Feb 3, 2019

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

Mumbaiii, Here I go again with family!!! Continuing from my last MumbaiDiary post, This time we started from Pune around 8:00 am by car and started with famous ISKCON Temple Juhu to visit in Mumbai, then #Juhu Beach #BandraWorliSeaLink #NehruPlanetarium #SwamiNarayan Temple #Mahalaxmi Temple #MarineDrive #GirgaonChowpatty during the first day. We had lunch at ISKCON Juhu itself, which was simply amazing with lots of varities. 

Next day morning, we visited #TheGatewayOfIndia #TheTajHotel #SidhivinayakTemple and #MuchMoreMumbai. During the first half of the second day, We also took short 90 minutes cruise trip from Gateway of India and back. We enjoyed the Mumbai skylines from sea and got to know many known unknown stories from cruise guide. You can enjoy Taj hotel old & new, Gateway of India and many more in the same frame, as soon as your boat/cruise moves away from shore. 

It would be best to hire a cab or taxi for full or 2-days for lifetime memories and experiences while Mumbai visit, as you will save lots of time without searching for parking etc. Even if you have your own car, I would recommend to hire a driver, like we did, to enjoy the trip fullest. 

Enjoy previous posts for more details about Mumbai Diary - Part1, Part2. So, I am just sharing these photographs during this Mumbai trip with family. 

Dec 12, 2018

It being our 7th Anniversary, although it feels like yesterday! I wanted to make it special for us, at the same-time to be comfortable for our 2 yr old brat. After all googling, I zeroed on 'Wintergreen Premium' room (post a detailed discussion with Dimple and Aadrika) at Amanora Fern Hotel and Resorts near Amanora Mall. It was a surprise for my better half and the team at Ferns didn't leave any room for me to complain. Right from a warm welcome to beautiful room decoration, an Anniversary cake to best wishes from their staff, they just pampered us... and our lil one loved it to the core, swimming pool and kids play area being his favorite. 

As we see in places like Dubai, and across Europe, the structures here are grand and are a treat to eyes. Wintergreen Premium room is big, lavish with comfortable sofa and terrace. Terrace view was spell-binding...be it evening or morning. it was just picturesque! The lake, lush green garden, fountain and Amanora sky-high towers - all in one frame. We also took some pictures as usual. The reception area is located in a lovely white dome shaped architecture with glass work all around and the Big Clock Tower right next to it adds to the beauty. Amanora The Fern is the most premium club & hotel committed to offer top notch facilities perfect for couple, corporate as well as leisure travelers. The hotel is very well connected to the important business (mainly Magarpatta) and entertainment hubs of Pune city. Free private parking is available on site. Anyone can easily reach the place, It is approx 8 km away from Pune International Airport. Make yourself at home in one of the 26 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and LED televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment.

One can take an early morning walk alongside the man made lake and enjoy the greenery & view of water reflection of the hotel. With our little one's morning tantrums, we could do afford a late morning walk for about an hour. The lawn is huge enough to accommodate over 1000 guests, and good for any kind of party, team event, or even marriage function. The food was superb at every meal (evening snacks, dinner, and morning breakfast with lots of options). Staff at the restaurant arranged baby chair for my son and he even enjoyed the food. We had little uncooked pasta, which they right away changed. There is also a general store in the premises, from where one can buy required stuff. The gym is huge with every equipment one can imagine, but I couldn't explore. Also, I didn't get the time to experience the spa but the facility seems impressive. 

They had beautiful swimming pool, badminton court, squash court, children's play area, tennis courts, and much more to keep the adults & kids busy. Next morning, we enjoyed at the pool. One request and a suggestion to the team, pool water should be warm during winters, specially for kids, so they can spend more time. Water being super cold, I had to pull my son out of it within 10 mins. The best part was the fountain view from kids play area and green lush garden. Our kid enjoyed this place around an hour, and needless to say that he was not ready to come out of this place. So many playful stuff for kids were present. The best part was, everything was so neat and clean, and properly placed. 

Great holidaying and awesome experience, 5 stars in all departments, lovely property, courteous staff specially Dimple, Aadrika, Laxmi at kids area, Reception staff, Room service, Housekeeping all were tip top. The check-in was smooth and very fast. My compliments to the management for maintaining such a beautiful hotel & resort. All in all, a charming place to relax after a hectic schedule. I will suggest this hotel to all my friends, and recommend anyone visiting this part of Pune. 

This was a great hotel at decent price. Thank you once again, hope to visit the place again with bigger group, and other Fern group hotels. 

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. 

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