Are you someone who’s drawn to the mountains? Do you crave a break from your everyday routine in the lap of lush greenery? Well, you’re in for a treat!
Panshet Dam is, without a doubt, one of Maharashtra’s top picnic destinations, renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and tranquil yet invigorating atmosphere. Nestled on the outskirts of Pune, just 50 km to the south, Panshet boasts verdant landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and rolling mountains. With the monsoon season in full swing, there’s no better time to plan a short getaway to Panshet. In this blog, we’ve covered you with a comprehensive guide on how to get there, things to do, great dining spots, and camping opportunities. Your backpacking adventure to Panshet is right around the corner!
Panshet’s Historical Charms
Panshet is nothing short of a slice of heaven in Pune’s territory. The Panshet dam, towering 63.56 meters high and stretching 1039 meters long, was constructed in 1950 in the Velhe region of Pune District. It stands as one of the city’s primary dams, serving crucial roles in irrigation and drawing tourists.
Why Panshet Should Be on Your Radar
Nestled amidst the lush embrace of the Sahyadris, Panshet boasts a picture-perfect setting. It’s a place where the monsoon season reveals its true magic, as you find yourself enveloped in clouds that seem to kiss the very ground beneath your feet. With top-notch trekking, hiking, and water sports, Panshet offers a complete package for an unforgettable holiday.
How to reach Panshet Camping from Pune?
Panshet is approximately 41 km away from Pune city, and there are various transportation options at your disposal:
If you’re a traveler arriving from another city, you’ll most likely land at Pune International Airport, located about 37 km from Panshet. You can opt for a cab directly from the airport to reach Panshet, or if you’re feeling adventurous, hop on a local bus.
For those starting their journey from Pune city or its vicinity, taking a bus is a convenient option. Buses departing from Swargate Pune at 8 am and 11 am head directly to Panshet dam. Catch the nearest bus and you’re on your way. Return buses to Pune from Panshet run at 11 am and 2 pm daily. Keep in mind that these buses are state-run, and since Panshet is a somewhat remote destination, it’s best not to miss these schedules. If you’re heading back to Pune, consider traveling in the morning to minimize the risk of dealing with cancellations in the late hours.
The nearest railway station to Panshet is Pune Junction, which is roughly 25 km away from the dam. To reach Panshet, you’ll need to take a bus from Swargate or Kothrud that’s bound for the dam. Alternatively, booking a cab can speed up your journey.
If you have your own wheels, driving to Panshet is one of the most convenient options. You can also opt for a private cab service like Uber or Ola. Your journey begins from Kothrud, Rajaram Bridge, heading towards the Khadakwasla dam. Upon reaching Khadakwasla, make a right turn at a spot known as Donaje Phata to reach Panshet. If Kothrud seems too far, you can start your journey to Khadakwasla via the Warje Malwadi route. The road trip covers a distance of 40 km from the city center and takes approximately 1.5 hours. It’s worth noting that the roads in the final stretch before Panshet can be a bit challenging, so be prepared for a slow and steady drive.
Choosing the Perfect Time for Your Panshet Adventure
If you’re pondering when to embark on your Panshet exploration, here’s a tip: Panshet is at its most picturesque during the early winter months, from November to February. However, if you want to witness its absolute magnificence, don’t miss out on a trip during the monsoon season. The monsoons are the lifeblood of the Sahyadris, responsible for the gushing waterfalls that grace the landscape. After all, what’s a visit to a verdant paradise without the splendor of nature in full bloom? The period from June to September blankets Panshet in lush greenery and glory. A visit during the rainy season also promises thrilling water sports, delectable food, and fantastic photography opportunities.
Essential Preparations for Your Panshet Visit
Before you set off on your journey to Panshet, there are a few vital considerations to keep in mind:
Panshet dam is open to visitors from 10 am to 6 pm.
If your Panshet excursion involves a day trip without camping, you can explore it thoroughly in half a day (this excludes nearby treks and activities).
Unfortunately, the availability of serious medical assistance within a 5 to 10 km radius of Panshet dam, Pune is limited. It’s advisable to carry a first aid kit along with necessary medications for potential emergencies.
There are a few humble yet commendable dining options in the proximity of Panshet dam. Most of these establishments offer local cuisine and rural Indian dishes. It’s a good idea to bring some basic snacks with you.
Be prepared for fluctuating network connectivity as you approach the Panshet dam vicinity. Airtel and Idea tend to have weaker signals, while Jio and BSNL perform better. Downloading offline Google maps ahead of time is a smart move to navigate without network coverage.
Few to no transportation options like autos or buses are available near Panshet dam. Buses run only twice a day, and tracking apps and tools may not be readily accessible.
