The best escape the hustle and bustle: Kelve, Maharashtra
If one is looking for a good camping place near Mumbai then the village of Kelve is an ideal place to travel to. To reach the village of Kelve from Mumbai there are two options, one is to drive there which is not more than a 20 minute drive from Virar and the second option is to board a shuttle train from Virar heading towards Dahanu and get off at Kelve road which is a 30 minute train ride.
Once in Kelve one has two main attractions to look forward to the village beach also know as the Kelve beach on the western side of the railway station and a lake created by a dam built on a near-by river which is on the eastern side of the railway station. The former being the more crowded attraction while the latter is relatively unknown and attracts barely any crowd.
To get to Kelve beach from the railway station one has an option of walking which takes about 25 minutes and is also a very pleasant and nice walk with greenery all around the place, the other option is to hire a rickshaw from just outside the railway station. The sands of this beach are blackish and a bit sticky. This beach is very safe and attracts a lot of families and youngsters.
There are plenty of options for accommodation around the beach ranging from midrange to splurge. All these hotels and resorts have their own restaurants which serve some really good food only if one decides to spend a night there. There are a few food stalls near the beach selling vada pav.
For one to reach the lake from the railway station the only option for one is to walk for 4 km to the lake on a flat tar road which takes one through the village and paddy fields. The lake provides water for irrigation as well as for the people residing in the village. The lake is surrounded by greenery with trees and lush green grass all around the lake and a hill overlooking the far end of the lake.
The lake bank is a perfect place for one to set up camp and pitch a tent. But one should keep in mind that bathing or washing anything in the lake is prohibited since it will pollute the lake.
There is no availability of food other than a few village shops selling basic products and also no provision for accommodation so one has to carry all the necessary equipment and supplies if one decides to spend a night near the lake. No permission of any sort is required for one to camp near the lake.
The best time to visit this lake is during the monsoon from July to September since the over cast conditions and the lush greenery around the lake adds to the beauty of the place.
If one is looking for a place that is off beat and not too far away from Mumbai then Kelve is just the place for one to visit over the weekend and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
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