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Durshet – Tale of two beauties – Maharashtra, India




State – Maharashtra
Distance – 105 km SE of Mumbai
Journey time by road – 2hrs
Location – Between two holy Ashtavinayaks, by the Amba river near Khopoli on the old Mumbai-Pune highway.
Route – Old Mumbai-Pune Highway (NH4) to Khopoli; Khopoli-Pen Road and Khopoli-Pali Road to Durshet.
Best time to go – June to September is best and November to Feburary is also pleasant. But summers are a definite no-no.
Nearest Airport – Pune

If you are looking for a sojourn amidst nature in abundance, long and romantic nature walks in a serene place, then head to Durshet. This is a forest that is full of mahua and teak trees lying in the picturesque Sahyadri ranges. The river Amba flows right past it. This place makes for a quick getaway if you are tired of the hustle and bustle of Mumbai city life and seek a lush-green holiday. While in Durshet you can stay at the resorts deep inside the forest or at the Durshet village. You can stroll through the extensive plantations of fruit trees, casuarinas and acacias within the forest. This forest is also wonderful to go insect watching and if you prefer your wildlife a little larger, there?s wild boar, barking deer and monkeys. To sum up this is an ideal place if you are someone looking to commune with nature. Nature trails and picnics in the forest are the highlight of Durshet.

School picnics, camps or an excursion, Durshet is a great place for enjoying the beauty of nature far from the cacophony of the city life. Though unpublicized by tourist department, Durshet offers breathtaking views of the Sahyadri ranges.
There are wild boar, barking deer and monkeys. You can trek to those falls through the mahua, mango and teak tree. There are many species of birds available here as the calls of drongos, doves, parakeets, shrikes, bulbuls and warblers fill the air. At the cultivated lands adjoining the resorts here, you can find many interesting things, such as one set of tourists finding lapwings nests. Imagine sights such as a number of butterflies getting drunk on nectar or laying eggs on their favorite plants. We recognize some of them like Mormon and plain tiger butterflies.

Things to see and do

– Jungle Safari
Durshet in Maharashtra, is a woody place, which houses a large number of flora and fauna. Lying in the backdrop of the majestic Sahyadri range, the dense forest here is always a fascinating attraction to the nature lovers. The beguiling experience of enjoying the abundant natural beauty, jungle Safari in the thick forests is a refreshing experience. Private owned tourist resorts in Durshet provide with all facilities to have a nice safari in the thick forest.
– Shri Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayaka
Durshet, is a famous and spiritually awakened place, nestled between Sarasgad fort and River Amba. Flanked by all around greenery, Durshet is the only place where an Astavinayaka temple is known by its devotees name. Built in 1760 AD, the deity in Ballaleshvara is clothed like a Brahmin.
The east facing temple complex is tiled and it encloses two lakes. This pretty shrine has two sanctums and the inner one is rather big, which houses the Idol of Vinayaka. The 12 feet high outer sanctum has a rat idol with Modak in his hands and it over looks its master in the inner sanctum.
The 40 feet long and 20 feet broad hall, ornamented with beautiful pillars, and the European made big bell adds more charm to the serene ambience of the shrine. Sitting on a stone throne, with shining diamonds fixed in the eyes and naval, the Balleleshvara at Durshet is brings peace of mind to the devotees.
– Uddhar Hot Water Springs
Tourists who have time to move around can visit the hot water springs at Uddhar, 25km from Durshet. The water is said to contain medicinal sulphur and minerals good for the skin.
– Amba River
This river is famous for Botanical study and activities like pond dipping, river gauging etc. During monsoons, the river has many natural waterfalls, adding to its beauty.
– Shri Varad Vinayak
Built in 1725 AD by Peshva Sardar Ramji Mahadev Varad Vinayak Biwalkar, Varad Vinayak temple is situated in the pretty village near Durshet. Though the temple has a dull look from the outside, it looks marvelous with its 25 feet golden pinnacled dome.
The sanctum of the temple houses two idols of Lord Vinayak, on the two corners. Idol in the left corner is tarnished in vermillion and idol in the right is made up of white marble with trunk turned to the right. Statues of elephants spooled with gold and the stone statues of Vinayaka’s consorts presents an enchanting view. On the northern side of the temple is a Gomukh, a facade of a cow from which the holy water gushes.

Places to stay in Durshet

– Nature Trails Durshet Forest Lodge, is set amidst 42 acres of forest, adjacent to the River Amba, on the Khopoli-Pali Highway (13 Kms.from Khopoli) (Maharashtra, India).
Telephone : 02192-277023-24
Website : naturetrailsindia.com
– Durshet Village, Khopali – Pali Road
Tal. Khalapur
Dist. Raigadh
Maharashtra – 410203
India




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