Trek to Devkund Waterfall
Devkund Waterfall Trek was on my bucket list ever since we moved to Pune. We were delaying this trip as we had heard the waterfall almost dries out during the summers. However, now with the onset of monsoon in Maharashtra, it was time to check this place off the list.
The waterfall is hidden amidst a dense forest near Bhira dam in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. To reach “Devkund,” one has to trek through a forest, cross river streams, climb a wooden bridge, hike up a small mountain and walk through long-stemmed, woody vines. The entire expedition from the base village to the waterfall could take about 1.5 to 3 hours, depending upon an individual’s fitness level. Returning should generally take lesser time.
Devkund Waterfall is located at a distance of 100 km from Pune, and 170 km from Mumbai. This makes it a perfect destination for a one-day trip or a weekend trip for trekking and road trip enthusiasts. It’s also close to Kolad village (~30 km) – where various water sport activities are organized.
The best landmark for the fall is Bhira Dam. Just point to this location on your navigation app and start the engines.
We started our journey from Pune at 8 am and reached Bhira village around 12:30 pm with a couple of breaks for pictures and snacks. This route takes you through the scenic Tamhini Ghat and Mulshi.
To a large extent, road is good on this route, but do look out for the small patches which could be quite aggressive on your back and vehicle.
Once you reach Bhira village, you have to take a left from TATA hydro power plant to reach the open vehicle parking area. If you came on a two-wheeler, you can head further up the road and park your vehicle there. This would shorten the walking distance considerably.
Coming to the costs, Bhira Grampanchayat charges Rs 10 per person for entering the village. The parking charges for two-wheelers is Rs 30, and for four-wheelers it’s Rs 100. You can also hire a guide from the base village. There’s an additional charge of Rs 20 per person for crossing a bridge further up the trek – we’ll look at it later on in the post.
The trail begins as soon as you cross through the parking area and enter the Bhira dam reservoir area. This is a good place to set up camp in case you are planning an overnight stay. Do note that camping is not allowed near the fall in any season.
A slight descent from the reservoir will take you along the banks of the river from where the trail advances further into the forest. Around this time, you’ll find yourself in between a river (on right) and a mountain-range (on left). It’s a good place to take a break and click some more pictures.
Also, this is the only area where you would find people selling tea and snacks.
Further up, you’d be crossing a river stream. While we were there, it was raining quite torrentially, and we found people jumping into the stream to cross it. This is extremely dangerous as water level could rise all of sudden carrying people over.
There’s a flimsy looking wooden bridge guarded by two people who seemed to not care for people’s lives. They were charging Rs 20 per person, each side, to use the bridge even during extremely high flowing water.
The final part of trail consists of an inclination that will most probably break you into a sweat. Though the climb isn’t steep, a good amount of energy is required and care needs to be taken while maneuvering through the dangling branches of tress. Right around this time you should start hearing faint rush of the waterfall.
Post the completion of this climb, the trail opens up to a rocky patch before bringing you directly in front of the impressive Devkund waterfall. Take your time to observe the magnanimity of the fall before jumping into the pool for a swim.
Inside the pool, you’ll find a rope marking as a line of control. Swimmers are not allowed to cross this point as further up, where the water hits the ground, the depth goes to around 60 feet.
We couldn’t spend much time in the pool as it started raining heavily and we also had to drive back for 4 hours. Still, we had an amazing experience in whatever time we had there.
While coming back, we saw a surprising trekker in this wilderness – a six month old Caesar, who was out on his maiden trek. He seemed more eager and energetic than all the people in that place. 🙂
Lunch, dinner and light snacks are available at the base village. You have the option of enjoying simple local thalis and À la carte.
For people coming from far off places or for those looking for a stay-and-trek experience, there are many local places offering accommodation. You can ask at any of the restaurant’s or a guide to help with this. They also arrange camping near the reservoir at a cost.
Secret waterfall? Well, not anymore. As advertised by many tour operators in Mumbai and Pune, Devkund is not a hidden gem which people don’t know about, nevertheless it’s still a great place to visit. I would recommend you to visit early in the morning for a pleasant trek. After 10 am, you’ll find people coming in like ants on a food hunt, almost causing traffic jams in the forest path.
All-in-all, this was a great experience for us, which ended with a view as below after all the rain throughout the day. It was the first trek of the year, and with the monsoon just starting now, we plan on to go on many other treks in the state.
September to December
Minimum 5 hours
- At least one bottle of water
- Good trekking shoes
- Insect repellent spray or cream
- Additional pair of dry clothes
Things to do at Devkund Waterfall:
- Trek to waterfall
- Lunch at a village house
- Swim in the pool
- Insect repellent spray or cream
- Additional pair of dry clothes
- Kolad – 30 km
- Lonavala – 52 km
- Pune – 110 km
- Mumbai – 170 km
1. Is there an entry fee for Devkund Waterfall?
A. There is no entry fee for Devkund Waterfall, but there are other costs involved. Gram panchayat tax – Rs 20/person, two-wheeler parking fee – Rs 30, four-wheeler parking fee – Rs 100, and guide charge – Rs 100/person for small groups and for large groups – Rs 50/person.
2. How far is the distance from parking to the waterfall?
A. Distance from parking is ~7 km, and it would take close to 2 hours for the trek.
3. What are the mode of payments accepted for the tickets?
A. Only cash payments are accepted.
4. What is the duration of Devkund waterfall trek?
A. Trek duration is ~2 hours one side. You might spend an hour at the pool. Entire trek duration should take close to 5 – 6 hours.
5. Till what time is entry allowed?
A. Entry to devkund is allowed till 2 pm.
6. Is photography and videography allowed? Is it chargeable?
A. Photography and videography is allowed and is free in the entire area.
7. What is the best time to visit? Can I visit during monsoon?
A. Best time to visit is between September to December. It’s not recommended to visit the fall during monsoon due to high and rapid flowing river. In the past there have been instances of people getting hurt and killed during rainy season.
8. Is there an age restriction for entry?
A. People of all age groups are allowed free entry. However, the trek could be tiring for older folks.
9. Are pets allowed at Devkund waterfall ?
A. Yes, pets are allowed.
10. Is overnight stay possible at Devkund Waterfall?
A. Night stay or camping is not allowed at the fall. However, camping is possible at the reservoir and accommodation is available at Bhira village organized by the locals. Do note that there’s no hotel available at the place.
I hope this post will serve as a helpful resource for when you visit Devkund Waterfall! If you have any questions or tips about the place, do let tell me about it in the comments below.
Keep traveling! 🙂