September 21, 2013

Quote of the Post: "Tapola truely deserves the appreciation and definitely lives upto the tag of 'Mini Kashmir'. If you haven't visited Tapola, you haven't visited Maharashtra." - Quote about Tapola near Mahabaleshwar by Sachin Kumar Gupta

After visiting Thoseghar waterfall and Kaas Plateau of seasonal flowers near Satara, we stayed at Hotel Shivneri near Shiv-Sagar Boat club. If you want to feel the calmness and beauty of Tapola, just stay here for two days, and you'll wish to be here forever. We headed to Shiv-Sagar Boat Club post our breakfast. Our hotel was just near to Shiv Sagar Boat Club, so we reached there in no time.

Tapola can be visited throughout the year, however the best time to visit is from September to February, when you can enjoy clean and clear water. The place attracts heavy rains during monsoon. Tapola is a perfect holiday destination, only 25 km away from Mahabaleshwar, but it never got the fame as it should. The journey of 1- 1/12 hr from Satara or Mahabaleshwar, is a destination in itself. You can enjoy the route between the high Sahyadri hill ranges and the dark woods. Below is the map to Tapola (D):

Tapola - Mini Kashmir Map
Tapola sits at the convergence of the Koyana and Solshi rivers, and is a complete blend of natural beauty, seasonal waterfalls, mountains, tranquility, greenery, invigorating air and pristine ambience. The view of Koyana river on one side and Solshi river on the other, is really beautiful. 6 hours driving distance from Mumbai (290 km) or 5 hours from Kolhapur (200 km) or 4 hours from Pune (150 km) make it ideal for longer stay.

The dam is the biggest in Maharashtra - known as 'Shivsagar' which stretches 90 km long and serves as a water reservoir to the Koyana DamShivsagar Lake and river camps are major tourist attractions here. Shivsagar dam is very popular for motor boats, which are available with nominal charges. Motorboats, Speed boats and scooter rides are the popular boating means; others enjoy kayaking and swimming. There are many unknown forts in deep forests around the lake.

Tapola Sightseeing: Tapola is full of attractions – From Shivsagar Boat club, you can see and reach differnt points, including a few islands and return to boat in following order and timings:
- Shivsagar Darshan (45 mins - 6 km)
- Triveni Sangam (1 hr 30 mins - 12 km)
- Datta Mandir (2 hrs - 20 km)
- Vasota Fort (3 hrs 30 mins - 30 km)
- Koyana Abhayaranya (4 hrs - 40 km)

Tapola is the base camp for one of the most exhilarating treks that one can go for in Maharashtra. Places mentioned above are completely cut off from civilization and can be reached only by a boat. The weather is exhilarating even in the peak of summer. So, if you are up for a challenge, take the forest authority permission in advance and be early in the morning to go to conquer Vasota Fort or Koyana Abhayaranya. One can find various animals in the dark forests such as tigers, bears and wild fox. The starting point of all these points is Shivsagar Boat club. We opted till Datta Mandir as that day, authorities didn't allow the trip till last point. After booking we got our turn soon, and ride in the boat with Meenal, Anmol, Priyanshu, Piyush and Monika.

While to the Shivsagar Darshan by boat journey, The surrounding views of the river were breathtaking and pleasant. Triveni Sangam is small island at the junction of three rivers. Our first stoppage was famous Datta Mandir, where we stepped out and roamed around for about an hour. The famous Shiv Temple, located below the lake level on this island, is the major attraction. We just wanted to be here as long as we could stay. 

We also enjoyed the vistas of a small beautiful village Bamnoli, located on the shores of Shivsagar lake. It was surprising and certainly unbelievable for us, to see the villagers carrying their home-luggage and other daily necessities by boats, loaded with more than 20 people at once. At one hand we could never imagine leading such a difficult life, on the other we see these people leading their lives happily.

Tapola is popular with nature and adventure lovers and photographers for trek and relish the scenic beauty. If you are a water sports enthusiast, Tapola is the best place to head to. It pleases mind by its nature and makes you forget all your urban woes. It was a action packed and rejuvenating weekend for us, after that we approached towards Mahabaleshwar following Lingmala waterfall during evening on our way back to Pune.

Next time I am planning to pay a visit, for a 'River Camp at Tapola'. Other nearby places to visit:

Kaas valley of flowers near Satara.
Thoseghar waterfall near Satara during monsoon.
A day at 'Grand Canyon of India - Mahabaleshwar'
A day trip to Panchgani - 'Five hills of Sahyadri'
Visit to Lingmala waterfall near Mahabaleshwar during monsoon


Ritika M said...

wow it is very nice. how far this is from Mahabaleshwar.

sachinkgupta said...

Hi Ritika,

If you just go through in details, Mahabaleshwar is approx 25 km away from Tapola ; mentioned in the post as well.


Rajat G said...

Nice pics, helpful post.

Ruhi said...

Very helpful details. Nice photos.

Kranti said...

Thanks for details info about Tapola, and the place to visit near Tapola.

Sanjay G said...

Nice photographs and details about Tapola. really nice place to visit near Mahabaleshwar

Suman Pal said...

Dear Sachin thanks for the post. I am plainning to visit and stay here during 9 to 10th April 2017. I have some questiones.
1. How to get the permission of forest dept?
2. Is it right time to go?
3. Whether the boat are reserved or shared with others?
Waiting for your reply...

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