#Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani

Tripoto
24th May 2018
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar

MATHERAN

The best part of our holiday was our trip to Matheran.
Matheran is the smallest hill station in India and only place in Asia that is automobile free. No vehicles are allowed inside  Matheran, not even bicycles.
There are 2 ways to reach Matheran- one is to take a narrow gauge toy train that travels from Neral to Matheran and it takes 2 hrs time. The other way is to reach Dasuri point by cab/ car and park the vehicle in the parking lot of Dasturi point and proceed to Matheran.
Beyond Dasuri point vehicles are not allowed. We need to purchase an entry ticket to enter Matheran (Rs.50 per adult) and proceed .
Again it takes a 40 minutes walk/ horse back ride/ hand pulled autoricksha rode,  along the mud roads to reach Matheran. Another option is to catch a train that runs from Aman lodge station' there to Matheran.
The travel ticket cost Rs.45 per head, but it gets filled in no time, so we had to take the first class ticket for Rs.300 per head. It was worth the travel, along the breathtaking beauty of  mountains and waterfalls. The train ride takes around 15 minutes.
Matheran takes us back to the old world era of red soiled roads,  automobile free pathways, lush green hills all the way.
The entry area of Matheran is the Market, where we find hotels / resorts and few shops on either side of the mud road. On crossing this area...All we can see is narrow pathways and  trees, trees and trees every where.
There are diversions inside the forest with clear boards leading us to trekking points. There are lot of points like Echo point, Sunset point, one tree hill point to be trekked and the beauty enjoyed.
Those who are not able to walk the distance can opt to take the horse back ride or autoricksha ride. But it a totally worth trekking all through this hill.
We completed our trek in 5 hours time without taking any break and reached back to the market area for snacks and coffee and headed back to Dasuri point to board our cab.
We left Matheran with full of memories and  life time trekking experience.

Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar

We started in a cab from Lonavala to Mahabaleshwar. On the way stopped at the Mapro strawberry factory and had breakfast in the food court there ,  picked up some jams and crushes, and continued our journey. We went to savithri point, one tree hill point, echo point, and few other view points.
Also we visited the famous Mahabaleshwar shiva  temple

In Panchgani, we visited the table land - a flat plane land on the hill top . Can go around the place in horse or by walk. Was able get an awesome view of valleys and rivers from the table land .

Day 1

Pune to Lonavala

We had our flight journey from chennai to Pune , reached Pune at 12.30 P.M.  we hired a cab from the airport to Lonavala. It was a 2 hrs pleasant journey towards Lonavala, on the express highway and through a 2km long tunnel. The scenery around was lovely..
We had booked our room in Sterling resorts, and checked in to our rooms around 3.30PM.
We went to the hotels restaurant, ordered sandwich, pakoras and coffee. Went back to our room, unpacked our luggage and relaxed for an hour. We then set out to explore the town.
We walked down to the centre point area, the main bus stand along the express high way, wanted to try the local food and prefers for Dabeli' and vada pav. Also got a packet of assorted  chikkis.
We then took an auto to the main town and walked along the streets to get the feel of the town😁
Took an auto back to the resort.

Best places to eat in Lonavala:
1. Vada pav - Golden vada pavam
2. Breakfast - Hotel Rama Krishna
3. Must try - Sunny Da Dhabba
4. Coopers fudge
5. Chikkis from National chikkis

Dabeli

Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar

Vada pav

Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar

Trekking to Bhajja caves and Logagarh fort.

Day 2  started with our regular ritual of our morning run and the run was along the mumbai - Pune highway. What a thrill it was to run along the highway!  Had a coffee in a highway shop mid way of our run...
We had planned our 2nd day trek to the caves and forts and all using only public transport...
So Back to our rooms and set out for the trek with our back packs packed with 2 bottles of water, sunscreen lotion, hand towels, coolers, cap, turbo mobile chargers and  the much needed selfie stick😁

