- Ajaz Shaikh
Unlimited Maharashtra: Koyna (Koynanagar)
Koynanagar also knows as Koyna is a famous place to visit in Maharashtra especially during the monsoon and post-monsoon. Koyna is full of spots which are nature explicit. It offers lush greenery, beautiful waterfalls, and a variety of flora and fauna. As a result, many people plan their weekend in Koynanagar with their families. Koyna is a beautiful place and do not rest your eyes even for a minute as you might miss some of nature's best work. Koyna is kind of a lesser know hill station as compared to Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar in the region.
Koyna for me was the part of the elongated weekend trip to explore unexplored places in Satara district of Maharashtra. Do check out these blogs also.
How to Reach From Mumbai?
There is no direct connectivity to Koyna from Mumbai. But Satara has good connectivity from Mumbai and from Satara you need to take a private vehicle as a cab or a taxi to reach Koyna.
Due to excellent train & road connectivity between Mumbai and Satara, it makes sense to explore this place as a weekend trip from Mumbai.
From Satara, it would take you around 2 hours to cover 40kms due to bad road condition and construction work. This was when I visit it in 2020. MSRTC Bus connectivity between Satara and Koyna is fairly decent. You can get MSRTC Bus leaving from Satara Bus Depot at a regular interval.
Bus: Satara is very well connected by road from Mumbai. The frequency of buses is quite high, and usually, bus leaves in the night from Mumbai. It will take around 6-7 hrs to reach Satara from Mumbai.
Train: Satara has good rail connectivity from Mumbai, Pune and rest of the country. I recommend taking the train if you are a budget traveller like me.
Private Car: If comfort is your priority and travelling in a group go for a by car. Koyna is well-connected to Mumbai by roadways it will take around 7 hours via Mumbai - Pune - Bengaluru Highway.
Where to Stay?
Forest Escapes Resort Koyna is located within the premises of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary which gives the guests a chance to mingle with nature and explore the scenic trails and surroundings. A place where your mind, body, and soul will relax and become one with nature. Forest Escapes Resort is a boutique eco-friendly resort and place allows you to reconnect to the natural rhythms and experience the peace and serenity in the four seasons and the circle of life.
And while the resort brims with natural opulence, the accommodations and other facilities are all up to date and can cater to all the needs of the guests. The resort also practices ecological and conservation methods to be able to provide sustainable hospitality experience without hammering the surrounding ecosystem.
Day 1: Koynanagar - Get Inspired by the Beauty of Nature
Koyna Dam, being one of the popular Satara tourist places, offers its tourist an exciting experience of nature. It is one of the most famous and the largest Dam in Maharashtra which is nearby both Mumbai and Pune and that backs up the state on the whole.
Koyna dam is built all across the Koyna River, which is one of the primary tributaries of Krishna River. This particular dam was built after independence. Koyna creates Shivsagar Lake, which is around 50km wide.
Ozarde Waterfall - Beauty Of Nature Hidden in the Forest
Ozarde Waterfall according to me a beauty of nature hidden in the forest. It's really a mind-blowing place. You need to walk up for around 800metres through very dense forest along the well-maintained staircase with railing. It would take around 30 minutes to reach the first viewpoint and the second viewpoint is about 15 to 20 minutes from the first viewpoint. On the way to the main waterfall, there are many places where you can play in the small streams. You won't find any food stall once you enter the fall area. There are food stall and changing rooms at the entry gate. Even though it was post monsoon the fall had a great force. It is a must-see place during monsoon.
Entry Fees: For adult ₹ 30 per person and kids below 12 years ₹ 15 per person.
Timing: 08:00am to 05:30pm
It is among the main attractions of Koyna. The speciality of the garden is that it telecasts a short 30-minute film on the Koyna Hydroelectric Project. Owing to the importance of Hydroelectricity this film is worth watching. In particular, it makes us realize the significance of our Koyna Dam.
It is a well-maintained landscape garden where you can also find some medicinal herbs and plants, which have ayurvedic importance. If you are interested in plant life you can learn a lot over here. Another key point is, you can get a breathtaking view of the Koyna Dam from the Nehru Garden Koynanagar. There is a small hill inside the Nehru Garden Koyna from where this view is visible. Also, a good view of the Shivsagar lake is plausible.
