Chorla Ghat Road Trip
Exploring the hinterlands of Goa, like Chorla Ghat, is one of our favorite pastimes in the state. We hardly go to the beaches, but we often drive down to the Goa hinterlands. Crossing many small and big bridges over rivers, stopping by to admire the reflection of lush green coconut trees in the waters. Of course, one of us is crazy about birds and would stop anywhere there is some chirping.
Last month we went exploring a bit of Chorla Ghat – and the first place we stopped at was a Machan close to Anjunem Dam. In an attempt to look at the dam, we skirted the huge lake surrounded by the hills of Western Ghats. In the process, we ended up coming across the most beautiful swimming pools (yes it is, we saw 2 of them) I have ever seen. An infinity pool that overlooks the valley at the Wildernest Nature Resort. And another one that gets fed from an artificial waterfall and then overlooks the valley. This one has the waterfalls from the hilltops at Swapnagandha resort. I would leave it to your imagination how it would be to be in this swimming pool with the help of some pictures.
This Chorla Ghat area belongs to the Mhadhei wildlife sanctuary and a forest department board told me that with prior permissions you could get inside the forest area. We parked that idea for another day before we headed back.
On our way back we stopped at a small bridge on the Assanora river. Where on both sides, there were tempting green coconut trees. There were sluice gates for fishing and if there are fishes in the water, birds can’t be too far away. We spent some time spotting the birds as they played hide and seek with our cameras.
From here instead of going towards Bicholim and hitting the national highway to come back home to Caranzalem, we took a small detour to discover a hidden gem – Amthane Dam.
We knew about this dam from newspaper reports that talk about the water being pumped into the catchment area. Or pumped out to nearby water treatment plants or when excessive rains indicate potential flooding due to the dam overflowing. Of course, we never heard any touristy news from this corner of the state. We had to take a mud road to reach the dam, but it was worth all the effort.
Amthane Dam is one of the most scenic places and secluded places I have seen in the state. The large lake had crystal clear water giving me confidence that the water we are drinking is clean even before it goes to a treatment plant. As the water was clean, it carried a clear blue hue. The shape of the lake depends on the water level so you would always find some unique edges where the water ends.
The backdrop is the green forest of Sahyadri hills. The rainwater from these Ghats flows down in streams and contributes to the waterbody.
As you walk on the dam you have the vast blue lake on one side and the green village on one side. A small canal with an artistically done bridge over it flows quietly. Birds fly from here to there. A jetty joining the column standing in the lake makes a perfect place to click pictures. And in fact, is a great place to have a 270 degrees view of the lake.
Walking on the bund that is all available to you, as hardly anyone comes there is pleasure difficult to define in words.
Several birds can be found by the waterbody. Nature lovers will find this place a must-visit when on a holiday in the state.
After spending an hour at this scenic lake and dam, it was time to head back home. We know we would keep coming back to this ghat section for more. Like seasonal waterfalls during monsoon and visit to the wildlife sanctuary.
I have also written about several Places to visit in Goa. Do read.