Rain over me


first_imgBlooming GloryKaas PlateauIf Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand seems like a distant dream which requires too much planning, you are going to love this smaller version near Pune. The Kaas Plateau, 100 km away from the city, is where acres of fields come alive with a burst of colour after,Blooming GloryKaas PlateauIf Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand seems like a distant dream which requires too much planning, you are going to love this smaller version near Pune. The Kaas Plateau, 100 km away from the city, is where acres of fields come alive with a burst of colour after the first two months of rain. It is a stunning sight with multihued flowers carpeting large stretches of the valley. Accounts by botanists claim there are over 1500 types of plants here, including a few endangered species and some medicinal plants. The first blooms appear by August once the monsoon recedes, and the floral fiesta lasts for a little over a month.If you know your Botany, you can spot Smithia Hirsute, Senecio Grahami and Utricularia Purpurascens, which grow in large numbers here. With large amounts of wild growth, the plateau turns into a haven to spot a variety of butterflies, insects and reptiles, and the surrouding lush green hills become home to many exotic birds, including the Malabar Crested Lark, Indian Robin and Crested Bunting. However, there have been growing concerns about preserving this ecosystem with tourist traffic growing each year, resulting in damage of the flowers. Word of caution if you’re going there-spray on an insect repellent to prevent bites; wear comfortable shoes for the long walks; and do your bit for conserving the valley by not damaging the flowers. Monsoon Perks: Bird such as the Malabar Crested Lark and Indian Robin flock here during the rainy season. Don’t Miss: A trip to the Sajjangad Fort or Kanher Dam. Getting There: It is 100 km from Pune and the nearest town is Satara, 25 km away where you can find accommodation. Contact: kas.ind.in or Deputy Conservator of Forests 233614Rain DanceLavasaWant to play golf when it’s pouring? Or feel like splashing around without having to worry about muck and dirt? Drive out of the city to Lavasa if you want to enjoy the monsoon season without the stress of traffic jams and flooded roads. The tourism wing of Lavasa has come up with a bunch of activities, called the Mesmerizing Monsoon, for those who love the outdoors and rains. They have something for every budget, with activities starting at just Rs 500. Surrounded by flora, fauna, green-laden hills and over 100 waterfalls, Lavasa is just the place to be during the monsoon season.advertisementWater sports are an all time favourite here. So besides kayaking and boating, you can enjoy the large, newly-constructed Splash Pad, which will start hosting rain parties this year. You can also opt for the the indoor golf facility, and tee away even when its pouring. The highlight is the Waterfall Safari, where the team takes you in a gypsy loaded with a picnic basket to the main waterfalls. A steaming cup of tea or a quick snack will be ready for you once you step out of the waterfall. Rajiv Duggal, head of Lavasa Tourism, also recommends the Segway Tour, where you, along with a professional guide, take off on a tour of the hill city on the popular battery-operated vehicle. Apart from this, you can also enjoy some adrenaline pumping activities such as rock climbing, trekking and jet skiing. Monsoon Perks: The Waterfall Safari that takes you to key waterfalls in Lavasa with a picnic basket. Starts at Rs 1,500 for four in a gypsy for two hours. Don’t Miss: The Splash Pad to enjoy the rains and the Segway Tour around the hill city. Getting There: A little over an hour’s drive from Pune. Take the Chandani Chowk road, pass though Pirangut and the Temghar Dam. Contact lavasa.comInto The WildLong DrivesThe earthy smell of wet mud is one of the most unforgettable childhood memories for most of us. In fact, we still perk up and get alert like a dog as soon as the first few drops fall. And if the concrete city robs you of such little pleasures of life, take to the wheel and set off to soak in the earthy aromas and lush greens of the great, wild landscape of the Western Ghats. Though offering spectacular views throughout the year, the Ghats truly come alive during the monsoon months. Whichever direction you head outside of Pune, you’re sure to find it an enjoyable ride. If you think the drive to Mulshi is done to death, then take the road less traveled and head off southwards towards Saswad. Drive through the countryside with farms and open fields with cattle grazing, offering a picture postcard view. Meander through the Dive Ghat, which turns enchantingly scenic with the first showers, covered with a thick carpet of trees and plants and a shroud of fog. In the monsoon, the hills become home for various birds, insects and flowers, so make short stopovers to spot some birds or the newly bloomed colourful wildflowers.advertisementWhen you’re travelling through the mountains in the monsoon, there’s every chance of spotting waterfalls or at least a few streams trickling down the slopes, making it a photographer’s paradise. To add to the romantic charm of the rains, stop by at the fresh water body, locally known as the Mastani Lake. Legend has it the famed couple, Bajirao Peshwa and Mastani, came here to enjoy some quiet time.If you want some more dose of history, then drive down further to Fort Jadhavgadh. The former residence of Pilaji Jadhavrao, a noble in the Maratha empire, the fort, in its revamped avatar, classily blends the old-world charm with modern amenities. The fort’s museum has utensils of the original owners and other everyday paraphernalia. Walk through the rooms and balconies where war strategies were discussed or sit down for a traditional Maharashtrian meal in the fort’s cosy restaurant. If you want to extend your getaway from the city, then stay back in their well equipped rooms (or tents, if you are more of an adventurer).Fort Jadhavgadh also offers a Monsoon Rejuvenation Package with special activities on weekends such as bullock cart rides, musical nights and pottery sessions.Monsoon Perks: Fort Jadhavgadh has monsoon packages starting at Rs 11,999 for two nights in the royal tents with complimentary wine tastings and a spa treatment. Don’t Miss: The guided treks and a visit to a 300-year-old temple. On Getting There: Take the Hadapsar-Saswad road Contact: 9987573815Adrenaline RushMonsoon TreksA trek up to the numerous forts in the monsoon promises you a heady cocktail of scenic beauty in the backdrop of fog, lush green hills and downpours. And the Western Ghats are blessed with numerous such forts, making it easy for you to plan a weekend adventure. But to ensure your trip is free of unwanted hurdles, invest in good trekking gear and rain wear before you head out.One of the favourites is the Raigad trek, which falls into the easy-moderate category in the difficulty level. But for those who can’t trek uphill, there is a ropeway which takes you to the fort gates within minutes.Viewing points such as Bhavani Tok, Hirkani Buruj and Takmak Tok offer a spectacular view of the region. A must-do here is watching the sunset from the Takmak Tok. There are other monsoon trek to arishchandragad and Torna as well. Another favourite is the Malshej Ghat. With nature at its best during the rains and the migratory flamingoes making it their abode, this is a treat for hikers and trekkers.Monsoon Perks: The picturesque waterfalls along the way. Don’t Miss: The view of the mountains on a foggy day from Konkad Kada atop Harishchandragad. Getting There: Rajmachi is 75 km from Pune near Lonavala while Visapur Fort, at 60 km towards Pune, is close to the Mumbai-Pune Highway.advertisementlast_img

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