Oct 20, 2018

After a long time, we decided to visit a resort for team event. We chose Dreamlandd Resortt near Mulshi with camp tents stay for a weekend getaway. The place is well placed close to the mountain ranges in Mulshi, Pune which can offers breathtaking waterfall views from the resort in monsoon season. Dreamlandd Resortt is a growing attraction on a hilltop, kissed by the clouds & blessed by nature, just a little beyond the Mulshi dam near Pune. The place is owned by Degaonkar family and their staff manage it. After enjoying the beautiful views from Pune and taking few pics on route, we reached here early in the evening. 

Dreamlandd Resortt Address:
Dreamlandd Resortt, Nandivali Rd, Nandivali, Taluka Mulshi, Pune
One can easily reach the place following google maps. 

There are multiple outdoor activities inside the campus like - swimming, volleyball, cricket, badminton, rain dance with music. We just loved rain dance with music, they have this cool setup just near the pool area. Swimming pool was clean and well maintained. We enjoyed in the evening and next morning as well. You can also plan some evening/morning walk around the campus in the fresh air and experience the ambiance and quietness of the place. 

We got good food served with good service by the local staff here who manages the property. Bottled water and other basic stuff were available. They do have fridge, if you have some drinks to maintain cold. We loved the fresh ginger tea and onion rings (Bhaji) in with evening snacks, which was simply superb. Dinner was fresh, well prepared with hot rice flour roti, daal, and vegetables. We had lots of chat, music, dance, poetry, guitar time and fun filled night. It was total serene environment under the stars. Camping is always a wonderful experience, which keeps us close to nature. Tents were pretty neat and clean with proper bedding, sheets, and blanket. Morning tea and snacks in breakfast along-with Kanda Poha was well prepared as well. 

As per our discussion with staff, they have 4 rooms with the capacity for 20 persons, and camping tents with the capacity for 70 persons which is best for corporate outings, team building and adventure activities, birthdays and kitty parties, bachelors and spinsters, group outings, etc. Single room with attached bathrooms are good for a family of 3 and can accommodate 1-2 persons with the additional bed. Just about 3 km from this resort, you can visit the Mulshi backwaters and get a panoramic view of the huge reservoir and take beautiful pictures. Views of dam en-route dreamland farms are simply amazing. We also took few pictures while coming back. Overall it was very satisfying experience for the whole team. 

Jun 30, 2018

Across different regions of India, there are numerous God and Goddess and their dedicated temples in Hindu religion. Everyone can't always visit the main sacred place. So some of the Indian states are building the replicas of major Hindu temples such as:
Replicas of 12 Jyotirlingas at Siddhesvara Dham, Sikkim
Replicas of Char dham at Namchi, Sikkim
Replicas of 51 Shaktipeeth at Ambaji, Gujrat.
Replica of the most famous Shirdi Sai Baba Temple (Prati Shirdi) at Shirgaon village near Pune.
Other replicas of famous monuments and major places of pilgrimage such as the Taj Mahal and Replica of Angkor Wat Temple in Bihar were under construction at the time of writing. 

Near Pune we have replica of most famous Tirumala Venkateswara Temple (Tirupati Balaji) named "Prati Balaji Temple" near Ketkawale-Narayanpur. If you have limited time and want to visit Balaji temple near Pune, this could be right place. For us, It was a short and half day trip from Pune. I have visited this place twice so far. There are multiple routes to reach this place. If you can come early, you can also trek for nearby Purandar Fort on same day. 
Address: Prati Balaji Temple, Saswad-Kapurhol-Bhor Road, Ketkawale, near Narayanpur, Pune, Maharashtra

It was built by the V.H.Group at a cost of 27 crores. It is located outskirts of Pune and also known as Shri Venkateshwara Temple. The priests of this temple have come from Tirupati Temple in Andhra Pradesh. Balaji temple at Pune is constructed under the guidance of Tirumala Tirupati Temple Devasthan. It took almost 7 years to built this temple during 1996 to 2003 and it is one of the best religious places in Maharashtra. The temple premises is quite clean and very well maintained. 

Prati Balaji Temple Ketkawale Timings: Daily 5:00 am to 8:00 pm. At the time when we visited, there was not much crowd at this temple. Even during the weekend, there were limited people, and within 5-10 minutes we got to see the replica of the Balaji idol inside. This place also has timings and Pooja details alongwith Darshan (visit) closing timings. 

