Sometimes we don’t get what we strive to achieve for years. But how cool is it to suddenly receive a gift from life which you never planned for?
Shubho and I happened to have a fabulous trip up there around the Tapola lake in the Sahyadris, and I just thought it’ll be plain wrong to not share the experiences with my friends here and lo! Most of you seemed to just love that post (if the shares are anything to go by) and since then I’ve received many requests asking for more of our romantic getaway experiences.
So here’s the second helping. :)
Off to Village Mokashi, Khopoli
Our quest for discovering the gems off Maharashtra’s beaten track had started with an early November trip to the Lake of Kalote. A mere 70 odd Km (or 2 hours) drive from Mumbai, Kalote is a natural lake situated in the village of Mokashi, near Khopoli, off the old Mumbai-Pune highway. We started around 6 in the morning, and were already in Tudor Retreat – a quiet lakeside farmhouse – by 9.
The Lakeside Farm House Tudor
Situated around the banks of the Lake Kalote, the Tudor Retreat is a 10 acre plush green garden and meadow complete with resident farm animals. Including the don of village Mokashi…
An almost three feet bird-zilla, aptly named “Fighter”, who unfortunately had hurt its leg at the time, and had to be carried around from place to place.
I instantly made friends with (most of) the inmates. Not this one though.
We took up the Tudor day-package – which included a one-room cottage for the day, along with breakfast, lunch and evening snacks. The price might make you faint so I’ll tell you about it only in the end. :P
The Tudor Greeneries
The cottage had an inviting porch outside, complete with the romantic cradle. We started off our day with a satiating breakfast here in the midst of the greens, the silence and the chirpy melody.
After breakfast we started out on a stroll around the winding leafy trails among the quiet green acres. The towering hillocks all around with their grass burnt brown were almost scaring me with their solemnity.
The silence was tangible – punctuated only by the sounds of the gang of egrets, gossiping as they perched listlessly on the trees or promenaded in the fields.
To our surprise we discovered a machaan by a quiet side of the lake, hidden away from the main cluster of Tudor cottages. To our disbelief we also found it unlocked. And to your utter shock you’ll now discover that I promptly took the opportunity of going right in, climbing straight to the top and…
Shubho had tried to discourage the whole idea but I’m sure he wouldn’t regret the view of the Kalote lake that he captured from up there.
Lake Kalote – A Picturesque Blue Nest Of Peace
I wouldn’t have believed that anywhere within 100 miles of a major Indian city there could exist a lake so clean that it would actually act like a giant mirror – like those pictures in children’s books.
Look! The waters have found a way to even replicate the pink glow around the Sun.
We met quite a few friends of Kalote here. From little cormorants…
… To yes – boating tourists! :D
A Lazy Lunch in the Lush Lea
Lunch was simple, home-cooked and abundant, topped off with a delectable gulab jamun in the end. J But most importantly, it was out in the open, in the middle of the grassy pastures, and right in front of those grave and dignified Sahyadri uplands.
After some more frolicking around among the bounties…
…And snacks which included so many pakoras that we packed some of them for the journey, we turned back, with a fresh scoop of life in our hearts.
For those of you who still want to know more:
Our cottage – It was basically a clean but no-frills four-walled space with a tin-roof, a bed, a bathroom, a TV and an AC (all in working order … but then we never checked the TV :D). We had no plans of spending a lot of time inside the cottage anyway, so we were happy. Especially with the porch and the cradle as I’ve already said. J
Food – The biggest good news – both veg and non-veg are available. We had a simple eggs, toast and coffee breakfast. Coffee was too sweet, as you’d expect in most Indian villages. So far as lunch is concerned – I totally savoured the refreshing home-cooked-ness (no it’s not a real word) of every bite. However chicken was a little too spicy. Snacks consisted of onion pakoras which were hot and a lot but not very crispy.
Cost – Now, the biggest news – Tudor Retreat charged us only Rs. 2500 for 2 people, including the cottage for the day and 3 meals! (I did warn you.) The overnight charge would’ve been Rs. 4000. Add to that a fuel expenditure of about Rs. 1000 for the trip. So total cost of trip = Rs. 3500 for 2 people.
Contacts – Tudor Retreat, Khopoli. Contact person: Mrs Khan / Saif bhai, Contact # +91 98 210 26639
Other tips & trivia:
- There’s no clear road-sign on the Mumbai-Pune highway indicating the way to Lake Kalote or Village Mokashi. We went around in circles many times confusing people and getting confused. Follow Google maps, and if you’re coming from Mumbai you need to take the first left turn after Nishiland water park.
- There’s absolutely no road from this left turn to Tudor Retreat. It’s all a rustic ride through Mother Nature. So be very careful with your car.
- It’s good to carry a change of clothes as it might get very hot in the afternoon.
Here’s a nice little practical summary for you.
Let me know when you’re starting off by leaving a comment. ;)