Never had I seen a secret as big as the marvel that Dhom lake is. We took interest in seeing all famous points, the other lake in Mahabaleshwar and the famous gardens of Panchgani but no website or other sources told us about Dhom Lake in Wai, just an hour’s drive from Panchgani. Thankfully, no one needed to tell us about its existence. We could see it from everywhere – the resorts, the high points, the table land and even the roads at some points. Yet, not many seem to be interested in exploring beyond the obvious recommendations and points. What a miss, I’d say! If you ever wish to take a weekend off to rejuvenate yourself with a trip to a place lesser known, or with something which can appropriately blow your mind, take a trip to Dhom lake without any doubts in the credibility of its beauty.
The lake is near Dhom dam which is situated in the valley of the hills in Satara and anyone in the village Wai can guide you to it. It is about 5 hours away from Mumbai and you can conveniently drive to it or take a bus to Panchgani and then a taxi down to Wai. It is an untouched and unexploited spectacle, so to say, with no hotels, restaurants or even a tea-stall around it. To use the washroom, you have to climb about half a kilometre uphill until you find a little shack that offers washrooms for use, tea and snacks if need be, and has beautiful hammocks for you to rest. Other than that, you can camp at the lake side and a few tents can be arranged for you. If you are lucky enough you can find an occasional Bhutta-wala serving delicious spicy corn-cobs.
And oh! You do have one boating facility there which can take you around the lake in a boat for 5-10 minutes if you wish to but you’d rather stay lakeside and absorb nature’s elegance with the beautiful birds, impish ducks that play around and a few gorgeous geese that flock up at the side. I found myself a beautifully adorned camel, a few tamed horses and an extremely cute, playful dog named Milo! The place can never disappoint you. Mark my words, never. It is quite an irony that the Venna Lake in Mahabaleshwar has unending lines of people in front of the ticket booth for boating and water sports, but a lake quadruple its size just about 20-30 kilometres away goes unnoticed and uninteresting. Or so it seems. In fact, to make an impression of it in your mind, I’d have to tell you that it is much like Pangong lake in Laddakh; just a friendlier Maharashtrian version of it. I would go as far as to say that is a phenomenon to find and experience a wonder as such in the close vicinity of a metropolitan.
For all of you who’d love to take a peek and see it for yourself, stay a while, I’d suggest. Catch the sunrise if you may, or spend your day until the sun rests behind the hills. The lake has a quintessential feel of itself unlike other ones. The lovely breeze, the water pretty friendly, the birds so quirky and the peaceful landscape can win you over and you’ll find yourself making a promise to return again. Artists and lovers, families and friends, travellers or just lost souls can all find solace in the serenity of it. Let it engulf you in its beauty and you’ll have a story of yourself to tell.