Quick Guide Khodala, Maharashtra

The 'it' place for adventure and wildlife enthusiasts, Khodala, located just a stone's throw away from Mumbai is a mesmerising little tribal village, ideal for a weekend break
Quick Guide Khodala, Maharashtra

Fast Facts
State Maharashtra
Distance 151 km NE of Mumbai
When to go June-October
Tourist Office MTDC Mumbai
Tel 022-22044040
Web maharashtratourism.gov.in
STD code 02529

Getting There
Nearest railhead is Kasara (30 km/3/4 hr).  
Road Take NH3 till Jawhar Phata via Thane and Shahapur. Turn left off the high-way onto the road to Khodala.

This weekend destination par excellence is not for those people who cannot survive 2 days without a TV set but for large groups of people who would much rather spend their time staying up late at night for gossip sessions, enjoying bonfires in the nippy outdoors and walking idly up and down uncharted hilly routes, this is an ideal vacation.

There&rsquos not much to do in Khodala apart from going on some breathtaking drives, and spotting wildlife en route. But that&rsquos everything you need to make your weekend truly memorable.

Things to see and do
Little-known Khodala is becoming popular among Mumbaikars, so much so that groups on motorbikes have been known to undertake a punishing 3-hr drive simply for the quick fix of fresh mountain air on offer here. A walk in the hills around will take the kinks out of stiff necks and sore backs, replacing them with a shortness of breath. And then comes the good part, as the discomfort of the day is drowned in generous doses of alcohol around a campfire with friends up in the hills of Khodala

Hanging Out at Wild Camp
About 2 km from the market at Khodala, this camp is set on a small lush incline. Run by the Mumbai-based adventure group Time Pause, Wild Camp is not merely a place to find shelter and eat. Here, the human body is always egged on to attain greater heights. You can rappel down a rock cliff using a rope, or climb a net as soldiers do during military training.  There is also rock climbing and garden-variety trekking, or you can rent a bike and cycle into the hills. A jeep safari is organised, which takes visitors on a quick tour of the Sahyadri hills. The good people at Wild Camp Nature Resort also teach you how to pitch a tent. You can even draw water from the well and bathe in the open and then go hunting for fruit in the thick forest. Volleyball during the day and barbecue at night are favoured. But the most popular of all is the extremely wise activity called &lsquohammocking&rsquo, where you simply lie down and do nothing but daydream.

Deobandh Temple
Step out of the camp and spend many a blissful moment gazing at Khodala&rsquos hillocks, small soft green plateaus, huge trees and marvelously slow-moving people. Then snap out of your reverie and visit the small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha here. You have to descend a steep slope to get to the temple. A temperamental stream runs behind the premises. What is no more than a modest trickle during the rest of the year transforms into a full-fledged lake during the monsoons. The spot around the lake is worth exploring, with its hills and rocks and valleys and immense natural beauty.

Where to stay and eat
Wild Camp Nature Resort (Mumbai Tel 022-25451234, Cell 08898716898 Tariff INR 4,000-5,000 per head, dorm INR 1,500, with meals www.wildcamp.in), is the only option as yet in tiny Khodala, a situation that may soon change given the sylvan town&rsquos proximity to nature-starved Mumbai. The resort has 12 cottages and 3 dorms.

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