Its just yesterday…..I, along with 15 other friends, made a trip to the Kundalika river a little farther from Tamhini Ghat about 100 kms from Pune. I just couldn’t resist writing about it today since its all so fresh and clear in my mind. The lush greenery, the waterfalls, the muddy monsoon Kundalika river, and great company of so many friends!
Although Maharashtra has its raging rivers, most of them are seasonal and tend to flow between June and December. River Kundalika is fed by the excess water from Tata Power’s Mulshi Dam Project on hydroelectric projects and dams. Hence rafting is possible at the time of water release, usually between 8am-9am in the morning. I would say it has average rapids…maybe betwen 1and 3 and its fun and exciting for city people like us! We travelled a distance of 10kms and floated and swam for nearly 2kms enjoying in the weather and coolness of the river.
We started our day very early, around 4:30am. We were 16 of us, all friends. The idea of so many friends coming together was very kindling and didn’t make it difficult to rise even earlier than that. We’d booked a 17 seater bus and headed off towards Mulshi. We reached a shanty shack where they organised all rafters, explained the commands and procedures. The fun part started at this point when all the above was done in the flooding rains. Reluctantly, everybody got wet and geared up for some more….
Our whole team was divided in to two rafts – one with Rhuta, Amit, Maithily, Danish, Kshiteej, Kanchan, Devaki & Prasad and second with Bipin, Harshada, Mahesh, Nitin, Sayali, Shreya, Eshana and myself. We started off as soon as they buzzed the siren from the Tata Power Dam to catch the right water level and current of the Kundalika. The whole crew had stired up several emotions, some thrilled, some scared and some all set! We sailed rapidly, intermittently and smoothly through the river and just when everybody gained confidence, we had a small knock-off with one of our members! One of the guides or instructors from another canoe, pulled Sayali off from the canoe to add some thrill, giving her a shock of her life!!! It was sure some adventure for her. Well amongst us, she had her first good taste of Kundalika!!
We passed rapids named Pampas, Rajdhani Express, Butterfly, Morning Attack, Jonny Walker, etc among which Jonny Walker and Morning Attack being the one with the most chances of the canoe capsize! Later we got off from our canoes, swam and to be very succinct, hung out with each other in the water since our life jackets did us good. The Kundalika river rushed us through the rapids and what would take 2-2 and a half hours, took us just about 1 hour and 45 mins to reach the finality. We then carried our raft and set off walking towards our bus. Thereafter, changed and set off towards Green Gates Resort to fill our empty tummies!
Since most of us were tired and sleepy, we dozed off for a while. I couldn’t keep my eyes shut for too long since the monsoon made the countryside so enchanting with its magnific mountains covered by dusky clouds and downrushing wafterfalls which covered these mountains so consistently! The whole rhythm of the terrain was soothing and breath-taking! The most amazing sight we saw were the canyon amidst the Sahyadris, so lofty and upright that we got off our bus and gazed into its mystic contour.
After all the gracious views we saw in the Tahmini Ghat, we had some good food at Green Gates Resort and walked up to the a stretch of land that one of my friend Amit owns. It was a very scenic climb to the top of the green hill which gave a splendid view of the Mulshi dam backwaters. By then everybody was very tired and sleepy since our day started at 4am. It was nearly 3:30pm before we started off for Pune all happy, satisfied, exhausted and moreover rejuvenated from our mundane lives.