Jawahar is not on the Mahrashtra tourism map but it is a hill station with a difference. While, it shares a salubrious climate, picturesque waterfalls and scenic views with other Maharashtrian Hill stations like Mahabaleswar, Jawahar has a unique Tribal flavor to it. It is home to Jai Vilas palace, the seat of erstwhile tribal kings. It is also an important centre for learning for Warli style of paintings. Far from the madding crowd, Jawahar is an excellent weekend getaway from Mumbai. Jawahar beckons travelers looking for a “non-touristy” hill station near Mumbai.
Jawahar is just 180 kilometers from Mumbai and hence can be considered in the list of of places to visit in Mumbai. Take the Western Express highway and turn right at Manor on Wada road. Take a left turn after 14 kilometers before Wada. Nearest Railhead is 65 kms away at Igatpuri on Central Line and Dahanu on Western Line.
Nashik is the nearest Airport.
Jawahar is not as well known as Lonavala but it is equally enchanting.
The best place to stay here would be either the Sajan Nature Club or Divekarwadi Vikramgarh. Both are run by Nature Trails and provide a relaxing atmosphere for your stay. Sajan Nature Club is spread over 30 acres and you can stay even in a tree top home or tiled hut! Diverkarwadi Vikramgarh is spread over 5 acres and is a typical “Wadi” with a village home feel. It has more than 200 species of fruit and flowering plants and a nursery. You can call +91-22-66557777 to contact them, or visit Nature Trails.
Jawahar is home to the Warli tribes who are a mascot for Maharashtra tourism. Today these people number over 300000 and are continuing their unique traditions and customs.They speak a dialect which borrows words from Sanskrit, Marathi and Gujarati.
The warli are an artistic community and their skills have been known since the 10th century AD. What is unique about their paintings is that instead of mythology, the subject matter is about just another day in their life. They use mud, charcoal or cow dung to narrate their lifestyle. Ciircles, triangles and squares dominate their vocabulary. Their inspiration for circle is the sun and the moon, mountains and trees for triangles and piece of land for the square. Typically, the central motif of the paintings is surrounded by everyday events like hunting, farming, fishing, etc. It is interesting to note that till the 1960, painting was done only by women.
That was until Jivya Soma Mashe arrived in the scene. An over-seer of grasslands he became a legendary painter during the 1970s. He held his first international exhibition at Palais de Menton, France in 1976. A remarkable achievement indeed, for a man who was abandoned in childhood by his family. It is said, he used to speak very little during his childhood and expressed himself only through drawings on the ground, a strange hobby that later got him international recognition!
For experiencing Tribal culture of Nilgiris in the South, visit Coonoor Tea plantation holiday for details.
Jawahar was a princely hill station during the British Period and was ruled by the Munke family. Jai Vilas Palace was the seat of their power. A visit to the palace, also called Raj Bari, is highly recommended. It is nestled amidst thick forests on top of a rock providing a breathtaking view of the hill station’s surroundings. There are 80 rooms in the Palace providing a glimpse of the curios and furniture of the times. The palace is surrounded by a huge cashew nut plantation.
Off-late, Jawahar has become one of the more popular hill stations to provide a backdrop to film shootings!
Dabdaba Falls is a must see around Jawahar. It’s a joy to watch this waterfall in the midst of the thick green forest all around. Visit Bhandardhara, if you fancy gushing waterfalls and lakes.
A hill station visit is incomplete without a picnic lunch! Head to Palusa an ideal location to plan a picnic lunch. The waterfall is created by a horse shoe cataract plunging down more than 30 feet into a pool surrounded by hills.
Legend says that Hanuman fell in love with this hill station and had relaxed here while on his way to meet Lord Rama. There is a Hanuman point as expected to visit this place. It provides a breathtaking view of the vast valley below Jawhar.
Make a point to visit Shirpamal, the gateway built by Shivaji the legendary Maratha king. It was built on top of the tallest hill to provide a good view of the vicinity. For the trekkers headed to this hill station, Tiger Caves is an enticing destination.
Sunset Point is a great place to wind up your Jawahar visit, a remote outpost of the Maharashtra tourism map. You can bid adieu to this unique tribal hill station near Mumbai as you watch the beautiful Sun go down.
For a travelogue on a Sea Fortress near Mumbai, visit Murud Jhanjira.
For my travelogues on other weekend getaways from Bangalore, visit Bangalore Weekend Ideas.
For weekend getaways from Delhi, visit Holiday ideas near Delhi
For weekend getaways from Chandigarh, visit Holiday Ideas near Chandigarh