Amboli Waterfall, Amboli, Maharashtra
Amboli lies in the Sahyadri 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 Sahyadri 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 the 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 nature and helpful.