The Thrilling Adventure to India’s Tallest Waterfall – Vajrai

The monsoons bring an alluring charm to the Western Ghats in India. Lush green forests, gushing waterfalls and slippery trails – it’s an adventurer’s paradise. One such gem hidden in the valleys of Maharashtra is the Vajrai waterfall, India’s tallest plunge waterfall. At a towering height of 1083 feet, it awaits the daring with a thrilling trek and magnificent views.

Vajrai Waterfall

My friend Ankit and I decided to take on this adventure in the monsoons of 2023. In this article, I chronicle our experience trekking to Vajrai, from the route we took to the jungle crossings and final views of the mighty falls. Read on for a detailed guide on how to get there, what to expect on the way and the grand spectacle that awaits at the end.

Reaching Bhambawali Village – The Trek Starting Point

Vajrai waterfall lies nestled deep in the Western Ghats, 140kms away from Pune near the village of Bhambawali. To get there, we drove through the hill stations of Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani. The winding roads passing quaint villages and panoramic valley views set the tone for the adventurous day ahead.

Vajrai Waterfall

After a 3 hour long and scenic drive, we reached Bhambawali. This tiny tribal village with no more than 30 houses exuded an old-world charm. After parking our car and geating ready for the trek, we took a local guide to assist us. He knew the jungle routes like the back of his hand.

Into the Lush Green Jungle

The trail begins innocuously enough, wide and well laid out. But within fifteen minutes, we veered right into the dense jungle. Our guide warned us of leeches and we rolled up our pants. We crossed a gorgeous stream, my first of many ungraceful water crossings that day!

Vajrai Waterfall

As we descended deeper, the forest transformed into a living maze – trees wrapped in moss, glistening boulders, and streams flowing by. We stumbled upon exotic sights unseen on city treks – a Giant Indian Squirrel, Malabar Gliding Frog and Brahminy blind snake to name a few. Crossing the jungle river over precariously balanced rocks was an adventure in itself!

At one point I lost my footing and took a tumble much to everyone’s amusement. My first jungle trek mishap was caught on camera for everyone’s viewing pleasure!

First Glimpse of Vajrai Waterfall

After an arduous jungle trek of 3 odd hours, we finally emerged at a clearing. And lo and behold, there stood majestic Vajrai waterfall in all its glory! We gaped awestruck at this thundering three tiered beast unfurling from a height of over 1000 feet.

As we inched closer, the sound grew deafening but we were glued to the sight. Cool wind from the falls gently kissed our tired faces. Getting to see this hidden wonder up close, far from the crowds felt like such an exclusive privilege.

Vajrai Waterfall

We relaxed on the rocks and enjoyed the views for as long as we could. But with daylight fading and leeches aplenty, we decided to head back. I left promising myself I’d be back for more of this jungle adventure soon!

The Long Way Home

Coming back up was as exciting as the descend! More slips, stumbles, laughing and panicked leech shakedowns later, we emerged victorious but tired from the jungle.

Vajrai Waterfall

The long drive back was spent reliving moments from our epic trek. Vada Pav dinner wraps up our 18 hour long Vajrai extravaganza! An absolute highlight of the monsoons, I highly recommend adding this adventure to your Western Ghats bucket list!

Directions to Vajrai Waterfall:

By Road: From Pune, take NH48 towards Satara via Mahabaleshwar/Panchgani. Drive until Bhambawali village and park.

By Train: Get down at Satara Railway Station. Hire a taxi or take a State Transport bus to Bhambawali Village.

Best Time to Visit: July to September during the Monsoon season

Things to Remember:

  • Carry leech repellant socks/spray
  • Have a guide to navigate the jungle trail
  • Start early; the trek takes 4-6 hours one way
  • Avoid going down to waterfall base in heavy rains

I hope you enjoyed my recount of our thrilling jungle adventure to Vajrai, India’s tallest waterfall deep in the magical Western Ghats! Let me know in the comments below if you have any other questions.

Happy Trekking!

FAQs:

How tall is Vajrai waterfall?

Vajrai waterfall is 1083 feet (330 meters) tall making it the tallest plunge waterfall in India.

Where is Vajrai waterfall located?

Vajrai waterfall is located near the Bhambawali village in Satara district of Maharashtra. It lies in the dense forests of the Western Ghats.

What is the best time to visit Vajrai?

Monsoons from July to September is the ideal time to visit when the waterfall and forests are at their lush green best.

Is it safe to trek alone to Vajrai?

No, the jungle trek to Vajrai waterfall is dense and complex to navigate alone. It is highly recommended to take a knowledgeable local guide.

What are some key things to carry for Vajrai trek?

Some essentials to carry are good trekking shoes, leech repellant socks/spray, first aid kit, enough food and water, flashlight and extra batteries. An umbrella and raincoat for unpredictable showers is a good add-on too.

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