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Old 7th December 2020, 18:23   #1
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Default Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone

When you reach a deep, forest region, you surround yourself with a certain satisfaction of living amongst nature. Listening to the chirping of birds, rustling of leaves and small bugs moving around. Oh, and let's not forget that if you go just after the rains, there is that fresh smell of damp soil which is like no other.

Where? Lonere, Maharashtra
How far? 150-190KM depending on the route.
What's so special? Nothing
Then why would you want to go here? Read up.

Lonere is one of the most serene, beautiful places that I've visited. No, no, it's no Himalayas or Goa. It's unique in its own sense. Quiet and full of surprises.

Last edited by akash_v12 : 24th December 2020 at 12:07.
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Old 15th December 2021, 15:59   #2
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Default re: Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone

It turns out that I've forgotten about this thread for the past year now. But, better late than never, right?

Lonere is located right on the edge of the Raigad Fort Natural Reserve. Considering it's location, you'd expect it to be hustling and bustling with tourists. However, all my expectations of that exact thing was washed away as we entered the road taking us to our hotel.

The Idea & Planning

Note: This trip took place in 2019.

With the Independence Day holidays coming up, my parents decided that we had to go somewhere. It could only be a small trip since we only had 2 or a maximum of 3 days.
As is usual, my mom had the responsibility to decide where we want to go, and whatever she says is the last word, and by that, I mean it. She had come across an advert for a place known as The Kokum Tree, a homestay/hotel (I'm not exactly sure what I should refer to it by) and so we finally put the water on the boil. Lonere it was. A place I had never heard of before and one that was little known to anyone I asked. But, honestly I trust my mom with deciding where to go. She knows her stuff, enough said!

Mom contacted the hotel and made the bookings for 2 days starting from the 15th. The trip was on and now there was no looking back.

Disaster strikes (somewhat!)

As dad's office was in Mumbai, he would travel back and forth every weekend. Now whilst he returned pretty late that night, it wasn't really an issue since we had anyways decided to leave only after 10:30 because I had to attend school that day. However, what I didn't know was that Dad had come home later than usual due to a puncture on the front right tyre of Lokkhi.. One caused due to a somewhat gaping hole on the fast lane. So, what was initially supposed to be a 10:30AM start became a 12:30PM start thanks to Yokohama and my older tyre dealer taking ages trying to source the right tyre and then figuring out the warranty process.

Once we did get going though, we anticipated around 5 hours of driving time due to the heavier traffic, bad roads and the longer route that we were taking. It ended up being just that with us reaching around 5PM without making any stops on the way. The road conditions all the way from the Khalapur/Imagica exit to Pali (almost) were not at all good. A lot of broken patches, unearthed portions, unmarked holes etc. There was a bit of confusion regarding the location as well but it was all sorted out within a few minutes.

Route Options (both from Mumbai & Pune)

From Mumbai
Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-mumbai.jpg

From Pune
Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-pune.jpg

Last edited by akash_v12 : 17th December 2021 at 00:34.
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Old 17th December 2021, 01:09   #3
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Default re: Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone

The Stay

As mentioned earlier, my mom had found a hometel (yes, I have created a new word for the sake of it) named The Kokum Tree.

Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-mainface.jpg
The main building

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The deck where we sat down in the evening

The place has an interesting story behind it. But, before that, let me share a few excerpts from their website.

Quote:
The Kokum Tree is an experiential home-stay nestled amongst a flourishing orchard situated in Raigad District of Konkan. Our edible forest is laden with mangoes, cashews, jackfruits, guavas, chikoos, bananas and of course Kokum!

We welcome you to share our home!
Now, as you would've probably seen in the last line of the excerpt that it says "home". This is were things get interesting and engaging to read from the guest' perspective.

