Kataldhar Waterfall Trek – A journey through the dense forest

Kataldhar Waterfall as seen enroute to Udhewadi

When was the last time you walked through a dense forest where the sun-rays were slipping between the trees to reach you? Imagine this journey – “a walk through a lush green dense jungle in the perfect weather, beautiful right? What if this journey then leads you to an astonishing waterfall which you can have all to yourself? Does it sound unreal? Well, all you need to do is to wear shoes, get going on the Kataldhar Waterfall trek and find it yourself.

Admiring the beauty of Kataldhar Waterfall

Kataldhar Waterfall Trek

Lonavala is a very popular weekend getaway near Pune and Mumbai. In the monsoon season, the entire region near Lonavala turns emerald green and is home to numerous waterfalls. And to witness its beauty, lakhs of tourists makes way to the town.  If you are someone who wants to ditch the conventional spots and avoid the crowd, you should definitely explore near-by, for adventure and peace. One such hidden gem is Kataldhar waterfall.

Enroute to Kataldhar Waterfall start point

Enroute to start point of Kataldhar Waterfall trek

Kataldhar is a seasonal waterfall located in the Ulhas Valley on the same trek route which further goes towards the popular Rajmachi Fort Trek. The waterfall is inaccessible by road and one has to trek through the dense forest to make it to the waterfall. The experience of reaching the waterfall has all the ingredients to give you a high, a high higher than the waterfall.

Deep jungles as seen enroute to Kataldhar Waterfall

Dense jungles as seen en-route to Kataldhar Waterfall

How to reach Kataldhar Waterfall

The cheapest and the most convenient way to reach the Kataldhar waterfall trek is via railways. The nearest major railway station to Kataldhar Waterfall is Lonavala railway station. If you have a good fitness level, you can walk all the way to the waterfall from the station (10 kms one way –3 to 4 hours) (take the upper deck Resort route and not the Della Adventure park one – put on Gmaps).

Since the waterfall lies on the same route of Rajmachi Fort trek, the shared taxis operating between Lonavala station and Fanasrai (mostly in monsoon – INR 100) which is the last point where the taxis can go in monsoon, can drop you at the start point of Kataldhar waterfall(ask the taxi driver) which comes en-route (1.5 km before Fanasrai).

How to reach Kataldhar Waterfall trek from Pune

Finding the start point of the Kataldhar Waterfall trek is a bit challenging. The only indication is the two identical Mango trees (on the left-hand side) (Ribbons are tied on the trees too) which are just 100 meters before Kune Falls (check Kune Falls, trek to Rajmachi village on Gmaps). Or, just put in Sas Hill on Gmaps and look for the 2 identical Mango trees as shown in the below picture (a big stone is also there on the opposite side of the trees). You can also inquire at Hotel Kachaldhar which is just opposite Kune falls. You can ride up to Sas Hill if you are coming by your transport.

Two identical Mango trees start point of Kataldhar Waterfall Trek

Two identical Mango trees – start point of Kataldhar Waterfall Trek

Kataldhar Waterfall trek Route

Kataldhar Waterfall trek route

Difficulty level of Kataldhar Waterfall Trek

I would rate the Kataldhar Waterfall Trek as a moderate to difficult trek in terms of difficulty. The trek is not tough in terms of steepness, nor terms of fitness required; it’s just the confusing routes in the dense jungle that make me call it difficult.  The forest is so thick that in places the sun light doesn’t even reach the ground. The dampness & darkness of the forest, the confusing trails, and the chances of getting lost are what all make it a moderate to difficult trek. There are ribbons & tape tied on trees all along the way to guide you.

Onacheaptrip at Kataldhar Waterfall Trek

Dense jungle at Kataldhar Waterfall Trek

My Journey to Kataldhar Waterfall Trek

“From writing to publishing a single post, it takes a hell of a lot of effort, but when you realize the value it brings to the readers, you feel motivated”.

I had read about the Kataldhar waterfall in an article sometime back on a travel blog. Thanks to my fellow bloggers, otherwise I would have missed out on such a pretty sight and would have only been curious and admired one unnamed waterfall from the top of the Shrivardhan Fort – Rajmachi. I sometimes feel proud of myself and my fellow travel bloggers when we are of some help to others. Our love for travel, exploration, and the will to spread it is mutual.

Kataldhar waterfall as seen from Shrivardhan Fort Rajmachi

Kataldhar waterfall as seen from Shrivardhan Fort Rajmachi

The moment I got to know that there was a trek route to reach the waterfall, I made up my mind to visit it soon. On a Sunday morning, I along with my friend started at 8 am from Pune. I have been to Rajmachi several times before but never noticed that the trek path to the Kataldhar waterfall begins from Kune Falls (Sas hill) which lies en route to Udhewadi, the base village of Rajmachi.

Kataldhar Waterfall Trail

Kataldhar Waterfall Trail

There are two similar mango trees tied with ribbon- which is the identifier of the start point of the trek. I had to keep my eyes to the left while driving, noticing trees carefully so as to not miss those in particular. After around five minutes of trekking, there is a flat land from where we could see the Shrivardhan Balekilla and Manaranjan Balekilla of Rajmachi Fort.

