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In Photos: Road Tripping in Rural Maharashtra!

I am transiting through Singapore on my way to South Australia as I pen this. Amid the lavish hospitality of the Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris Lounge and the excitement of visiting the land down under, I find myself looking back fondly at the last week, which I spent road tripping through rural Maharashtra. Just 2.5 hours away from Bombay, the state revealed many hidden surprises! We drove along pristine lakes, stayed at a work-in-progress art village just off Panchgani, and lazed in the warm afternoon sun on virgin beaches along the Konkan coast.

This is our visual ode to Maharashtra; all photos are taken with the Sony Cybershot:

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1. READING MURAKAMI BY PAWNA LAKE
near Lonavala, finishing this picture of tranquility.

Pawna Lake, Pawna lake Lonavala, Indian travel blogs

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2. A GORGEOUS SELF-CATERING ABODE IN PAWNA NAGAR 
on a hill, overlooking Pawna Lake.

Pawna lake, Deogadh homestay, getaways from bombay

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3. A PRISTINE OUTDOOR OFFICE
by the mango trees, quaint villages, untraversed hills and pristine lake of Pawna.

Pawna Lake, Pawna lake Lonavala, Deogagh Homestay

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4. GOLDEN SANDS ON THE KONKAN COAST 
shining at sunset.

Alibaugh, Alibaug beach, Alibag

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5. FINDING A LITTLE BIT OF PARADISE
at Devrai Art Village, just off Panchgani.

Panchgani, Devrai Art village, weekend getaways from Mumbai, Devrai homestay

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6. TASTING CORN DELIGHTS IN MAHABALESHWAR 
at Garden Ice-Cream Restaurant; corn is grown widely in the region and this little restaurant serves innovative and delicious corn snacks.

Panchgani food, Panchgani where to eat, Mahabaleshwar where to eat, Garden restaurant Mahabaleshwar

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7. LIFE IS MADE FOR MOMENTS LIKE THESE
, on a virgin beach along the Murud-Alibaug route.

Alibaugh, Alibaug beach, beaches near Bombay

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8. AFFLUENT BUT HARDWORKING, THE VILLAGE FOLK
of Maharashtra. Land values have gone through the roof, especially along the coast, but they choose to live simple lives, working on their fields and sending their kids to school. Mighty impressive.

Pawna Lake, Pawna lake Lonavala

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9. THE COSY DEVRAI ART VILLAGE HOMESTAY
; the art village is a work in progress by a local NGO, that helps families from Naxal-affected areas to relocate to Panchgani and work on their Dhokra Art from the Bastar region, as a sustainable source of livelihood.

Devrai Art village, Devrai homestay, Panchgani

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10. SPRING IS IN THE AIR
and the serenity of Maharashtra’s countryside is everywhere.

Panchgani, Devrai Art village, weekend getaways from Mumbai

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11. THE VIEW AT THE END OF A FOREST HIKE
in Mahabaleshwar, that was first charted out by the British. It has long been forgotten and covered by the hideous facade (think boating and horse riding) of touristy Mahabaleshwar. Luckily, we met someone who knows these forests like the back of his hand!

Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani

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Have you travelled along rural Maharashtra? What gems have you discovered?

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Any contributions to my travel fund (in kind or otherwise) will be highly appreciated!

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ALSO SEE:

In Photos: The Countryside of Northern Thailand
In Photos: Goa in The Monsoons
God’s Own Island by The Backwaters of Kerala

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29 Comments Post a comment
  1. great post, simplicity at it’s best. i loved malvan-tarkarli, it’s gorgeous !

    February 17, 2014
    • Thanks Shruti! It’s a beautiful region indeed.

      February 21, 2014
  2. wow..that’s amazing, I live in Maharashtra, and despite what Maharashtra offers, we hardly get tourists from outside(although we have loads of local tourists).
    The konkan coast is gorgeous, you can easily find beaches all for yourself.

    February 17, 2014
    • It really is amazing, Ashwin. More people need to discover what the state has to offer! And I agree, so many stretches of virgin beaches along the Konkan coast.

      February 21, 2014
  3. Oh yeah, there are many beautiful gems hidden around Pawna. You must check out Madh village…there’s a pristine lake over there as well. :)

    February 18, 2014
    • Thanks for the suggestion; I will next time!

      February 21, 2014
  4. Shivya you probably get this a lot but your posts are so inspiring girl! I love how you unearthen offbeat destinations that are just so beautiful! Enjoy your trip down under!

    February 18, 2014
    • Thanks Pallavi! Glad this photo essay inspired you. And thanks, I’m having a great time in Australia.

      February 21, 2014
  5. Lovely photos and they make me miss India even more! Saw your photos too on Jaisalmer and Asian. ..beautiful!

    February 18, 2014
    • Thanks! I hope that means you’ll come back soon?

      February 21, 2014
  6. Oops I meant Assam..sorry, auto correct on d phone :-)

    February 18, 2014
  7. Karthik #

    Great Wrap up !! Good to see Murud- Alibaug beach here … our favourite was Kashid beach.. untamed :) . BTW welcome to South Pacific – if u r planning to NZ do visit Auckland

    February 18, 2014
    • I’ve heard Kashid is lovely. Missed it. Next time! No NZ this time, didn’t have time to apply for a visa + not enough money ;-)

      February 21, 2014
  8. Amazing photos! You really know the knack of finding hidden gems. :)

    February 18, 2014
    • Thanks Renuka; Maharashtra sure surprised me with its hidden gems!

      February 21, 2014
  9. xhobdo #

    Awesome photos

    February 18, 2014
  10. Thnx much guys! :)

    February 20, 2014
  11. There is so much to see and experience in India itself, my bucket list keeps increasing and loved this off beaten destination you just chronicled :)

    February 20, 2014
    • That’s great Soujanya! Time to take that list and hit the road then ;)

      February 21, 2014
  12. Hi Shivya, nice post! Having grown up in Pune this post brought back nice memories from home :) A couple of years ago I did a motorcycling trip from Goa to Alibaug all along the coastal roads. Was awesome! I randomly stumbled upon unexplored and uncommercialised beaches, a bit of history and very nice people! Hope you find the post interesting

    http://where-is-hrishikesh.blogspot.in/2013/02/konkan-coast-bike-ride.html

    February 23, 2014
  13. Sach #

    Hi Shivya! I keep coming back to your blog for travel ideas and these are so inspiring, one day I am sure I’ll end up giving my corporate job too! I have a suggestion – if you could share more details on where you stay, it would be a great help. For example, I cold not figure out what the self-catering place in Pawna was and how does one go about booking/renting it out.

    February 25, 2014
  14. Sounds like a beautiful area to explore! :)

    February 25, 2014
  15. priya #

    wow…just..wow!

    February 26, 2014
  16. Konkan is next on my list. Do not miss camping at Kashid Beach when you’re there next. I think Letscampout (or something like that) can arrange camps/tents for you.

    Interesting blog you have got here. Kudos!

    February 28, 2014
  17. Wow Shivya, your post looks amazing and so does all your trip. I admire the way you have decided to follow your passion. I must say you are doing a great job and the posts are fun and interesting to read. So keep sharing :)

    April 5, 2014
  18. All pictures of your travel story are captivating! Even being a Maharshtrian myself never got a chance to explore such beauty, How unfortunate I’m. Once I had Deoghar trip, I’m sure you’d love to explore it in your future trip… Thanks for sharing, my instinct says i will visit these places one day :)

    May 23, 2014
  19. Liked this so much . Some moments are priceless

    August 16, 2014

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