If you are based out of Delhi and are asked to go to Mumbai for a work stint the thing that excites you the most is the possibility of barish, chai aur pakode. But when the rain gods choose to deprive you, what do you do?
You just follow the dark, heavy, moisture laden clouds wherever they go and that’s pretty much how we ended up in Panchgani last month.
One Friday afternoon we got done with office sooner than usual and just the next moment we were all packed in the car driving towards the Mumbai Pune expressway to head to some place with mountains, clouds, rain and peace. The drive was amazing right from the beginning. We left around 3 so we ditched the Mumbai traffic, hit the expressway by 4 and it began pouring cats and dogs right after. The drive through the tunnels, lonavla and Kamshet was pretty amazing.
We reached Pune around 6:30 and stayed just long enough to pick some necessary things for the road and Akshay ofcourse, who, by then had booked a place for us to stay at Panchgani. We drove comfortably, took frequent breaks to eat, drink or just stare into nothingness and enjoy the highway.
Where to stay
Akshay had booked Terra camp resort and Google was our best bet to reach the destination. After driving on an unlit narrow road for about an hour, Google declared that we had reached our destination while we could see nothing but overgrown trees around us. Our hearts skipped a beat and we almost lost all hope but then one of us saw a ray of light coming from the middle of the trees and well, that’s where our resort was. Situated in the middle of nowhere, it was a beautiful abode at an amazing location.
The manager at Terra came out to greet us and show us to the parking and we were not only relieved but overjoyed to see the location of the place we were going to stay at. We put our luggage in our tents and decided to spend the night sitting at the best spot in the resort, the machaan.
The whole night was spent sitting amongst the clouds, listening to music and snuggling with the two cats and a dog that have made the resort their home.Next day morning we were woken up by the call for breakfast and we decided to eat in the restaurant instead of asking for room service. The view from the restaurant was also very nice.We spent some more time in the resort and then left for Panchgani.
Terra Camp resort
Address: Survey No. 498, Bhilar – Akhigani Road, Akhigani, Panchgani, Satara, Maharashtra 412805
Phone:02378 202 190
Things to do
We asked the local people what all places we should visit and almost everyone suggested Mapro garden. This is a beautiful set up by the Mapro people. You enter this place and the only emotion that remains in you is happy. It smells of delicious food, you get to see the wooden oven, the chocolate factory and when we went they had a strawberry festival going on there were retail counters for all Mapro products and they were offering free tasters for everything. Tasting their candies and crushers in shot glasses was such a fun experience! It garnered just enough excitement for ordering everything they have on their menu. The menu is also very well made and the food is awesome !! Must visit if you are in Panchgani or Mahabaleshwar.
This is another place in Panchgani for which you don’t have to stray away from the main road and yet the place and view is absolutely beautiful. You can see the mountains, the lake, the village below and it is all breathtaking. The only thing is that this place is a little commercialized and there are a lot of shops and people here so there isn’t much privacy. Hence, in my opinion, you can stop here for a bit, maybe get a bite to eat or a cup of tea but spend more time at Harrison folly if you are really there for the view and to spend some time with nature.
This place is nothing but just a stop over on the highway at the first glance. But when you park your car and head over to the edge it feels like you’ve just entered paradise. You find yourself amidst the clouds & greenery. Mountains standing tall and a beautiful village and lake down below. Yes, its just a beautiful spot but if the weather is right you can spend an entire day, chilling with friends, picnicking with family, planning a romantic getaway or just listening to music by yourself. A must visit if you’re going to Mahabaleshwar. Do stop for a minute, you will not be disappointed.
This was the last stop over for us and we started the drive back around 6 PM, reached Pune around 9 PM and Mumbai around 1AM. You could stop at hotel Hari Om for food on the highway. The vada pav, poha and adrak chai was to fresh and much better than anything else served on this route.
Planning a trip to Panchgani?
Here are some tips to help you plan better
- Mode of Travel : Bus (~9 hours) , train till Pune and bus after or just drive down from Mumbai
- Nearest Airport : Pune , 113 kms from Panchgani
- Who to take along : Friends, Family, Go Solo
- Food : Try fresh strawberries if you go in winter season
- Duration : 2 days
- Major attractions : Table top, Harrison’s folly, Mapro garden, Dhom dam, Kate’s point, Parsi point, Lingmala falls
- Activities : Canoeing, Kayaking, boating at Tapola lake. Paragliding at Sydney point.
- Places to visit nearby : Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala, Khandala, Kashid, Kolad, Diveagar
- Best time to visit : June- September (Monsoons – for a lazy getaway) October – May (for activities like nature walks & boating)
- Must carry : Rain gear like umbrella, light jacket, torch for night nature walks
- Cost : 3000 INR approx. per person for two days
If you want to take a printout/PDF version of this post to refer on your trip, you may request the same in the comments below. We will be glad to mail you the same in an attempt to make the planning process easier for you.
If you have already been here or to other similar places, share your experiences or engage in a conversation below. (Alternatively, here’s a link to the discussion on our facebook page)
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