I was in Bangalore for seven years. It’s a shame that I didn’t go out anywhere in Karnataka other than Mysore. Though Gokarna, Mangalore, Belur, Halebid were always in plan, it never worked out. So when I relocated to Pune, I decided to ensure that I visit as many places as possible before i plan to relocate to Bangalore or Chennai. Not bad – i have covered Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani,Lavasa, Lonavala and Khandala so far. And all of them were a treat to the eyes.
Mahabaleshwar & Panchgani:
This was the first place we visited. Thanks to my friend. He drove us there. We first went to Panchgani and checked into hotel Millenium Park. A decent hotel with decent facilities but priced a bit high owing to the season. It was raining continuously and most of the points were covered with fog. Nevertheless we enjoyed the rains. My daughter totally enjoyed the rains clad in her colorful rain coat. She cracked up each time the gushing wind overturned our umbrella.
Next morning we visited table land. It was a splendid view. Then we went to Mahabaleshwar and had a view of a nice waterfall on the other side of the valley. We then proceeded to Kate’s point and it was raining heavily. After a short wait we decided to see the point anyway. It was totally worth it. We then went to Mahabaleshwar market and spent sometime there. After Juice tasting at Mapro, we came back to Pune.
My friend came over from Bangalore for a weekend and we planned to go to Lavasa, lonavala and khandala. We hired a cab and ee went to Lavasa. The drive was awesome and a treat. Beautiful place. After spending a while taking pics and eating and rains we came back to Pune. It doesn’t take too long to cover Lavasa, the hill city. The buildings were colourful and reminded me of the places they show in old Jackie Chan movies.
We went to lonavala the next day. The drive was good. And it was getting foggier as we went higher. Near the tiger point we were not able to see anything in front of us. Then it cleared a bit and then covered again. We had a good view of a mini falls which goes down a cave. We then proceeded to the most crowded part of the trip – the bushi dam. [ On the way down to the dam, there was a large bus which got stuck in the hair-pin bend. The left side fore wheel of the bus was in the air. It took some time and lot of people to move the bus back by few meters]. The water from the dam flows out through a staircase kind of structure where people sit and enjoy the waters. The other side was a good view of the dam that was full. There was a signboard warning people about crocodiles but people still were jumping in and swimming. The place was as crowded as any temple during a festival. From Bushi dam, we went down, had our lunch & moved towards Khandala
We reached Khandala. The driver showed us the point and made a face like it was only ordinary view and that there is a good view further up. Since he has been doing this sort of face for a while, we thought we would ignore him and go take a look at the point. The point was absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful valley. It was a panoramic view. It was lush green with few waterfalls and cloud dispersed here and there. Stunning view in my opinion. Pics will be uploaded soon. We then went to Monkey point overlooking a tunnel carved in the mount. It was ordinary. And then we came back to Pune.
I’m glad that I am staying at a place which is growing in IT yet pretty close to scenic places. All these places are withing 100 km from Pune. The places to visit next are Matheran, Alibaug, Shirdi, Ajanta, Ellora, Nashik and Panchavati, the place where Rama spent some time. and of course, there is Mumbai.