Travel: A blissful escape in Malshej
Head for a long drive just to tuck into tasty vegetarian dishes or spend a cosy weekend – a new resort by the lake in Malshej Ghat is warm and welcoming
Head for a long drive just to tuck into tasty vegetarian dishes or spend a cosy weekend – a new resort by the lake in Malshej Ghat is warm and welcoming.
A room with a view
Post a two-and-a-half hour journey that offered a panoramic view of the Sahyadris, we reached our destination, greeted by manicured lawns, a play area, a swimming pool and 15 rooms (plus a suite) that offer views of the mountains, the lake and a nearby farm too. With an unobstructed view of the lake from the balcony, our spacious, well-furnished room was comfortable, and we took a fancy to an indoor garden in the washroom (of course, separated by glass doors).
In food coma
Having been told that the resort was pure vegetarian, we stepped into Maati Baani restaurant with trepidation, expecting cottage cheese and potato overdose. However, a look at the menu allayed all fears. From a separate section featuring local delicacies like Methi Pithle and Baingan Bharta slow-cooked in earthen pits to a shorba infused with nachani, regional Maharashtrian, Kashmiri and Rajasthani fare along with innovative egg recipes, the menu packs a punch in terms of flavours and pricing too, with all the dishes capped under Rs 300. We particularly loved the tangy-spicy, smoked bharta, the piping-hot Nachani and Kulith soup (perfect for cold evenings), the well-cooked Kala Vatana Ussal along with the melt-in-the-mouth rice bhakris. We wouldn’t even mind driving down on a Sunday to tuck into the hearty, pocket-friendly fare.
The Zorb orb
While the swimming pool looked inviting, we stopped ourselves for fear of catching the chills. Instead, we tried a few adventure activities that the resort offers at its poolside area. These include body zorbing, water zorbing, archery and crossbow. Guided by a trained expert, we put on our body zorbs (a cushioned bubble-like ball) and tried bumping into our fellow travellers. Looking at another companion haplessly trying hamster-like moves in a water zorb (where you have try to stand in an air-tight ball and walk on the pool), we chickened out and instead, opted for crossbow shooting. Again, guided by an expert, we hit the bulls-eye at the first go. Kicked, we tried it a few more times before settling next to the poolside on a swing, tucking into sumptuous dinner with a variety of barbequed fare.
Morning walk to the lake
Refreshed, post an uninterrupted night’s sleep, we embarked on a morning walk to the lake, eager to check out the distance ourselves. In five minutes, we reached the banks of the Pushpavati river (Pimpalgaon Joga Dam has been built across this river), flanked by the mountain ranges. We soaked in the serene environs speckled with a few local folk, going about their daily chores. Since the stretch too, belongs to the resort, it would make for a great camping and bonfire spot, something that the resort has planned in the near future.
Post a hearty breakfast of various egg varieties – including Bhareli Ande, stuffed with sautéed onions, tomatoes and local spices – we made our way to the nearby ancient Karneshwar stone caves and a Shiva temple (with pretty stone carvings on its ceilings), flanked by the nearby Shivneri and Harishchandragad peaks, with experts in tow. Satiated by the sights and delectable, local flavours, we bid adieu to the resort, happy to have found a new spot for an amazing monsoon getaway.
Tariff Rs 3,500 onwards (for farm view room on weekdays during off-season)