With a population of 37,852, Pen is a town in Raigad district of Maharashtra known for producing the traditional ‘Shaadu Mati’ (Fire Clay) Ganpati Idols.
Passion apart, sculpting Ganesh Idols is also the significant source of income for most locals and is also exported to the US. This is also regarded as the cultural center of Raigad district
Pen also specializes in producing salt as most of it is “Kharland” or salt water area, making it the hub of salt production. Most of the women in town in indulge in making 75 varieties of home made ‘papad’ to earn their living.
The town gained prominence in ancient times as it was an important trade route to Deccan. Its proximity to prominent cities like Mumbai and Pune made it even more accessible.
The town is lush with greenery and its main attractions in the monsoons is the majestic spot, Moti lake aka ‘Motiram Talav’ in the Chinchpada village of Pen which also has a newly renovated garden.
The dam lies outside the populated areas and is beautiful to visit in the monsoons thanks to the overflowing white water on the broad stair-like structure where people can spend time frolicking in the gushing water and savouring hot local delicacies.
The broad steps across the dam overflowing with water is surrounded by greens and truly picture perfect! Pen is surrounded by hills on one side and flatland on the other…
Visitors can also take the opportunity to visit the famous Raigad Fort, just an hour’s drive from here.
Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj made Raigad his capital in 1674 when he was crowned as the King of a Maratha Kingdom. The fort is 820 metres (2,700 ft) above the sea level. One can reach to the highest point of the fort by either climbing the 1737 steps or can take the Raigad ropeway, an aerial tramway to reach the fort in 10 minutes.
It is one of the most difficult forts to trek to, and apparently, feels much like a walk on a clouds…
Located on NH66, it is around 111.2 km and can be reached via Bengaluru – Mumbai Highway, Mumbai – Pune Expressway or via old Pune-Mumbai Highway then from Khopoli by road or private vehicle. It is nearly 70 kms away from Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport Mumbai.
There are regular trains from other major cities of the country to Pen. Search with station code: PEN. One can also travel by bus to Khandala and then hire a cab.
Have a splendid trip readers! This is the season to soak in the beauty of nature.
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