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Amboli Hill Station
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Amboli lies in the Sahayadri Hills of Western India, one of the world's "Eco Hot-Spots" and it therefore abounds in a variety of fairly unusual flora and fauna. However, as in the other parts of the Sahaydri Hills, denudation of the forest cover and unregulated government assisted "development" (read "hotels, resorts & highways") are gradually ruining a once pristine environment.
Historically, Amboli village came into being as one of the staging posts along the road from Vengurla port to the city of Belgaum, which was extensively used by the British to supply their garrisons in south and central India.
In the hills of Amboli village lies the source of the Hiranyakeshi river, and an ancient Shiva temple (called Hiranyakeshwar) exists at the cave where the water emerges. The main attraction for tourists is the incredibly high rainfall (7 m average per year) and the numerous waterfalls and mist during the monsoons. Legend has it that there are 108 Shiva temples in and around Amboli of which only a dozen have been uncovered, one as recently as 2005. There aren't too many places to see or things to do but it is quiet, unpolluted and the local residents are good natured and helpful.
Amboli is well connected by road to all the surrounding cities (Kolhapur 129 km, Belagavi 68 km, Panjim (Goa) 90 km) by road and the nearest airport is at Belagavi, about 1.5 hours drive away. All the roads are good and a new airport is expected to come up in north Goa shortly, reducing the travelling time to just over an hour.
- Driving Directions from Mumbai: NH-17 till Savantwadi, then 29 km towards East.
- Driving Directions from Pune, Kolhapur: NH-4 till Sankeshwar, then Gadhinglaj-Ajara-Amboli.
There are a few decent (and relatively cheap) hotels at Amboli. A few of them being, Vrindavan Resorts, Nisarg Family Resort, Hotel Sailee, Whistling Woods, Silent Valley Resort Shanti Darshan and Hotel Shiv malhar. Most of them provide hot water baths and have facilities like restaurant, room service and cab services.
The only local transport is motorised three-wheeler rickshaws and a couple of private taxis. One can find them parked near the main bus stand and these are available without much bargaining.
There are in total 8 places that are listed by MTDC. If one does not have one's own transportation, three-wheeler rickshaws are available. You'll need them only for a day to check out the tourist places and can then depend upon your legs to take you the ones that interest you most.
- Sawantwadi - 29 km
- Kolhapur - 129 km via Gadhinglaj-Sankeshwar main road
- Sangli - 152 km via Gadhinglaj-Chikodi-Miraj
- Belgaum - 68 km
- Pernem - 58 km
- Gadhinglaj - 55 km
- Sankeshwar NH 4 - 70 km
- Ajara- 32 km
- Chandgad - 29 km
- Gargoti-79.0 Km Vai Uttur-Ajra
- Gokak - 148 km
- chikkodi - 80 km
Nearest railway stations
- Sawantwadi Railway Station Road - 28 km
- Pernem Railway Station - 58 km
- Belgaum Railway Station - 70 km
- Kolhapur Railway Station - 110 km
- Miraj Railway Station -140 km
- Madgaon Railway Station -140 km
Tourists coming from Mumbai, Goa, Delhi and various trains of Konkan railway can reach Amboli from Sawantwadi railway station. There are buses both from Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation that ply frequently between Belagavi and Sawantwadi Via Amboli and charge Rs.24. Private Cars are available from Sawantwadi railway station to Amboli. You can also reach Amboli from Sangli and Kolhapur stations by bus via Nippani-Gadhinglaj-Ajara. This allows you to visit famous tourist spots like Ganesh temple of Sangli and Mahalaxmi temple of Kolhapur along with visiting Amboli. Belagavi is a useful railhead for the tourists coming from Karnataka and other southern parts of India.
Nearest railway junction
- Madgaon - 124 km
Tourists coming from Mumbai, Pune can reach Amboli from Miraj railway station whereas those coming from Bengaluru, Mysuru, Hubballi, Chennai, Hyderabad etc. can reach from Belagavi railway station. People coming from Mangaluru, Karwar, Kerala etc. can reach Amboli from Madgaon Railway station. Private Cars are available from both Miraj and Belagavi railway station to Amboli.
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