The family decided to take a short break at Igatpuri, which lies on the way to Nashik.
We straight hit the Eastern Expressway (took 90 minutes from Malad West in the morning traffic), and then we just followed the expressway all the way to Igatpuri (took another 150 minutes). This expressway does not have a huge amount of traffic like the Pune Expressway. It did have some annoying lorry and container traffic, and there was expansion work going on along several stretches of the highway to make it a 4-lane expressway. Hopefully, the next time may be a better drive, notwithstanding the skepticism on the completion track record of any government projects.
Igatpuri is a great place to go if you like to do nothing but just trekking. There is nothing else to do, just greenery and hilly terrain, and some lakes. However, it is more peaceful than the commercial Lonavla hill station. One simultaneously gets a feeling of being on a valley as well as on top of a hill station ! Great place to unwind.
Stay : While we stayed at the Mystic Valley Resort, the better choice would be the good old Manas Lifestyle Resort across the road. Mystic Valley does not have the same spirit of service, or even the looks of Manas Lifestyle, though both places are owned by the same owner. Even the swimming pool is yet to be commissioned, and they do not offer the multitude of activities that the other resort offers. On top of all this, the food is much more expensive !
Some of the photos I took are shown below.
A beautiful hilly view at Igatpuri
Railway Bridge at Igatpuri
Railway line in Igatpuri Valley
Beautiful Greenery enriched by the Monsoon Rain……..
The starting point of the Arthur Lake near the MTDC Resort
Arthur Lake – a stunning view
This view of Arthur Lake compares well with the scenery in the Southern Island of New Zealand
Another view with the Wilson Dam barely visible on the middle left side…..
Roadside view between Igatpuri and Bhandardhara
Another lake near Igatpuri
An idyllic scenery on the route to Bhandardhara
I would strongly recommend the 75 minutes drive from Igatpuri to the heart of the Bhandardhara region – more scenic area, with the added attraction of the Arthur Lake, which reminded me of the South Island scenery of New Zealand which we visited in 2004 !
Cheers, and Enjoy the Weekend,
26th July 2008