A Rainy Day Drive at Tamhini Ghat

A light drizzle that continued from late morning till early evening brought the pre monsoons in Pune.

Ata bagha Tamhini Ghata che thaat“(Now see the beauty of Tamhini Ghat) announced the Marathi newspaper soon after the pre-monsoon showers came thundering down on the parched soil and justified our on the spur decision of driving along Tamhini Ghat.

With some Idli(steamed rice dumplings) and chutney as breakfast, we left home but had to drive through the office bound traffic of the city. No sooner had we left the chaos behind, the rain gods smiled a bit too generously….

on way to Tamhini GhatI do love rains…I do but only if I am not the one who is getting wet! I love the different shades of green….emerald, olive, lemon, mint, juniper, shamrock that paint the trees, the shrubs, the mossy growth and the weeds and the rain washed leaves dance brightly….. I like that black tar ribbon of road glistening in rain.. just like the new skin of the black serpent…

What I do not like however is wetting my curly hair  in rain!! It becomes all frizzy, tangled and gives me a headache…. So while my husband and daughter waited for a safe spot to stop the car and  drench in rain….I was totally happy to enjoy the deluge from within the car…

A drive on Tamhini Ghat road is popular with driving enthusiasts in and around Pune. Tamhini Ghat road cuts across the Sahyadri mountain range connecting Pune to Konkan. The picturesque mountains, the  lush green valley, the gushing river, the brimming lakes and many big and small cascading waterfalls are tempting and make the drive worthwhile..

Mountain face with many falls

Mountain face with at least ten big and small falls

Enthusiastic people had stopped to bathe and frolic near the waterfalls that were near the roadside. A pot-bellied man with minimum clothing oblivious to my camera enjoyed his waterfall bath….the fall was good enough to be photographed, so I had to carefully avoid the man in my picture frame!!

Had to carefully shoot the falls to avoid the bare chested man who bathed oblivious to my photography!

Had to carefully shoot the falls to avoid the bare chested man who bathed oblivious to my photography!

Stepped waterfall

Stepped waterfall

Gurgling river

Gurgling river

At times the rains were so heavy that we missed out views of mountains and lakes because of the mist. It is inadvisable to drive in rain at late evening on Tamhini Ghat road so even though we wanted to stay but we chose to drive back to Pune sooner only on a different route….via Mahabaleshwar and Mapro Garden!

Mapro Gardens is a garden park in the hill station of Panchgani, Maharashtra, close to Mahabaleshwar. Besides being known for their strawberry produce and hosting annual Strawberry Festival, it is a popular tourist destination.

Along with a separate chocolates making plant, Mapro Garden has large covered area for Orchid and Tiger lily plants, lotus pond, strawberry cultivation field and not to forget a huge restaurant area.

Cultivated Tiger lilies

Cultivated Tiger lilies

Orchid cultivation

Orchid cultivation

sit out restaurant

sit out restaurant

Mapro produces crushes, jellies, jams, syrups, squashes, dessert toppings and fruity chews (pates de Fruit) and when we are in Pune , a trip to Mapro Garden is always on cards. The crushes and fruit bars is a must buy item on our list and so are their sandwiches, pizzas, shakes and coffee. During the strawberry season, farm fresh hand-picked strawberries with a huge dollop of cream and strawberry ice-cream is a popular dish of the restaurant.

When we drove back from Tamhini Ghat towards Mapro, the rain as well as the stormy winds had increased…. the trees swayed dangerously and it was difficult to see beyond few meters.The temperature had dropped and we had not equipped ourselves with jackets for outside car weather!

I felt bit chilly and gulped down two mugs of hot coffee as soon we reached Mapro and placed our usual order of  grilled veggie and cheese sandwich and veggie pizza.

Mr Pizza Guy ‘Santosh’ was working at brick oven doling out pizza after pizza for the waiting customers.

Santosh...head cook at pizza oven

Santosh…head cook at pizza oven

Soon, our pizza and sandwich was ready. We had deliberately eaten less breakfast at home, to work up our appetite and stuff ourselves with these….

Our veggie pizza

Our veggie pizza

Grilled veggie sandwich

Grilled veggie sandwich

With our hunger for sumptuous food and a wonderful drive satiated, we made our way back to Pune for our last few days of summer vacation…. back from the open air beautiful environs to the city life of traffic, pollution and chaos…

Next year, hopefully the monsoon will arrive on time and we would plan more such trips…

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About shoma abhyankar

I like to believe that I am a creative person. I read, write, paint, sketch, rustle up some quick and some elaborate meals for friends and family, love chess, su-doku and scrabble, can hum an old Hindi song tentatively, always stand up for women rights, hate fake people, bugs, roaches, spiders and cigarette smokers!! I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1998. Soon after, I married an officer in Indian Air Force and have been on move since then. For a brief time of two years when we were posted in Pune, I worked as a junior architect in a firm. Being aware of frequent movement that we would have to live with, I chose to be a homemaker and concentrated on creating a warm and welcoming home for my family. But sitting at home without any creative activity was not my cup of tea. I learnt candle making and soon put up an exhibition at Poona Club when my daughter was barely a year old. I also enjoyed a short stint as a home-based entrepreneur, supplying chocolates and cakes on demand, while we were posted in Bareilly. With an inclination towards writing, I completed a diploma in ‘Creative Writing in English’ from Symbiosis College of Distance Learning, Pune. Then I discovered the blogosphere. Now I hope to not only travel and share my experiences with the world but also to pen a book someday....
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9 Responses to A Rainy Day Drive at Tamhini Ghat

  1. Tamhini Ghat is beautiful place to drive in Rain. I loved it. Your Blog post has inspired me to write one !

    Like

  2. Shilpa Gupte says:

    Wow! That was quite a feast for every sense! Loved the vivid description of the greenery and the beauty that you clicked in every picture. I can imagine what a sight it must have been!
    And, now, after seeing those mouth watering food stuffs in your pictures, I am hungry, nay famished! 🙂

    Like

  3. B D ABHYANKAR says:

    A wonderful descriptio of nature wit photographs . I like it.

    Like

  4. Syam says:

    Great feel of rain!

    Like

  5. Pingback: 10 Trips in Twelve Months: 2015, A Year of Travel | Astonishing India

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