“Water is the most perfect traveler because when it travels it becomes the path itself!”
A rainy day is the perfect day to venture out and experience the beauty of nature. According to me the one who says sunshine is best , has never danced in the rain. Moreover the sweet earthy smell of the soil, raindrops on the tips of the leaves,rare thunder sounds and wind in the air make us fall in love with monsoon at first sight. A perfect getaway for monsoon trip is either besides a flowing river or a cascading waterfall.
Khopoli – Khopoli is an industrial city in khalapur taluka of Raigad district at the base of Sahyadri mountains. It is also known as city of waterfalls. As monsoon season sets in, Khopoli becomes a favourite spot for monsoon lovers, as people from all over, visit the seasonal waterfalls like Zenith waterfalls, Kune waterfalls, Tungarli lake,etc. Out of these, Zenith waterfalls are beautiful,most secluded and little adventurous to reach. Waterfalls are visible even from the khopoli railway station itself.
Zenith waterfalls – Zenith waterfalls have got their name from the industrial complex Zenith company ltd. located near to it. These waterfalls are seasonal and can be seen only in monsoons. In summer, the same spot is used for rock climbing and rapelling. They are accessible after a short trek between ridges and troughs through narrow pathways.
My travel story to zenith waterfalls
Journey to khopoli waterfall – It was the month of July and it was a lazy weekend and we were thinking of visiting a nearby monsoon spot in Mumbai. Based on some suggestions, we zeroed on to Zenith waterfalls, khopoli. We prefer travelling through train if the spot is nearby. So we,a group of six, boarded a train from Kalyan, my homeplace, to Khopoli (checked with the train timetable as frequency is less on this route). In approximately one and half hr, we reached the khopoli station and to our amazement we could see some waterfalls from the railway station itself . We went on the western side of the station and crossed a bridge. We hired an auto which took us to the spot in 10 minutes approx.
On Reaching – As we got down at 10 a.m we could see an industrial estate and some shacky food stalls but no sign boards indicating way for waterfalls. For sometime we thought we reached a wrong place, but as soon as we spoke to the stall owners, they directed us to a narrow pathway besides their stall. They told us it was just 20 minutes walk from the trail and would require to cross the flowing stream to get to the beautiful waterfalls. The stall owner, an elderly couple probably in their sixties having their house attached to the stall offered us a room for keeping luggage and for changing clothes after returning from the waterfall. The room was offered at a very reasonable rate and so was our obvious choice to accept and start moving on the narrow trail. Suddenly we were walking besides a river with gentle flowing water and greenery all over.There seemed no connection with the outside concrete world. The sound of the stream was music to our ears. We sat besides the river for sometime ,keeping our feet in the water and kept watching some small fishes swim.
After almost half an hr, we travelled further and we spotted a Dattatreya temple and a huge banyan tree. We took blessings in the temple and continued our search for the waterfalls. Eventually we came to the end of the road where there was a small waterfall but it was not Zenith waterfall in any ways. Still we could not wait for long and got drenched and enjoyed under the waterfall for some while. After sometime some villagers had come their with their animals. They told us to cross the stream and head towards north to reach the waterfalls. And finally we started our adventurous trip.
Although the water was not so deep and was flowing with a gentle speed, little insecurities creeped in. My hubby went ahead and checked if really we could cross the stream and whether we were following the right path. He returned with an assurance that the path was safe. Still two of us, who had no previous experience of adventurous activities,were very reluctant but others had made up their minds and so we held each others hands and started crossing the stream. As some stones in the riverbed were slippery, so there was danger of slipping off. But focused mind and curiosity to witness the beautiful falls helped us accomplish the task. We heaved a sigh of relief as we got over to the other side of the stream but it was short lived. One more stream was to be crossed and the water here was relatively shallow but too much of slime had made all the stones slippery. With caution we crossed the second stream and after walking for ten minutes on a very narrow path through the dense woods, we reached the Zenith waterfall. The sight was just unbelievable !!! The beauty and charisma of the spectacular waterfall was so immense that we could not resist ourselves from saying “wow“.
The waterfall was approximately 100-125 feet and it seemed to be ‘plunge’ type waterfall as massive amounts of water poured from a considerable height on the rocky surface beneath. The sound of the falls was almost deafening. We could not even hear each others voices.After admiring the natural beauty and coming back to our senses, Some of us went and stood below the waterfall. It gave superlative happiness. The waterfall was tremendous. Strong jet sprays of water was sprayed on the nearby areas and the beautiful flowers and trees bathed in the water. Those who stood at a distance from the waterfall also got wet. There were some stalls but they were closed.My kid and me stayed below the shed and kept looking at the cascading encaptivating waterfalls.We all stayed there for two hours and returned back all drenched and shivering with cold but content hearts and smiling faces along with a sense of achievement. The lush greenery, huge mountains, cool breeze, beautiful streams and the magnificent waterfall was a treat to our eyes and food for our soul. It triggered a sense of happy life and energized us for the upcoming routine life.
Return Journey – Waking on the same pathway we returned to the food stall. We ordered for snacks and in the meanwhile we changed our clothes and sat at the small table chairs. The vada pav’s were tasty. My kid opted for the sweet corn and hot “chai” n my strong coffee was just awesome. We called up the auto driver to pick us back and we reached khopoli station. Our adventurous trip in monsoon had come to an end. More to be accomplished in the coming future.
How to Reach :
By road 75 km from Mumbai By train – 58 km Catch direct train to Khopoli or a train till karjat and then a connecting train from karjat to khopoli.
- Check timetable for train timings as frequency of khopoli trains is less.
- Wear floaters as shoes are of no use while crossing streams.
- Carry water bottles as you may not get it at the waterfalls.
- Carry mosquito repellent as lot of mosquitoes due to lots of trees.
- Requirement of raincoats even if its not raining , as waterfalls can drench us completely even after standing at a distance.
- Visit in groups as travelling alone is risky in these secluded areas.
- Take care and do not pollute the clean environment and especially river water.
- Visit to the waterfall in between 10 to 5 p.m is advisable as ample sunlight is available during this time.
- Elderly people who wanna refrain from the trek can still visit and enjoy by creating up a picnic setup by the riverside and have food from their home made dabbas without any hindrance. A plastic mat is all they need.
- Visit the Gagangiri Maharaj ashram nearby.