Jawhar: The Lands of Warli Painting & Rich Tribal Heritage.
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Are you looking for a rustic getaway from the city chaos to the land of the Tribals? Or want to explore some heritage structures amidst the benevolence of nature? Then your destination of choice is not far away! Travel to Jawhar, a petite hill station located in Thane district. It is also often called as Mumbai’s Mahabaleshwar in the local jargon.
But in many ways, Jawhar has more to offer than any well-known hill station. What sets it apart is its rich cultural heritage & ancient tribal wisdom. Interestingly, the art form Warli painting originated in this land before taking the world art scene by awe.
Jawahar is also home to some ancient forts, palaces & structures deeply associated with the Maratha history. The hillsides are lush green & the mountain terrain still offers best in terms of scenic views, waterfalls, valleys & more.
Top tourist attractions here are:
1. Jai Vilas Palace:
This mighty structure is not only awe-inspiringly royal but also an architectural heritage crafted in pink stone. Belonging to the kings of Munke family, the palace was well known as Raj Bari in the early days. The palace is surrounded by vast gardens of Cashew nut trees & sits atop a mountain with splendid views of the valleys below.
2. Sunset Point
Also known as a lover’s hideout, this point provides breathtaking views of the verdant valleys & beyond. The place is also known as Dhanukamal owing to its peculiar bow shaped cliff line. Tourists must spend some time here to marvel at nature’s creation & enjoy the beauty of the fading sun.
3. Dabosa Waterfall
Around 18 km from Jawhar is a mighty waterfall known as the Dabosa waterfall. The fall is on Lendi river & is surrounded by a conical mountain range with amazing views. The water gushes in top speed during monsoons & the sight of the waterfall is awe inspiring.
4. Hanuman Point
This vantage point is located in the valley across the Jai Vilas Palace & offers excellent views of the Royal families abode on the mountain tops. There is an old Maruti temple nearby surrounded by extensive thickets of cacti. It is hence also known as Katya Maruti locally.
It is said that this gateway structure atop a hill range was built in honor of Shijavi Maharaj as a rest facility for him & his Mavlas while they journeyed to Surat. The historic structure is still in good shape & dates back to 3rd century. History buffs must definitely visit the place for more interesting stories.
How to Reach Jawhar:
Jawhar is situated in Thane district & can be reached via Nashik or Mumbai. It is 80 km from Nashik & about 150 km from Mumbai by road. Nearest railway station is Igatpuri from where one can travel further by road. State transport & private transport like jeeps, taxis are also available.
Best Places to Stay Near Jawhar:
Jawahar is limited on options for a luxury stay. However decent hotels & lodges are available. It is recommended to stay on farmstays surrounding the place to truly appreciate the unique tribal culture & lifestyle which this place offers. There are chickoo plantations on the farmstays here which are not to be missed. Staying on the farm also lets you explore & learn the tribal customs & traditions. One can surely benefit by learning the rich cultural art-form of Warli paintings directly from the local tribal people.
Best Time to Visit Jawhar:
Jawhar experiences harsh summers & best time to visit is from September to April. Avoid heavy monsoons as it rains incessantly here. Winters are the ideal time to plan a romantic getaway or a family picnic to Jawhar.