Lavasa...Our Lovely Weekend Getaway
This time we went to Lavasa for a weekend getaway.We took the Pune Expressway and went via Chandni Chowk,which took us an hour and a half from there.Lavasa is based on New Urbanism,meaning everything required is within walking distance and Biomimicry,meaning science that learns from nature.It's no wonder then that Dutch artist Escher designed a logo that shows a man becoming airborne,leaping over a lake and taking flight as a free bird.
Lavasa is located by Warasgaon Lake and as we drove down,past the many waterfalls,we felt the cool mountain air caressing our cheeks.Each turn was a lush green encounter and we could only sigh as we took it all in.
The drive from Pune to Lavasa was dotted with stalls selling freshly roasted corn.Rice fields,sugarcane plantations and mango trees soothed our eyes.In fact we saw a temple in the midst of a sugarcane field.Village houses had toilets built outside as a separate block which were covered with foliage.
There were wild purple flowers growing all around.The rare Karvi flower also grows here but was spotted some years ago
We took a trackless train ride to discover more.This started at Dasve,one of the many towns that constitute Lavasa.Our hotel was located there.The train ride cost us Rs 50 per head and passed by the lake,several buildings,the town hall,a convention centre,retirement homes and hotels.In the monsoons there is a Waterfall Safari.In the evenings you can view the Fountains at the lakeside at around 7pm but the day we were there,they weren't on.The other thing was that the mobile network Reliance had no signal there.Airtel did.
The weather was perfect....it was drizzling lightly!
Food at Lavasa is expensive.There are restaurants( Indian,Pan Asian,American) in hotels and some by the lakeside promenade.There are also stalls for Shawarma and wraps
We bumped into our friends whose daughter is studying hospitality management at the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne at Lavasa,behind the ITC Fortune Select
We also spotted the bakery we had read about in the Lonely Planet Getaways book.
Chor Bizarre had antique furniture and looked more like a museum than a restaurant!
Next morning,we headed for the Nature Trail that started at Ekaant,the Retreat.This is not to be missed.It is free to the public and takes about an hour
The walk was up the mountain but gradual.We walked through the clouds to reach the top while rain drizzled lightly on us.It was like heading up towards heaven!
Olive green,emerald green,parrot green,all shades of green overwhelmed us! There were signs at various spots telling us about lichens (we spotted them).animals found in the area (mouse deer,hyena,wild pig and more) but it was raining so we didn't spot any.We did spot birds.The Butterfly Walk was also not there due to the rains.At the top,we found a guard who helped us find places we had seen on the map.He showed us bright orange fishes in the pond when he threw fish food in.
We saw the beautiful Sun Dial and the Macchan.There was a play area for kids and a sitting area that was shaded.There's a Spice route and a Medicinal Plant route.We walked by a termite mound and then the Rain Forest area.Truly the best part of Lavasa! W e looked down at the lake and saw people jet skiing.Close by are AC tents for the adventurous
On the way back,we stopped at Pune for a vegetarian Maharashtrian thali at Krishna Dining Hall.There are several such restaurants like Shreyas,Shabaree and those in hotels on Prabhat Road.
The typical Garlic Chutney,Surli Chi Vadi,Vatanyachi Usal,Flowercha Rassa and Tomato Saar had us smiling for a long time...and that smile got bigger when we reminisced our time at Lavasa!