Panshet and Khadakwasla

Panshet Dam, also called Tanajisagar Dam, is a dam on the Ambi river about 50 km south-west of the city of Pune in western India. The dam was constructed in the late 1950s for irrigation and, along with three other dams nearby, Varasgaon, Temghar and Khadakwasla, it supplies drinking water to Pune. Khadakwasla Dam is built on the Mutha river. This dam across the river Mutha created an attractive lake, now known as Khadakwasla Lake. This lake is the main source of water for Pune and its suburbs. In the vicinity of Khadakwasla Dam, there is the well-known National Defence Academy, the Institute of Advanced Technology (IAT) earlier collocated with CME, Dapodi and Central Water & Power Research Station (CWPRS). A few kilometres up the road lie Sinhagad Fort and the twin dams of Panshet and Varasgaon which mainly supply water for irrigation.

History: The birth of Khadakwasla lake took place due to the severe droughts during the 19th century in East Pune that paralysed crop growth and prompted engineers to take up major irrigation works. Captain Fife RE of the British Army recommended a high-level reservoir at Khadakwasla in 1863 and subsequently carried out detailed survey and investigations. This man-made Khadakwasla Lake is therefore also called Lake Fife. The work on one of the oldest masonry dams of India began in 1869 and was completed in 1879 at the cost of ₹6.5 million. The Panshet Dam construction was started somewhere around the 1950s. The Panshet Dam was nearing completion in July 1961, designed essentially to regulate the supply of water to Lake Fife, or Khadakwasla Lake, in such a manner that the huge lake would have more than adequate water for the people of Pune. Panshet Dam burst in its first year of storing water in 0330 hrs on 12 July 1961. Heavy rains and total absence of mandatory reinforced cement concrete (RCC) strengthening were the cause of this disaster. It took another four hours for Khadakwasla Dam to breach, causing devastating floods in Pune. The People of Pune were saved Once Again, by the Indian Armed Forces. 3,000 Soldiers from the Bombay Engineering Group and Centre (BEG), the College of Military Engineering (CME) and other units were dispatched by HQ Southern Command, Pune, to help. An estimated 1,000 people died from the resulting flood. *(All the above information are from Wikipedia.)

Transport:

Airport: The nearest commercial airports are Pune International Airport at 50 km and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 110 km.

Rail: Pune Railway station is the nearest railway station.The dam is approximately 44 km from the station.

Road: Pune is connected to Mumbai and other states through national highways. This place is connected to Pune through the city roads.

Local: Regular State Transport buses ply from Pune to Khadakwasla. Auto Rickshaw and other vehicles are available to different locations like Sinhagad Fort and Panshet Dam.

Tourist Interest:

Khadakwasla Dam: A beautiful lake with the dam at a distance and the NDA on the other side of the lake is a favourite picnic spot the city dwellers.

Panshet Dam: This is also a huge lake with surrounding greenery and the long trail of backwaters within the hilly terrain is a beautiful place for a day trip.

Sinhagad Fort: Also called the Lion’s Fort previously called Kondhana, has been the site of many important battles, most notably the Battle of Sinhagad in 1671. It was also strategically located at the centre of a string of other forts such as Rajgad, Purandar and Torna.

Tour Planner: Panshet Dam and Khadakwasla can be covered in a day trip. The trek to Sinhagad Fort can also be covered within the same day if started early.

Hotels: There are various categories of accommodation available around. The MTDC Resort, Sunder Resort, Fortune Select, Vimal Sarovar and others. One can also book other residences through Airbnb, as we did.

Read My Journey to Panshet and Khadakwasla.

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