Malshej Ghat is a place well-known to many who are fond of hills and mountains, especially people living in Mumbai and around it. A paradise covered by lush green blanket touching the ceiling of white clouds, Malshej Ghat is a location which is a treat to drive or ride around thanks to the numerous twisties and hairpins paving their way through sky-touching rocky and green peaks. While escaping out of Mumbai through Kalyan, one has to take the route to Murbad, crossing which you start getting the slight glimpse of the curvy and peaky Malshej hills. Moving towards it you’ll sense that the excitement keeps on increasing as you start getting a clearer view of mountains which end into sharp rock cliffs on the top. However, you need to store your excitement for longer as there’s always a lot to come as you keep on heading towards it.
Once you reach the bottom of the hills and start ascending, you come across various tea stalls and canteens which serve hot tea along with a variety of Indian snacks. It’s up to you whether you want to try them and warm yourself up for what’s coming your way or you want to directly indulge into one of the most beautiful parts of mother nature. Moving ahead, you are welcomed with sweeping turns which feels more like a roller coaster to ride or drive on if you have the proper skills. The road along the Malshej hill is a clean piece of tarmac with the lowest number of potholes to distract you from making the full out of drive this gorgeous location. However, you still need to be careful as a few turns may surprise you with the sudden arrival of deep patches which emerge during the monsoon.
Apology! I didn’t share the best view which you are treated with way before starting to climb the mountain. Let me take you back to where the hills just start being visible and there, you will see numerous waterfalls on almost every corner and every valley across the hills, those which will be present only if you are lucky enough to visit here during monsoon. Now, let’s get back to where we left. While you start going up the mountain, the forest around you starts getting denser which only enhances the thrill further. An experienced driver or rider can make you have a lot of fun as the sharp turns are overly joyous if you pass through them speeding. However, a certain limit of speed would be safe.
Now, while you have reached to a considerable height, few hundred feets above the sea level, you will start coming across puny waterfalls which flow down so close that they touch one side of the road. Visitors prefer to stop by these waterfalls to have fun with the hefty stream of pure mountain water. Heading ahead, you’ll be greeted by several such waterfalls. one or two of which directly fall in the middle of the road giving your car the free washing treatment. We recommend you to close the windows to avoid the water entering your car, the extra internal cleaning expenses may be annoying otherwise. If you are on a two-wheeler, enjoy the bath!
Two or three spots over the Malshej hill are so mesmerizing that you cannot refrain yourself from stopping by them. After ascending a few kilometers, there’s a turn which is extremely sharp, and people have settled a temple at one corner of it which has a rocky roof above which looks as if it has frozen seconds before falling over the temple. Besides, a tiny snack stall is located where the owner serves smocking hot wadapav (bun and fried potato balls). Quite often, you will see various cars being parked at this spot with the visitors enjoying the food and taking in the scenic view of the mountains and deep valleys.
Advance a few meters ahead, and there’s a tiny hut which is right on the edge of the road behind which there’s a deep valley. This point is also alluring and you cannot move further without spending a few minutes at this place. Now, just like you have a beautiful view of this place while moving towards it, same will it be while escaping away from it. There are various such locations on the outskirts of Mumbai. However, as many I have come across, Malshej Ghat remains the best location in my list.