We started from our resort at 9 AM , walked for 2 kms from our resort to the bus stand area, had our breakfast - Misal paav and khandha poha at the bus stand food point,then took an auto to the lonavala railway station, autowala charged us Rs.100.
We checked the train timings in the google search engine.  The caves and the fort we had planned to trek was in Malveli...So we had to take a local train from lonavala to Malveli. Went to the ticket counter and got the tickets which costed Rs.5 per person . The next train to Malavli was at 10.20 AM.
It was an awesome experience in the local train, and took just 10 minutes to reach Malavli.
When we got down in the Malavli station it was sooper hot, and we realised that we might have a tough time trekking in the hot weather and so was it.
We walked around 4 kms  from the Malavli station towards the Bhajja caves....We were almost drained of our energy by the time we neared the caves....So had to take a break. We stopped at the Bhajja village and found a small road side shop, they had only Missal paav, ordered for missal paav,( it was much better than the one that was served at the his stand  hotel) charged our mobiles, got 2 chilled water bottles and started our trek. 500 meters from the village was the bhaijaan caves and we swt out to climb the steep stairs of the caves. Mid way through the steps was the entry ticket collecting point and it was Rs.15 per head. It was indeed a tiring trek ...The reason being the weather. This trek would have been better during the monsoon season.
On reaching the caves...We were astonished to see the beauty of the carvings .
The inscription and the cave temple are protected as the national monument by the Archeological society of india. The chaityas and Stupas are mesmerizing beauty.  We spend around 2 hrs going around the caves and clicking pictures. We were able to see the narrow road to the lohagarh fort and all the way thinking of it was a good decision to trek all the way to the fort in that hot sun.
We got back from the caves and started our 4 km trek to the lohagart fort., One of the wrong decisions that we took considering the weather.
We walked around 2kms on the narrow hill road and it was scorching heat, the water we took along with us was over, there was one small place with a thatched roof and a stool. It was like a god sent place to us...We rested there for an hour, and dropped our trek plans, and decided to get a lift in one of the vehicles going to the fort. Unfortunately none of the vehicles stopped. Finally one car which was going down to the bhajja caves stopped seeing pathetic state😁
We thanked them and asked us to drop us back to the cave entry point. From there back to the same shop to have some chilled drink and decided to get back to our rooms, half heartedly. It was 3.15 then. Reached the Malavli station at 3.30PM and the person at the ticket counter tells us the next train is at 5.10 PM. We took a decision to travel to the fort by auto and get back  instead of waiting nearly 2 hrs for the train . Lalake snack to the auto stand in the village and bargained for a rate of Rs.800 to take us to the fort and bring us back. That was a good decision that we took. It took 20 minutes by road to reach the fort base. We climbed the fort for the next 40 minutes, took pics of the breathtaking beauty, the view of  other side of visapur fort and the caves were just awesome...The sad part was the poor maintainance of the fort. At some places there are no steps to climb and had to crawl on the rocks. But the beauty of the fort after reaching it was all worth the tiring trek. We got back from the fort and had to rush back to catch  the train.
One thrilling experience it was. Caught the train and back via the same route, Malavli to Lonavala station, then auto to our resort. 
It was a tiring day but we wanted to explore the city. We booked a cab,  started at 12AM and drove all the way to the tiger point crossing the  much spoke about Amby valley/ Sahara valley....At 1 AM in the mornin, was surprised to see  the tiger point crowded with families and youngsters. And there were stalls selling Maggie at this odd hours😁 Got down from the car to take a view of the place and started back. The tiring Day 2 ended well with a relaxing drive.

The worn out steps of lohagarh fort

Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar

Bhajja caves and the chaitya

Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar

Missal paav

Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar

Way to Bhajja caves

Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar

Ahhh......Still a long way to go

Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Bhaja Caves Buddhist Leni, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Was one extreme adventures experience, best was the swoop swing and the Rocket ejector, rappelling, zip line. The rest were all moderate fear factor ones. Bungee jumping is yet to be launched.

Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of #Lonavala#Matheran#Mahabaleshwar#Panchgani by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Day 5
Photo of Panchgani, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Panchgani, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Panchgani, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Panchgani, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Panchgani, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Panchgani, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
Photo of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India by Dhivya Dilipkumar
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