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Old 13th December 2010, 23:10   #1
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Default Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

Another weekend, another awesome trip around Pune... this time, 6 of us piled into the Endy and set off for Bhandardhara. We left early this time, leaving Aundh by 630 am, hitting Nashik Road by 700.

A rare sight for me, the sunrise!

Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur-dsc01301.jpg

Half an hour later, we stopped at Navnath in Rajgurunagar for some delicious misal pav - highly recommended.

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The road is in good condition, but most of it is 2 lane, and with heavy traffic, average speed quickly drops to 45-60. Not good if you are on a tight timeline, but we had all the time in the world - and folks in the back even managed to squeeze in some card games.

Our plan was to go through Malshej, so at Ale, we left NH 50 and caught NH 222. Just before Malshej, near the village of Madh, we came across an absolutely beautiful location at the banks of the Pimplegaon Joga reservoir. It was time for a break, and some pictures.

Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur-dsc01318.jpg

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The innocent looking banks of the lake weren't as innocent after all, and it took all the power of the 4L mode to get us out of the sticky clay mud! A few anxious seconds passed before the Endy backed out of the trap.

Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur-dsc01345.jpg

Now a word of caution - follow Google maps at your peril. We soon found out that the promised road from Malshej to Bhandardhara through Vihir and Kotul doesn't exist. The road from Malshej goes along the dam to the base of the imposing hills, and stops there. And probably continues a few hundred feet above from top of the hill. So we had to double back to Otur, then take a picturesque but badly maintained internal road to Brahmanwada, Kotul and there on to Rajur and finally, our destination, Bhandardhara.

Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur-dsc01348.jpg

Puneites, unless you are brave enough to put your sedan through hell, or you have a SUV, please take the route via Sangamner and Akole.

We checked into Anandvan, taking a 3 bed room cottage for an expensive 25000 per night off season rate. But unless you are terribly lucky to get a booking at Yash, the only other decent property we found in the area (and it was full), you really do not have other good options, unless you want to try out MTDC or some of the other shadier options. And though expensive, the resort staff is extremely friendly and went out of their way to accommodate every request we had.

Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur-dsc01363.jpg

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Bhandardhara offers some stock tourist places - Wilson Dam, Amriteshwar Temple, Konkankada, and good hiking/trekking options - Ratangad and Mt Kalsubai. We went for a big drive all around the dam waters, a 50 km round trip that covers most of the key tourist spots while allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the unspoilt surroundings.

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Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur-dsc01498.jpg

At night, folks dances regaled us, and a warm campfire lightened up the mood, before we retired for the day.

The next morning, we loved simply driving around, off roading in the pristine and clean meadows and hills in the adivasi reservation around the dam catchment.

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After lunch, we left for Shrirampur - passing Akole, Sangamner and Loni.

Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur-dsc01670.jpg

At Shrirampur, we gorged on the delicious pav bhaji and dahi puri at Shri Saikrupa, washed it down with Cream Cold, and then finally slurped some amazingly refreshing lassi at Parijat.

Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur-dsc01671.jpg

At 800, we left for Pune via Nagar, the 100 odd km detour to Shrirampur, really having paid off! At 1200, after multiple mini stops along the way, we were back home.

A beautiful trip, with loads of memories to cherish for a long time, had come to an end. Next weekend will be another story...
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Old 14th December 2010, 03:57   #2
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

Nice pics and trip, friend. But a tariff of Rs. 25,000 for a cottage in a place like Bhandardara, is simply too much. Even a 4 star cottage by the sea side in Goa is cheaper!

When I visited the place some years back, deluxe rooms in that resort was offered to us at Rs. 3.5K.
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Old 14th December 2010, 07:07   #3
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

Very nice place to drive around! But as CL said, 25K! What was that for ? That beats 5 stars as well. Was the service at the same levels?
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Old 14th December 2010, 09:28   #4
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

25k could be a typo !
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Old 14th December 2010, 11:31   #5
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

I had been to Bhandardara in August through the same Otur road thinking "How bad could the roads be?". But the road was really bad and best avoided if Bhandardara is the target. If you have time you can try them as they are very scenic (at least they were during the rains).

25K for Anandvan is not a typo. MTDC has wide variety of cottages. The decent ones are newer and are at a fractional cost and the best part is they are besides the bhandardara dam/lake. Booking can be done online.
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Old 14th December 2010, 12:49   #6
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

Yes, 25K wasn't a typo.. and believe me, these are off-season rates. Anandvan is good, but given a choice, I wouldn't pay half that much. The problem is, there's very little choice. MTDC was full - for whatever it's worth (the MTDC resort we stumbled on was worse than an old government college hostel building), and so was Yash Resort (run by the same management as Anandvan, I believe).
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Old 14th December 2010, 13:03   #7
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

Quote:
Originally Posted by siddheshb View Post
Yes, 25K wasn't a typo.. and believe me, these are off-season rates. Anandvan is good, but given a choice, I wouldn't pay half that much. The problem is, there's very little choice. MTDC was full - for whatever it's worth (the MTDC resort we stumbled on was worse than an old government college hostel building), and so was Yash Resort (run by the same management as Anandvan, I believe).
For whatever reasons MTDC guys had shown us worst of their rooms first and then when we enquired for better ones showed us the ones near the lake. The really old buildings are on the way to these new cottages and one wonders whether the cottages would be any better. But they are better, comparable (but still on the lower side) to cheapest of Yash Resort rooms..
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Old 14th December 2010, 16:16   #8
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

25K? Man. I'd have slept in the Endy itself! Or better still, I'd have called HVK to keep driving me all night and spent lesser fuel in that way than 25K!

Anyway, the pic where you followed the bus following google maps reminds me of bigger perils I had in my Ikon following Satguide!

No wonder you were not there for our photoshoot. Next time please mark your calendar. Another Tapri meet is brewing up near a water front, Mid Jan!
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Old 14th December 2010, 16:49   #9
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

25k !
Etane paise me to pura cottage kharid leta !
I think you had posted a travelogue about visit to shrirampur and parijat earlier mentioning something like special memories about that place.
Please correct me.
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Old 14th December 2010, 18:53   #10
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

@MX6, 6 people could have still slept in the Endy, but for some other businesses, we still needed the cottage And yes, google maps as well as MapMyIndia showed the same non-existent route.

@Ashish, yes, that was a quickie trip to Shrirampur on the way back from Shirdi - and Parijat was closed that day This trip made up for that!

Last edited by siddheshb : 14th December 2010 at 19:01.
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Old 14th December 2010, 20:22   #11
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

Can we get room for two at less than 2K5 in that place? I would like to visit that place but stay overnight only if the price is reasonable. Please, guys who have the tariff information?
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Old 14th December 2010, 20:27   #12
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

@Gostel. How about renting an RV and camping there? You know something like what SRK does in Swades. That can work out cheaper than the resort

Book well in advance for MTDC sir.
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Old 14th December 2010, 23:06   #13
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

@Gostel, 25K was for a 3 bedroom cottage with lunch, dinner and breakfast included. I believe they have 2 bed room villas too, and maybe some individual suites. Yash is cheaper, and MTDC might also be an option you want to try out.

@MX6, the RV would rock - literally - on the roads in and around Bhandardhara
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Old 16th December 2010, 08:43   #14
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

Good idea MX, will give it a serious thought

Thanks siddhesh, yes I could book with MTDC in advance.
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Old 17th March 2011, 11:33   #15
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway from Pune - Bhandardhara and Shrirampur

Hi Siddhesh,

Lovely trip.
Very tempting - both the misal pav and the Endy :-)

Cheers!
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