The property is run by two wonderful women - Sneha & Anuja. They happen to be best-friends and were earlier based out of Mumbai living the normal hustled life. They decided that they'd had enough of the hustle and decided to move out to Lonere. One of their grandparents owned this property here and this is how the idea for the hometel came around. When I asked them about what their main goals were, they said that they wanted to build a stay where people would feel completely at home and get to experience an interesting portion of village life.

Upon booking the rooms, Anuja let us know about the activities around the area and believe me when I say this, there were innumerous activities. They ranged from pottery, plunge pools, movie nights, board games, vegetable picking, hiking and even fishing at their private lake.

The Rooms

The property has a very unique layout which I shall illustrate with the help of Google Maps and/or Google Earth.

Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-tempsnip.png

I would recommend staying in the main villa itself which contains 4 rooms in total. I say so because we were invited by the guests who were staying at the cottage and although good, it might just not be the best way to enjoy the place at all. The rooms are spacious and well-lit with huge windows. Luckily for us, we had booked two rooms and they gave us one room on the first floor and another on the second floor. It is surrounded by lush green scenery and the food was great. There is a deck where we enjoyed the sunsets and they even put on a movie to enjoy the night with some barbecue!

Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-room.jpg
This happens to be one of the rooms we were staying in

Note: All the pictures in this post (#2) are sourced from TripAdvisor. The rest of the pictures are clicked by me.

Last edited by akash_v12 : 14th January 2022 at 12:12.
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Old 17th December 2021, 20:42   #4
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Default re: Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone

The Place

Lonere as a whole is a quiet, little town. It was even more prevalent at our stay because of the jungle-like surroundings around. Once you turn off from the main Mumbai-Goa highway and onto the University Road, it is eerie to say the least.

What happened as I got out of the car is best explained when you do get there. This might come as a bit of a surprise for some, but because I've been living in cities all my life, it's was surreal to me. Never in my life had I ever experienced such silence and tranquillity.

Arrival


We left Pune around 12 owing to commitments at school and our apartment. Took us a good 5 hours to reach (without any breaks). As we arrived, we swiftly found out that the parking situation is not really the best here. Although they have a lot of space inside the property gates, there are a lot of loose stones which makes it less than ideal to park anything else. So, that was out of the equation. Since we were one of the two families to arrive for the weekend on 15th, we got space right opposite the hometel. It was somewhat covered with a lot of leaves at the top apart from some bamboo.

We were greeted by the caretaker, Dinesh and he then introduced us to the owners. If I remember correctly, we were given traditional Kokum 'shots' to drink while they got the rooms ready.

Since we didn't have any plans for the day, we were recommended to catch the sunset by the deck and even though it was a pretty overcast day, just sitting on the deck felt very relaxing. Came back to the villa around 6:30 and played the board games in the hall area itself.

Day 2


We had planned on going to the nearby trek. However, unfortunately, one of us forgot to take the proper shoes and we ended up missing out on that. Instead, we went and took a walk around the area itself and visited a nearby check dam. After returning back to the Kokum Tree, we had a hearty traditionally Maharashtrian breakfast and left to explore a bit further down the road. Found a rather interesting road to drive on - A lot of elevation changes with multiple twists and turns! That was something rather out of the blue.

Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-img_20190816_083000_original.jpg
The Check-Dam

Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-_dsc007001min.jpeg
A very interested herd of goats surrounded Lokkhi here!

Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-_dsc008001min.jpeg

My mom had also requested to go to one of the numerous pottery stores in the area and so, we ended up going to one named 'Aakar'. Turns out that the guys who owned the stores were famed and had won multiple awards throughout his life! Had a nice chat and bought some rather interesting creations .

Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-_dsc008201min.jpeg

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Some of the crafts at the shop

Upon returning back, had another very satisfying meal and my parents decided to rest for the afternoon.

One of the interesting things about the hometel was that they had a bunch of cycles available for guests to ride. We requested Dinesh to get 2 of them ready and he happily did. Went back to the check-dam to get some long exposures of the water and then did a longer ride to the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological Institute. Was a fun 3/3.5KM ride complimentary again of the elevation changes and the unknown region.

Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-_dsc014201min.jpeg
In front of the institute, the cycle poses!

Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-_dsc013001min.jpeg

Later that night, the hosts had organized a movie night for everyone accompanied by some awesome barbecued delicacies. Enjoyed it thoroughly and ended the night on a good note.

Day 3

The next morning, we went to check out the Panhalghar Dam. Note: Do not bother taking your car there unless you have 4x4. Unless you fancy getting stuck in the slush!

Since we had already gone and seen the road the day before, we decided that it would be much better to take an auto-rickshaw rather than a car. Keep in mind that the auto can only reach up to a certain point. From there on, you need to walk about 750 metres to 1 kilometre to reach the waterfalls. I guess all the hard work is worth the final result! It was yet another refreshing experience, with the sound of the water flowing and again, the silence around. The fun part about all this is before you reach the falls, you have to walk the entire kilometre past the dam itself which extends for quite a bit on the other side. Lovely views all around the area to be fair.

Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-img_20190817_090836_original.jpg
The way up to the fort

Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-img_20190817_085816_original.jpg
At the Panhalghar Waterfall

We returned back to the hometel and started to get ready to say goodbye to this fantastic place. Had another great Maharashtrian lunch and bid adieu to the hosts. It took us another 5 hours to get back home but all the driving time was worth it considering the views all throughout!

Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-_dsc016101min.jpeg

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Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone-_dsc017701min.jpeg

Last edited by akash_v12 : 14th January 2022 at 12:13.
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Old 13th January 2022, 01:19   #5
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Default re: Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone

What will I take away from this trip?

- I've mentioned in the title that Lonere is a place where you'd like being alone and that's not without reason. I realised that sometimes you just need peace and time with your most loved ones away from home. I got that with my parents here. It was simply a place where we could disconnect from everything for a couple of days and that feeling was just lovely.

- Take care to ensure that everything in the vehicle is in order. Do a walkaround before leaving to get around any unforeseen situations beforehand. This single habit before a long(ish) trip saved me a lot of time and probable money here. (Lokkhi - Our Volkswagen Vento 1.2 TSi Highline - 86000 km update!)

- Everyone needs to visit the most under-promising regions. Let me be slightly clearer, the Konkan region is full of beautiful places. Just that I didn't expect Lonere to be like this (or maybe, it's just because I've spent so much of my time in the city). Go visit the unexplored places, they're definitely worth it.

Final Words

Lonere is beautiful. But, so are many, many other places. All we need to do is find them (and thanks to the Team-BHP community, we also have).

A special thanks to the hosts - Sneha & Anuja, their grandmother, loving known as 'Aai', their caretaker Dinesh and finally, my parents for giving me the opportunities to visit unique places like this at such an young age.
Also, there's no thread on T-BHP which ends without appreciation for our automobiles and I'm not going to miss out on Lokkhi as well!
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Old 14th January 2022, 17:31   #6
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Default re: Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th January 2022, 10:43   #7
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Default Re: Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone

This is great !!

I have met Anuja some years back in a Kashmir trek when she was working in mumbai.
It's good to see something like this.
The world is indeed very small.

All the best to the duo !!
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Old 15th January 2022, 19:20   #8
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Default Re: Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone

Nice write up & cool place, we are certainly going here next monsoon.
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Old 17th January 2022, 21:26   #9
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Default Re: Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone

Akash, thanks for the details. I had checked on this place sometime last year and the quote was very high, something in the range of 13+ K for a couple. Was it a similar rate for you (or i had checked in some peak period maybe).
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Old 17th January 2022, 23:06   #10
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Default Re: Lonere: A trip where you will enjoy being alone

Thank you for introducing Kokum tree to people like us (far away or unaware). Nice write up as well.

This place looked interesting, so I googled them and found their web site. From there went on to their instgram page. There is this reel where they have casually written "Croc sighting today!". I mean I would probably have "nope"-ed instantly from there.
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