Once the capital of a Warli kingdom and now a predominantly tribal hill station, it is so graciously endowed with natural beauty and scenic locations that you could spread a rug and bring out your picnic hamper just about anywhere.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Jawhar’s unhurried pace, laid-back life and exquisite natural beauty provide the ideal backdrop for several indulgences. All it needs is adequate tourist infrastructure and a few spin doctors to sell this destination as an alternative to other, done-todeath spots. However, if you want to be pampered and fussed over, and expect all your whims and fancies to be catered to, then Jawhar, with its embryonic hospitality scene, might disappoint.
Jai Vilas Palace
This regal structure, belonging to the erstwhile tribal lords, is surrounded by extensive cashew plantations spread over a massive area. Inside the palace, the hall has some lovely portraits of the Mukne clan. Upstairs is the children’s nursery, drawing room, some intricate antique furniture items, the royal bedroom, the obligatory stuffed tigers, bathrooms the size of bedrooms and a huge lobby.
The guest section is locked but according to the guide, important guests come and stay here occasionally. For instance, Akshay Kumar and his team camped here for 10 days during the shooting of Khiladi. The palace is a popular location for film shoots. It has close to 50 rooms and the terrace affords a great view of Jawhar.
Just adjacent to Jawhar bus depot and close to Jai Vilas Palace is Hanuman Point. Apart from a temple dedicated to Ram’s faithful disciple, this place offers a good view of the valley below. From a particular angle you can even see the domes of Jai Vilas Palace silhouetted against the misty hills, giving it an ethereal appearance.
There is hardly any place in Maharashtra where the great warrior Shivaji has not left his imprint. Shirpamal, just outside Jawhar on the Nashik Road, is where the Great Maratha camped on his way to Surat. There is a red welcome arch and a commemorative plaque here describing Shivaji’s halt. However, it is the natural beauty of this place that makes you want to linger here. From the top of the podium the view is riveting and the air divinely fresh.
From this vantage point one can see a waterfall tumbling down a hill, splashing its way to the valley below. The sunset from here, obviously, is spectacular.
The Warli tribe is famous for its lively paintings, which depict scenes from everyday village life. The paintings comprise multitudes of tiny natural and human forms in basic geometric patterns. They are traditionally made of rice paste and adorn many an adivasi hut in Jawhar (see pxx).
WHERE TO STAY AND EAT
Sunset Point Resort has dorms, cottages and a restaurant. Symphony Lake View Resort, Hotel Pushpanjali, and Shanti Sarovar Resort are other options.
Dadar-Kopra/ Dabdaba Falls (18km)
The road to Dabdaba is liberally sprinkled with lakes and streams, and unfurls like a ribbon. Dhabosa Waterfall Resort offers trekking, exciting games and adventure activities for rambling tourists, who are few and far between.