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Old 17th July 2009, 16:29   #1
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Default Eye opening in Lavasa

I am not sure that a trip just about 24 hours long counts as a travelogue, having seen the intrepid things that others are up to!

Few in Mumbai Pune have not heard of Lavasa by now, but from what I have seen of the place, few in India will not have heard of it, and in a few years, it has the makings of being a world class destination. For those living close by, the time to visit it is NOW, even this coming weekend! My first visit into the valley, and I was floored.

First what is Lavasa - and the best way to say that is the way Lavasa corporation says it:

Lavasa is a hill city, being built across 12,500 acres in the first phase, nestled amidst the majesty of the Sahyadri Mountains, along the contours of the Warasgaon lake. Some distance from Mumbai and Pune, this new city embodies the spirit of human nature to aspire to a holistic life. Unique in its scale and guiding philosophy, it is the first and largest hill city, conceptualized in post independence India. Evolving over the next 12 years, around 4 towns, which together comprise Lavasa. Dasve, the first town will be ready by 2010. The complete project will be ready by 2021.

For once, it looks like what you see on the ground meets the talking up around it by its promoters. It is truly a project on a grand scale, and even some one as cynical as I am about corporate speak was impressed. My wife was over the moon, and is figuring out how to go live there on a permanent basis!

I was there for just over a day at a 20 room hotel, Ekaant, built and run by the company. Fantastic beginning to the experience. It is raining there just now, on and off, and the pictures do not do it justice, because of the light and the water getting on the lens. I will upload pix in four sets - the first of the way the waterfront towncenter Dasve is shaping up to be. Very european look and feel, even though the first eatery there is the " All American Diner".

The second set is pictures of Ekaant. At Rs 2500 per night per couple, value for money.

The third set is a constructed walking trail in the hills above the hotel. I thought I was outside India. Fantastic fit and finish. And use of earth materials and colors. And for those who this is too civilised, you can always take off into the surrounding hills.

And the fourth set is at the top of the trail where a very interesting looking childrens play park is close to completion.

For those of us who stay in W Maharashtra and know Mahabaleshwar well, this is how Mahby would have looked and felt like if it had been allowed to grow in a disciplined manner over the last 50 years.

The same clouds and rain. The same Sahyadris. Heaven on earth as far as I am concerned if you can be alone without the clutter of trashed bottles and packets of chips on the ground. And who loves who carve on the surrounding rocks.

The company that is leading the consortium is HCC - that has built a lot of infrastructure in India for many decades - their latest is the Worli Bandra Sea Link. So, they have a reputation for delivering. I wish them well.

If the vision turns out to be reality, Pune will be known for the place that is the closest to Lavasa, in addition to all the other things it is known for today.

For those who can, getting there to see things as they are being built is a great couple of days out, particularly at this time of the year. And some of the best roads in the country to get there, even if the cambers on some of the ghat turns are wonky in places!
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Old 17th July 2009, 16:38   #2
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First set, the waterfront town center.
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Old 17th July 2009, 16:41   #3
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Wow awesome. Had been there last Sunday for a quick drive. Ekant location is fantastic. The only sad part was there was hardly nay water in the dam.
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Old 17th July 2009, 16:44   #4
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Wow it looks very different in this season.

Here is how it looked in January
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Old 17th July 2009, 16:44   #5
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Sawyer ... Well put together in your write-up ... I had heard that Lavasa is a beautiful place and is being developed into a city ... There have been numerous ads in newspapers on real estate opportunities in Lavasa. I am really amazed at the it is coming up in the pictures you have posted.

Definitely on my calendar for a visit in near future.

PS: Please keep the pictures coming.
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Old 17th July 2009, 16:47   #6
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The low water levels point out to how badly the rains have failed this year - so far. The lake has been drained to meet the needs of people who are on the other side of the dam, including people such as us. It has started raining now - and if it now keeps coming, things will be ok, fingers crossed. But a monsoon failure is one thing to which the whole concept is vulnerable.
Next set, of the hotel.
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Old 17th July 2009, 16:59   #7
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The hotel now, built and run by the company. Decent buffet, great views.
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Old 17th July 2009, 17:08   #8
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Looks like a ghost town.
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Old 17th July 2009, 17:15   #9
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Pics of and from the trail. My sony was rain spattered by this time, and some drops on the lens, sorry.
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Old 17th July 2009, 17:19   #10
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Wo thanks for sharing the pics, When I went there I didnt know that those steps lead to such a nice view. I have added this for my next trip there
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Old 17th July 2009, 17:19   #11
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Last of the set from the trail, and be assured that the photos do not do the place justice.
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Old 17th July 2009, 17:21   #12
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Sawyer: the photos are amazing. Have seen many ads in the newspaper of Lavassa, there have been show on tv too about it.Seems like this is going to be something out of India kinda place.
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Old 17th July 2009, 17:29   #13
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Wow. I've ofcourse heard a lot about Lavasa, but being a good Team-BHPian my knoweldge of it extended only as far as "the road to the place is supposed to be an awesome drive"

This looks like a less "insane" version of amby valley.

@Sawyer : Could you just go in there and look around? Did you need to fix up an appointment or something? If its that easy, I'd like to check it out sometime....might be a nice weekend drive.

cya
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Old 17th July 2009, 17:31   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
Looks like a ghost town.
Yes it does! A rare case of a town being constructed before the people come to live there, I am guessing.

Last set of pix - from the top of the trail. Great for the kids.
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Old 17th July 2009, 17:32   #15
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How does one get in? Only if you have a booking in the hotel?
You need an invite, isn't it?
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