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Short Ride, Short Trek: Great Surprise - Vardayini Waterfall!

Last Sunday, no one was ready to go on a ride with me, forget any trekking. I had a plan to trek Kalsubai, but it failed. Later we planned to ride up to Jog Falls, and it too met the same fate as earlier. So, I was upsettly planning to spend the day at home, when my ol’ maniac riding mate came to rescue and suggested to ride to a nearby place Nagothane to visit a very less heard Vardayini waterfall.
Nagothane is about 80kilometers from Navi Mumbai on Mumbai-Goa National Highway 17. Few kilometers ahead of Nagothane, past Jindal’s Maharashtra Seamless Steel Factory, there is a small village Kherwadi on the left of Mumbai-Goa highway. We missed the road to village while riding, and went on the Ghats. A local guy helped us to find the village. Road through the village is in just fine shape, and we needed to ask the route inside the village too. We were able to ride our bikes to a place from where it was finally impossible to ride ahead, enjoying a little off-roading.



Our First Stop
Well from that place, there was actually no way to trek or say going ahead towards the fall. Following the trails of cows and other animals, we started our trekking. Let me clear, it was a very easy trek, only problem was identifying the route. It was real adventure walking
through bushes, sometimes following pugmarks, sometimes along a pipeline. After about 20-30 minutes of walk, we finally reached flat grassland, where a villager couple was grazing their herd. We took a few minutes rest there, and started our journey ahead asking that couple which way to go. We soon reached a small stream, did some photography and walked ahead. Little further we met a group a monkeys and had to walk back. En route we met that couple again, and requested the guy Raghu to lead us to the fall. His wife asked about mazoori (wage) and we agreed. We were somehow exchanging words with Marathi speaking Raghu, and religiously following him, walking quite cozily in his slippers (shy, we had sports shoes!). In about 15 minutes passing through few small streams, we reached the glorious fall. It was about 30-40 feet high, and waters were too serene. Most pleasant thing was that, there we were just 3 guys! We asked Raghu to comeback in an hour, and took bath under the fall, got dried lying on the barren rocks under the sun (we forgot to bring spare clothes). We even forgot to carry eatables and water too, and had to drink fall’s water. It was cold, and had a pleasant taste.
Tree mushrooms
Another tree mushroom
The Vardayini Fall
 
Ant Colony
Raghu didn’t turn up, and after a session of photography we started our return journey. We caught Raghu midway, and asked his assistance to lead us up to the place from where descent starts. We gave him a few bucks with due thanks, he took it with peculiar smile! :)
First Idiot Insect ;)
Ohh yess, on funnier notes I forgot to tell about 2-idiot insects we noticed in a small pothole. The bigger, which we caught on Camera, was moving back and forth; another was moving continuously on in a circle! ;)

We liked the place, and are planning to visit again soon with our larger group for a night stay. One thing I must mention here is that, we noticed scattered bottles, wrappers and foam-plates. I don’t know why we aren’t able to learn to keep our beautiful natural monuments cleaner. We must learn to carry a plastic bag to collect all the wastes we generate in a trip and dispose it suitably thereafter, so that our own nature should be preserved in as-it-is condition for generations to come.



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