Pune’s monsoons are a photographer’s paradise – where everything around you turns a shade of bright and beautiful green. Its iconic and historical buildings, the surrounding forts and the lush green neighborhoods, like Koregaon Park, are places where you can’t help but sneak a picture. But if you’re willing to just travel a little further, you will find yourself immersed in nature of magnanimous beauty. I got in touch with my photographer friend and travel buff, known by the name Qualia, to list of few places you can drive down to with your DSLR ready, before the monsoons are completely over.
Situated between Mulshi and Tamhini, these ghats are known for their majestic waterfalls and lakes during the monsoons. The greatest attraction is the drive itself – with lots of stops along the way for chai and bhajias – what better way to end the monsoons?
Not too far from Tamhini Ghat, Mulshi is your perfect weekend getaway with a number of lakeside resorts that let you wake up to a gorgeous view. If you’re not in the for the night, it’s close enough from Pune to drive down to and spend the day by the lakeside, grab some lunch at Basho’s and head back by evening. Sounds like a perfect Sunday no?
Close to Lonavala, Rajmachi Fort is a fairly easy trek of about 40 minutes, making it safe even at this time of the year. Once you reach the top, you are met with an astounding view of the Sahyadri Mountains and the backwaters of the Shirota Dam. The best way to experience this trip is to stay overnight and set up camp in one of the caves on top. The locals are quite welcoming and will serve you a meal and some bhakri and Maggi!
With the rains coming to an end, a trek to Lohagad Fort in Lonavala is a must. The trek is fairly easy and consists mostly of steps. The fort itself is a thing of beauty, as much as the view, with majestic gates at the front. On your way back, you can even visit the Bhaja and Karla caves!
Although now the most commercial of getaways, Lonavala still remains a good option for a weekend trip. With a large number of resorts, Della adventures, Amby Valley, points and forts, there’s lots you can do here. So, if just a view and nothing to do is too boring for your taste, Lonavala is perfect for you.
A planned hill station in the Western Ghats, Lavasa is a picturesque little town right on the banks of the Baji Pasalkar Reservoir behind the Varasgaon Dam. There are many affordable resorts here for a romantic overnight trip, but it is also ideal for a day trip, with restaurants and eateries around the lake.
About the Photographer
Having grown up in Shillong, before moving to Pune, Navjot Kaur Gill has always been a nature buff. Give her a day off and you’ll find her sitting on top of some mountain or swimming in a lake. She also likes to click pictures just as much as she loves to travel. She’s the go-to person if you’re looking for an offbeat place to travel to and you can see more of her work on the links below! Watch out for her upcoming photojournalism blog, which will be your guide to budget weekend getaways from Pune!
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