Amboli – A Misty Heaven
Amboli, a comparatively unexplored hill station in Maharashtra, is a great place to visit during or after monsoon. Nestled at an altitude of 690 m in the Sahyadri ranges, Amboli is based close to the Maharashtra-Goa border. During the rainy season, Amboli adorns a wonderfully refreshing look. Lush green paddy fields, breathtaking hills and valleys, glorious waterfalls, rich flora and fauna and thick rainforests all make Amboli a perfect paradise.
Amboli is perfect for a day visit or 1 night halt. For people staying in Mumbai, Pune and further places, Amboli is best visited as a break journey while traveling to Goa.
Places to Visit in Amboli:
Amboli Falls: The most popular tourist spot in Amboli, this waterfall is located at a distance of 3 kms from the Amboli market on the Amboli – Sawantwadi road. Water cascades from a great height onto huge rocks before tumbling into a deep ravine from beneath the road. The bridge on the road offers a great view of the waterfall. Convenient steps lead right up to the base of the waterfall and the adventurous can have a wonderful time getting splashed with the waters. The steps tend to get slippery so climb with caution. One can see spectacular views of the wide valley on the other side of the road. Small shops on the roadside sell snacks, tea etc. A must visit during the monsoon season. Remember to take a change of clothes.
Sunset Point: A popular view point with tourists, it offers great views of the sunset in the evenings.
Kavlesad Point: A popular point with tourists, it is located 11 kms from Amboli. Kavlesad Point offers breathtaking views of the Sahyadri ranges and deep valleys. One can enjoy the natural ‘’echo’’ phenomenon at this point. A little ahead of the market, turn right from the main road to reach this point.
Shirgoankar Point and Chiroli village: A small viewpoint that can be avoided but do drive ahead about half a kilometer towards Chiroli village and you will be rewarded with absolutely divine views of valleys and thick rainforests.
Mahadevgad: An isolated spot but offers majestic views of the twin forts of Manohargad and Santoshgad on a clear day.
Parikshit point: This is an isolated spot and which requires a walk through dense forests to reach the point. Preferably visit only when in a big group.
Hiranyakeshwar Temple: This is an ancient Shiva temple near the entrance to a cave from which the Hiranyakeshi River emerges and flows out. There is a pool of crystal clear water in front of temple. From the parking spot, it is a nice 200 metres walk to the temple across a small hanging bridge which lies over a stream.
Nangatta Falls: Located at a distance of 10 kms Amboli, water cascades from a height of 40 feet into a deep ravine. There is a small viewing platform and a few tea stalls.
Sawantwadi: Located 30 kms from Amboli, Sawantwadi is renowned for its wooden toys and rich historical background. There are many places to visit in Sawantwadi including the Moti Talav, Rajwada museum, Bhonsale Palace, Narendra Dongar and Shilp-Gram. A walk by the beautiful and well lit Moti Talav in the evenings is a delight. Kamat has a hotel overlooking the lake. Alternatively stay at Renuka hotel (Phone:0236-3274777).
Vengurla Beach: Located 65 kms from Amboli, this coastal town has numerous beaches, most popular being the Sagareshwar Beach. Also visit the Lighthouse and Burnt Islands.
Sindhudurg Fort: Located 72 kms from Amboli, Sindhudurg has many attractions – the fort and palace, Napane Waterfall and Navadurga temple. Local restaurants are famous for Malvani cuisine specially the seafood.
Other attractions near Amboli that can be covered are Tarkarli beach. Click Here to read more.
Hotels in Amboli:
There are a few hotels and home-stays in Amboli that offer food and accommodation.
- Green Valley Resort: This is my favorite pit stop in Amboli. Located 100 meters off the main road from the small market place, Green valley is easy to locate and has ample parking place. They have cottages on the upper ground levels and a restaurant offering absolutely great Malvani cuisine. The restaurant is clean and food is freshly cooked and served piping hot. Try the delicious bakhri -pitla, stuffed aubergines and locally flavored curries. A must try is the ‘’Sol-kadi’’, an exquisite pink drink made from coconut milk and kokum.
- Vithal Kamat’s Restaurant: Stop here for South Indian and Maharashtrian food. Food served is vegetarian. If you are driving towards Goa, Kamat’s located on the right of the Amboli-Goa road about half a kilometer from the market. The restaurant has clean washrooms.
- Lads House: This is a homestay about 100 meters off the main road. They have basic rooms at low cost and offer a delicious home cooked thali which requires a prior order placement. Lads House phone number.
- Narvekar Mess: Serve local Malvani cuisine.
- Balakrishna Mess: Serve authentic Malvani cuisine, well known for fish and mutton thali.
Best Time to Visit Amboli:
The best time to visit Amboli is during monsoon when the area comes alive with waterfalls, lush greenery and is perpetually engulfed in clouds.
Winter is also a good time to visit the hill station.
Summer: Though located at a good altitude, Amboli gets hot and dry during summer.
Route to Amboli:
- Mumbai- 550 kms, 9 Hours:
(NH4- Pune – Kolhapur – Nippani – 10 kms further – Turn right at Twandi (There is a big statue of Lord Mahaveera) – Twandi-Uttur road – Uttur – Azra – Amboli)
- Pune – 400 Kms, 6 Hours:
(NH4 – Kolhapur – Nippani – 10 kms further – Turn right at Twandi (There is a big statue of Lord Mahaveera) – Twandi-Uttur road – Uttur – Azra – Amboli)
- Sangli – 152 Kms, (via Gadhinglaj – Chikodi – Miraj)
- Kolhapur – 118 kms, 3 Hours:
Route 1 (Kolhapur – Nippani – 10 kms further – Turn right at Twandi (There is a big statue of Lord Mahaveera) – Twandi-Uttur road – Uttur – Azra – Amboli);
Route 2: 129 kms, 3 Hours (via Gadhinglaj – Sankeshwar road)
- Belgaum – 65 kms, 2 Hours
- Panjim (Goa) – 90 km, 2 hours (via Sawantwadi)
- Sawantwadi – 30 kms, 45 minutes
Bus: Local buses ply from Vengurla, Sawantwadi, Ratnagiri, and Belgaum to Amboli.
Railway: Nearest railway station is at Sawantwadi, 28 Kms.
Airport: Nearest airport is at Belgaum (65) km and Goa (95 kms).