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Old 16th January 2010, 00:32   #1
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Default Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio

Have spent close to an year in mumbai now, and heard about this place called Bhandardara from a few friends. Tried to visit the place in the year end long weekend, but was very late in trying to book accomodation. Didnt realise mumbaikars love heading out on every given opportunity, and on a long weekend like this, most places around mumbai were booked months in advance.
Didnt give up and managed accm in MTDC resort there on the Jan 9-10 weekend. The place is around 165 Km from Mumbai (Chembur). The route is Thane - Eastern Xpressway - Igatpuri - Ghoti. Ghoti is around 6 km after Igatpuri. There's a right diversion from ghoti that leads to Bhandardara, just after the toll naka at Igatpuri.
Mumbai Nasik Highway is in the process of being converted into a 4 lane one. So the progress up to Igatpuri was rather slow with lots of diversions/long queues of trucks. But once beyond Ghoti, really enjoyed the drive. The 6-7 km strech that you need to pass through the middle of Ghoti town is a pain though. The quality of road beyond is just about good enough. But driving the scorpio through those beautiful winding roads on lovely ghat sections was great. The engine packs a punch on the inclines and you never really feel short of power.
Accomodation at MTDC resort was decent enough. Had booked a deluxe room. Lake view cottages are slightly better as they are closer to the Arthur Lake and offer better view. Food at the resort restaurant is avoidable. Locals provide home made food by the lake side, and i loved devouring the amazing rice - fish curry they served us.
Arthur lake in the backdrop of sorrounding ghats lend a spectacular beauty to the place. If you are looking for calm and serenity, away from the hustle of city life, this is the place. Go for walks on the lake side, find some place where you can just dip your feet in the beautiful cold water and relax.
The temptation of the cold blue waters was just too much for me to resist and the swim in the lake is something i wont forget in a long time.
Our Lab, Fido, was accompanying us. He is 2 years old and i always wished to find a place where i could take him for a swim. Theres a 50 km drive around the lake from bhandardara which takes you through some of the most amazing sights. Stopped by the lake side at one of the desolate looking places on this drive.
We were still wondering whether we should let fido into the water, and fido decided for himself that its not an oppurtunity worth letting go. Splash - and he was in the lake. Spent a wonderful afternoon swimming and sun bathing by the lake side.
An unforgettable trip. 2 days really were not enough, and the plans of another getaway, longer one this time, are already being made.
Attaching a few pics.
Attached Thumbnails
Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2829.jpg  

Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2831.jpg  

Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2810.jpg  

Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2857.jpg  

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Old 16th January 2010, 00:51   #2
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Some more pics. Good reviews on the place available on holidayiq for anyone interested.
Attached Thumbnails
Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2832.jpg  

Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2846.jpg  

Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2847.jpg  

Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2799.jpg  

Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2798.jpg  

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Old 1st February 2010, 12:09   #3
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After reading this trip report and seeing the fantastic pictures, I went to Bhandardara on Saturday myself. Took the NH3 from Thane all the way to Igatpuri, then Ghoti and took the right turn to Bhandardara. What amazed me was the quality of the tarmac from Shahapur onwards through the Kasara ghats and upto Ghoti. The road is superbly built, flat, good quality tarmac which is a dream for bikers. I took my Bolero, and went upto Bhandardara dam, and further down the road towards Ratangad fort. Stopped at many points on this road to soak my feet in the lake, and take in the beautiful sights of that part of Maharashtra. The lake is truly peaceful, silent and lovely. Soaking my feet in the lake was fantastic, and the hours passed without me realizing them. Small fish nibbling at my feet just made the day all the more fantastic, the drive, the sights and the overall experience was wonderful.

Many thanks to the original poster for his wonderful trip log. I can confirm that the roads are now superbly built and maintained by Gammon and the PWD, and nature's best awaits anyone who visits Bhandardara.

Sriku
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Old 1st February 2010, 12:18   #4
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Fido the lab looks so happy - its such a pleasure to see!
Labs love water - they are after all retrievers, bred to retrieve game birds from swampy, marshy areas as well as streams and lakes.
If you see their coats carefully they have layers of fur - an outer layer and an inner one - their coats are pretty thick. they also secrete natural oils which is why water takes time to penetrate their coats - you'll notice this when giving them a bath!

lovely pictures, lovely Scorp.
Looks like you had fun!!
Living in Bombay this must have been many kinds of 'release' for you - communing with the open wilds for a change, instead of the horrible concrete high rise jungle!
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Old 1st February 2010, 12:32   #5
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Lab is awesome. Loved the photos of the lab. Loved the photo of you creating those circular ripples in water. Neat pattern that's carried a long way!
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Old 1st February 2010, 18:17   #6
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@ Sriku - Good to know that you had a nice time at Bhandardara. When we went there, the road around the lake that takes you to ratangarh and Amruteshwar temple was being laid. And yes, there's nothing better to do at B'dara than just spend time by the lake side.

@ Shankar - Fido sure was happy. And we just loved watching him swim that day. Had wanted to do that since the day i have had him. Will try to post a video as well.
And you guessed it right. B'dara was an experience that we will cherish for a while.

@MX6 - Thanks for the appreciation.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 14:07   #7
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Initially I thought it was just you and the Lab. Instantly reminded me of Tom Hanks and Berkeley in "You have got mail".

But then later I read "We were still wondering if to let him go into water......".

That is when I realized there was a third party ! Then I also realized, "someone" was taking snaps
Amazing pictures of the wilderness and the lab in such a satiated state of bliss! Nothing more to ask. Great going.

Last edited by ampere : 3rd February 2010 at 14:10.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 15:11   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Lab is awesome. Loved the photos of the lab. Loved the photo of you creating those circular ripples in water. Neat pattern that's carried a long way!
+1 to that. It'll be a good refreshing detour amidst calm nature for outsiders like us when passing through NH3 sometime in future.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 15:35   #9
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@ nvldvr - Amazing pics buddy. I have added Bhandardara in my travel plan now after looking at your pics. I believe its the same distance from Pune as well.

Cheers!
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Old 3rd February 2010, 17:22   #10
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@ ampere - Yes there was a third party - my wife.
@ Longdrivelover - It would worth the detour whenevr you plan to travel on NH3.
@ infallible79 - Its about 160 km from pune. But you will have to use NH 50.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 17:24   #11
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nvldvr. We are waiting for more pics. It's been almost 3 weeks since the last pic was posted!
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Old 3rd February 2010, 17:43   #12
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@MX6 - Here goes. A few more.
Attached Thumbnails
Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2842.jpg  

Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2880.jpg  

Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2865.jpg  

Bhandardara - Weekend getaway on Scorpio-img_2844.jpg  

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Old 12th March 2010, 13:31   #13
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Bhandardara is a different destination in the monsoons...its like being in a washing machine!!
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Old 14th March 2010, 03:27   #14
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"Locals provide home made food by the lake side, and i loved devouring the amazing rice - fish curry they served us."

Atleast to devour the Fish-Curry I have to be there , Joke apart
your's pictures are very good.

Cheers
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Old 15th March 2010, 11:12   #15
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Nice photographs....it looks like a wander thirst

But be very careful while venturing to unknown water bodies, only locals would know the do's and dont's.
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