Shivthar Ghal is a place of historical as well as religious importance for Maharashtrian people. A "Ghal" is a cave or hollow space in a mountain. Shivthar Ghal is a place where Saint Ramdas, Guru of Chatrapati Shivaji stayed for a period of 11 years.
He wrote is well known book "Das-bodh", his contemplation over life and spirituality during his stay here. Shivthar Ghal is around 155 Km away from Pune. Actually this place is in Mahad tehsil of Raigad District. You need to travel through Varandha Ghat to reach Shivthar ghal. Enjoy some snaps
Our first stop was at Bhor. This is Necklace Point. The river takes a lovely turn here. You have a perfect vantage point here to take snaps. This location has featured in a famous Marathi Movie "Katyar Kaljat Ghusali"
Varandha Ghat is full of clouds during these days. You have entered Sahyadri ranges now.
Clouds and number of waterfalls...you can stop at any point to enjoy the beauty...
Now you know why Western Ghat is called a biological hot spot......lush green valleys...full of wild life
Finally we reach at Shivthar Ghal. The place is still serene and has pristine beauty
Actual location of the cave is just beside the waterfall but you can not see the cave from any of the points. You have to go there only.
Some 20-25 steps and you enter a Ramdasi Monastery. After crossing the hall (red roof) you enter the cave. Since it was quite dark there, I could not click snaps. Photography is not allowed at some religious places.
Lots of monkeys at the place to give you company. Do not open your food packets here otherwise these will surely snatch it from you.
Some of the psalms by Saint Ramdas. Middle one is an interesting one. There are some lines. First alphabet of each line (marked in red) conveys the message that a knight has been dispatched from Vijapur to attack. Ramdasi monks traveled though out the country and passed on a lot of intelligence to Shivaji Maharaj. It is also believed that when Shivaji Maharaj escaped from Agra captivity, it was Ramdasi monks who provided them with food and fresh horses during the return journey to Maharashtra.
You can see a house on the hill. This is residence of Chandrarao More. More was royal family who owned this area...called as Jaawali, during Shivaji days. Location of the house is nothing short of a heaven....green forest, waterfall and peace...
Away from maddening crowds...small hamlets...curved roads... paddy fields...full of life
U - PIN bends. the road to Varandha is narrow one. At times two buses facing each other can not pass.
Velvet patterns on the grass. Fifty shades of green :)
The wind is so powerful that water does not reach the grounds also.
Shivthar Ghal is a full day picnic from Pune. You get hot rural lunch at Shivthar ghal. The Ghat offers some tea, pakora, corn cob stalls on the way. So enjoy your day watching awesome Sahyadri ....