“Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you; but when the leaves hang trembling………the Wind is passing through……”
The windmills flaunt on the entire landscape and the land here is ruled by the wind. The plateau hills are dotted by a plethora of windmills that offer an exotic look to this lethally scenic place. On my visit a heavenly place, the plateau was dressed in yellow with blooming Sonki flowers, crisp morning sun, clouds patched in the cerulean sky and the windmills almost touching the clouds.
We were already done with the visit of Thoseghar and moved ahead. At a distance of 6 km from Thoseghar Falls and 29 km from Satara, Chalkewadi Windmill Farm is one of the largest windmill farms in Asia situated at Chalkewadi in Satara district of Maharashtra. It is among the popular Satara tourist places.
Set amidst lush green hills, valleys and the red soil these windmills make a beautiful sight. It can only be accessed by a private vehicle since no state buses ply in this route. This is another place that is best visited during the monsoon since the misty weather makes the windmill farm a very picturesque place.
The breeze was light and the robust fans moved with effort. The plateau is rarely visited, except by the local cattle grazers and the occasional vehicle passing from here. The circumference of each windmill can be compared to a chain of five people holding stretched arms in a circle. The height of each windmill might equal a 15 story tower. We were dwarfed by these beasts and the 360-degree view around showed a number of windmills and new ones that were being built.
I went around the huge plateau to get a panoramic view of the area. Some vistas displayed hundreds of windmills in the distance, some flaunted backwaters of a nearby dam, while others were terrace farms on nearby hills. The plateau ground was sprinkled by the yellow, purple and many coloured wild monsoon flowers.
As the monsoons recede, the grass dries up and the landscapes appear golden. Monsoons are more than pleasant and the scenery changes like the background scenes from a drama. The sunlight and clouds change the look and feel of the place with every passing moment making it extremely dramatic to the eyes.
Clean tar roads network the whole plateau. I sat down right in the middle of the road enjoying the cool breeze. And suddenly, the windmills behind me were cloaked in grey clouds, the breeze got chilly and the stage turned more pleasant. Somewhere in the distance, a silver lining was forming, and the clouds now appeared most playful.
As it has started raining, we moved along the sideways to a shelter. I was hungry like a wolf and fortunately, we had something in the tiffin. Oh, it was a tasty bitter guard drenched in a spicy gravy. It was tasting so good as it was offered to the lord and we were taking the remnants.
As I moved a little downhill, the hills were cloaked in fog. The landscape with the silhouette of windmills, undulating hills and melting sun mesmerized me. The cattle grazers with their daily stock of firewood and cattle moved into the frame making the place more alive. The eerie of the valley was replaced by the occasional clinking of the cowbells. The sun was on the way to set.
We parked our car under a huge windmill which was making whooshing sound on even mild wind. It’s rare that we city folks find ourselves in such open surroundings, hear the sound of wind. I was not satisfied standing under a single windmill so drove a little further inside. There were no paved roads and surprisingly no one around. The place is quite photogenic if somebody can do justice to it.
Chalkewadi Wind Energy Project in Satara was developed with the intention of generating clean energy. There are hundreds of windmills on the adjoining hills. The windmills are stretched over a 5 km plateau and supply electricity to Satara and neighbouring places like Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani. Chalkewadi is developed as a tourist spot because the windmills and the hills offer a magical landscape together.