It was a long weekend coming up with Mahashivratri falling on a Monday....and the person I am, I was desperate to go out somewhere...some place nice...some place not visited before.
Checked all the weekend getaways (my hubby agreed for just an overnight trip :( so had less options), but there were not many...and I had already been to some before.
I thought of Saputara a hill station in Gujarat but then thought it was too long a travel. So I logged on to MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism website) and came across a place I had always wanted to go...Bhandardara.
I quickly checked the availability and there was just one room available waiting for me....it seemed so! Without batting an eyelid I went ahead and booked it, got a deluxe room for Rs.1500/-
Now there is something very weird about this place...it has this MTDC resort at a very good location and very cheap...and there are 2-3 resorts which are very expensive with no good view or location.
Anyway so we set off early Sunday morning by car and reached there in around 3 hours. The Kasara ghat which we have to pass has amazing roads but the inner village roads are quite bumpy.
Once we reached the resort, we were escorted to our room which was huge enough to play cricket in :) The rooms were clean and spacious and perched on a small mountain facing the beautiful Arthur Lake.
We freshened up and headed for the canteen in the resort and ordered lunch which was tasty and more like home made food. After clicking a few picks and having a look around the resort we went back to the room...me to catch a few winks and my hubby to watch the India-Aust match.
At around 5 pm, after a cup of tea we headed for the lake, there were boat rides which we decided to skip and just sit along the banks of the river and enjoy the sunset and the view.
Once the sun was set and after clicking a few pics we walked back to the resort and relaxed on the bench in front of our room facing the lake.....as darkness engulfed the place we spent an hour star gazing...it was wonderful.
We called room service and ordered dinner....yummy chicken roast and biryani.
Next day we woke up to the calm and quiet surroundings. After having pohe and sandwich for breakfast we checked out of the resort and proceeded for site seeing around the place.
We got a local guide who took us to the Wilson Dam, Randha falls and Umbrella falls (supposedly the famous song of Mandakini in her white sari in Ram Teri Ganga Meli was shot here at Unmbrella falls as told by our guide)
We then checked out the gates of the dam and had a view of the Kalsubai (highest peak of Maharashtra) and Ratangad Fort.
After that, since it was the eve of Mahashivratri and the villagers have a style of setting up a fair (Jatra as called by the locals) near the Shiv mandir, we decided to go visit the temple at Taked and pay our tributes. We were surprised by the crowd moving towards the temple and quickly went back to our car and headed for Mumbai after paying our guide (don't have any pics of the mandir as the place was packed with people) .
We stopped for lunch on our way back and were home by 6.00 pm. The weather had got warm by then and if I had to advice anyone who wishes to visit the place, please do go during the monsoons as you can see the real beauty of the place during monsoons and make your hotel booking way in advance cause MTDC is completely booked during the monsoons.