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India: Ajanta Ellora, Alibaug, Bhandardhara with Ajanta and Ellora, Diveagar, Ganpatipule, Kodaikanal with Madurai & Rameshwaram, Koyna Nagar, Panchmarhi, Raigadh

Monsoon? Head to Koyna Nagar
by Umesh Lahoti, India

Koyna Nagar is situated in Satara District of Maharashtra and is well connected by road. Take Pune - Bangalore national highway no. 4 going southwards from Pune towards Kolhapur. Around 160 kms from Pune, comes the town of Karad from where you take a right turn to the state highway going westwards towards Chiplun. About 60 kms from Karad is Koyna Nagar.

Photo 2 Koyna Nagar is known for the famous Koyna dam built on Koyna River. The dam was a feat of engineering and was a construction marvel of its time. The dam reservoir extends back 60 kms and when its filled to capacity, the water can be seen from Mumbai Point of Mahabaleshwar many, many kms away. The water from the reservoir is used mainly for power generation taking advantage of the difference in height of the reservoir and Coastal Konkan. The water flows with the gravity to generate electricity at the power stations situated at village Pofli and Alore. We had the privilege of viewing the newly commissioned power generation station of Stage IV at Alore which has generation capacity of 2000 MW. The entire plant is operated by just four technicians in one shift. The entire unit is monitored from a centralised control room. The generation station is situated 2 kms deep inside the mountain and is accessible by a tunnel. Due to the ongoing security threats, admission is highly restricted and photography is strictly prohibited.

Photo 4 Koyna Nagar is best to be visited during monsoon season which falls between August and September when the rains are at its peak and the waterfalls in the region are in full swing. The entire area looks like having worn a lush green outfit and looks very beautiful. The destination is relatively unknown and less exploited than the overcrowded hill stations like Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani. There are some reasonably good resorts that have come up recently situated on the hill over looking the dam and the backwaters. Besides there is a MTDC resort and also the guest house by PWD called "Chemry" available to the tourist. All these resorts serve the typical Maharashtrian home cooked food.

Photo 5 We were a group of 25 enthusiasts and booked the entire resort for ourselves. Having taken special permission to visit the Koyna dam and Stage IV Power House from the Mantralaya, we first proceeded to visit the Dam and then onwards to the Power House. On the way to the Power House, comes the Nehru Garden which provides the view of the Dam and its backwaters. You can take a launch which goes deep in the backwaters but this service is normally closed during the monsoon. On the way further there comes the gigantic Ozarde waterfall. We decided first to visit the Power Station and on our way back we stopped at Ozarde Falls.

Photo 1 The Ozarde Falls was certainly the star attraction of the trip. Scenic but at times steep trek of about 2 kms takes you to the bottom of the falls. You can experience sprinkles reaching the bottom of the fall due to the steep walls. It is a tranquilising experience where you can't stop admiring the glory of Mother Nature. The time stayed still and I was silent and mesmerised by the beauty all around me. Thereafter, we went to "Ghat Matha" (head of the mountains) from where we saw the deep valleys of the Sahyadri mountain range.

It was soon time to bid goodbye and get back to the concrete jungle of Mumbai.

Koyna Nagar Image Gallery Photo viewer Photo viewer

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