Two Identical Mango Trees from where Kataldhar Waterfall trek begins

Two identical Mango Trees from where the Kataldhar Waterfall trek begins

Flat Plateau at Kataldhar Waterfall trek

Flat Plateau at Kataldhar Waterfall trek

There is a small river crossing at the flat plateau after which the trail descends through the dense forest. There are tapes and ribbons tied to trees to guide you to the correct path. Mostly there are few trekkers or none in the way, so it’s quite probable that you might lose your way. If you anytime feel lost, you can always trace back to the last tape/ribbon. Also, there are cairns and arrows marked to further assist you.

Ribbon tied on trees which guide you to correct trail of Kataldhar Waterfall

Ribbons tied on trees which guide you to the correct trail

Somewhere in the middle of the trek, there is also a fallen tree. You’ll know you are on the right track if you visit anytime soon. The jungle is so dense that even in the afternoon it looks very dark. It was drizzling since morning and I loved every bit of this jungle trek. The trek is mostly a continuous descent with a patch of ascend near the end from where you can get the view of the waterfall.

Fallen tree log as seen enroute to Kataldhar Waterfall Trek

Fallen tree log as seen en route to Kataldhar Waterfall

That is so huge is what I uttered as I got the first glimpse of the waterfall. There were two streams of waterfall separated by around 5 meters. Few people were rappelling at this mighty waterfall, must have been an amazing adventure altogether.

onacheaptrip at Kataldhar Waterfall

It gets very tempting to reach the base of the waterfall to have all the feels, but it’s not advisable, especially at the peak of the monsoon when the water flow is unexpected and can get scary anytime. Also, the boulders which lead you to the base of the waterfall are very slippery.

Descending to reach the base of Kataldhar Waterfall

Slippery boulder to reach the base of the waterfall

I made it to the base of the waterfall as the water flow wasn’t scary on that particular day. There was no one at the base of the waterfall. I had it all to myself and could sink into this peace of nature in me completely. I was in total awe when I looked at the huge waterfall standing right below it. You don’t do that often, do you?

Descending to reach the base of Kataldhar Waterfall

Kataldhar Waterfall base

kataldhar waterfall near Pune

I didn’t want to leave that place but as there wasn’t any option to stay overnight, we decided to make our way back before it started getting foggy and dark in the dense jungle. It took us around 1.5 hours to make it back to the starting point where we had parked our bikes. After having delicious Maggi at the nearby food joint, we left for Pune with all the beautiful memories.

At Kataldhar waterfall base

Shrivardhan Fort as seen from Kataldhar Waterfall

Shrivardhan Fort as seen on Kataldhar Waterfall trek

Food and stay options at Kataldhar Waterfall Trek

There is no food and stay option while doing the Kataldhar Waterfall Trek. Just a few meters ahead of the start point, opposite to Kune Falls, you will find a small Dhaba “Kachaldhar hotel” where you get basic refreshments. I tried Maggi at the Dhaba and it was very delicious.

The trek will take somewhere around 4 to 6 hours in total, so make sure you carry enough eatables along with you. Also, do carry at least 2-3 water bottles with you.

Kataldhar Waterfall trek passing through dense jungle

Somehow if you are late in returning from the waterfall, it would be better to take shelter at the cave overnight as you don’t want to risk wandering in the dense jungle at night. Putting a tent in the jungle is very risky and I would suggest avoiding it. One stay option can be the base village Udhewadi, but that would again need 2.5 hours of trekking from the Kataldhar start point.

Kataldhar waterfall pic

Note: Do wear full sleeves & full track pants to avoid bites and cuts from mosquitoes as they are in huge numbers. Carry a mosquito repellent if you have one. There are a lot of crabs and long earthworms, so be cautious while trekking.

Small unknown waterfall as seen on Kataldhar Waterfall trek

Best time to visit Kataldhar Waterfall trek

The waterfall is seasonal and depends completely on rain for its source. So the best time to visit the waterfall is the monsoon month starting from July to mid-September. For the rest of the year, if you want to experience a jungle trek, the Kataldhar trek could be a great option. But don’t expect a waterfall in the other seasons.

Kataldhar Waterfall

Kataldhar near Lonavala

The Andharban Jungle trek is mostly crowded in the monsoon season. So if you are someone who is looking for a peaceful jungle trek, the Kataldhar Waterfall trek can be a great option. Have you been to Kataldhar Waterfall? If yes, do share your experience in the comment section below.

Embark on a lakeside adventure and stay in a tent under the stars at Pawna Lake Camping by Weekend Feels, where nature meets tranquility

Shrivardhan Fort coverd under clouds

Me at Kataldhar Waterfall

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One thought on “Kataldhar Waterfall Trek – A journey through the dense forest

  1. Hey Abhishek, thanks a ton for your blog on this wonderful God gifted trek. We had a blast on this trekking experience and it wouldn’t be possible with the pointers/suggestions mentioned by you. I would like to add few more to your mentioned lists:
    1. Finding Identical Mango tree is not big deal as few forest guys have found that as earning opportunity. They will provide fine slip for 100 per person. This might be temporary.

    2. Along with Red-white-Yellow-Orange ribbons, there are arrows marked on the trees which will lead the direction to waterfall base.

    3. Best time to start the trekking is early morning. Journey from base to parking lot is little time consuming and considering less motivating/tiring effort, we should have buffer of 3 hours fir that part.

    4. This trekking is definitely qualify for difficult level for beginners and moderate for pros.

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