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Chinchoti Waterfall in Vasai (E)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It was Hithakshi who suggested that we visit Chinchoti Waterfalls in Vasai. I checked out the place on the Internet and decided that a one-day trip to the place may prove to be a good outing. 

The blogs I had checked had warned that the approach roads were rather rough. One wrong move and you are bound to get lost in the forest hills, they had said. And that is exactly what happened to us. Read on to find out more about our lost expedition.

I circulated an email among my colleagues, hoping to drum up some enthusiasm for the trip. Only 3 people, including me, volunteered to go. The others backed out, fearing the heavy rains.
Group Photo, From Left: Vijay, Sanjay, Ashutosh, Me, Hithakshi and Urvashi
We planned to board the 6:23 am train from Andheri to Vasai and hire a rickshaw there to take us to the base village from where we were supposed to trek up to the top.

Later Hithakshi called me to say that it would be better if we trekked from Naigaon instead of Vasai, and we modified the plan accordingly. Ashutosh and I were supposed to board the train at Andheri and Hithakshi was to board at Bhayandar, two stops before Naigoan.

It turned out that our tribe was increasing. Ashutosh said that three others would be joining us on this trip, namely, Sanjay from Bandra, Vijay from Goregaon and Urvashi from Borivali.
Water gushing down the waterfall
Ashutosh and I waited on platform No 1 at Andheri station as we thought that the train was a slow train. The 6:20 am train had just left and the 6:29 am train was expected. We wondered if the 6:23 am train had been cancelled.

My sixth sense told me to check the indicator and to my surprise the 6:23 am train to Virar was expected to arrive on platform No 4. We raced up the foot overbridge and were lucky to reach the platform just as the train pulled in.

Our predicament seemed to set the stage for a day of unusual excitement. At Goregaon, Vijay was supposed to board the train. Sanjay was already in the train in another compartment.
From Left: Ashutosh, Vijay and Sanjay on the rocks
Vijay made the same assumption that we did, and waited on Platform no 1 for the train. When the train arrived on platform no 3, Ashutosh yelled out to him and I watched horrified as Vijay crossed the tracks to board the train. That was a most unwise thing to do. Vijay was very lucky as there was no train passing by as he rushed to board the train. My dear readers, I plead with you. ALWAYS use the foot overbridge. NEVER cross the tracks as it can kill you.

Meanwhile, Sanjay, who had made a few phone calls to Ashutosh and Vijay, misunderstood the plan and got down at Goregaon to board the train. He ended up arriving two trains later, after we alighted at Naigaon.

Urvashi boarded the train at Borivali without any confusion, followed by Hithakshi who boarded at Bhayandar.
From Right: Urvashi, Hithakshi and Me on the rocks
It was around 8 am by this time and raining heavily. The platform was deserted. We marched off to the east side of the station to hire a rickshaw to Chinchoti Waterfalls. At the rickshaw stand, the drivers warned us not to go to the falls, as it had been raining very heavily and many areas there were submerged under water. They advised us to cancel our plans and go home.

Having gone through so much trouble to get here, none of us were in the mood to return. A rickshaw driver volunteered to take us there for a price of Rs 15 per seat to which we readily agreed.

Six of us, one driver and one small rickshaw, capable of carrying three passengers. The six of us, however, managed to squeeze in.Wonder how? Read on...Ashutosh, Urvashi, Hithakshi and Vijay sat on the back seat. Sanjay and I sat on either side of the driver on the edge of the seat. I can still remember the pain of managing my weight on that thin edge of the seat. Sitting in that cramped position for around 30 minutes, we were thoroughly soaked by the time we reached. On the way, we could see less of land and more of water, thanks to the rains. Schools and houses were flooded.
Scenic view
Near the Bhiwandi highway, the driver announced that he would go no further as the highway was flooded with vehicles. We alighted there and began trekking towards the waterfall.

We had some tea at a tapri, a small corner joint next to the highway, where Ashutosh served us his Complan biscuits. We had never heard of Complan biscuits before and we ate them unenthusiastically, not knowing when we would be able to eat our next meal.

It was so cold here that Hithakshi could actually see vapour coming out of my mouth when I spoke, and the droplets of rain on my head looked like snowflakes from a distance.
Another scenic view
After taking directions from the locals, we decided to continue on our journey in search of Chinchoti Waterfalls. We walked for about 1½ hour to the base village.

The village was totally green in colour. Some parts of it were submerged under water. It was beautiful but I could not click photographs because of the heavy rains. :(

The flow of the water was very strong as it was coming down the mountains. Again the villagers warned us to go home. But we refused to pay heed and went ahead anyway.
Water from the Waterfall in the Village
We walked on, without directions, and got lost. We started walking through paddy fields in knee-deep muddy water. My suede trekking shoes were thoroughly soaked. On seeing us in the distance tramping through their fields, the farmers came rushing towards us, furious.

I felt sorry for them but the damage done by us out of our ignorance could not be undone. They shouted at us and we apologised. Later they showed us the way to the waterfalls.

The way up was via a stream coming down the hill. Once again we had to wade through ankle-deep water.
One more scenic view
After losing our way more than once, we asked another group of trekkers for directions and were finally put on the right track.

We could hear the water gushing down the rocks towards the left but could not see it due to the thick green cover. Suddenly we saw the water gushing down madly. I slipped and was about to go down. Fortunately, Vijay, who was right behind me, pulled me up just in time.

Worse, I slipped at the very same place on our way back from the waterfall.

We stopped for a while in the water to relax and recoup our energies. We managed to stay afloat amid the rocks, but we could feel the pressure of the water rising. I could see the water coming down from the hillside dashing against the rocks. It would be foolhardy to stay in the water any longer. Having regained our strength, we decided to return to the village.

By the time we reached the base village, it had stopped raining. So I took out my camera and began shooting.

We then boarded a rickshaw to Naigaon station, and took a train to Bhayandar station where we got off to have our lunch. We ate to our hearts’ content and then dispersed.

Tungareshwar is also located in the same hill range.

Other waterfalls I have visited are Jawahar- Dabhosa Waterfall, Zenith Waterfall, Kalote Waterfall. 


Prashant A. said...

Nice Trip.....
Whn u plan for next time here let me know ! :)

G.F. said...

I am just waiting to join your group... Just wanted to say thanks...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving me the credit however it wouldn't have been enjoyable without your initiative to take us there ..... we thoroughly njoyed it though :) and btw .. nice write - up again.

PRANNAV 555 said...

Very nice place, after seeing the pics i want to go there next weekend. thanks for the writeup Merod...


Thanks guys

ashutosh said...

nice , detailed narration of the trip.
Lookin for more pics on the blog.


Anonymous said...

thanx for narration..looking forward to go to chinchoti..

Ashutosh said...

Nice Experience

The Wanderer Yogi said...

Its really nice place for one day picnic or weekend getaway near Mumbai.

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