Quick Guide Durshet, Maharashtra

Nestled in the beautiful Sahyadri mountains, Durshet, is the perfect back-to-nature weekend with nature trails, butterflies, waterfalls and a host of adventure activities
A machan on the edge of the picturesque Kalote Lake in Durshet, Maharashtra
A machan on the edge of the picturesque Kalote Lake in Durshet, Maharashtra

Fast facts
LocationBy the Amba river near Khopoli on the old Mumbai-Pune Highway
Distance 115 km SE of Mumbai
When to goJune-September is best November-February is also pleasant. Summers are a definite no-no
Tourist Office MTDC Mumbai
Tel022-22044040, 22845678
Web maharashtratourism.gov.in 
STD code02192

Getting there
Road Take the old Mumbai-Pune NH4 to Khopoli. Turn right onto the Pen-Khopoli Road. Take a left onto the Khopoli-Pali Road immediately after you descend from the flyover (at Hotel Mayuri), to Durshet. 

Serene Durshet is a perfect place for back-to-nature weekend break, barely over an hour&rsquos drive from Mumbai. Ignore the flashy expressway and take the old dirt road instead to these beauties in northern Raigad.

Durshet, part of a forest full of mahua trees, falls within the enclosure of Nature Trails Forest Lodge and the Amba river flows right past. There&rsquos not a soul in sight as you dip in this exuberant river or take a serene walk through the woods. If you like, you can use your weekend to pay your respects at the holy ashtavinayakas of Shri Ballaleshwar and Shri Varad Vinayak, on either side of Durshet.   

Things to see and do
To experience Durshet you have to stay at the Nature Trails Forest Lodge. From this secluded base hidden amid thick foliage, you can hare off to the temples, the river and lakes as well as towards the ghats for trekking.

Into the forest
Stroll through the extensive plantations of fruit trees, casuarinas and acacias within the forested expanse of Nature Trails Forest Lodge. The private forest is a wonderful place to go insect watching, and it is also home to wild boar, barking deer and monkeys.

The best time to visit this place would be when it&rsquos raining the river is full and many huge natural waterfalls are created within the forest. You can trek to these falls through the mahua,mango and teak trees. The bird life here is very rich, and the calls of drongos, doves, parakeets, shrikes, bulbuls and warblers fill the air. The cultivated lands adjoining the resort are a good place to find lapwings&rsquo nests, but do take care not to harm them. Within the resort&rsquos flower garden, you will see a number of butterflies flitting about their business &ndash getting drunk on nectar or laying eggs on their favourite plants. Enthusiasts may recognize the lime, Mormon and plain tiger butterflies.
You can also opt for the adventure activities on offer, including rock climbing, rappelling and river crossing.

Where to stay and eat
Nature Trails Forest Lodge (Tel 02192-277023-24 Tariff INR 5,000-6,000, with meals) is geared towards getting families back to nature. All-male groups and alcohol consumption are prohibited. Focus is on the forest and relaxation. The rooms and the 5 large dorms (with 3-tier bunk beds) offer a comfortable stay. There also are 6 tents. There&rsquos a swimming pool, artificial waterfall and indoor and outdoor games. They also organise a number of nature-based activities for groups. A full payment in advance is required for confirmation of one&rsquos booking.
The food on offer at Nature Trails includes local specialities, in line with an authentic, rustic Maharashtrian experience. Meals are served buffet-style in the dining hall.
Sangam Resorts (Tel 265495 Tariff INR 900-1,250) on the highway in Khopoli is another choice with 16 rooms with attached baths and room service.

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