Up and Down the Sahyadri

Nothing beats the charm of saying the year good bye in a hill station. Sahyadri is just perfect for the season – not too cold and yet perfect for tour.  Best place to start the tour we thought is from Shirdi. I had a long cherished wish to see what the place is like. Here you can see the team – landed in Shirdi.

The place is getting crowded with multiple hotels coming up without any plan or infrastructure. So it is just matter of few years before the place becomes another congested concrete jungle. The temple is beyond the reach of camera and not very photogenic. So I gave it a skip. Our next hop was at Mahabaleswar.

Here you can see us standing near the tiger point

It was last day of the year and the place was quite full of people. You can see the anxiety of the natives on this sudden surge of visitors

Sadly not much of the hills are visible due to poor visibility. But the road side flowers are there always to add to the charm

Boating at the lake is an added charm to increase the appetite

View from the lake is very good. I suppose it will be even better in Monsoon.

After boating the Pizzas at Mapro taste delicious. The chocolate factory around makes the matter even worse.

Do not forget the strawberries of M’baleswer. Here it is being cultivated with garlic – not sure what kind flavor will it have?

Next stop at Lonavala. It is famous for Chiki and Wax Museum.

Here you can meet the celebrities in very personal manner.

You can see me having some serious discussion with Hariharan or Mr Modi eger to pose with the new generation

Some more status you can see in the hall. But overall it is a small room. Quality of some statues could have been better.

So you are left wondering, which one is good?

Nearby garden by Maharashtra tourism is a welcome change. It is well kept. The swan over there was posing for us.
and the flowers were inviting

It is worth spending some time there and enjoy the lake

before proceeding to Karla Caves

Karla Cave was a Buddhist Monastery that flourished between 2nd century BC to 2nd century AD. Now the place is abandoned. There is a temple just beside it and that keeps the local people interested.

Karla cave has some magnificent pillars and arches in the main prayer hall.

Some of the caves looked recent. Not sure how these came here.

Here we are in front of the main entrance.

and some more stone curving

Here you can see bee catcher – not so common in the city and extremely elusive.

View around Lonavala is breath taking

but for sunset one should be at nearby Khandala

For a welcome change you can also visit Narayani Dham temple – this reminded me of the temple at BHU, clean and peaceful.

Hope some day all temples will be this clean and well maintained.