the renowned Vipassana Centre another mere junction on the way to a greater destination. But Igatpuri is cooler than Khandala all round the year guarded by tall green hills that occasionally hide their heads behind lazy mists.

Igatpuri’s hills a deep river valley burst into many shades of green after soaking in busy streams and brisk waterfalls. The town itself takes a back seat to this side show. Igatpuri is not more than a dot of civilization on the very edge of a huge breathtaking canvas that was meant for us to gape at and to figure out on a quiet evening perhaps that life goes on silently. Igatpuri gives you tow choices. You can do absolutely nothing have a message watch others swim and of course eat in between. Or you can walk down curious valleys fall a few times in the bright green grass search for unnamed waterfalls and get wet. Bhatsa River Valley and Camel Valley On your way to Igatpuri from Mumbai less than 3 km from Manas Resort which has become a landmark in this region is the Bhatsa River Valley. It’s a stunning

depth of extremely happy vegetation and rocks that run down a sloe off the road only to raise again majestically far away as proud hills. A river far downs below cuts the curve into two to present the perfect cliché of a beautifull valley as though a kid with some talent had devised the shole thing. Igatpuri’s Waterfalls About a kilometer or two before entering Igatpuri on the Mumbai Nasik Highway is Manas Resort and right next to it is a small humble lodge with a slight inferiority complex called Ganaka Motal. Walk in and ask for Bhiku a boy about town who will give you an unconditionally pleased smile if you call him Bhiku Mhatre. He wills gladely take you down from the entrance of the lodge into a valley. Even if all the guides are too busy for you it’s a fairly simple walk that can be done without any assistance. In the rains the shallow valley is full of waterfalls. Some are big and hard to miss some have to be searched for keep walking an dyou will find five or more hurtling down on the rocks an snaking their way further into the valley.

Tringalwadi Fort About 6 km from Manas Resort is Tringalwadi Fort, which attracts trekkers. In the monsoon the farmers of Tringalwadi grow their crops over what is essentially a rough motorway that leads to the base of the fort. So in the rains vehicles cannot travel the last 3 or 4 km towards the ancient fort. But there is a narrow pathway for a nice long wet walk down to the calm Tringalwadi Lake that looks a trifle more beautiful from the fort. The fort itself is worthy of personal exploration. A few kilometers away from Tringalwadi Lake does the small Talegaon Dam create Talegaon Lake. Its worth the trip only if you adore water bodies and the accompanying sounds and smells and sights. Around Igatpuri Vaitarna Dam, which is different from what’s called Upper Vaitarna, sits on the Vaitarna River, which has accepted its fate peacefully. It’s a reasonable picnic spot but whether the banks of Vaitarna turn out to be a great idea or not will depend more on the company you keep than the place itself. It’s worth driving over the dam to the other side. Since September 11 most dams are fiercely guarded from common citizens but here we found a sleepy man who asked no questions. The other side of the dam has a silent park filled with dry leaves fallen from the dense tree cover around obviously there is a good view of the dam and the lake from here.

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