Nature’s Bounty in Navi Mumbai – Pandavkada - Driving Range, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
I was visiting my parents in Mumbai in mid-July during the peak monsoon. With already made plans to go to Matheran, I was really excited about this trip to Mumbai. Unfortunately, due to some unusual allergy, my doctor suggested not to travel and the Matheran plan was cancelled.
As a routine whenever I visit Mumbai, I planned to meet my best friend, Shrutika. Excited to meet after a long time, we decided to on a small drive to Parsik hill in Navi Mumbai. It is one amazing place, you get to see the beautiful Nerul city form the top of a small hill. We visited the ISCON temple on the Parsik Hill. And during a general conversation to told her about my cancelled Matheran plan and how unhappy I was. She instantly said, ‘I have a place where I can take you, you would love it. It’s called ‘Driving Range’ in Kharghar. I am sure you will love it’, and I instantly agreed to go and we started driving towards Kharghar.
Chit-chatting about different things, school, our routine, our work, we drove down the highway and reached Kharghar. She navigated me to that place and I was awestruck to see something so beautiful. I couldn’t believe my eyes and it was too go to be real.
It was almost 6 in the evening and getting darker. I was a little hesitant to walk further the parking area. But my friend was quite confident that it would be safe and there would be enough people around. It was drizzling and t was no less than a hill station. Taking an umbrella (just to protect our mobile phones) and the selfie stick, we started walking up the hill. Seeing lot of people around, I was happy and relaxed. Climbing up and then down as fast as we could, we reached a small water stream coming down from a waterfall, high up the mountain.
Serene and green landscapes, we did not leave a single chance to click pictures of ourselves as well as the place even when we were hurrying to reach the water stream.
Pandavkada Falls is in Kharghar in Navi Mumbai. The waterfall, about 107 metres high and a popular one day picnic spot. Pandavkada has a small history in Hindu mythology. The place got its name from the Pandavas with a belief that they visited the place and took bath below the falls during their exile exiled in the forests. There is a huge tunnel and it is a popular belief that the Pandavas had come from that tunnel and so it is known as Pandavkada Ankit.
I was so overwhelmed with the place that I couldn’t believe that there could be something so beautiful right in the middle of the city. The could touched the mountain tops and far away I could see a milky white waterfall. The waterfall is the middle of the lush green mountains, the clean water stream, the sound of the flowing water, the natural tranquil and the best company to go with was all mesmerising and like I said before, too good to be true.
I was completely unaware of this place even after living in Navi Mumbai for almost 21 years of my life. Probably, earlier, this place was not so popular or easily accessible to people. We spent some time near the stream, sitting on a huge rock and dipping our feet in the flowing stream, clicked a lot of pictures and stared walking back down the hill before it got darker. It a good 30-minute hike to each the waterfall. And difficulty level is moderate. But we were not prepared to trek up to the waterfall and decided to spend time at the water stream.
Where to eat:
There are some fast food stalls in the parking area that sell vada pao, burger, chips, tea, coffee, pakodas, etc. and during monsoon you will also see roasted corn sellers. If you want you can drive to Kharghar city to eat. You may also carry some packed food to eat if you are planning to spend whole day at this place.
What to wear:
Wear decent clothes so that you don’t attract much attention when u get wet. Carry an umbrella, raincoat or a waterproof jacket if you don’t plan to get wet. Wear comfortable footwear that have a slip-proof sole as you would have to hike a little on uneven route to reach the stream. Going to the waterfall is a small track and its better you wear shoes if you plan to trek up to the fall. An umbrella or a raincoat would be useful to protect your gadgets.
Gadgets to be carried:
Mobile phone with good camera is quite enough to click pictures. Photography enthusiasts may carry their cameras, but it is always a risk during monsoon as it rains anytime and sometimes heavily.
Other things to carry:
If you wish to hike up to the waterfall, carry a water bottle and some light snacks. The shops are only in the parking area. Carry along a plastic bag. They are useful in protecting your gadgets as well as for collecting the thrash. Kindly do not little and help in maintaining thjke beauty of the place.
Best time to visit:
Monsoon is the best time to visit Pandavkada and relax in the nature’s lap. You may also visit during other time. It would still be green but you would not be able to experience the waterfall.
How to reach:
Reaching Driving range from anywhere in Mumbai or outside is not very difficult. If you type ‘DRIVING RANGE, Kharghar’ in google maps, it will show you the directions correctly. You can also enter ‘Central Park Kharghar’ then also it will take to the driving range as the Central Park is located very close to the Driving Range.
Take any bus that goes to Kharghar and get down at the Kharghar bus stop on the highway. From there you can take 54 no NMMT bus and get down at Kharghar Valley Golf Course bus stop.
You can take any harbor line train till Kharghar and then take 54 no NMMT bus till Kharghar Valley Golf Course bus stop. You can also take an auto rickshaw from the railway station.
By road, take the Bombay Goa highway till Kharghar. Enter the Kharghar city, keep driving straight till Utsav Chowk, then take a right turn and drive straight for a few minutes till you see the sign board of ‘DRIVING RANGE’ on your left. Enter the small concrete road on the left and you have reached the destination.
All I would like to say is, I was very pleased when I got back home. An unplanned trip turned out to be the best paisa vasul trip... all thanks to my friend for taking me to such a beautiful place. Whenever you can do visit Pandavkada, especially during monsoon. It is located right in the middle of the city yet utterly magical.
On one side, we saw the lush green mountains with clouds floating over then and on the other side you can see the skyline of Navi Mumbai.