Winds of the Western Ghats

I have always wanted to travel solo, without any supervision and recently I had the opportunity to go on a trip with my friends. I have always been asked if I am an organized traveler or a spontaneous one, and I like to think I am the former since forever. But this two-day trip acquainted me with the fact that it’s not bad for your stomach to go on ‘off the cuff’ sort of vacation.

For a perfect impromptu trip, you need two days (or more if you have all the time in the world), five crazy people and a wonderful hotel you booked on an Independence Day discount. My friends and I decided to go to Pune and Lavasa for two days. I’ll spare you the details of our journey because I was either sitting quietly or listening to the songs; the journey from my point of view is always boring because I want to reach the destination in a heartbeat. But, I’d like to mention the exquisite scenery we had the pleasure to look at on the way to Pune from Mumbai.

We reached Pune around two in the afternoon and after resting for some time we decided to explore the cultural heritages in the vicinity. Initially, we had no plans to go to Pune but somehow we did. We first landed in a fort named Shaniwar Wada which was built by Bajirao I in 1730 AD. Many generations of the Peshwa had lived in the fort. In the 1800s, the palace survived a fire and now what people see are the ruins of the palace.

For the next day, we had booked a taxi for Lavasa, which is approximately one and a half hours away from the city of Pune. One can travel to Lavasa either by bus or a car. Lavasa is a planned city situated in the Mose valley of the Western Ghats. The journey from Pune to Lavasa is extremely scenic; the pleasant winds and greenery are mesmerizing.

The moment we saw Lavasa, we all were taken aback.

It’s said that the design of Lavasa is inspired from the Italian city of Portofino. From a distance, one could see a huge lake surrounded by buildings painted in red and yellow. It is a visual treat to look at the entire landscape. The city is majorly under construction but there are still a lot of things which one can do. Lavasa offers a lot of adventure sports which anyone, from a kid to an adult can take pleasure in. Though we didn’t have enough time to enjoy the adventure part, we made it up by eating. One can find a huge variety when it comes to food in Lavasa. It’s quite evident that big brands have invested in the planned city. From fast food joints to named bakeries, you name it and Lavasa has it.

What I have not been able to get out of my mind is the scenic beauty of the place. The day we went to Lavasa, it was raining and the hills of the Ghats were covered with fog. The place can unconsciously make you photogenic and you’ll bask in the pleasant winds of the valley.

We all needed a break from the hullabaloo of the city we had just moved in and this impromptu trip was a treat I gave to my mind and body.

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