Jawhar, located in the Sahayadri ranges 165 km from Mumbai, is popularly known as Mahabaleshwar of Thane. Pleasant climate and scenic beauty of Jawhar evokes comparisons with the popular hill station in Maharashtra.
Unlike other popular tourist destinations in the country, Jawhar also boasts of strong cultural ethos and history dating back to fourteenth century. Founded in 1306, the princely state of Jawhar was ruled by the Munke dynasty. Jawhar also served as camping point for Maratha king Shivaji and his army enroute to Surat. Jawhar was part of the Mumbai Presidency under the British.
Home to the Warli tribe, Jawhar is also home to Kolcha and Kukana tribes. The tribal communities of Jawhar have taken special efforts to preserve their culture and traditions. Jawhar is noted for the wall paintings of Warli tribals. Warli paintings revolve around the daily life of tribals and were drawn using white and red colours. However, with growing commercial popularity of the paintings, Warli painting use different colours and also depict new ideas.
To offer a peek into daily life of the tribals and help educate outsiders, tribals have started offering homestays for visitors.
In addition to its scenic beauty, Jawhar also boasts of several interesting places to see. Jai Vilas Palace, the residence of Munke rulers, Dabdaba falls, Bhopatgad fort and scenic places like Hanuman Point and Sunset Point are some of the must visit places in Jawhar. Dabhosa Falls is one of the biggest waterfalls in the state.
WHERE TO STAY
There are limited accommodation options in Jawhar. There are no plush hotels. However, one can enjoy the traditional hospitality of the locals of Jawhar by opting for the home stay facility. Living with the tribal families allows one to get acquainted with the local culture.
One can also choose to stay in resorts offering mid-range accommodation.
WHERE TO EAT
There are no fancy restaurants in Jawhar. However one can savour delicious local cuisine of the tribal community living in Jawhar. There are community kitchens in Kelichapada.
One can also choose to have food from the restaurants attached to resorts.