"It’s a long weekend lets go somewhere" and that’s how my journey to Lavasa, India's first planned hill station/city came into being. Drenched in the excitement of the trip I didn't even have to wait for the alarm to wake me up, that too on a Sunday morning.
We boarded the Hubli Express and began our weekend gateway to Lavasa. The hill city built amidst the Sahyadri hills on the banks of river Baji Pasalkar is 193 kilometres (km) from Mumbai and 57 km from Pune. Since there is no direct connectivity from Mumbai to Lavasa as of yet, we divided the journey into 2 destinations; from Mumbai to Pune (by train) and then further to Lavasa (by cab).
As soon as the train blew the whistle, our lips started moving to the tunes of Hindi songs and then we played the customary journey game ‘Antakshari’. The fellow passengers seemed amused listening to our mettlesome group of ladies.
The scene before our eyes started turning into shades of green with trees swinging to the rhythm of the breeze as we crossed the Panvel station. Moving further ahead towards Pune, it started raining making my view from the window even better. Now we were surrounded with small green hills and pleasant wind flowing by, making my heart glee and lips stretch into a smile. It is something with hills that makes me euphoric every time. Like a child, I was asking everybody to look out of the train and see how beautiful it was.
After two and a half hours, we crossed the station Khandala and then Lonavala, the two prominent tourist destinations around Mumbai.
I had already read on various blogs that the journey to Lavasa is what makes the destination more alluring, well that holds true. The way to Lavasa is worth the ride with rivers and mini waterfalls in the valley moving with you. When you are used to living in cities like Delhi and Mumbai you hardly care to stop and look around you, but here the view compels you to leave everything aside and sink into the landscape.
After the 58 kilometers ride, we entered the picturesque city. The hill city is the Indian replica of the Italian city Portofino and it surely does resemble a foreign location with clouds reaching for the river and the bridge across it with colorful buildings adding a different tint to the scene. I read online that there are water sports and safari here, bu didn't find any such activity happening .When it came to food, we had quite a few options to choose from, The All American Diner, Hungry Hippo and Chor Bizzare to name some.
There are plenty of hotels if you plan on staying the weekend at Lavasa, . The place is less crowd andthus cleaner. This hill city is an ideal place for a peaceful weekend and escape from the tedious cycle of our daily routine.
I loved Lavasa, but my favorite part of the trip was the journey leading to it.