Romancing The Western Ghats

I had been yearning for a road-trip with friends for sometime now. So when my friends asked me to join them on a trip to Nasik and Bhandardara from Mumbai, I immediately said yes. And what a trip it was! Being with friends,with whom you can be yourself, without fear of being judged is such a liberating feeling! All the natural beauty that we came across was bonus. Nature has this quality of soothing even the most bruised of souls when you just let your senses free to experience it.

The trip started with a drive to Sula Vineyards in Nashik via Igatpuri. The drive took us through Kasara Ghats and the fog shrouded hills of Igatpuri were a sight to behold. By the time we descended to Nashik, it was bright and sunny again. Sula Vineyards is located just outside Nashik and offer a stunning view of hills and lakes in the distance. We opted for a wine tasting tour where a guide explained to us the pain staking and exact science that wine brewing is. And while we weren’t exactly hooked, it was nice to know your dry wines from sweet wines. After the tour we settled down for some snacks at the restaurant in the vineyard. It affords spectacular views of the vineyard and the mountains in the distance. It was as if we were in the wine making districts of France.

View from the Kasara Ghats section on the way to NashikView from the Kasara Ghats section on the way to Nashik

Approaching Igatpuri - weather turned gloomyApproaching Igatpuri – weather turned gloomy

The beautiful countryside of MaharashtraThe beautiful countryside of Maharashtra

Welcome to Sula VineyardsWelcome to Sula Vineyards

View of the vineyards!View of the vineyards!

Another Giant Wine BottleAnother Giant Wine Bottle

Fermentation Tanks - where the yeast do their magicFermentation Tanks – where the yeast do their magic

Oak wood Barrels - where the wine is left to ageOak wood Barrels – where the wine is left to age

That's a lot of wine!That’s a lot of wine!

The wine tasting counterThe wine tasting counter

View from the restaurant deck!View from the restaurant deck!

Sparkling white wine!Sparkling white wine!

France? Naah Nashik, IndiaFrance? Naah Nashik, India

Igatpuri - at night fallIgatpuri – at night fall

We retired for the night at Nashik and decided that we would wake up early the next morning and attempt to climb Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra. That proved to be too ambitious though. We actually woke up at 10 am the next morning! After a quick breakfast, we decided to check out the Bhandardara Dam before climbing Kalsubai. Bhandardara was approximately a 90 minute drive from Nashik. The drive is very scenic and after every few curves on the road we had the urge to stop and admire the scenery. Time was at a premium though. Bhandardara Dam is a sight to behold. The lake has pristine blue water and the shadow of the green mountains and grey clouds gave the lake a surreal look. We spent some time clicking some pictures and the decided to procced to Bari village, the base for the Kalsubai trek.

We were at Bari by 2:30 pm and soon hired a guide so that we don’t go on a wrong trail. The hike is extremely scenic. I was climbing a hill after a long long time and was getting out of breath quickly. The clouds were closing in and it was getting dark as well. After we had covered 3/4th of the trek, we were advised by the people descending from the top to turn back. It would be too dark while returning and if it rained the ladders would become slippery and risky. We heeded their advise. Much to the amusement of my friends, I still slipped – a lot, while descending. By the time we were back in Bari it was sunset time. We got into our car and drove back to Mumbai.

Another spectacular viewAnother spectacular view

View from the drive to BhandardaraView from the drive to Bhandardara

Yet another one!Yet another one!

It is hard to get tired of this sceneryIt is hard to get tired of this sceneryIt is hard to get tired of this scenery

Simply Wow!Simply Wow!

The trek startsThe trek starts

Another view of the lakeAnother view of the lake

Lake created by the Bhandardara DamLake created by the Bhandardara Dam

More paddy!More paddy!

Paddy plantations!Paddy plantations!

Woah!Woah!

Monsoon makes the India countryside the prettiest in the world!Monsoon makes the India countryside the prettiest in the world!

When tired just look around and let nature treat you to real beautyWhen tired just look around and let nature treat you to real beauty

The scenery was simply out of the worldThe scenery was simply out of the world

Turning around to take stock of how much we had climbedTurning around to take stock of how much we had climbed

The views ensured I was clicking regularly The views ensured I was clicking regularly

Kalsubai beckons! Kalsubai beckons!

Where the mountains reach out to the clouds Where the mountains reach out to the clouds

Views like this motivated us to climb on Views like this motivated us to climb on

Kasara ghats in the night Kasara ghats in the night

Goodbye Bhandardara! Goodbye Bhandardara!

Picture perfect! Picture perfect!

Sunset lighting up the clouds Sunset lighting up the clouds

Goodbye to Bari village Goodbye to Bari village

The colors! The colors!

Green as far as one can possibly see! Green as far as one can possibly see!

It was an absolutely spell binding trip, memories of which will remain with me forever.

6 comments to Romancing The Western Ghats

  • shilpa saxena  says:

    Waooo wat a clicks…to watch the dawn emerge from the night undoubtedly gives a heavenly feeling! The fresh sun rays entwine with the dark horizon and peep out of the creek with tranquil grin.All credit goes to abhihya photographer no comparison of such beauty ♥♥♥♥

    • Abhigya  says:

      Thanks Shilpa. Glad you liked it . Keep visiting.

  • Shivani Sinha  says:

    “Wonderful!” “I love it!”

    • abhigyav  says:

      Thanks Shivani!. Keep visiting 🙂

  • Derek4Real  says:

    Shame y’all couldn’t finish the last of your trek but otherwise sounds like a great time. Beautiful photos as well 🙂

    • abhigyav  says:

      Thanks Derek. Yeah the trek has a series of iron ladders that one needs to climb and things would have gotten really slippery. Plus we weren’t carrying any flashlights as well. It is a beautiful trek though.

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