Rainbows are a rare sight in the city. But head to the outskirts in the monsoon and you can chase them at the numerous waterfalls that grace the Sahyadris in this season.
As the white, foaming waters crash against jagged rocks and form deep pools surrounded by banks of green, sit aroung with friends and family, take selfies for Instagram or just forget the cameras and jump in (read carefully to see which ones are safe).
If you’re an action junkie, try ziplining across or rappelling down them the falls, or join a group of trekkers and walk right into their midst.
Kune falls, Lonavla
“We have two waterfalls here in Kune. One falls from a height of 150 feet and the other from 300 feet,” says Abhijeet Mhatre, the founder of Letscampout, an experience company. Letscampout has a permanent campsite near Kune waterfalls where they conduct rappelling and zip lining. “The shorter one is best for beginners and the longer one for experienced rappeller,” adds Mhatre.
Priya Lathia, 33, a finance consultant from Vashi visited Letscampout’s campsite with seven friends. “The camp is neat and clean, a rare thing to find at a waterfall,” says Lathia. “The waterfall is neither daunting nor deep. It’s perfect for adventure activities.”
HOW TO GET THERE: Kune is 83 kilometres away from Mumbai. Drive to Lonavla and from there it is about 30 minutes to Kune village.
Dodhani waterfall, Panvel
The 120-ft-high falls at Dodhani in Panvel make for an easy and fun rappelling experience for beginners and experts, says Pratik Waghela, head of the adventure department at experience company Insider.in.
“My wife and I had a lot of fun rappelling at these falls,” says Manjuesh Gupta, 27, a chartered accountant from Panvel who visited the falls in July. “It is the perfect place to experience the activity if you are a beginner as the incline isn’t too steep.”
Insider conducts a guided one-and-a-half hour trek and rappelling at Dodhani every monsoon.
HOW TO GET THERE: Drive or take the train to Panvel; from there it is a short rickshaw ride to the falls
Dabhosa waterfall, Jawhar
The waterfall near Palghar flows straight down from a height of 300-feet. Arun Sawant, founder of experience company Campfire India, has been trekking to villages, forts and quaint temples in Maharashtra since 1974. “I am in awe with this waterfall as it forms a pond beneath that looks magnificent,” says Tikekar.
It is why this waterfall can be dangerous. “Waterfalls that form a pond fall with great force. The force could hurt damage the brain. It’s best to admire these beauties from far. Also, the fungi-prone basalt rocks of Sahyadris are slippery,” cautions Tikekar.
HOW TO GET THERE: Dabhosa is 140 kilometres away from Mumbai. Take the Mumbai-Amdavad highway and drive for about two hours till Jawhar in Palghar to get here.
The 150-ft-high cascade over a straight, steep wall makes this a perfect spot for rappelling. “Rappelling down this steep wall is challenging and not meant for amateurs,” says Amey Manjure, founder of the Navi Mumbai Adventure Club. He and his friends trek and rappel here every weekend in the monsoon.
“The place is lush green and tranquil, which is rare to find right inside a city suburb so close to the railway station and the Mumbai-Pune highway,” says Manjure. “It is perfect for those who want to go for a short trek not too far away from the city.”
HOW TO GET THERE: Take a train or a bus to Belapur and take an auto to Sector 8. The falls are a 15-minute ride away.
Bekare falls, Bhivpuri
“The Bekare waterfall is in a secluded location and doesn’t attract too many people so it makes for a good trip,” says Aditya Rathi, 37, an import businessman from Nepean Sea Road. Rathi visited Bhivpuri last year with 15 friends as part of a trek organised by travel company Some Place Else.
This year, they have the same trek to Bekare waterfalls on August 7. “It’s an easy, fun trek, to through streams of cool water,” says founder Ritika Saraf.
HOW TO GET THERE: 80 kilometres away. You can take a train to Bhivpuri station and an auto after that.
The author tweets @riddhi09