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Location- near to goa
Nearest airport- Belgaum which is just 68 km
Nearest rail head- The closest railway station is Sawantwadi
Amboli is a quiet and serene hill station of India, situated right near the junction of the party state of Goa and the cultural region of Maharashtra in the Sindhudurg district of the latter. The place is often known as the “Cherrapunji of Maharashtra”, as it receives the highest rainfall in the state. It is located at a height of almost 700 m from the sea level amidst the southernmost part of Sahyadri ranges and overlooks the coastal highlands of Goa. Its hills are the origin for the Hiranyakeshi river and an old Shiva temple called Hiranyakeshwar temple also lies in the region. The numerous waterfalls in the region and its amazingly different yet beautiful flora, and even better fauna attracts a wide number of wildlife photographers and enthusiasts to the place. The hill station was majorly developed by a British political personnel named Colonel Westrop.
Nagatta Falls, the famous Hiranyakeshi Temple, etc.
How to reach:
By road: Amboli is well connected via road to the cities of Belgaum (68 km), Panjim (90 km), Kolhapur (128 km) and Pune (350 km). There is public transport available from all these cities and taxis are also available. From Panjim, there are regular buses to Sawantwadi, from where another bus can be changed to reach Amboli. It is a pleasant 2-3 hour ride. It is better to avoid rented vehicles from Goa as this place lies within the region of Maharashtra and many vehicles might not be allowed across the border. Within the hill station, bicycles are available for rent. By rail: The closest railway station is Sawantwadi Road, which is around 30 km from the place and regular buses connect the two place. Other popular routes include trains till the Chhattrapati Shahu Maharaj railway station in Kolhapur (120 km) and taking a direct bus from there or Thivim station in Goa (65 km) and taxi from there. By air: Though the closest airport is in Belgaum which is just 68 km, the more convenient option is the Dabolim International Airport in Goa which is approximately 120 km from Amboli but has regular flights connecting it to major Indian cities everyday.
Amboli is one of the wettest regions in the country receiving almost 7500 mm of rainfall every year and thus home to plenty of waterfalls around. The peak monsoons are from June to September with a continuous mist that turns into fog in the cold winters lasting as long as late January. Summers are comparatively cooler than the other areas around and thus, this is also a place to beat the heat for the local crowd.
The place sees almost as much as 50,000 tourists a year on an average but still remains relatively quieter than the neighbouring Goan aura. Most of the tourists amongst these are the nature enthusiasts and photographers who love to spot the insectivorous plants, the bio-luminescent fungi, rare butteflies or some really beautiful endemic species of reptiles including the Amboli Tiger Toad or the Green Vine Snake. The Malabar Pit Vipers and Bicolored Frogs also throng the place. While you need to keep your attention on the ground and the trees, the skies also do not disappoint as there are a lot of beautiful birds singing around including the regular Yellow-browed Bulbul and Malabar Grey Hornbill. Amongst the other sightseeing attractions are the Nagatta Falls, the famous Hiranyakeshi Temple near which also lies the origin of the river Hiranyakeshi from inside a small cave. The surroundings are beautifully natural and enlivening. There is the Sea View Point from where you can see the famous Konkan coast on one side while the place is surrounded by the valleys on the other three sides. Mahadevgad Point and Shirgaonkar Point are two of the popular points for having a glorious view of the sunset in the west. Then there is a small coastal town of Vengurla which is as quiet but buzzing at its port, which has been an important point of trade since the Portuguese and Dutch rulers’ time. 30 km from Amboli on the Mumbai-Goa highway is the city of Sawantwadi, which is quite popular for the local shoppers to buy wooden toys, artificial fruits and bamboo articles. The city is surrounded by hills on all sides and has a small lake in its centre called the “Moti Talav”, a walk around which in the evening is a pleasing affair. There are also Bauxite and Manganese mines nearby which may be visited if you are interested in the industrial affairs.
Best Time to Visit:
While monsoons are the breeding season for most of the reptiles and thus are a favourite season of most wildlife enthusiasts, most of the footfall in the area is observed right after the rainy season when the waterfalls are in full flow and the greens are the purest. The festivals may be avoided though, as there is a heavy rush experienced during that time. Note: If you are visiting this place and looking forward for a little trek or natural trail, be aware of the leeches, ticks and poisonous snakes around, especially during monsoons.
Hotels and lodges are easily available but a booking in advance during the weekends and festivals is recommended. So, if you’re looking ahead to a quaint and silent vacation in the quiets of the nature and also interested in knowing more about or experiencing the little battles of nature, Amboli is a place to visit.
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