Entry Fees: For adult ₹ 20 per person and kids below 12 years ₹ 10 per person.
Timing: Morning: 11am to 1:00 pm and Evening: 2:pm to 6:00pm
Mirgaon Chafer Bridge Sunset Point
There's a charm in watching the sunset alone. You feel every passing moment, gradual changes in hue colours, the reflections of hues on the water and the smile on the face just keep broadening. That's how I spent my last evening in Satara on a bridge over a Koyna river watching sunset even though the bridge was connected to the main road hardly any bike went across the bridge and here is the sunset video which will tell you the rest.
I went numb for a while probably with my mouth wide open and eyes failing to blink. The hues didn’t fade away for a long time and now the back breaking journey started to make all the sense.
Day 2: Koynanagar - Get Inspired by the Beauty of Nature
Forest Escape Resort - Enjoy Tranquil
Forest Escape Resort is a perfect place for a staycation and to detox from busy city life. They take care of you and ensure you enjoy your time here. So make it lazy morning start your day with a dip in a private pool if you are staying in a private villa. Enjoy morning scenery and landscape right from your room balcony. Overall it will be delightful and pleasing experience and I highly recommend staying at Forest escape especially if you are travelling in a group.
I really liked their concept of a private villa with all the amenities like private pool, kitchens - if you want to cook something for yourself and the fantastic balconies to enjoy the landscape.
The other room that I find quite reasonable is the Magnolia suite which has a bedroom and outside there is a sofa cum bed for an extra person. It's spacious and comfortable with balconies.
Chalkewadi Windmill Field
This is my first-time experience where I got to see soo many windmills and this close. This is the best scenic place to enjoy beautiful nature windmills. The road goes through nature paradise. Best spot for photography. This place would be like miles and miles of windmills and yourself. But it is advisable to go in a group as the area is quite secluded. Also, take some food and water along as you may not get any at the farm. As per the local from here on a clear sky night, you get to see millions of stars in the sky including the milky way!
Dinner @ Hotel 7/12
This place is more for experiencing the ambience it is completely different from the regular thali hotels. Once you enter through the gate you will notice a different ambience, the entire place is decorated like a village home. Sitting arrangement is fixed build, have options of sitting on the ground level or at chair level. The food here is served on thali system. The way of eating and the plates will remind you of old village ways even the hand wash area. For ambience and food, I would rate it 4/5 but for services, I would rate is 1/5.
Goodbye - See You Soon
Koyna, in particular, interested me because of its remote location and abundant untouched nature and still, there are many unexplored places. I wasn’t sure about doing it but it was an absolutely enriching experience. In my head, I felt I can handle anything at all and enjoyed the perfect drive with all the fresh air caressing my face while I observed the never ending stretches of beautiful landscape. By the way, it was not only fresh air but a lot of dust. These are real travels which make one leave the comfort zone and broaden one’s horizons
I can understand it's hard to take the time out of the monotonous corporate life, unsparing work schedules but when you do get a long weekend, maybe plan a short getaway instead of the usual Netflix and ordering in. That pretty much sums up my entire journey and I'd urge you to make this trip to experience what Unlimited Maharashtra have in store for us!
If you have a long weekend then add a visit to Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary or just make it a weekend trip from Mumbai to relex and enjoy the lush green mountain during monsoon and post monsoon. I am surely coming back to this place once everything is back to normal to visit Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary.
Best Time to Visit
If you want to experience the heavy rainfall, visit the town in the monsoon months of July to September. But remember it rains heavily in the region and most of the viewpoints are completely covered under fog so you probably won’t get the surrounding views. I would recommend you to visit the town when the monsoon season is on its last legs or post-monsoon. During this time, you get to experience all aspects of climate. The valleys are lush green, the jungles are still dense and the clouds are still low at this time of the year at Koyna. Driving in such weather is an experience of a lifetime.
Listen To Me:
Please be polite and gentle with the native people, because you are their guest.
It's best to dress modestly and act conservatively.
Please don't throw garbage. There is no one to collect it for you.
Public transport between Satara and Koyna is not that great so would advise coming with your own or private hired car. The cab drivers usually quote exorbitant rates, but will quickly bring down their quotes once you start bargaining. For a two day trip, you should not pay more than ₹4000.
You can always club Koyna trip with an extra day for a day tour of Satara City.