The boring lifestyle of a Metro makes you want to go for holiday breaks very often. This feeling becomes stronger in sweat drenching summer of Mumbai when humidity and temperature are at its peak. With no holidays in last 3-4 months a weekend break was overdue and this time around I also had an occasion of celebrating my better half’s birthday.
Hill station it should be, was the unanimous decision taken by both the couples and all four started looking out for options. Malshej, Matheran Mahabaleshwar, Lonavla were some of the options but we took a real long time to conclude the search at Bhandardara which we had not even counted as we thought that is a monsoon getaway. Booking the Lakeview cottages in MTDC resort at Bhandardara we started the journey. Roadtrip to Bhandardara is around 180 Km from Mumbai and one of the reasons for my excitement was my new car which was doing its first long drive since I bought it around 2 months back. Bhandardara is a detour from the NH-3 which connects Mumbai to Nasik. Enroute we could imagine how beautiful the place would get transformed in monsoons, the small roads with dry and rugged terrain everywhere would turn into a sea of green.
While reaching we crossed the highest peak in Maharashtra The Kalsubai peak. Taking a little break at the base refreshed all memories of a trek to this place with friends in peak monsoon around 5 years ago. However with a different shade of nature our summer weekend trip was going to be a different experience altogether.
Lakeview cottage at the MTDC resort
We always prefer a MTDC resort for stay if available in region as they offer the best and unmatched location. Our previous stays in MTDC resorts in Ganpatipule, Velneshwar and Karla have been very rewarding. With the reviews on tripadvisor we were eager to reach the lakeview room in MTDC resort. The resort is located on a hillock next to the Arthur Lake and has different types of rooms as per your taste and budget. Every lake view cottage had lawn in front of it which can be used for all sorts of activities like eating, sleeping etc. Beyond the lawn a small descend takes you to the Arthur lake. Such a beautiful visual it was, sitting on the lawn overlooking lake was very soothing to eyes. Lake view Cottages were the costliest rooms on offer and we expected AC in bedroom, but it was missing and we soon realized the reason behind it. The cool breeze even in afternoon made it an unnecessary object in room and with a view so beautiful and atmosphere so pleasant you would not want to sit inside your room.
An unsuccessful attempt of angling
While watching ‘River Monsters’ on animal planet Mr. Jeremy Wade got me interested in angling (fishing). Love his documentaries shot across world catching fish by his fishing gear. On my last birthday my wife gifted me an amateur fishing rod which was unused for almost a year now. Grabbing the opportunity I used it for first time in Bhandardara. The lake was easily accessible from the resort so we headed to the lake early in morning and started fishing in misty fog. 2 hours of trial and error ended in zero result but the time was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We could catch one tiny fish but it was not using the angling gear and was caught by good hand eye co-ordination.
We had planned to do little sightseeing and enjoy more time in resort to avoid heat but the weather in Bhandardara changed our mind. The highlight of the trip was Amruteshwar temple which is at the base of Ratangad, a very famous trekking spot. This temple is across the lake on other side but if travelling by car around 15 km of drive along the border of lake takes you to this serene place. There is a boat service available from our resort to the temple but we opted for a drive as during summers the boat ride is not the best option to reach temple.
Sitting on the lawn in front of our cottage at night we again unanimously decided to do a trek to Ratangad in monsoon and spending a night in tent on fort. A long wait of four more months to go, wish the day comes soon.