It was a countryside drive till we reach Kolad Resort. We started our journey bit early to cover few places on the way to Kolad resort. We crossed Imagica and Durshet resort of Naturetrails. After that road was in worst condition. But before Pali, it was slightly better. Kolad resort is also accessible from Mumbai-Goa highway. Pune people can take Tamhini ghat route to reach Kolad resort for stay and river rafting.
Ashtavinayak Temple Pali visit before Kolad Resort
I was driving slowly while enjoying the surrounding green landscapes. We reached Pali; a place well known for Ganesh (elephant god) temple. We took the blessings, there wasn’t much queue as it was a weekday and hardly any visitors were seen during noon time. We bought kandi pedhe ( an Indian sweet – generally distributed after one takes blessings as a Prasad) .
Hot Water Springs of Unhere
Next we headed to mind boggling hot water springs. Unhere is famous for its hot water. It is said that due to high Sulphur presence water boils. Also, I have heard that it’s good to soak in the natural hot water to cure skin diseases. There was an old structure built to sit around with the steps to access the hot water.
My friends were totally new to it and were wondering may be it’s getting warm due to the striking heat of Sun. But, then I showed them immediate next pond which was having cold water in it. Then everyone accepted the sulphur reason. We spent some time enjoying the hot water, the natural spa at free of cost. Didn’t took the bath, as we were not in that mood, but there were newly built enclosed structures available for the same, separate for both male and females.
Drive till Kolad Resort
On completion of photography session, sipped hot tea at the small eatery available next to it. Paddy fields took different shades from dark green to light green. Overall it was a peaceful ambiance. But, it gets crowded on weekends. After that, we took the U-turn back to the Adevnture KOLAD RSORT, where we were going to stay overnight. On the way, I parked vehicle to left side just to capture the Sarasgad – an easy trek near Mumbai. You can check my Irshalgad trek blog if you are more interested in trekking around Mumbai
After Pali, there was no network. Those who are coming for Kolad River Rafting or stay in any Kolad resort requested to put your destination on GMAP and go offline. GPS works smoothly without the internet. One has to cross the beautiful forest route with unending twist and turns. We went to explore one more place as sun was making it wonderful evening. Saffron-Blue sky shade was delight to watch. Rarely such beauty is explored while working in corporate world.
Next, we took a turn to Bhira dam from where Kundalika river originates. It’s less known dam to the tourist of Kolad but well known among the trekker community. Because, there are two famous treks near Bhira dam, one is Andharban trek and other one is Devkund waterfall trek. Road narrowed as we were getting closer to the dam. With the slightly bumpy ride and no one around, finally we reached to the big dam wall. We parked the car and headed to get amazing view of the dam. It was huge, made us to take out our all shooting gadgets. We tried hard to capture the beauty but again one has to visit to feel the nature. Fresh air, while sun running towards horizon, made our evening memorable. Astonishing view of forest, hills, waterfalls was feast to the eyes.
Kolad Resort Stay Experience
Again, we came back to the main route. Slowly, we drove to the Kolad campsite. We were late to check in. There was a good amount of parking space at the entrance. This Kolad Campsite was more kind of an adventure resort with many various options for stay. Its was full of trees.
Manager was waiting for us to show his all hospitality skills that he has learnt during his 17 years of koladness. We discussed about the nature, beauty of Kolad in monsoon, various rafting organisation and booking agents for Kolad Resort stay, Kundalika river rafting and many more. Topic moved to local villagers and commercialization of the rafting business. He was funny to explain different kinds of rafting customers and their behavior. Overall he looked contained with his work and the reviews that he has earned over the period. He was the local guy who manages the resort operations smoothly.
The View from Kolad Resort
He sent a guy to guide us till our cottages. I saw the Konkani style construction at Kolad resort. To our surprise, Kolad resort owner offered us special villa which was not available for customers, only for special guests. The view from the balcony forced us to fall in love with the Kolad Resort again and again. We thanked the owner in our mind, asked the guy to convey our regards, as he was not there on the campsite on that day. We were completely lucky to have such amazing stay in Kolad resort. There was a small waterfall and stream was going through the Kolad resort property. Flowing water stream’s sound was more refreshing than the breeze. Immediately guy came back with water bottles and hot snacks. This was way better than farmhouse or a bungalow that we were looking on internet the day before yesterday.
Kolad Resort & Adventure Campsite
We explored the Kolad Resort which was very beautiful and well planned. Mango and coconut trees were prominently seen everywhere. We went to the adventure zone to enjoy activities. Instructor was strict about the rules that needs to be followed during any activity as risk is involved. No drinking and smoking is allowed during or before the activity. After all, it was for our safety. As a part of adventure Kolad resort, we enjoyed Zipline, Burma bridge, Tarzan Swing and few more adventure activities. Later, we spent remaining time beside water stream, listening to sound of water, chirping of birds and what not.
Kolad Resort Stay Experience
Before getting dark, we went inside our old konkani style room constructed with special red bricks which are only found in Konkan called as Chira in local Marathi language. Kolad Resort or Campsite is completely surrounded with the trees and so you get the feeling of Jungle stay at night. Buffet Dinner was arranged at the dining g hall at mentioned time. We satiated our adventurous soul with rural delicacies. Food was amazing and made by local villagers with love. We went inside the kitchen to thank them.
It was dark, except the street lights of Kolad Resort were glowing slightly. But night walk from dining area to our room was peaceful – a walk to remember. Few insects, ants were expected as you are into forest. To our surprise, we saw few fireflies inside our room.
Went to sleep as we wanted to be fresh and energetic during river rafting. Kolad River Rafting is purely based on the water released from the BHIRA dam. But monsoon is considered as the best season for white water rafting. We woke up early morning and had heavy breakfast at Kolad Resort. We had booked an auto to pick us from the our Kolad Resort to reach rafting start point and which was again going to drop back to the campsite after picking up from the end point.
We met the rafting booking manager agent of Kolad Resort, he told us to sign disclaimer that we are doing rafting on our will and we know the risk involved. Rafting of 12 km stretch involves rapids of medium grade, allowed for 14+ age group only. We wore the life jackets, got the instructions from the raft guide. We waited for the water to get released from the dam as it gets released around 9-10 AM. After some time, we saw the water level getting increased forming waves.
We started our rafting with full energy. With the first rapid, we got completely wet. It was thrilling fun. One by one, we crossed all rapids safely. At the end, our guide allowed us to jump into the water. It is pretty safe to enter into the water at the end of rafting. Even non swimmer can enjoy the rafting activity. With the little flow, we reached the end point of rafting. We helped guide to pull raft out of the river. He headed back to the campsite with the same booked auto. Autowala charged us Rs. 800 till our booked Kolad Resort.
Past noon, we reached Kolad Resort and took bath. Everyone was trying to call our guide for the photos that he captured from his GoPro. He charged us Rs. 500 for all the pictures and videos. Immediately, everyone started uploading status and dp on Instagram, Whats-app and Facebook. I was craving for food. As it was 3 hours activity which made me exhausted.
Kolad Resort & Water Sports
We had a great meal. I ate sweet dish twice. We bid adieu to the lovely people of the campsite and headed to Load water sports center. The activity center is 10 km from the campsite. We enjoyed only motor boat ride, as we were already exhausted. We enjoyed tea at Riverside and started our return journey.
To summarize, river rafting and adventure activities requires 2 days – 1 night stay at Kolad Resort to explore and enjoy. And, if you still have the energy, you can enjoy Watersports near Kolad resort. Two days of koladness is now a life time memory.