Sunday, 15 July 2012

Mahabaleshwar in the Winters – A Different Experience - Part 1

After not a very long time since our visit to Konkan, we set out for a 4 day relaxing venture to Mahabaleshwar. The idea was to spend a few days in serenity and with peace. We booked ourselves in Mahabaleshwar MTDC which is a perfect getaway from the madding crowd, so we have heard.
Day 1
We started around 7 O’Clock in the morning. The familiar roads led us to Mahabaleshwar in almost no time. We passed by the known hilly terrains and entered Panchgani at around 10 am.
On the familiar roads once again
We made a stop at the Mapro garden – it was the season of the Mahabaleshwar’s one of the most famous attractions – Strawberries. The cute little red ones were sold in abundance on both sides of the roads.
Strawberry Season

The Cute Little Ones
Finally we arrived at MTDC at around 11 – the location was truly value for money if you want seclusion. Located at the outskirts of the overcrowded hill station, the old colonial buildings were spread across a vast expanse of area and were fully surrounded by dense vegetation.

MTDC Mahabaleshwar

We checked in to our rooms which were a good couple of kms from the main entrance – hence a car was a must. Without wasting much time we were ready to just roam across a city and see a couple of viewpoints nearby the MTDC resort.
We went towards the market first to devour some lunch. The Sher-E-Punjab served us great food, once again (we ate there during our first trip as well). Then we took a casual stroll around the market area once again where the ladies in the group engaged themselves in some quick shopping.
When the momentary shopping was over (thank God), in the afternoon, we thought it would be a wise decision to visit a couple of points – Lodwick Point and Sunset point – both of which are in close vicinity of the MTDC resort, the latter being in the walkable zone from the resort.
To reach Lodwick Point, you have to park your car at the parking and then need to bring your best walking skills for a mile, if not more through the narrow earthen roads and through the thick woods where you have to beware of some vicious monkeys. We overcame all the obstacles to reach our destination – though it was supposed to be winters, the sun was radiating scorching heat and we were gasping. 
Way to Lodwick Point

An Asymmetric Flower on the way to Lodwick Point
The Lodwick point is basically a point which has a small monument erected in the memory of the General Peter Lodwick from where you can take a look at the valley down below. But the main attraction of this place is another point which is some half a km ahead of this point – Elephant’s head.
Lodwick Memorial

A different looking flower
May be I lack some imagination skills  - I leave it to the readers to find out the similarity – but I still could.
Elephant's Head

A view from Elephant's head
Though it was a scorching heat, people were flocked to the view points. And we encountered more and more crowd when we reached the sunset point before the sunset. The place had become like fair – tea stalls, snacks and juice bars, pony rides, corn on the cob, palmistry and many more entertainment to allure the crowd. And the name itself (“sunset point”) is enough to attract a significant amount of crowd, for the relationship between humankind and the sunset is an eternal bon – we always love to watch sunrise and sunset.
The sunset point lived upto its popularity – the sky became a combination of blue and crimson while the sun was setting at the horizon. The hillocks at the distance formed a wavy skyline under the fading light.
Sunset Colors
After the Sunset
As the dark prevailed, the weather became absolutely bone-chilling with the temperature falling down drastically and a gentle – it didn’t feel gentle thought at that time – breeze. It was indeed cold, very cold and felt like an ideal hill station in the winters.
We returned to our much coveted shelters in the resort where we spent the rest of the evening. We only went out for the dinner at the nearby canteen and then took a stroll, since the food provided some enthusiasm and energy within us, but not for long as all of us desired to slip under the warm blankets like anything.

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