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India: Maharashtra: Ajanta, Aurangabad, Bhimashankar, Dighi, Diveagar, Ellora, Harihareshwar, Kaas, Karla, Lavasa, Mulshi, Murud Janjira, Nighoj, Pune, Tungi, Satara, Shivneri, Srivardhan, Thoseghar, Yawat
Tungi, Pune: A great break
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
Just about 85 kms from Pune is a tiny village named Tungi. Based on the foothills of Tungi Fort and overlooking Lake Pavna and Tikona Fort gives the village a wonderful location advantage. And if you get to stay at Lake Pavna a resort by Mahindra Holidays you couldnít be asking for anything better to cheer you up for a weekend or any other days for that matter.
With Diwali holidays on hand, I was invited by the gracious couple Jaya and Ujwal Lahoti to spend a weekend at the resort. The property sits on the edge of the mountain giving fabulous views of pristine landscape that falls in Taluka Maval.
I left my home at 11:30AM. The idea was to have lunch at Lonavala (itís a hill station falling between Mumbai and Pune; famous for its picturesque rail journey and nutsí candies known as chikki) and reach the resort by about 2PM. Itís an expressway up to Lonavala; thereafter you take a left from the middle of the town to head towards the famous Amby Valley. About 16 kms from Lonavala, you take a left at a fork near Cloud 9 resort. At the time of my travel the condition of the road from the fork all the way up to Mahindra resort was not good. The potholes made sure I drove at about 20 kms/hr. It took me 30 minutes to negotiate 9 kms to reach my final destination.
Lake Pavana as the resort is called is one of the latest properties introduced by Mahindra Holidays. Not very large in size (should be around 180 rooms when fully operational) and given its excellent access to Mumbai and Pune, I can imagine the demand from its members. However, if you fail to get a booking, you do have the option to stay at hotels on the main road or in Lonavala itself.
The property is set on many acres. Club cars and other vehicles are at guests disposal. Rooms are excellent with many offering view of the Pavana dam and its backwaters. Only one restaurant was functional. The food was good but as expected it was expensive. And why not? Guests donít have options to eat out unless one is willing to tackle 18 kms of bad road!
After a bit of rest, I was ready to take the trek to Pavna Lake. The return trip would take about 3 hoursÖ a steep but doable downhill and uphill track made sure that I had my calories in control. Cutting through wild grass & shrubs and enjoying the vast water body we almost completed the tour. I say almost because we didnít go all the way down to feel the waters. Since it was onset of winters, it was getting dark and we thought it prudent to turn back about 15 minutes from the final destination. Unfortunately, heavy clouds were blocking the sun and the fog around was not helping photography.
The theme for dinner that night was Maharashtrian. The appetite that we had built by the trek and the delicacies from the State of Maharashtra worked quite hand in hand. By 10PM I was in the bedÖ readying for early morning wake-up. The sunrise on Lake Pavna was calling.
My day commenced at 6AM the next morning. After spending time on the resort deck I went walking around. By 10AM I was back in the room. It was in-room breakfast for me. Thereafter which I freshened up to spend the next few hours in the lounge which was stacked with some good coffee-table books. At 4PM it was swimming time. After a few laps and another round of walk in the wilderness readied me for dinner. A la carte.
The next morning was pack-up time. At 9AM I left for home. The office was calling.
Tungi Image Gallery Photo viewer
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