A Weekend Getaway to Kolad
My blank-faced trip mates appeared as the car stopped in front of me. “Finally!” I exclaimed to myself. No mornings have felt happier than the ones I wake up to, to leave on an endless journey. We had to cover a distance of 120 kilometers to a destination that is close to nature in boundless ways – Kolad. Situated in the Raigad district, Maharashtra state, India; Kolad lies on the banks of river Kundalika and is a great weekend getaway option for Mumbai as well as Pune residents. Kolad is slowly becoming known to the adventure junkies for its picturesque backdrop of Sahyadris, green meadows, and waterfalls. Adventure lovers are now calling this an adventure sports destination as one could do rafting, rappelling, kayaking and many other activities here. Kolad is mainly famous for its white water rafting.
Taking National Highway 17, commonly referred to as Mumbai – Goa Highway, the road journey got exciting as we crossed off-ramps, byroads, narrow lanes, and mazes! I personally prefer road trips to as many places as possible. The weather added to the fun as we were visiting Kolad in the month of January during winters. I’d recommend rainy season, the months of June to August, as the best time to visit, though. For a reason best suitable! Read on, you’ll know why…
Having a number of options, you have to travel a few kilometers from the village to find yourself accommodation in resorts and farm houses. The average cost per head is Rs. 1400 to 2000 for an overnight stay, inclusive of meals. After checking out 2-3 farm houses, we chose Pooja farms- a mesmerizing scenic farm house that serves best of food. The highlight of the place is the wooden cottage and their private escape to the backwaters of river Kundalika. Wow!
Following the hectically whoopee day, it was time for some adventure. The moment I was waiting for…My favorite part of the trip- RIVER RAFTING! This high adrenaline sport of navigating a river involves several levels of difficulty. These difficulty levels referred to as “grades” occur due to rapids- turbulent part of the river rise due to sudden plunges in river’s height and rocks lurking in the river. We were all set to hit the blades across 12 kilometers of river Kundalika – a river that flows from the hills of Sahyadri to the Arabian Sea. Despite having only one gate of the dam open for our ride, the flow was good enough for a first timer and marked 2+ rapids.
Ramesh, my guide on the raft had sensed my zest and decided to train me.
“What?! Training in a 2-hour ride?”
As we got onto the raft, he began explaining me various parts of raft, terms, methods, techniques etc of river rafting. (Yes, just me. He didn’t care enough about others!) And, after a point, while others gave him hopeless looks, I was totally enjoying the attention! Oh sorry, the training I mean! His passion for the job showed and he made sure to mention all the basics of river rafting to us. He told me about other river rafting destinations like Manali, Rishikesh, Coorg, Uttarakhand and also promised me a discount on my visit to Manali. He was helpful, kind and generous.
Now you must have realized why I recommended rainy season as the best time to visit Kolad. The rains make rapids in river Kundalika go up to grade 3+ and make it all the more thrilling.
You can find other water sports activities and adventure sports like Kayaking, parasailing, paragliding, zip lining etc here in Kolad. These activities can be booked in advance through travel agents who charge a certain percentage of commission. You can also book an entire trip through these agents who set tents at the riverside camp, manage your food, arrange adventure sports activities and usually charge a hefty amount for all of this! These packages are good for people who don’t have time for arrangements and want everything ready before hand to calmly make the most out of their trip. I like it the other way round because it gives me the liberty to do all that I want and not waste time on anything that disinterests me. However, this is purely a personal choice you have to make based on your time, interests and comfort.
Overall, Kolad is an ideal place for vacation with family and friends. It is beautiful and adds ardor by offering a variety of escapades. One night, two days are enough to enjoy the destination fully. You may also take one day trip here provided you reach the place early morning. The day would start with rafting and be continued exploring locally. An overnight trip to Kolad will approximately cost INR 3500 per head. Including accommodation, food, petrol and river rafting fee of INR 600 (If booked well in advance) One may also book river rafting through agents at the resorts they stay in; adding a commission of INR 300 to 400.
A weekend getaway to Kolad will sure be a medley of adventurous activities. If river rafting and other adventurous sports including water sports send your adrenaline racing, then pack your bags and head out to Kolad. A package of adventure amidst nature awaits you!
This is a guest post by Pooja Akula. Taking deep interests in subjects like culture, lifestyle, urbanity and destinations, Pooja Akula turned her inquisitiveness into a profession and is a travel writer and video presenter. She is a hyperactive, fun-loving, vagabond girl who believes in living every moment to the fullest. She wishes to become a travel influencer some day.
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