10th June 2017 : We had a small get together at Orchard Resort near Baneshwar. It is very good resort right on the highway but still calm inside. The food was good. There is a small hill right behind the resort. All of us had a nice morning walk on the hill and after the breakfast, we saw Baneshwar temple and garden. Baneshwar temple architecture is from the medieval period. The temple was constructed in 1749 by Peshwa Nanasaheb, son of Peshwa Bajirao. Baneshwar is a conserve forest area and wildlife sanctuary where a variety of birds, flowers, plants can be seen. Baneshwar is worth visiting for jungle lovers and trekkers as well as for pilgrims.
This can be a day trip from Pune but best if you can make it overnight.
Narsobawadi (Wadi) is located in Kolhapur district on the banks of river Krishna. Narsobawadi gets its name from the presence of ‘Shri Narasimha Saraswati‘, the Purna Avatar of Lord Dattatreya. With a lot of archaeological value this became a major pilgrim spot for many Shri Dattatrey devotee.
It takes about 5 hours to reach Wadi from Pune. You will have to take the route Pune->Satara->Karad->Sangali->Wadi. The temple is very old and as it is located on the banks of Krishna river, you get a great view. In monsoon, the temple submerges into the river but the administration office of the temple, shifts the paduka of “Shri Narshima Saraswati” to a safe place. After visiting the temple, we had a nice lunch at “Soman Uphar Graha”. It is very small place but the food is quite delicious.
After Wadi, we went to Kolhapur. Prior to India’s Independence, Kolhapur was a nineteen gun salute princely state ruled by the Bhosale Chhatrapati (Bhosale royal clan) of the Maratha Empire. The Mahalaxmi temple belongs architecturally to the Chalukya empire and was first built in the 7th century. Mounted on a stone platform, the image of the four armed and crowned goddess is made of gemstone and weighs about 40 kilograms. The image of Shri Mahalakshmi carved in black stone is 3 feet in height. The temple is really beautiful and you can see carving which are very very old. ( around 1300 years).
Tung is located around 30 Kms from Lonavala. From Pune-Mumbai expressway, you need to take Lonavala exit and continue towards the Amby Valley. Just before the Amby Valley, take a left turn to reach Tung Village. Tung village is very small but its location is excellent as Tung fort, Pavana water lake are very close and you can view some other forts like Lohgad & Visapur. Tung fort was built in 1600 CE by Adil Shah but later captured by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
We stayed in Club Mahindra resort at Tung. The resort is beautiful with huge area. It has 2-3 swimming pools with one infinity pool, from which you can directly view Pavana lake below.
You can do small treks from the resort. They have excellent facilities for various sports, Spa, etc. If you are interested in bird watching, you can see some beautiful birds like Sunbird, Magpie-robin, Bulbul, Shirke, etc. We did a small trek from resort to Pavana lake. The trek can be done in 2 hours but it is very steep. The best part of the trip was Moonlight dinner with a spectacular view of Pavan lake.
15th Jan, 2017
Bhigwan is a town near Pune, Maharashtra in Central India. It is located on the Pune-Solapur Highway around 105 km from Pune on the backwaters of Ujani dam. Bhigwan is famous for birdwatching especially flamingo and wild life photography. One can do a day trip to Bhigwan from Pune.
We started at 6 AM from Pune and reached Bhigwan at around 8:30 PM. After a short break for breakfast, started out for Bird watching. The first stop was near a bridge. We could spot a lot of birds such as Heron, River Turn, Spot billed Duck, etc. The second stop was a Diksal, near Bhigwan. ( right side road which goes towards Sugar factory) . You can hire a boat here to take near Falmingos and a lot of other water birds.