Eager to explore some hidden secrets of Maharashtra, the state that has been my home for the last four years, I decided to make a spontaneous journey to Pawana Lake. I knew of a quaint and charming bungalow perched atop a hillock near the lake, so I called the owner, Annabelle, who has become a friend since we started working together two years ago. It was an instantaneous yes, so without any delay, I packed a little night bag and set out to explore the stunning Maharashtrian country-side.
It was a beautiful, rainy evening and I drove through lush paddy fields and lime green pastures. The windy roads led me to some stunning landscape and goegeous skies and I couldn't help but stop the car, get out, look, be amazed and smile :)
WHAT A WELCOME!
After a smooth and easy 1.5 hour drive from Pune, I arrived at my sweet abode for the night - a charming, ivy-clad bungalow located on a hillock by Pawna Lake. My jaw dropped as I walked from the drive way to the house, catching glimpses of the magnificent sunset taking place. Out on the front porch, I stood and watched in silence as the sky burst in colour and greeted me with such beauty and grandeur.
Anabelle showed me around her charming house and introduced me to Manju and Sunil, her friends visiting from Mumbai. We all connected the instant we met, and I knew that the next 24 hours will be absolutely amazing! The rest of the evening was spent amidst great company, fun and insightful conversation, a delicious BBQ dinner and of-course the star-lit sky.
The bungalow is an ivy covered stone house set amidst lush greenery and offering stunning views of Tung Hill and Pawna Lake. There are two bedrooms and bathrooms, a large living room, a kitchen and a front porch in the main house. A few steps away, there is an independent cottage, called the Honeymoon Suite. It is a cute and cosy space ideal for couples travelling in groups of friends or family.
The house is simply decorated with a very rustic, yet luxurious feel to it. White distressed walls, cute niches, antique furniture, solid wood doors and four poster beds, charming window frames and little quirks collected by the hosts - things their daughters painted, souvenirs from here and there, and my favourite - the funky terracotta matka speakers. All these elements come together to make your stay experience warm, homely and very comfortable.
There are three care-takers at the house - Mirabai, Raju and Savita. While Mirabai cooks up some delicious local food like Misal Pav, Poha, Chicken Curry and yummy veggies and dal, Raju is an expert at BBQ-ing chicken, corn and potatoes. And dear Savita is there to ensure that the house stays clean and tidy through out the day and is ever-ready to make you a cup of yummy ginger chai! All their efforts combine to make your stay hassle-free, comfortable and full of yumminess :)
THE HANG-OUT SPACES
Apart from the stunning views and the warmth and homeliness of the house, what makes it an ideal space for groups of friends and families is the various hang-out spaces in and around the house. Another great part of the house was all the little secret corners where one could sit and reflect in silence or sit-back and read.
A big thank you to Annabelle and Clement for hosting me at their lovely home that they have created with so much love and filled it with such good energy and vibes.
I even got to experience the secret roof-top from their personal room at the house, where we sat and chatted as the sun went down.
Can't wait to return to the bungalow with some friends and enjoy some delicious BBQ, some fresh pizzas under the stars and perhaps a movie in the great outdoors!
The Bungalow is located in Pawna, 1.5 hours from Pune and 2.5 - 3 hours from Mumbai. It's an easy drive from both cities and is 30 minutes off the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The exact location is a bit of a secret and I will surely disclose it once you contact me to plan your journey to the house.
BEST SUITED FOR
The place is most ideal for small groups of 6 -1 0 people or even bigger groups of 15 - 20 adults. There are 3 rooms that can accommodate a total of 10 adults as each room has a double bed + 1 or 2 single beds. The large living room can easily accommodate 6-8 adults on mattresses.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
I am always pro-monsoon travel so even for this place, my suggestion is that you go here in the rains. The lake, the greenery and the sunsets are absolutely stunning! Summers and winters have their own fun and charm - star-lit skies, make your own pizzas in the outdoor stone oven, watch a movie in the great outdoors (we can set up a projector and the stone oven if there are a minimum of 15 travellers), or go kayaking in the lake!
Rs. 4,000 per adult per day inclusive of all meals. (For a minimum of 6 travellers)
Rs. 3,000 per child per day (4-12 years) with all meals
Rs. 2,000 per child per day (under 4 years) with all meals
Although most places don't charge for children under 5, the owners at the bungalow do because the care-takers go out of their way to assure that the children are looked after and get anything they need. Sometimes, the work involved in keeping children happy, well fed and excited, is more than what is required for adults. For this service and the effort put in by the staff, the policy is to charge for children as well.
To book your stay, follow the link below. At the end of the page, fill out your email address, get host contact details, and book your holiday directly with the hosts.
Start planning and booking >>> http://www.wanderbug.in/lake-house-pawana