Savoring Culinary Delights Near Panshet Dam
While there are limited dining options near Panshet Dam, a short journey can lead you to some excellent eateries:
If you’re craving some snacks, this spot is a gem. As the name suggests, it offers delectable sandwiches, pizzas, and burgers, located just around 12 km from Panshet dam.
Revival – Indian Thali:
For an authentic Indian culinary experience, look no further. This place serves an abundant and flavorful Indian Thali.
Situated in an inviting ambiance, this multicuisine restaurant boasts a delectable Indian menu, ensuring a delightful dining experience.
Adventurous Escapades Around Panshet Dam
Panshet is a haven for holidaymakers near Pune, boasting picturesque surroundings, tranquility, and exciting adventures. Here’s what you can do during your Panshet getaway:
Visit Panshet Lake:
This lake is the serene backwater of Panshet dam and ranks among Pune’s top tourist attractions. You can bask in the melodious chirping of birds, the soothing silence in the air, and the mesmerizing Sahyadri greenery. Don’t forget to indulge in a Panshet dam boating experience!
Panshet Water Park:
Another favorite among tourists is the Panshet Water Park. Renowned for its exhilarating rides and water sports suitable for all age groups, a visit to this water park is a definite must for your Panshet adventure.
Splashing Fun at the Water Park
If you’re planning to dive into the aquatic adventures of the Panshet Water Park, here’s what you need to know:
Opening Hours: The water park welcomes visitors on all weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm.
Exploration Time: Allocate about an hour or two to savor most of the thrilling rides and attractions at the water park.
Contact Information: For any inquiries or assistance, feel free to reach out at +91-20-41411234.
Booking Options: You have the flexibility to secure your tickets in advance. You can either book them online through their website or opt for on-the-spot booking.
Dive into Water Sports: At the water park, you have an array of water sports to enjoy, including boat rides, banana boat rides, kayaking, windsurfing, and more.
Entrance fees to the water park are as follows:
Now you’re all set to make a splash and have a fantastic time at Panshet Water Park!
Camping by Panshet Dam
Panshet Dam camping is a delightful experience set against the backdrop of its tranquil backwaters. Imagine waking up in lake-facing tents, surrounded by serene vistas, a refreshing ambiance, and the gentle pitter-patter of rain. Camping at Panshet is an ideal weekend getaway, whether with friends or family, offering a rejuvenating escape, especially during the monsoon season. The great news is that Panshet Dam Camping is open all year round, thanks to several organizers who make this experience possible. Here are the vital details:
Roughly INR 999/- for children and INR 1999/- per person.
Your camping adventure comes complete with lakeside games, a cozy bonfire, music to set the mood, a barbecue session, a sumptuous dinner, and breakfast to start your next day right.
In case of heavy rainfall, the tents are thoughtfully sheltered within sheds. Please note that there are no night trekking activities included in Panshet Dam camping. For those seeking the best hilltop and dam-view camping, Weekend Feels Panshet Dam Camping is a top choice.
Exploring Khadakwasla Dam
Khadakwasla Dam, a major source of water for Pune city, stands as a popular tourist attraction on its outskirts. Located just 40 km from Panshet Dam, it’s a must-visit during your Panshet trip. The site boasts a breathtaking landscape, perfect for a family outing. Open year-round, it’s also an excellent camping location. Be sure not to miss the opportunity to savor some delicious Maharashtrian dishes like bhaji, misal, sweet corn, and more in the vicinity of Khadakwasla Dam.
Trekking at Sinhgad Fort
A mere 17 km away from Panshet Dam, Sinhgad Fort is a gem for trekking enthusiasts. With profound historical significance in the Maratha dynasty, this fort has now transformed into a weekend destination for young trekkers, bird-watchers, and travelers. Subject to prior permission from authorities and weather conditions, camping at Sinhgad Fort is also possible. Many trekking groups are drawn to Sinhgad for the renowned Katraj to Sinhagad (K2S trek). Don’t forget to savor a plate of Pithla-Bhakri paired with some cooling curd!
Other Fascinating Places to Explore
If time allows, consider visiting Torana Fort, Neelkantheshwar Hill Temple, Varasgaon Dam, and Rajgad Fort on your journey back to Pune. These destinations offer their own unique charm and are well worth exploring.
Panshet Dam – An Unmissable Gem
One thing is for certain, the allure of Panshet is boundless. It offers an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life, connecting with your inner self in a serene environment, where the weather and the tranquility conspire to help you rediscover yourself. A weekend getaway to Panshet Dam is not just a single visit; it beckons you to return for more.