Updated: Sep 28, 2019
When we shifted to Pune recently, I was really excited to visit this place I had heard so much about and it didn't take me long to plan and visit it!
It was a beautiful rainy morning on which me along with my close ones, headed out for the much hyped destination - a replica of an Italian hill-side town, the one of our 'to visit' list places!
We stopped at various road side stalls to have tea and Poha and Idli-vada!
The road was bumpy, I won't nag about it much because Pune had an 'over' shower this year and roads are obviously the first thing to go out of order specifically in India!
It was around 60 Kms, a 2 hour long drive from our place and no doubt the entire stretch was full of beauty, of course because Pune is in the lap of Shayadri Hill chain and you get to see hill scratches every now and then!
The shower was simply adding a mesmerizing effect on what our eyes were experiencing!
And any-which way, who doesn't love a road trip with friends on a rainy day, we all did engulfed our share of natures beauty through our eyes and gave our ears the gift of some soul touching music and in no time we were near to our destination!
Well we took a short break post reaching a certain height over the hill and had garma garam Pyaaz k Pakode with Chai...the desi way of enjoying Barish!
The entire setting was perfect and haste gaate we did reach the dam area near Lavasa, the gates were open and the flowing water was looking as if many strings of pearls were laid vertical for our eyes to soak in the whites!
It was a Sunday and like us, many others were there too and were leaving no stones unturned to improve their Instagram and FB pictures' like count! Obviously we too did the same ;)
In a short while we reached the Entry gate to Lavasa and I was all ready to be engrossed in its beauty!
I read about it on google and as per described, my mind made its own picture of the city and made me enthralled and damn excited, may be because I have never been to Italy and Lavasa
is a private, planned city, stylistically based on the Italian town Portofino, with a street and several buildings bearing the name of that town.
The first break to my dreamy encounter was the so called "Parking Fee", though we were aware of the charges earlier too but when you actually pay for it, you feel it only then..haha..
It was 500 Rs for a 4 wheeler and 200 for 2 wheeler!
I was only hopeful that, the visit would be worth it!
When we headed into the valley where the actual city is located, I loved it from the distance!
You would get many beautiful spots to get your pictures clicked - well that is what matters the most these days :D
The lake, the bridge and the buildings would all give you the flavor of not being in India!
It was obvious that it rained quite often in the area since the buildings seemed to be painted around 50 years ago!
As we entered the main area around the lake, we felt as if It was an old abandoned city with a few tourists!
Thanks to some water sport activities, there were some people around! Though the prices were too high to even give them a try!
It becomes quite evident that the food options were limited and they would of course cost like having a tea at some 5-star resort!I have no complaints on that since they don't have much to earn from.
I don't think anybody lives there, there were empty houses and flats, only a few resort which I am sure would be earning only by bookings done for some weekend gateway, booked by people who would want some adventure of living in an abandon area, specifically during the night!
The streets and pavements, the trees and the lamp posts and the cafes built will definitely give you the feel of walking in some European country and the setting seemed to be perfect for some movie shoot!
The rail cum bus tour and rent a cycle service gives to some good options to enjoy the place and one must try those, we didn't but would have enjoyed it!
You can get ample photographs clicked and many would be satisfied with the stock of DPs one would get and even spend some quite quality time with your loved one other-wise there is nothing much to explore or do! One can spend half a day there, may be plan a picnic with family or a day out with friends just to enjoy the location!
I think we were lucky since it was raining, if not I would have been very disappointed with our decision to visit! It is just that the rain added some flavor to the place otherwise it did seem tasteless and a one time view to me!
I am still confused if I would recommend it to someone - No doubt that it is different and unique, had it been constructed completely and people lived there, it would have been stunningly amazing place to be - a beautiful hideout, an ideal place to live, a paradise as I mentioned!
But since, the project seemed to be stuck, those half constructed buildings, the faded paint on the walls, lack of city vibe just ruins all the original idea of the place!
I wish things would have gone as per plan and the city had the charm it was to have and I hope may be in the future they try and complete it, only then would I want to revisit it!
Else, I will be more than happy to just go on a road trip over the hill, till the entrance of the city on a rainy day because in this case the road side view is more beautiful than the destination itself, given it is a rainy day ;)
- Mitali Badkul