One of the most difficult things to do at Lonavala is finding a peaceful spot, where one can enjoy the sounds of nature and seek some tranquility. Fortunately for us, we managed to find just such a spot today.
After a vegetable sandwich at Hotel Rama Krishna located at the very centre of Lonavala, we headed towards the wax museum.
The wax museum, is located off the NH4 at Lonavala, the hoardings advertising the place are present nearly all over Lonavala. Rs. 100/- per head was the entry fee and we were quite amazed to watch some lovely artwork by one man, Sunil Kandaloor!
It took us about 30 minutes in the museum and from here we headed off to the neighbouring town of Khandala.
At Khhandala, there is a point called "Shooting Point". Located just off the NH4 the place was nearly deserted! The view from this vantage point is of a massive gorge and is quite a breathtaking view!
The drive on the NH4 itself is quite picturesque, even on a hot summers day. The road is in good condition, and a bit confusing at some places for those who are nor regulars, since direction boards are hardly present.
Below a view from NH4, during our drive.
From shooting point, we headed towards Rajmachi Garden. A small, little nondescript park with a lovely panoramic view.
The entry fee was Rs.5/- only and is much better maintained than the audaciously priced "Lions point" . The park is also home to some monkeys, and as always, we just stood back and enjoyed their antics.
As usual, many Indian's have an uncanny ability to find ways to deface nature and natural beauty. We found another such example in the garden.
We would like to ask people who enjoy defacing plants and public property-" How would they feel, if some one were to do it to your cars, bikes or your walls at home; scratch names like this all over?" What hypocrites!!
After devouring a roasted corn hob at Rajmachi park we decided to head towards Tungarli lake, and then, to drive towards Rajmachi fort.
The below map was our intended plan. We reached Tungarli Lake, which is the small blue water body, west of Valvan dam. The lake had nearly dried up and is a watering hole for cattle and egrets.
From here, we could get a birds eye view of Lonavala and a town metamorphosing into a concrete jungle. A sad story of India's development with little regard to its green cover.
After a little while, at Tungarli lake, we wanted to drive towards Rajmachi fort, but for reasons that I don't know, I decided to take another road, running parallel to it. The road was incomplete and rocky and we decided to put Zeita to the task.
The road was undulating and steeply curved too. There were sheer cliffs on either side and I drove with all my wits. The photograph above, is a view from the side of the car, a straight fall down.
Some sections of the road, were done, like below, but were hidden from view by the overgrowth.
We continued driving, along the steep climb for about 2 kilometers, and we finally reached the peak of a desolate hill. Once on top we were overwhelmed by the view. This was probably the highest peak one can drive upto, in Lonavala; it felt like we had dwarfed every other point around it. We finally managed to spend time at a place where the only sound we could hear was that of the blowing wind!
Another lovely view during our climb was to see trees filled with wild figs. It was very tempting, felt like plucking a few and eating them.
After some secluded time at the peak, we returned to Lonavala. We had buffet lunch at
Hotel Avion, it was the closest that we could come to call as 'Home like food'. The oil and spice levels are quite controlled and the food is quite fibrous and healthy too. Else, most of the hotels that we visited, serve oily, spicy food, that more times than not, created havoc with our digestive system.
The NH4, is well maintained and marked, and occasional flocks of sheep make the drive all the more interesting. We returned back to our hotel for the evening, and spent the better part of the evening reliving our day.