Lavasa Drive

03-JUN-2013: I had always wanted to go for a long drive to a nearby getaway when Monsoon begins, i.e. the first day of showers. Ar also after her birth had not gone for a real outing. I had taken a leave on 3rd June, as  Ar was coming home over the weekend after visit to her maternal home. And then coincidentally all the three things came together, I was on leave, Rains started on 3rd of June and Ar was at home and in good spirits and she likes travelling in car. So we decided to go for an outing to somewhere nearby,  which will take no more than 3 hours for going and coming back as that’s the max Ar would hold out. We finally decided to go to Lavasa, in the second half of the day.

Then it started raining heavily at noon and it seemed that our plans would be washed away, but I was still hopeful that skies would clear a bit and we would be on our way. Finally around 3:00 pm, the rains subsided and we were on our way. The road to Lavasa is a toll road, which starts from Chandani Chowk. Basically, once you get on the bridge of Chandani Chowk from Kothrud, you have to just go straight and then take left at Pirangut chowk. The road is in bad shape initially, with heavy traffic but then after Pirangut, it is good and less congested. You have to cross couple of ghats on the way and all the surrounding is very serene. Ar was enjoying the new sights all around and then finally went to sleep :).

Finally we entered through the main gate into Lavasa city, it took us around 1:30 hours to reach there from our house. One of the sight which caught our attention immediately, was group of clouds which had rested on the ridge of the hill through which we had entered. Slowly they were rising and passing across the hill. This was the first time I had seen such an amazing sight. We took quite a few pics there and I think Ar also enjoyed it. We then started towards the city and the whole drive and scenery is beautiful. The whole area has been maintained well and you get a feeling of reaching a hill station outside India. After 20-25 mins we reached the city after couple of stop overs and found many buildings which have nothing to talk about. There is backwaters also of the Varasgaon dam, which was almost empty in the summers. We were thinking if we can have a quick tea or snacks in some hotel there, but just then it started raining heavily and also it would be dark in some time and so we started back for our home.

It was raining heavily and we saw many vehicles parked on the side, waiting for the weather to clear up. The winds were also very strong and it was difficult to drive in such conditions, but I enjoyed the driving very much. It took more time for us in the return journey as the evening office traffic was starting to pick up. We were back in around 2 hours time. In total we went to Lavasa and back in 3:30 hours and all of us enjoyed this short trip very much.

From next year I have decided to go on a long drive to a nearby place on the first day of the Monsoon. Let’s see if it materializes. So, until next time…


Next couple of …

Next couple of posts I would just be writing about my hobbies. Don’t think many would be interested in what I like or don’t like to do, but would give me an opportunity to reflect on myself.

What is an Hobby? a task or activity which is of ones interest, which gives is pleasure to do, normally performed in the leisure time. Though it’s a good idea to do these activities even if you are busy with something, just to relax.

One of the oldest hobbies for me, which I can remember would be being close to nature. I believe everyone .. or almost everyone.. likes nature. Most of the early humans used to live in the natural habitat.. may it be jungle, steeps, plains, deserts etc, before they moved into a more artificial setup. So humans naturally feel comfortable or pleasant in nature.

This led to development of many sub hobbies related to nature like traveling, trekking, gardening, pets etc.I will take each one of then as a separate posts and other ones which are not related to nature.

One incidence which I remember very vividly, when I had completed my third standard. After that I needed to change my school. So gave exams in 3 schools. When I went to one of the schools for exams (Jawaharlal Nehru school), I was very impressed by the campus. Not only there were many trees and playgrounds, but they had so many themed gardens, one was rose garden, one was fruits garden and so on. So when I came back from the exam, my aai asked me so how was the exam and I was like there are some many gardens, play grounds, trees etc and so I have liked that school and want to join this one only 🙂 Luckily I cleared the exam and I was able to join the school I wanted 😉

Garden trail

07-JULY-2013: Yesterday we took Ar for her first garden outing. I don’t know if she was excited or not (She is always in good mood for an outing), but I was for sure. It brought many good memories from my childhood. It had been many years I have been to a garden and brought back the childhood memories when we used to look forward for garden outing.

