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Recharging the batteries …

Well, ever since the contest got over, I have been having this race against time … trying to catch up with life … or more so the college assignments … the 10 – 12 days that I missed out on completing assignments and stuff …
Then immediately after the contest, I had basketball matches …
During these matches … on a Saturday, Sunday weekend … when my dad had a holiday on Ganesh Chaturthi, he decided to take us all on a trip …
Earlier, we decided to go to Raigad … with the ropeway and all … but the place got full … and we were left stranded a day before we were to leave …
So, anyways … we just took the car … packed in a pair of clothes, some food … basic necessities … and headed off towards Nashik side … to Bhandardara …
Bhandardara is supposed to be a hill station … thats what my dad told me …
I had never heard of it … and so, wasn’t looking forward to this trip that much …
The only proof that such a place existed, was on the map … with a symbol of a huge lake …
I didn’t know what to expect …
It took us 5 hours of driving from Pune to reach this place … I was in for a very pleasant surprise …
The place was just beautiful … greenery everywhere … and not just green … glowing light green …
Everywhere you could see … green 🙂
This small village – town is situated on the banks of the Bhandardara Lake … which is one of the biggest lakes I have seen …
I am sorry that I was not able to save the info pamplet … but I’ll recall and reproduce it to the best of my ability …
Bhandardara
The place is at a height of about 800 mts or so …
The peak season is from July to October end … after which the greenery turns to yellow and then later brown …
There is another peak period … but I don’t remember it right now …
So, your best bet will be to get there during the rains … its just heavenly there …
Getting there
We travelled by car ( Indica ) from Pune.
Its around 190 – 200 odd kms. from here … but it takes around 5 hours to reach there …
This is due to some bad stretch of roads … lots of ghats … and also driving through a couple of towns having only 2 lane roads …
But overall, the roads are good … and the drive is pleasant …
Also, the ghats are pretty easy … only there are lots of them …
Putting up tent
We were planning to stay at the MTDC place … they have hogged the best location by far …
But, because we hadn’t pre-booked the rooms and also because it was a Saturday, and Ganesh Chaturthi, the place was full …
MTDC has around 33 rooms … with a 20 beds – room and a 12 beds – room incase you are coming with college or friends …
We also found the MTDC rates a bit on the high side …
A normal ( non AC ) room … away from the good view goes for around 600 – 800 bucks … for 3 people in a room
The AC ones go for around 1200 … and if you want to stay at the lake side cottages, they go for about 2000 for 4 people …
The MTDC manager told us that it was all full … and directed us to an agent who showed us a couple of places around …
They had rates comparable to MTDC … but the rooms were very shitty … damp and mold covered …
This was due to the high rainfall this place receives …
You could actually feel the damp room with a very heavy – airy feel to it …
The MTDC person told us that if we didn’t like the other places .. he would try to manage something …
From this, we deduced … that the manager gets some commission from the agent for refusing us … So, if you want to stay at the MTDC place, you will HAVE to pre book the rooms … preferably from an MTDC office in your town … as we tried calling this place the previous day … and never got connected …
Anyways, so we finally crashed at this place … which was walking distance from MTDC … had decent rooms … better than the earlier ones … dry … beds were decent … and they also had TVs …
The rates were half of what MTDC and the other places were offering … and he got down more 100 bucks or so … per room … after bargaining …
So, we got 2 rooms – 2 beds each for a total of 650 something …
I don’t remember the name of the lodge .. will ask my dad later and put up all the info later in the blog or the comment …
Things to do
We stayed there for a night …
So, we had an evening … and the next morning ….
So, we basically drove a lot … and I clicked many, many pictures …
There is a large dam worth checking out …
There is also a fort – Ratangad … which you’ll need 2 hours to go up … and the same for coming down ….
Another nice place is Kalsubai … its the highest peak in the Sahyadri range and is a hot trek-spot … but again you’ll require half a day for this …
We skipped all the walking things 🙂
There is also a waterfall … “Rung-dhab-dhaba” which was pretty amazing ( see picture ) …
We caught it the other day …
You can also go boating … on a row boat …
We did that too … in the twilight .. the previous evening …
It was a very nice experience …
In the non-season period … when the fish are not biting, the fishermen take you boating …
We made good friends with the fishermen … and also got invited to tea …
The Weather
Well, I certainly feel … that nature … gave us the perfect weather …
I can’t stress more … the weather, light, clouds, wind and everything else were so perfect …
All through the drives, we were listening to a jugalbandi of flutes and tablas on the car stereo … and it was heavenly … just perfect …
If you have seen “Lord of the Rings”, picture the shire without the hobbits … and you’ll be very close …
Just take a look at the pictures : http://sj-bhandardara.fotopic.net
Greenery everywhere …. cloud kissed peaks … babbling brooks … simple villagers … away from town … what else do you need ?

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1 Comment

  • jomy 14 years ago Reply

    sounds like a cool spot for “te comp ” next picnic!!
    🙂

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