"I don't really need much to enjoy a good holiday- just my family and the bare essentials"- Jean Reno
And so when someone suggested 'Lavasa' for summer holidays ( where on earth was that??), I caved in, for, everybody in the family, and the definition extends to some very dear friends, wanted to try someplace different, away from the melee of overzealous tourists and thronging holiday crowds.
Lavasa is a one of its kind, privately planned hill city sprouting up in the Mose Valley of Western Ghats, near Pune, India. This newest hill station on Indian map, spread across seven hills is touted to be an avataar of the Italian town Portofino. The vacation started right after we landed at the Pune airport and boarded our private mini bus. The lavish breakfast (read- fingerlickingly awsome!) over the din of excited jiber jaber at the hip German bakery set the bar high, the holiday jaunt was already looking promising enough.
Our road trip from Pune to Lavasa had all the right ingredients of a family blockbuster holiday; innumerable journey breaks, unlimited photo stops, unnecessary food binges and non-stop chitter chatter. Rain pattered down the silver clouds who had swilled more liquor than they could contain, as the road snaked through the kaleidoscopic vistas of lush mountains. And then we came across this breathtaking, picture postcardesque waterfall cascading down the glistening rocks. Then came yet another, bigger shower catapulting down like white foam on molten copper, therafter, the counting didn't stop.
The hotel was nice and comfortable; though we all chose to huddle up in one room for games, chit chat and tea. All plans made for the next two days were washed down as rains hammered relentlessly. We mostly remained indoors, gorging on savouries, singing songs and playing 'Dumb Charades'. The more adventurous of our lot, dared to take a plunge in the pool as well! The heavy downpour gave mini breaks when we could venture out, soft drizzle pecking our cheeks, to the beautiful lake front promenade lined with uberchic eateries.
The cobblestone paved boulevard was the epicenter of all activity. My son jumped in the tiny puddles with his little cousins, for once chucking his 'teenage airs' while we made small talk sitting under patio umbrellas, drenched wet yet warmed for the bonding moments. Lazy strolls along the quiet esplanade with the breeze (or was it the clouds??) caressing you and raindrops softly teasing, were threateningly addictive.The complete absence of shopping options kept the guys in good humor while we tried to feed the shopaholic in us by visiting the corner grocery store . Riding the mini train, we discovered, was a totally fun way of getting around this idyllic small town nestled in the cocoon of lush green hills
Nature trails, water sports and musical fountain show are also on the Lavasa platter and so is a private club and spa, however, the rain drumroll didn't let us explore the options.No regrets though, because the company more than made up for it!
P.S. # Lavasa is a privately planned city in Maharashtra, India, spread over 7 hills and being built in a phased manner. Please check with authorised websites before booking a tour. Most of the present activity and hotels are centered around Dasve.
# It takes over two hours from Pune to Lavasa by road
# The best season to go is monsoons when the waterfalls arrive from nowhere, though, water sports may get affected if the rains are continuous.
# A gaming arcade and a splashpool figure in the list of the limited activities the place has to offer.
# Absolutely no shopping options, shopaholics run the risk of bouts of depression.
# Recommended to only die-hard romantics or big boisterous groups, basically, to people who are in a happy space and just need to be in a happy place.