Before our visit no one from the group knew where the hell is this place, also google baba who usually is very helpful when it comes to search- failed here as there was nothing that gave any info about the place. Ajay had google map co-ordinates and that nearest station could be Boisar or Vangoan and thus it was pilot trip that we were embarking upon. Meeting place was decided to Borivali station around 7am.Gang of six which included Bharti, Aparna, Sagar, Mark with Ajay and me reached on time whereas our Jatinbhai and Vipul, who were suppose to join couldn't make it as they had a late night party, got up only when they started getting frantic calls to confirm if they were joining us from Dr Ajay.....
Early morning local train journey is always an wonderful experience for there is enoughhhhhhhhh space when one compares to morning rush in Mumbai locals after 8am when you don't get space at times to board the train forget about getting space to even stand properly. Having experienced rush hour in Mumbai locals on weekdays and when one gets a empty train in early morning on weekends. Its always a welcome change. We reached Virar by 8am just in time as our next train to Vangoan had just arrived. But moment Dahanu - Virar shuttle arrived, it was packed to core and I couldn't help but think what would it be like on normal weekdays. And it was just 8am on Sunday morning !!!! We did managed to get enough space to stand properly, also our journey to Vangoan station was only going to be for 50 minutes. One thing about Vangoan that I could find is that its famous for "Vadapav from Satish" - one and only food stall on the station sells vadapav which is very famous and quite tasty but by the time we reached it was over. But we decided to try it on our return journey.
Its easy to get tum-tums to Sakhare lake from the phata and journey was around 15minutes. We started our photo shoot as soon as we reached the gates of the dam. It was serene and pleasant sight.
The water was filled upto the brim, I am sure if we had come in middle of rainy season, we would have captured the pleasant sight of water overflowing from the dam. Its not a huge water body but it was beautiful sight of lush greenery around the periphery of the lake and mountains beyond that. We asked the gatekeeper if we could walk on the fenced walls of the dam but were informed it requires permission and being a Sunday, the office was closed. We decided to explore the area surrounding the dam as it didn't require any permission also we could see some villagers passing by on bicycles indicating that there were villages around the lake. We moved along the periphery of the lake, we were certainly not disappointed with the sight of the lake and its surroundings and there was proper road leading to villages ahead.
It was getting hot and humid now with sun at the top and we decided to find some shade near the lake shore to have our packed lunch. One patch of lake shore was ladened with trees with some shade and we had our lunch on the lake shore. It was nice small excursion with the group and it was nice place worth a visit on lazy Sunday.
On our return journey we did manage to eat Vadapav at Vangoan station and true to its words, It was one of the best I had in recent times. It was still 1.30 in the afternoon and Bharti suggested that we explore the famous Kelwe beach before starting our return journey back home. With everyone ready for 2nd excursion of the day we headed to Palghar and from station took a 12km tum tum ride to the beach.
Kelwe beach has one of the pristine and longest shoreline of around 7kms. Lined with tall Suru trees on one side and calmed shore on other, its one of the best beaches around or close to Mumbai. Sun was still burning hot so we decided to walk in the shades of Suru trees searching for perfect spot to rest for a while before we walk in waters to capture the sunset. Being a Sunday there were lot of crowd sitting in groups under the shades of trees but the litter left behind by people were a real dampener along the path. Finally managing to find a perfect place to sit in shades of trees waiting for Sunset at Kelwe beach, we had a hot cuppa of tea and other snacks carried by us. It was perfect place for Sunday evening close to Mumbai yet far away from hustle bustle of Mumbai life.
Kelwe beach has two small forts along the coast, one which is on southern side but we couldn't visit that one as its in middle of sea and is in accessible during high tide. On northern end of the beach, there is another fort which is in ruins but we did visit that one. Its a small fort but looking at the structure it was more like a watch tower hidden in tall trees but would have been a treat to stay in during its prime close to seashore 200 - 300 yrs ago !!!!
It was now sunset time as we walked along the beach, clicking pictures and enjoying the waves hitting the shores, away from the crowd which was concentrated on the southern end of the beach. The waves hitting the shores making the rhythmic sound mesmerising and inviting one to sit on the sands and enjoy the evening. After a stroll for over a hour we decided to head back home as it was getting dark and within no time it was like all hell had broken loose, climate changed in minutes and it started raining heavily followed by thunder and lightning. We all were completely drenched as we headed back to rickshaw stand outside Sitlamata temple which is also one of the popular spots near the beach. After waiting for over 20 minutes in heavy rain and no tum - tum insight we walked to the bus stand. Waiting for bus back to Palghar we had another hot vada pav which tasted even better in cold rains. Back at Palghar station we boarded the Ahmedabad - Bandra passenger train to reach home. Kelwe beach is a perfect place to spend a nice evening or a lazy Sunday with friends or family members with options of range of resorts for overnight stay. I also came to know that food available in nearby resort is mouth watering and worth a try. So again another exciting excursion came to an end. I say excursion because it was not a trail in jungle or trek to some locations in Sahyadri but it was just like true to our groups name - A Wanderlust Adventure.