There are a few things that every Punekar absolutely loves (in ascending order): Wada Pav, Misal Pav, chaha, monsoons, chaha in the monsoons, chaha at Sinhgad in the monsoons and WEEKEND GETAWAYS (add chaha to that as well).
Pune is surrounded by a plethora of options for nature and adventure lovers. If you’re up for a drive (or a bike-ride, real Punekar style), then you’ll be spoilt for choice with mountains, forests, beaches and picturesque lakes and dams! In the last article, we gave you a list of the best treks from Pune; today we cater to the lazy, who’d rather spend their day off just chilling by the lake.
Starting with this one, because most people don’t know that Pune city has its very own artificial lake in Pashan. Probably because at one point, this lake had become victim to the nation’s ever prevailing problem of garbage, however, conservationists and environmentalists have once again turned it into a beautiful walk. The lake is home to some unique migratory birds, such as the Purple Moorhen that can be seen from September – June.
Located approximately 10 km from the main Pune city, are Katraj Lake and the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park. Although many visit Katraj for the zoo, the main attraction here is the lake itself. It has an artificial island with a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at the center, and a surrounding jogging track. They also offer boating during some months.
As much as I didn’t want to include this in the list, I was pretty sure hundreds of people would ping “Hey you forgot Lonavla!” So, here it is. Lonavla has three significant lakes: Lonavla Lake, Tungarli Lake, and Bhushi Dam. These spots are absolutely gorgeous, but thanks to the insane number of people in their Rupa banyaans, taking a dip while shouting at their friend to click a picture, this one doesn’t quite belong in my list. I’d say Lonavla is best suited for a lake-view resort or a trek.
Panshet is a perfect getaway 40-50 km from Pune, overlooking a reservoir formed on a dam. It makes for a great picnic spot with several options to grab a bite while overlooking the serene waters. Panshet is also a hot spot for water sports such as boating and jet-ski rides. There are several small bungalows that allow you to book an overnight stay. What better way to spend the weekend than a barbecue with your buds, overlooking a lake?
Lavasa is a private, planned city with interesting architecture based on the Italian town of Portofino. The city is situated on the banks of Warasgaon Lake, known as the Lakeshore. It is one the best places near Pune to enjoy a variety of adventure sports such as kayaking, pedal boats, and mini cruises. It is also home to Temghar Dam and lake that makes for a popular camping spot: check out Camp Temghar!
If you don’t care too much for a swim or water sports, and you’d rather just have a relaxing lunch overlooking a serene lake, then Mulshi is the spot for you. It is the lake for the more pampered, with Basho’s Resort and Paradise where you can enjoy a meal with a pretty view, or wake up to it in one of their cottage rooms.
I decided to save the best for last! Pawna Lake is one my favourites, and if I could, I’d keep it all to myself. It is lined with a couple of resorts that let you breathe in all of its beauty, while enjoying a plate of garam-garam Pakoras and Chai. Mmm! It doesn’t have too many water sports or activities, just an occasional boat or a jet-ski, but what it does offer is pristine waters that are clean and quiet!
So, where to next?