Toranmal: Jewel of Maharashtra
Are you looking for some exciting new destination to plan your next vacation in the tranquility of nature? Are pristine lakes, rocky cliffs with waterfalls & lush green surrounding what you are hoping for?
Toranmal is the ideal destination for tourists who like to venture out of the ordinary to explore the unexplored! Located on Maharashtra MP borders, in the Satpuda ranges, it is a hitherto unknown destination. Interestingly, Toranmal because of its height enjoys cool climate throughout the year!
The hill station is actually saucer-shaped plateau between two peaks of the Satpuda ranges & offers lush green carpets of grass & dense vegetation on all sides of the cliffs. It is an ideal getaway destination from Maharashtra, MP and Gujarat given its proximity from all three states.
Some of the highlights of Toranmal worth visiting are:
1. Lotus Lake & Sita Khai:
This beautiful lake is full of blossoming lotuses & reminds one of the early days when Queens had their own ponds full of lotus blossoms & intricate boats. It is from that lake that a stream originates & runs along to become a sparkling waterfall off the cliffs known as Sita Khai. Sita Khai is a stammeringly deep valley with straight rock-cut walls & offers most picturesque locations.
2. Torna Devi Temple:
A 600-year-old ancient temple of goddess Torna Devi, the Shire has a mystic aura. The idol is of pitch black stone representing the deity. There is also a 500-year-old Banyan tree located nearby on Toranmal. This is a must visit for all history & antiquity enthusiasts.
3. Yashwant Lake:
Yashwant Lake is a serene lake fully covered by thick vegetation on its banks. It offers a pristine calming effect & is definitely the star attraction of Toranmal. The lake has been named after the erstwhile CM of Maharashtra –Dr Yashwant Rao Chavan. It is said that the CM had a special liking of this place & used to visit it while horse riding. The lake offers boating & fishing opportunities.
4. Machindranath Cave:
This natural cave is said to be the meditation sanctuary of the well-known saint Guru Machindranath. Also located nearby is his temple & the seat of Rishi Markendeya. Machindranath cave is a must visit not just for the religious believers but also for trekkers who enjoy a good climb among the greens.
5. Akka Rani’s Palace:
This historic Mahal or palace is said to have been the home of Maharana Pratap’s sister. Although the palace is now in ruins, still some architectural features are visible in the intricate carvings of the place. Situated amidst the most beautiful Satpuda ranges, the views from this place are surely befitting for a queen!
It is rare to find a place steeped in culture & history, yet untouched by the advent of civilization. Toranmal with its rustic rural feel & tribal existence is surely worth exploring!
How to Reach Toranmal:
Toranmal is located near Nandurbar in Maharashtra. It is about 500 Kms from Mumbai. It is 4 km off the Shahada – Dhadgaon road. The nearest airport is Surat. State transport buses & private taxis ply on the Shahada-Dhadgaon road.
Best Places to Stay in Toranmal:
Rustic locations like Toranmal are best explored while staying as close to nature as possible. A place with its tribal feel still intact Toranmal is the perfect destination to explore a nearby Farmstay or rest-house / lodge. There are not many hotels in this area & farmstays offer great bed & breakfast options. You can also enjoy the spicy Khandeshi Maharashtrian rural cuisine here.
There are many cotton farms here & you can not only witness the farming & harvesting techniques of cotton but also see the actual processing of cotton yarns & bales for clothes while staying on the farms.
Best Time to Visit Toranmal:
Given its high altitude & enchanting weather, the place is favorable throughout the year for planning a vacation.