10 seconds takeaway
What if you can visit a lake with the same setting and the aura as that of Pangong Tso Lake from Ladakh only a few hours drive from Mumbai? Lake Dhom gives you the similar vibes and is still unknown to many.
It was only one Friday evening at work that I stumbled upon one the blogs on Tripoto, which was about a few offbeat locations near Mumbai. The weekend was upon me so I was not really in a mood to work. Going through the blog I came across a photograph which looked much like Pangong Tso of Ladakh. Intrigued and curious to know more about such a place near Mumbai, I researched and came to know about Dhom Lake in Wai. Called Anshul the second after and we started making bookings for car rentals and hotels later in the evening.
Dhom Lake is set in the Wai village of Maharashtra and expands through a vast land of it. It is almost a 3-4 hours drive from Mumbai towards the popular hill station Panchgani. You’ll have to take a little detour from Wai while en route Panchgani. What makes it an offbeat location is that a major crowd of Mumbai and Pune visit Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani on weekends, but not many know of this place. So, we’re saying that you won’t find any crowd and may even have the place all to yourself. We certainly did.
We set off early in the morning to reach Wai on time, spent a few hours at the lake, and drove around exploring. We reached around 11 am in the scorching sun. Not a good time to visit though.
Travel Tip #1 We’d recommend that you either reach early in the morning, i.e. before 10 am or after 4-5 pm. This is the time when the sun is not at its worst.
I was saying; we booked a self-drive car from JustRide because we love road trips. Set off early in the morning and reached around 11 am. Not a person in sight. We did have a little difficult time in finding the entry point to the lake but eventually made it there. We spent a few hours by the lakeshore, took a few photographs, listened to some good music while we had leisure talks, and hence made a day of it. With no one in sight, we picked our corner of the lake and my, was it a beautiful corner! We just couldn’t get over the magnificence of the lake and the grandiose of the mountains adjoining it. It made such a simple, yet beautiful sight to take pleasure in. The water was blue, the mountains were arid, and the air chilly. It was as if we were standing right in front of the Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh but only no one person in sight.
Since this place has not yet turned touristy, you won’t find any litter except for a few areas of the lake.
Coming over to the food, you can’t get choosy. There are only a few options when it comes to good restaurants, else you can drive to Wai if you’re looking for better places to eat.
There a lot of hotels and B&B’s on the way to the lake. We stayed in Anadvan Holiday Homes, approximately 10kms from the lake and paid around INR 3000 for a night after a heavy bargain. The price was inclusive of 2 meals, so it was a good deal for us.
Travel Tip #2 If you’re not big on staying at a resort and can make do with a decent hotel, there are plenty of options nearer to the lake. The prices may vary depending on the season.
Pick your season of visiting Dhom Lake. The mountains are dry and no greenery during summers. But, you get the feeling of being at Pangong Tso lake from Ladakh. The place has an entirely different feel, still beautiful setting during and after the monsoon. You’ll find a lot of greens and the weather will be little wet-ty.
Make sure to visit early morning or late afternoon. We’d recommend that you visit early in the morning and then again late in the evening. Tourists usually come to the lake late afternoon, which is why you visit in the morning, but you just can’t afford to miss the sunset.
Put up a tent near the lake and spend the night with the mother nature. You can either bring your own tent or contact a few agencies in Wai who can set up the tents for you. They usually charge somewhere around INR 2000 per person, inclusive of a meal. They might also set up bonfire if the weather permits.