Friday, July 11, 2008

Mauli Hills

Mauli Hills PuneThe monsoons are always the best time in Pune, especially if you like the outdoors. Pune is surrounded by hilly ghats. These hillsides - dusty and brown during the summer months - undergo a completely transformation with the onset of rains. Everywhere you look you see lush green landscapes. Little streams that spring up overnight trickle down distant hills, and a variety of birds seem to make Pune their home during this time.

Mauli Hills PuneMauli Hills PuneAbout nine years back, when I was still unsure of accepting the job offer in Pune, my future employers offered to fly me and my wife here for a week so we could see the place. It was the rainy season and we were captivated. Coming from Delhi, the greenery, the clear blue skies, and the hills in the distance seemed like paradise. While nine years later, the skies are a little less blue, and the greenery within the city has given way to ugly buildings, we still have large tracts of forests and hills within an hour's drive in any direction.

Mauli Hills, PuneMauli Hills, PuneMauli Hills, PuneLast weekend we drove out to the hills near the Khadakwasla backwaters. A friend owns a holiday home here in a hill-top vacation township called Mauli Hills. Up we went on a winding road from Kothrud and Karve Road, past Peacock Bay. We marvelled at the splendid view of the lake, the forested hills that disappeared into rain-heavy clouds, and quaint villages that dotted the land far below. Lush green vegetation surrounded us everywhere. We also realized Peacock Bay is thus named because this area is full of peacocks, every sighting of which sent the kids on a frenzy.

Maharashtrian Thali at Mauli Hills, PuneBhajis or PakorasBhajis or PakorasIt was wonderful to spend the day together with our families in the fresh outdoor air (a rare commodity now for urban Indians). It kept drizzling throughout, but that only added to the charm. I even got to fly a kite after ages! Food was simple but we loved it after having worked up an appetite with the long walks. And nothing like some pakoras with hot tea on a rainy evening.

Flying Kites in Mauli HillsFlying Kites in Mauli HillsPlanting Rice near PuneInto the Jungles near PuneOn the Peacock TrailOn our way back, we saw villagers planting rice in their field. We also stopped to see if we could get close to some peacocks which ran across the road and into the dense jungles. It was a lot of fun, especially for the kids!

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22 comments:

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Lovely landscape!

Thanks for dropping by,have a great weekend :)

Anil P said...

Pune sure is green. I remember my stay not far from the Mulshi river, several kilometres off Pune city, and the outline of a fort on a hill not far from there.

Actually the brown hills have a charm of their own though I prefer them green anyday.

Priyank said...

लै भारी!
The simple food, clouds and greenery :) झकास!
You've been in Pune for 9 years? thats cool.

beaverboosh said...

Looks very exotic! I imagine the rains are welcome. Does it cool down at all?

RennyBA said...

What a wonderful place. You know I love the nature and this one was great - quite different and very exotic for a Norwegians to see palm trees you know.

The food looks yummy!

Wishing you a great end to your week :-)

foodette said...

It looks so beautiful there, and so does the food! PS, thanks for telling me about the "pickles" :)

Shantanu said...

@sameera: You are welcome!

@anil p: You must have been some place close. You can see the Sinhgarh fort quite clearly in the distance from Mauli Hills.

@priyank: Do I detect some home-sickness here? :)

Shantanu said...

@beaverboosh: Ha, ha! Actually Pune isn't very hot, other than for the summer months; and the rains does cool the city down. Of course cold and hot are relative; I have to keep that in mind when this with a guy who lives in Norway. :)

@rennyba: Thank you! Those are coconut trees; you find them everywhere in Southern India.

@foodette: The food in the pictures are what people eat everyday. Not the stuff you would find in restaurants.

Zhu said...

I had no idea there were coconut trees in India!

The whole place looks very green, thanks to the rain I guess.

Lakshmi said...

Its raining out here in Bangalore now and I wish I could be up in those hills having hot pakoras :)

HAREKRISHNAJI said...

lovely pics and refreshing post.

Have you drive down to Tamhini Ghat and to Bhira Power house during rainy season or to Bhor, Varandha Ghat and to Shivthar Ghal? Try it out. The best location around.

Shantanu said...

@zhu: Oh we have a lot of them, especially in the areas dotting our long coastline in the South.

@lakshmi: Heh! The weather in Bangalore makes it possible to enjoy hot pakoras any time in the year.

@harekrishnaji: Tamhini Ghat is on my list. Waiting for another rainy weekend to do that!

HAREKRISHNAJI said...

Do not forget to go right upto Bhira Power House. Bhira is a place where there is a highest rainfall in Maharashtra

Anonymous said...

Hi Shantanu,
the greenery is fabulous, but what got me salivating is the shot of the kaanda bhaji :) I guess your friend's place is a private residence. Is there a publicly accessible resort nearby?

sorina said...

Beautiful photos! I really like your site.

Shantanu said...

@harekrishnaji: Thank you! I will keep that in mind.

@anon: Oh yes. Kanda bhali (or pyaaz pakora for the North Indians) and the rains make a potent combination! You are correct, this is a private resort. I am not sure if there is a public resort close by.

@sorina: Thank you and hope to see you back here!

Aditya said...

Ref : Mauli Hills,

After many visits and thougth process I just picked up a house at Mauli Hills, I hope I would have the same thoughts as you have!

Its feels like heaven there!

Shantanu said...

@aditya: Cool! I am sure you will enjoy it there, during weekends and vacations where you can be far away from the overcrowding of the city.

indicaspecies said...

Lush green landscape is so appealing to the senses.

ADITYA JANORKAR said...

ek number........!!!!

Itspawssible said...

i would want to visit what are the formalities

Shantanu said...

@Itspawssible: You need to know someone who owns property there.