Trek to Devkund, Solo!
How to reach the base village from Pune:
The waterfall is situated inside the forest near a small village called ‘Bhira’. Bhira is mostly known for the Tata Hydroelectric power plant. If you're fortunate enough to have your own vehicle, the trip towards this base village has got a lot to offer as you get to witness the beautiful Mula River & the mountain roads of Tamhini Ghat on your way. The simple pathway would be:
1. Reach Pirangut using either the Chandni Chowk route or using the Hinjewadi route,
2. Head towards Paud,
3. Keep going towards the Mulshi road (this is easy to follow as it's the only major path),
4. Keeping the Mula on your right, follow the path towards Tamhini Ghat,
5. Keep heading towards Patnus through the Ghat road,
6. Take a right turn at Patnus & reach Bhira,
7. Take another right turn & keep going for another ~2kms after you cross the temporary village-toll or ask anyone for the base point of trek & they would be happy to guide you.
Things to carry:
- A backpack to carry everything in it,
- Lunch/ snacks/ packs of Energy Bar,
- Water bottle (2 -3 Liters),
- Good grip quality trekking shoes,
- Personal medication / First Aid kit,
- Toiletries ( Hand sanitizer, tissue papers etc.),
- Cap, goggles, sunscreen, mosquito repellent etc. (depending on season),
- Extra Pair of Clothes ( in case you want to dive into the water which you will),
- Slippers (optional – at the end of the day to relax your feet),
- Electoral Powder / Dry Snacks (might come handy),
- Jacket/ pullover/ windcheaters ( depending on season).
When the Mountain Calls
Upon reaching the village I parked my ride & geared up quickly. As I was about to start the trek on my own, got halted by the villager's helpdesk. It seems after the tragedies of 2 travelers happened 4 months back, they now have mandated the guidance of local folks as a trek guide. As I joined a group of another 3, coincidentally all coming from Pune, we started the journey by foot as the guide agreed to take us there by charging only 100 INR per peeps. Wow! Considering commercial group charges around 1.2k-2k for the ‘to & fro’ journey from Pune, this price is very much pocket-friendly for anyone, be it a college student or any professionals.
Then the path kept going through the land of muds followed by green & golden meadows of grass by keeping the lake on its left. The range of Sahyadris is visible in such close distance as if one can just reach it by a semi-long sprint.
After crossing the second stream, one has to go around hiking the peripheral mountain of the waterfall as the straighter way isn’t an option in this hill. This hike continues through a dense forest & to be placed on the tougher side as it takes one’s breath out with its short (10-15 mins.) yet steep climb. The key here is to climb without pausing in calm, steady & rightly paced manner. Just listen to your rapid heartbeats (off course you should pause if you feel any bad) & take all the breath once you reach a suitable rocky resting place at the top. Post this, there’s still a little hiking to do but that's of low endurance.
Then after a little downward journey lies the final stream in the path of the wanderer. While crossing it, one could see the origin of the waterfall, from where the water is gushing down, brilliant! No matter how exhausted I was after the 2-hour trek, the heart finally began to dance in joy as the goal seemed only a few minutes away.
All the fear, all the doubts & all that fatigue faded away as in less than 10 minutes I found myself standing right at the place where I was supposed to be. The mighty Devkund waterfall was in front. It was the complete eye-catch for the seeker.
Adding to it, the water was cold & crystal clear. After the exposure to scorching heat throughout the trek, it was time to take a rest. It was a Sunday noon & crowds were all over the place. Gang of college students, couples, families, group trekkers- all were there. As I sat there to adore the stupendous sight & everyone around it, the place reminded me of the riverside Ghats of The Ganges of my hometown, wherein every summer evening one can find a similar flock of people of every age group. Some would go there to discuss politics & sports, some to spend time with their loved ones, and some just to pass the time chitchatting among old friends. Most importantly it serves as an escape from the tedious & repetitious everyday life.
I had to get back to reality, as I found the guide asking about when do I intend to jump into the water. As I dived in, the trek comes to the perfect conclusion. The bath was refreshing enough to cleanse away all the worries I ever had before & even during this trip. The thoughts seemed to be in harmony with the actions & Devkund with its bucket full of mysteries seem to offer me an experience of the lifetime.
Thanks a lot to my friend Sachin for drawing my attention to this place.
& special thanks to Gautam Vaishnav @Trekraw who has suggested guidelines & inspired me thoroughly to go out on my first ever solo trek.
Don’t hold yourself to your limits.
Take a leap of faith, seek out & get it done with all your positive energy.
With the hope of many such grand adventures in coming days.
Hasta la vista!