Large area to play, lot many kids around, the slide, swing ride, many of those play structures where you jump, climb, slide, dive and off course bhel, Yum! Good old days came front of me. We decided to go to Bhimsen Joshi Garden which is next to New India school, close to our place. G was also in good spirits as we were going out someplace.

After a small drive we reached the garden. The garden was good, quite big, lots of trees and good landscape, lot of animal figures and children’s play area. You see many people of different ages playing/walking/talking or just passing the time and you forget all your day to today worries and just be there and relax. We took a quick round of the garden, took many photos and wanted to sit for some time on a bench, but all were occupied ;), also Ar was feeling hungry and so we started back, though I am sure we would be there often and I she would enjoy the time here once she grows up a bit 🙂

Till another day, adios!

Lohgadh Trek

2013-07-06 10.32.09

Fort Type : Hill                                                      Base Village : Bhaje, Pune taluka

Grade : Easy                                                          Height : 3400 feet

Distance From Pune : 75 kms

6-July-2013: Since many days the team was planning to go for a trip and the preference was for trekking. Eventually last Saturday was decided as the day and venue finalized was Lohgadh fort.

I had been to Lohgadh fort some 4 years back and so was not that excited to go, but all had voted for Lohgadh and any trekking is a good way to unwind so was ready for the trip.

On the day woke up at 5:00 am, quickly got ready and reached the meeting place. The meeting time decided was 6:30 am, but I was not surprised to see that I was the first one to reach. Slowly people started arriving and we left at 7:15 am. We asked the driver to take a stop for breakfast and he took a stopover at some place where he would be having some commission. We had poha and tea, which rather than lifting our spirits, left a bad taste. Everyone cursed the driver and we started again. We reached Lohgadh base at 9:30 am and it was raining heavily there. I was expecting light rains and so was not completely prepared. I was mainly worried about the car keys, wallet and mobile, but got a polythene bag from a shop and kept these things safely in it.

Then the trek began and it was great weather to be there at that time of the year. All was green, misty, waterfalls big small everywhere refreshed our minds. After starting on the main trail, we started moving off trails which are more existing and are short cuts to reach the top. At around 12:30 pm, we reached the crossroad where we had to take left trail to go to Visagadh or continue straight to go to Lohgadh. Last time we had not covered Visagadh and so I suggested we cover that too, which everyone agreed upon enthusiastically. We took the turn and moved towards Visagadh.

There was no one else going that direction and only our group was in the vicinity. The trail was great with forest, great view of fort, clouds and many small water streams cutting the way, which we had to cross to move on. Finally we reached a crossroad, where there was a small hotel. We asked the guy for the way and he showed us a “easier” way. It was a small pathway passing through the jungle and after traversing that for 10- 15 minutes or so, we reached a point where we had to climb through the water fall itself. Water was flowing at high speed and the rocks were slippery. It was both existing and tough climb; but one which I will always remember. We reached the top in 30 mins.

The weather, view and feeling of completing yet another fort was great and we rested, took photos and had homemade chivada there. After around 30-45 mins we started descending. We then stopped over at the same hotel which we had passed by and had hot maggi, bhaji and tea. It was raining heavily and having such warm food set us going for our main destination Lohgadh.

After reaching the crossroad, we continued on the trail towards Lohgadh amidst heavy rain and reached the base in 20 – 25 minutes. From there we had to climb the stairs to reach the top of fort. I prefer to trek through natural trail, but climbing steps is tiring and I don’t enjoy it. One step of Lohgadh is equivalent to 2-3 normal steps. We already had climbed one fort and were climbing the second one of the day and our legs and energy was giving in. But the goal of reaching the top of fort gave me strength and finally reached the top and completed yet another fort that too in single day. It was great feeling.

We were there for some time taking photos and having food. Many of us had been to this fort before, so didn’t explore much. Some of the guys had a look around and then we decided to start the decent as it was getting late and we had a long trail back to the base. We started our decent, with heavy aching legs and reached the base at 5:30 pm. At the base we had bhaji, vada pav and tea and refreshed ourselves. Once done, we started the drive back towards Pune.

We were walking/climbing/running/jumping for almost 8 hours now and we were tired a lot. But we had lot of great memories which we took along while starting for our home back in Pune 🙂

Till another day, adios!