7th July 2011, 20:53hrs
It never seemed that we would have a sort of ‘double dhamaal’ in store for us while we hustled our way to Chinchoti and Tungareshwar falls with no signs of rain. Nevertheless we gathered at Dadar station to catch a train to Virar at 7:43am. The route to Naigaon station brought us an ugly picture of what was in store for us, until we reached Naigoan station at about 8:40am. Some cloud clapped mountains on the east side of the station increases the oomph factor of the rain and much needed relief for the eyes, more importantly the direction.
We then took an auto to Chinchoti naka(takes Rs.15/person) to be accompanied by two working class travellers and lampoon conversations of the auto driver which brought a glimpse of the place. The auto drops you on the crossroad of Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway (Chinchoti naka). The road ahead to the falls is diagonally en route to the interiors of Kaman village.
The residing villagers are the best signboards to the way up and are helpful. The road inward goes on getting narrower till we are surrounded by fields. We crossed the fields to find another narrow road which was adjacently placed to the stone walled railings of the village folks.
Just as we were about to cross the fields we were startled to be welcomed by a snake!
It was dozing away on the road hoping to be pounced upon by us. Luckily it feared away on our thought of bypassing it using mid-air techniques. We then rested for a while with humidity and cloudy weather getting on us. Mere looking around the place fooled us by its randomness. The track meandered through lush green forests, rivulets and rocky patches. Certainly, this was not merely a hike or a trail in the hills. It was going to be an altogether different outdoor experience. We then opened ourselves to snacks and water to recharge ourselves on the trek ahead.
As Confucius puts it, ‘It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop’ we yet again started our hike steadily, watching over our steps and looking forward to signboards. Gut instincts and luck favored us by bringing in villagers to show us the path to the falls (you always take a left when met with two roads!). We always made sure that we inscribed our directions on our way back on barks, flat stones or by arranging pieces of stones.
By such practices we never lost our way and were on track with time.
A half an hour walk in the woods accompanied by black-colored butterflies, humming insects and chirping birds will lead you to Chinchoti falls. There are half a dozen falls of up to 5ft in height here. One waterfall was just the right size and force for a good body massage. Grabbing the best spot to sit under a waterfall is a skill to master.
Time moved on but it lacked the urgency to compel us to move with it. All the activity had made us all very hungry indeed. We had carried loads to eat, and we had our lunch in the shade of trees and huge rock seats. We were amazed by the beauty and green tinted color of the pools created by the falls.
It was still 1pm and we decided to go forward to the parent Tungareshwar waterfall. Another half an hour trail left us at the dazzling white water of the 125 feet magnificent waterfall which with its beauty got etched on our minds permanently. With some more rocky terrain and some more ‘kekadda khans’ we finally relished the moment at the foot of the falls. The depth of water was appropriate for swimming and provided a relief to our hard earned gruesome walk. We for the first timed loved the cloudy weather and falls abaft.
The fun was doubled since it was better than the previous and we all were waiting for a treat.. it was so beautiful, stunning, and eye-soothing, there is no such adjective that can explain the scene, and it is still stuck up in our eyes.
Without any invitation we jumped into the water as the rocks through which we were passing were slippery and care had to be taken while going further.
It must have been around 3 p.m., impossible to determine from the light of day…the sun was practically hidden for the greater part of the day by dark dense clouds. The day was cloudy and the temperature must have been a pleasant 22 to 24 degrees, we decided to call it a day. We packed our bags with some breathtaking photography hurriedly to be welcomed by incessant rain. Perhaps nature wanted us to stay there for some more time!
the journey was a thrilling experience and the waterfall a beauty!
Fearing the accessibility of comforts we decided to start our journey back to the base village. Thankfully the etched marks were present and guided us on our way back! The rain with it had brought yellow colored crabs to cross our ways and bid us goodbyes. With more invisibility and less distance to cover we were at the base of the village.
The coolness of air and more importantly wet clothes made us stop at a village house cum eatery (first house after the bridge) to pour in garaam chai and Parle G.
The trip concluded with more group photos to preserve a lineage of memories. Indeed the journey was a thrilling experience and the waterfall a beauty!
Along with fun and learning we also came closer to nature. Memories of these ecstatic moments, being caught alone in the natural order of things, will haunt us till next season, and then it would be time for an encore!
Set of clothes for traveling – to & fro
2 Shorts, 2 T-shirts
Good pair of shoes, Slippers
Rain cheater / Raincoat / Umbrella
Big plastic bags for keeping wet clothes
Sleeping bag / Bed sheet, Mosquito repellent, Torch
Toiletries, towel, undergarments, Personal medicines