Pawna Lake – Camping in the lap of Nature

It is always a necessity more than desire to take a break from the daily routine and spend some time in the lap of Nature, far away from all the chaos of City life. It so happened that I got to know about this place from a friend and immediately decided to land up in that valley surrounded by Western Ghats all around. We called up the person at the Pawna Camping Site for the booking approx 3 days before. The Lake is located beside the Lohagadh Fort and the Tikona Fort, surrounded by lush greenery and fresh air to breathe.

The journey from Mumbai to Lonavla was a real hectic and adventurous , although it should have not been the case only if we could have taken up a direct bus to Lonavla or cab to Pawna.

One friend was from Navi Mumbai, another one Mumbai and another from Thane. So we decided to meet at Panvel.

Note – If you are travelling by bus , then better to take Shivneri directly from Thane or Dadar. It will reach destination much faster compared to other buses.

Unfortunately we took a red-colour passenger bus from Panvel bus depot which reached Lonavla after 3 hours! (By that time we could have reached Pune. Phew! )

From Lonavala, the Pawna Lake is approx 12 kms. If you are taking your own vehicle you can directly take it near to the lake. However if you are travelling by public transport you either have to hire a rickshaw or a cab from Lonavla to Pawna Lake. The same rickshaw or cab will bring you back to Lonavla bus depot the next day morning. And yes, you have to mention that to the driver obviously 😛

The timing of the Campsite is from evening 4 pm to next day 10-11 am.

After reaching Lonavla around 3:30 PM, we hired a cab from there to Pawna Lake. It took Rs. 1000 for the to and fro journey. There is no as such specific road or markings to show the way to the Lake. We somehow managed to reach there after taking directions from quite a few locals. Finally got the view of the Lake. Reached and parked the cab the end point of land. There were 2 boats to take us to the camping site.

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A view of the Pawna Lake from the Road

The Camp site is an island located at the center of the lake surrounded by water all around. Only mode of transportation from there are the boats.

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The end of Land near the Lake
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The boats- only mode of transportation to the Camp Site

We stepped onto the boat and reached the Camp site.

I must mention here, the calmness, the serenity , the rhythmic sounds of the roar in the water and the beautiful bird chirps took away all the tiredness. It was so refreshing and so peaceful.

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The tents and Bonfire Set up

The tents and bonfire was already set up before our arrival.

We kept the bags and started to explore that place. It was greenery and water everywhere. There are Resorts on the other side of the land which was visible from the site. Another side the Tikona and Lohagarh Forts stood majestically.

It was simply beautiful!

Evening time – they serve the snacks which included unlimited tea and pakodas. After the sun down, it was time for bbq preparation. For veg there was paneer and all vegetables. For non-veg, it’s chicken bbq.

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Onion Pakodas – evening snack
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BBQ

If anyone wants anything extra to be prepared or arranged like cold drinks or extra snacks, those need to be informed prior, since the location itself makes it a bit difficult to arrange things on time.

There were quite a number of groups who brought music players and games. As the bonfire was lit up, bbq served and music reverberated in the starry night, all started dancing and singing to the beat.

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Bonfire!

The cool breeze, the beautiful night went on and slowly the music turned from beat to soothing and romantic songs. The Sky was completely covered with the starry blanket.

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The Moon with its Companion Star 🙂
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Another Moon Shot with my Camera like all other Places 🙂

Dinner was really delicious served by them and there was a variety of options.

Next morning it was beautiful all around. The general time to leave the camp site is 10:30 to 11:00 AM but since there were only 2 boats to ferry the people to the other side of the lake, it was around 12:00 PM for us to leave.

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Early in the morning with the Sun behind the Clouds
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The Return Journey!

Finally, the-one-night-camping at Pawna was over and enjoyed thoroughly by us. Would like to visit that place again sometime 🙂

 

Panchgani – Mahabaleshwar, another treasure of the Western Ghats

Another abode of beauty in the Western Ghats. Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar are at a distance of about 19 km from each other. Both the hill stations are famous for the delicious bright red coloured juicy fruit ‘strawberry’. This region of Western India leads in the strawberry production accounting for approx 85 percent of India’s supply.

Apart from the strawberry giant the other attractions of Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar are the scenic beauty and the ‘Mapro Garden’ which is host to the Annual Strawberry Festival.

Another weekend trip. We started off from Mumbai in bus at night (after office) and reached Panchgani at 5:00 AM in the morning. We decided to stay in Panchgani than Mahabaleshwar as it is comparatively cheap in terms of stay.

So after seeing few places we decided to stay at Shubham Hotel. The man was old and humble. Helped us with few extra mattresses and we wanted to accommodate in a single room to spend the time together(we were around 8 people).

Note : If you love to walk then you can cover the Panchgani main road and have a beautiful sightseeing by walking itself 🙂

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A view in Mahabaleshwar

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Apart from all the sightseeing points, we went for some entertainment at the ‘Entertainment Park’ where there was Go- karting and electric car racing.

Then to calm our hunger pangs we headed to ‘Mapro Garden’. There is a huge variety of products ranging from jams, fruit beverages, crushes, squashes, etc.. Also there is a food court where pizzas, sandwiches are available from freshly baked breads from their kitchen!

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Yummiest Strawberry ice cream shake ever!

In the evening, took a boat ride in the Venna Lake during sunset. The cool breeze, the soothing sound of water, the calmness was sheer bliss. And to top it up the row man played the beautiful song ‘Taj-da-re-haram by Atif Aslam’ in his cell phone. Everything was too relaxing and serene. It marked the end of that trip till the next time 🙂

A Strawberry festival is celebrated there during the month of March/April every year.

Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar is another one of the best places to rewind and relax from the daily hustle and bustle of life. Best time is the Monsoon and Winter-especially for the strawberries. Also one of the budget trips for a solo traveller/ with friends/family. Enjoy!