No photography is allowed inside the temple, though Balaji Idol is pretty visible once you are inside the temple. They do not allow mobiles, cameras, leather waist belts and wrist watches inside the temple for security reasons. The lockers are available to deposit all these things. However, visitors can take photographs outside the main temple. We had few photographs during the 'Parikarma Marg' & Pathik also enjoyed this place during my second visit. This place in itself is beautiful amidst lush green hills, and all the color carvings are pretty amazing all around, which depicts lots of stories of Hindu Gods. After the visit don't forget to have Prasadam near exit. 

During both the visits, We relaxed here for an hour. Near the parking area of the temple, there are few shops, where one can buy souvneirs and also have snacks. Just outside of the temple, and near to main entrance there are quite many shops, and small market, that make this place more lively. As per current situtation, parking space seems to be good enough. Do visit this place, If you are in Pune or nearby. 

Other Famous Replicas Visit: 
We had visited "Prati Shirdi" at Shirgaon village near Pune as well. 
We had also visited "Mini Siam" - "The miniature world", place with most of the wonders at one place named "Mini Siam" in Pattaya, Thailand. We had a couple of hours around Mini Siam with a quick tour of most of the landmarks of Thailand and replicas around the world. 

Jan 20, 2018

As a traveler, enjoy soothing breeze, serene night, starlit sky, warmth of bonfire and many more at the camp-site near dam. - Quote about 'Camping near Pawna Dam' - Sachin Kumar Gupta

This was one of the best camping site I have visited so far. Camping on a side of a dam, with just the moon light and stars above you. A perfect weekend gateway near Mumbai and Pune. A mesmerizing view and camping time far away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. It was an amazing experience for all of us. We stayed here for a night and it was totally worth it. If you are expecting a resort type fun, this is far from it, whereas this is pure nature stay near damside. This campsite is owned and managed by nice people, and their services were simply superb. 

Transport: You can directly reach to the campsite by your scooter, bike or car. Campsite is approx 110 km away from Mumbai and 60 km away from Pune. The drive to the spot is little steep at times to avoid night/evening drives. It would be best to reach before 4 PM to enjoy the fullest. As soon as you would be about to reach this place, you will see lots of paragliding near the hill. 
Follow this route from Mumbai: There are regular trains from Mumbai to Lonavala. From Lonavala railway station you cal also get shared/private jeeps to the campsite.
Mumbai - Khopoli - Lonavala - Kamshet - Pavananagar-Kamshet-Rd - Karunj - Yelse - Pawnanagar - Kale - Camping Site
Follow this route from Pune: There are regular trains/buses from Pune to Lonavala. From Lonavala railway station you can also get shared/private jeeps to the campsite.
Pune - Vadgaon - Kanhe - Naygaon - Pavananagar-Kamshet-Rd - Karunj - Yelse - Pawnanagar - Kale - Camping Site

Inclusion & Itinerary (As per our experience) 
Accommodation in Twin/Triple Sharing tents (Blankets, pillows and mats provided)
3 PM- Check-in, and reporting at site, and tent allotment (mainly on first come first serve basis)
4 PM- Evening snacks - Pakoda and tea
4 to 6 PM- Enjoy swimming with caution or just relax and witness a beautiful sunset and evening.
Complimentary Fungames - Archery, Badminton, Volleyball, Darts. 
7 to 9 PM- Enjoy roasting barbeque (8pcs per person, Veg/Non-veg)
9 to 10 PM- Dinner (Veg/Non-veg unlimited)
10 to 11:30 PM- Bonfire/Campfire & Music. You can request for your personal group as well, if you are more in numbers. 
Other than that we enjoyed star gazing, and the place is all about Dam-Mountain-Sky, You, and your team-mates.
Post that we continue the acoustic guitar session by Sanjay with end-less chatting, till we felt like sleeping (who feel very sleepy)
Basic Washroom facility was available at campsite.

Next morning, 6:30 AM Enjoy the beautiful Sunrise (optional)
7:30 AM Enjoy the live waterstream released from the Pawna dam
8:30 AM to 9 AM- Breakfast (Poha/Upma/Omelette/Bhurji)
If you have opt-in for rafting, you can go for rafting after breakfast. People also do kayaking. Many people were swimming and enjoyed that to the fullest. The place was great, so when in afternoon temp increases, you can sit under the shade, as tent will be very hot. But even better take a dip in or drive up to Tikona fort (in morning) or Tikona picnic spot (by noon). Nice place for kids to play around too. Be careful of the flow as its deep in some places and could be dangerous if you don't know how to swim.
11 AM Check-out and saying goodbye with a promise to meet and do something like this again.

Rafting timings:
1st batch: 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
2nd batch: 12 Noon to 1:30 PM

Things to Bring:
- Torch
- Winter wear
- Extra Clothes
- Extra Bed sheet
- Shoes (preferred)
- Cap and sunglasses
- DSLR and tripod if you're interested in Astrophotography.

