Had been to Amboli in 2nd week of August, 2014. We used our car for commuting. The drive from Pune to Amboli took around 7.5 hours with a few stoppages.
The place is awesome with lust green forest, scenic valleys, amazing waterfalls, clouds all around and heavy rainfall.
We stayed at JRD International. It is a big but poorly maintained property. Read full review here.
Roaming around: There is no tourist taxi available in Amboli for sightseeing. You need to drive to places though poorly maintained isolated roads. Optionally you can hire a chauffeur for Rs. 1000/- per day (as per our hotel receptionist. We decided to drive of our own.
Hiranyakeshwar Temple: We reached Amboli on Friday afternoon. After having lunch in hotel restaurant, we headed to Hiranyakeshwar Temple. Roads are narrow and isolated with big potholes at some places. There are hardly any signboards. I would personally suggest visiting Amboli in a group since most the places here are isolated and you hardly get to see people or vehicles on the way.
The temple itself is good. Placed amidst beautiful green surroundings. There is a pool in front of temple filled with crystal clear water.
But the crowd was bad. Drunk people making noises in the pool. In fact 75% of the crowd at Amboli is the group of young guys and most of them drunk.
We came back to our hotel at 5 PM since it was too cloudy to explore other places.
Next day we headed to Amboli waterfalls at 8 AM. It is on the way on the ghat road that leads to GOA. There are steps to go up. A big waterfall with strong water current facing a deep valley (which we could not see due to clouds) . Cold water, crabs on rocks , slipper steps and rains – all the same time. You need to be careful of speeding vehicles since the waterfall is on the main road.
We spend around an hour there. Then came back to hotel, bathed and had breakfast. Our Next destination was Mahadevgad.
It was 11 AM on Saturday morning and we were the only couple standing at that isolated place with fog all around. Little scary. 10 min later another couple came to visit and we felt little better. Again could not see the valley due to clouds.
We could not find any point even after driving 4 km on the directed path. A passing by vehicle guided us to a location which was nothing more than a small pavement with railings facing to bushes. No signboard anywhere. It cannot be called a visiting point at all.
We went ahead the same road for another half a kilometer (just to explore out of curiousity)& it was HEAVEN there. BEAUTIFUL. It was the road leading to Chiroli village and the view on both sides was awesome. We didn’t go till the village and turned our car back near Deep Forest Retreat resort.
And the view I saw next was unforgettable. Rain approaching us in layers. It was 50 meters apart then 40, 30, 20, 10 and then our car windshield. Nature at its best.
Next we planned to visit Parikshit point but locals advised us against going there alone in private car. As per them, we need to park car at certain point and then walk through the Forest to reach there. So it’s best to visit that point in a big group. We dropped the idea and headed to our next destination
We reached there around 1:30 PM and probably it was the only point where I could see some crowd. The place gives you a scenic view of valley and some small waterfalls. It was indeed good.
Go down a few steps behind those tea/snack stalls and take a look at this amazing waterfall. There is a just a small gallery where you can enjoy the beauty and click pics. Nothing much to do there. 15-20 min are more than sufficient to visit this place.
It was around 2:15 PM and we were really hungry. So we went back in search of food. I really didn’t want to each at my Hotel but sadly there are not much options in Amboli. We decided to try out Silver Spring Resort Restaurant (Read Review) and we didn’t regret it.
Came back to hotel at 4 PM. Already too tired to do anything else and actually was nothing else left to explore as well. So spent rest of day inside the room. Had that (hopeless) Dinner at JRD restaurant and next morning we purposely left at 6 AM so that we hit the highway by breakfast time. Return journey was good. Saw lots of peacocks on my way back.
Amboli is a nice place for one day halt if you going to or coming back from GOA. But it wasn’t worth travelling 350 KM from Pune. There are better places around to explore in rains.