My better half and her not-so-better half (yours truly) did not venture into any outing since long, mainly due to the new arrival in the family a few months back. The trips became from abundance to scarce and the parental blues started setting in. So it was high time we ventured into a completely unplanned road trip. We didn't even decide where to go or when to go. We just wanted to set out to long drive into the nature, we didn't really care about the destination much.
We thought of going to Lavasa, but wanted to embark on an off the beaten track to avoid the madding crowd. So we relied on the Google maps and it duly lived up to its reputation as we were able to find out a not-so-trodden road across Panshet and Varasgaon.
Our roadmaps are below:
Pune to Panshet(52 Kms):
Panshet to Lavasa (30 Kms):
Lavasa to Pune (72 Kms):
We were a little late to start (with an infant it was quite natural). We were on the road by 10 in the morning. The plan was to come back by 6.30 in the evening, so the 150 km odd drive would leave a really little or almost no time for stopovers. The traffic till Swargate didn't help boost our morale further. But as we soon as we hit Sinhagad Road, things started looking a bit more promising. Soon we passed by Khadakwasala, where we didn't care to stop. No offense to the beautiful lake but this was just in order to save some time.
The road to Panshet was full of greenery on both sides and sometimes through dense vegetation. But that was hardly any surprise for anybody who is familiar with the Western Ghats. We couldn't avoid the fresh air and alluring rustic serenity for long and henceforth couldn't prevent ourselves from stopping on numerous occasions. We inhaled a lot of pure oxygen which could keep us immune to the urban monotony for a few more days, until the nature beckons us again.
The Panshet lake was a true
companion and it went with us till we arrived Panshet. The road was not that
good, but once we crossed Panshet, it became a horrible nightmare. In fact,
horrible is a big understatement. It was narrow, untarred and full of potholes
and loose pebbles. Panshet to Varasgaon
was merely around 6-7 kms but it took us more than half an hour just because of
this dire condition of the road.
|View of Panshet Lake|
|On the road........|
We passed by the Panshet and Varasgaon dams. Magnificent hills, covered with clouds at the top and greeneries all over, resulted into a deadly combination. A truly breathtaking view was composed by the nature itself. We were spellbound by the mesmerizing spectacle but each of the potholes brought us back into the harsh reality. My patience almost ran out, but somehow I still managed to keep my sanity intact, so did my most loyal companion, my wife. The rain came and go but couldn't bother us much, we already reached to the saturation level.
We reached Lavasa around 2 in the afternoon, at least an hour later than what I estimated. We parked the car in the designated area and stretched my legs. I really had to earn this break. We were starving, so we wasted no time in devouring what little we had with us.
We planned to roam around the colourful city, which one needs to and should do on foot. The promenade was beautiful and the city, not for nothing, boasts for its well-laid plans. The city, perhaps inspired by some European villages, was planned surrounding a lake in such a way that each and every building, every apartment or even every shop received a fair share of the lakeside view. Every nook and corner of the city was neat and clean. The only downside is that the construction for the city seemed to be completely stalled because of the legal issues and the verdict of the court. So the city apparently looked to be a little deserted.
|Roadside food joints|
The rain played a complete spoilsport here. It started pouring cats and dogs. With the camera I was in no mood of getting drenched, so we had to wait. But it was fun nonetheless. I can't remember when we watched the rains together, hand in hand. The rain had its own effect, as we indulged ourselves into 'Selfies' and the phone memory kept on shrinking as the list grew.
It was our time to take leave, so
we drove back. Both of us felt rejuvenated and reinvigorated with freshly
supplied energy and enthusiasm. In addition to the same, the road towards Pune
from Lavasa via Dasve and Temghar dam - the more popular route (i.e. the road
via Paud) - was an absolute joy to drive on, not only because of the picturesque
marvels of the nature, but also the supreme human touch, evident from the
well-maintained road. This is the joy which keeps us going through our daily
chores. We managed to take a single halt on our way back to popular view point
from the top, overlooking the Lavasa city and the waterbodies.
|Definitely European looking...|
We started from Lavasa at around 3.30 pm. And almost in no time we were in Pune and then the traffic looked ominous as usual. But we managed our way back, zigzagging through the ocean of two and four wheelers. The hills and greeneries seemed a distant dream as if we were suddenly thrown into the bitterness of the real world that we need to cope up with.
We were back in the comfortable corners of the home just before 7 in the evening. All in all a great drive, we received more than what we imagined. I did hang in to drive for around 6.5 hours and through some really terrible terrains, which was of great satisfaction.
We assumed that we’d see a number of waterfalls on our way, but we did see not a single noteworthy one. And I am quite positive that we hadn’t missed any. The credit (or the discredit) must go to the scanty rains this year. Discounting this fact altogether, what we saw today was well enough to satiate us the parched souls – well, till the next trip!