They were having total three offers as of now:
Offer 1: (Only Rafting) - Rs.1000 per person - White water rafting of 4kms in Pawna river (Start point to end point)
Offer 2: (Only Camping) - Rs.1250 per person - 1 Night stay in riverside tents + All Meals (Veg/Non-Veg) + Barbeque (Veg/Non-Veg) + Campfire with Music.
Offer 3: (Camping + Rafting) - Rs.2250 per person -  White water rafting of 4kms in Pawna river + 1 Night stay in riverside tents + All Meals (Veg/Non-Veg) + Barbeque (Veg/Non-Veg) + Campfire with Music.
More details to be checked at: raptorholidays 

We had wonderful event with amazing and enthusiasts team-mates. Beautiful and pristine location and to be remembered for long, loved the live music session, games were good, food can be better and washroom facility should be improved. Witness the sunrise by the dam. Calm, Peace. Good Vibes. The night stay in camp was one of the experience and morning fog around the place and dam looks superb. It was the perfect team event we could ask for. What better can you get in this package! 

May the moments of life experiences, team event, group together and celebrations lit up our lives.

Jan 13, 2018

Quote of the Post: "The place where every place is renowned and famous landmark for one or the other reason." - Quote about 'Mumbai (Bombay)' - Sachin Kumar Gupta

Be ready to soak in the trendy yet traditional and colorful vibes of Mumbai. Continuing from my last MumbaiDiary post, This time we started from Pune around 6:30 by car and started with famous MumbaDeviTemple to visit in Mumbai, then #MarineDrive #GirgaonChowpatty #HaziAli #SidhivinayakTemple #JuhuBeach #MumbaiFood #SaintMaryChurch #BandraWorliSeaLink #TheGatewayOfIndia #TheTajHotel and #MuchMoreMumbai during our visit. It is always a clever choice to visit The Gateway Of India and nearby areas during sunset till night, as it has its own charm, visibility and no time constraint. If you are coming by train or air and want to make the most of a single day, it would be best to hire a cab or taxi for full day for lifetime memories and experiences. 

To cover best places of Mumbai in a day is not possible, You must have minimum 3 days to visit the places (even those would be less), but what If you have just one day, and want to explore the best places of mumbai (like my brother Tanuj) from morning to moonlight. Each place require 30 mins to 45 mins stay to enjoy, and further travel time and waiting time depends on your luck. 

If you are coming from outside Mumbai after 2-3 hours of drive. Based on your liking, interest and time availability, your can choose or skip the places. You can follow below tentative timeline map to visit best wonders of Mumbai (Bombay) in a day, and ask driver to keep telling landmarks and famous buildings on your way. 
#MumbaDeviTemple (10 AM)
#MarineDrive (Walk one side to another) and park your car other side of the road. (10:30 AM)
#GirgaonChowpatty (11 AM)
#HaziAli (Haji Ali Dargah) (11:30 AM)
#MahaLaxmi Temple (1 PM)
#Dhobi Ghat (laundry) which is visible from the bridge over Mahalakshmi station.
#SidhivinayakTemple (2 PM)
#HangingGarden on Malabar Hills
#JuhuBeach (4 PM)
#SaintMaryChurch (5:30 PM)
#BandraWorliSeaLink (6:00 PM)
#TheGatewayOfIndia #TheTajHotel (6:30 PM) 
#MumbaiDrive #MuchMoreMumbai

Best Street Food to Try in Mumbai: Don't forget to eat and taste Mumbaiya food. If you wish you can walk down to the Marine Drive promenade and take a long walk towards Chowpatty beach for a snack of Bhelpuri, Pav Bhaji and also some Indian icecream called Kulfi and another sweet dish called Rabdi. We had Pav Bhaji at Juhu Chowpatty. Below is the list of food to taste, if you are in Mumbai. 
  • Pav Bhaji
  • Bombay Sandwidth
  • Bhel Puri
  • Misal Pao
  • Vada Pav (Bombay Burger)
  • Tibbs Frankie
  • Pani Puri
  • Mumbai Samosa
  • Anda (egg) Bhurji

Shopping In Mumbai: If you or your family members are interested in shopping then depending on what you want to shop for, there are many specific markets. Zaveri Bazaar is famous for gold and silver jewelry, Mangaldas Market for clothes, Chor Bazaar (Thief Market) for antiques, Bandra Linking Road for lots of designer shops. Lots of other shopping arcades and malls have recently opened up in many areas so you can just roam around based on the timings for a quick look and buy as per our choice. 

Being most popular destination of India, Mumbai hosts lot many national and international events throughout the year in almost every field. Keep enjoying My Mumbai Diary ... 

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