Monday, 17 January 2011

Lavasa - January 16, 2011

We wanted to go for a long drive and it had to be JUST THE DRIVE since Arnav is too young for us to go in for any adventure sports, trekking, etc. Name came to our mind was Lavasa.
After the trip what we enjoyed most is the Drive and the Scenic Beauty.
We started from Pune at 11.00 am. Taking the Karve Road, Paud Road Overbridge and Chandani Chowk we headed towards Pirangut. There’s a small toll (18 Rs for Car) just after Chandani Chowk. After the toll naka, signboards for Lavasa start to appear showing the way & kms after every 5-7 kms. They properly guide you to Lavasa. Road till Pirangut was nice. Atleast worth the 18 Rs. paid.
Two villages Bhugaon & Bhukum pass by with three small ghats as well (Bavdhan, Bhugaon & Pirangut). Just after descending the Pirangut Ghat towards right side is the Gulhane Industrial Estate. I use to come here for my Engineering Final Year Project and then a brief job of 2 months after passing out. We made a brief stroll through the area (just to refresh my old memories) and rejoined our way.
Pirangut village starts immediately after this ghat ends. Ahead of Pirangut, about 2-3 kms, is the Ghotawade Phata. The Lavasa signboard showed us to turn left. One can see the factories like Pricol, Mahale, Freudenberg on this road.
This road takes goes towards Temghar Dam after descending the Mutha Ghat. Water falling down the Temghar Walls must be an awesome sight in Monsoons. We were not that lucky, but still the view was superb.
Temghar Dam
The same road turns towards left and takes you to Lavasa Main Gate and beyond. This complete road is the fun to drive. I was not able to touch 80s because of regular turns. The sharp turns in the ghats were fun. But the drive coupled with the scenic beauty was awesome. First green fields on both sides, then the Temghar backwaters and then the Dasave lake at Lavasa. We did our bit of photography in between with the new D-3000 SLR Nikon. It was trial for me in that sense.

There was brief security at the Lavasa entry with cameras installed for identification and the security personnel noting the vehicle numbers and reason for visit.
After crossing the Main Gate we could see the Dasave village (Phase 1 of Lavasa) being developed below around the Lake. It is about 8 kms from this point. In between, points are created for a stop-over. Benches are provided, space for parking is available, beautiful flowers are blooming; it has a nice view of the Lake & its surroundings below.

view of Dasave village from top (Lavasa main entry)

There is a lake at the center and the road surrounding it. Along the road are the Residential Villas, Convention Center, Dasvino Club House, Water Sports Center, Lavasa Information Center and so on. Also there are Villas, Hotels and other activity centers along the hills above. What is to be noted here is there are ample of sign-boards to guide you about the places in Lavasa eg. Walking Plaza, Adventure Sports, etc. All along the ghat road, Residential Villas & Row Houses are seen under construction facing the valley and the lake.

Since we didn’t knew much of places in Lavasa and our intention was just a long drive we decided to take a round and search a place to eat, a hotel or something, since it was already 1.30. I had heard about couple of names of hotels and one of my friends had gone to hotel Ekaant, we decided to opt for something else. We came across Hotel Mercure. I did some basic enquiry and we were there having lunch. It was a buffet 400 + taxes per person. Food was ok. Nothing special. Mix of Veg & N-Veg. Ambience was nice and the service of the restaurant staff was excellant. Arnav had to be credited for that; since had impressed them a lot with his tricks.
Water Sports
After the lunch we decided to return back. On our way back we saw water sports going on at the lake, there was a small fast food center also filled with people.
All in all it was an awesome long drive trip that we wanted.

Trip meter readings:
00 kms: Narayan Peth
08 kms: Chandani Chowk … take the Pirangut, Mulshi toll road
21 kms: Ghotawade Phata (ahead of Pirangut)
29 kms: Mutha ghat … and then Mutha village
43 kms: Temghar Dam … road turns to left from the dam wall
51 kms: Lavasa Main Gate
Dasave town & lake is a 8 kms descent of Dasave Ghat from this point
072 kms: Lavasa Main Gate (return journey)
102 kms: Pirangut
123 kms: Narayan Peth

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