Wonders of Surla

Monsoon is almost here now. The time when monsoon is about reach mainland of India and the time actually starts raining is very fascinating. It is time for change for nature. It is very interesting to witness. Few years back, I and few trekking friends were off to area around state of Goa, where boundaries on Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka meet-on top of the Sahyadris. And it was the time when monsoon about to hit. The change was in the air.

After visiting Belgavi in Karnataka, we were travelling towards Goa. By the time we reached the ghat section via Jamboti town to cross Sahyadris and land in Goa, it was dusk time. The ghat is called Chorla ghat. We made a bio-break, rested for a while after relieving and later refilling ourselves. As we approached our car which was parked under the huge banyan tree, we noticed fireflies(काजवे) flying around. We gazed at them with wonder soon to realize that the tree was full of fire flies. It became further dark, and we were to witness wonders of the nature. It was mating season for fire flies and large population of fireflies were frantically going about it, emitting light all over. The sight was out of this world. Later I learnt that this can be experienced in other areas in Maharashtra such as Bhandardara, during the time when monsoon is about it kick off. This event is popularly known as fireflies festival(काजवा महोत्सव).

By the time we reached out destination for night, village called Surla, it was very dark. We grabbed our meal and were off to bed. The surprise was in store for us when we got up as day broke. Surla was located on the peaks of Sahyadris. In fact, it is on the highest point in Goa. Tiny houses on the slopes could be spotted. It was all foggy and more importantly, it was cold. Mind you, it was towards end of May and it had not started yet raining. And it was all green around. Village of Surla sounded quite wonderful, and very pleasant. Surla village is divided in upper and lower Surla. Due to hilly region, there multiple waterfalls in around Surla. There bunch of places you can plan short excursions around Surla, besides visiting waterfalls. We went to Sadyacha Killa, base of a hill fort called Satteri fort(could not climb due to lack of time).

Unfortunately, our stay at Surla was short(but sweet). We had to leave it towards afternoon, to proceed further on our agenda on going inside Goa. If you get opportunity to go in that region, don’t miss Surla. Recently, I learnt about a Wildernest which has come up around Surla which provides nice camping facilities, guided hiking trails(I have been told, I have not been there so far myself). So go for it, if you are looking for unusual experience, and try to travel during the time monsoon is about to hit!

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