So I am enjoying writing about the places I visit on my blog and look forward to any comment that comes up on my page. It endorses my interest to write and encourages my quest to live in a world of adventure, excitement and communication.

These were the emotions and feelings that surged through my mind as I set forth to attend the wedding of my cousin’s daughter at Pune. I reached Pune and the marriage got over and it was a grand reunion of all cousins from my maternal side. We wouldn’t get a better chance than this to be together. So there was this sudden emotionally driven plan of visiting a place in and around. After due surfing the net we hit upon a place called Tamhini Ghats.

This lovely region lying in the area of the Western Ghats was just a little away from Pune. WE had a day to enjoy and this place was just a day’s venture. So all of us booked a huge mini bus for ourselves and the group of 23 cousins with families and kids was looking more like a Bollywood movie with lot of fanfare and less like a family outing! We had a good driver who drove through the expanse of meadows, lawns and greenery in a sedentart but perfect manner. We enjoyed the scenic beauty which led to our destination.

We were headed for a resort at a place called Mushi Lake. There were the teenagers who were ready with their cameras and laptops. I gave my video camera to my nephew Arvind and asked him to do a good job of taking the right kind of pictures and videos. Parvati, my cousin had made some good homemade cakes. WE carried that and my aunt Thangam, made some delicious theplas. Our family was certainly related to some gourmand of the first order. Any place we visit, food tops the list of priorities. By the time we left the venue of the marriage, it was past lunch time. Then newlyweds were also coming along with us.

The bus sped past and we were singing all the latest Bollywood songs. We reached a place called Paud. This was apparently a very famous town because of its police station. There was a road here which connected the town to the very famous IT Park at Hinjewadi.

“Hey this is where Tarang and Aditya are employed.” I exclaimed with pride. I told my children about it and showed the place from the bus. Then the bus was speeding past the highway and we had a whole lot of things to talk about. But I was getting distracted by the scenic beauty outside and I halted the bus at a place which we came across. This place looked really beautiful with all its greenery and farms. Somehow I was reminded of Sikkim and the scene there when I saw this place.

We reached the Mulshi Dam. This was a big dam situated on the banks of the River Mula which is a major river in Pune district. The driver told us that water from this dam was used for irrigation and also for producing electricity through hydel power. The Tata Power Company Ltd. Operated this power plant.

We got down and had a look at the dam and walked around. This place was certainly developing into a good tourist spot. The place was dotted with a lot of farm houses, resorts, holiday inns and hotels. There were some tourists who had camped at the nearby resorts and were having a walk around the place. There was also a huge bungalow. This was converted into a resort with beautiful greenery and lovely open courtyards. There was a lovely view that the resort gave of the backwaters of the Mulshi Dam.

We really enjoyed ourselves at the Mulshi Dam and with the waters of the dam sending sprays of fresh water up in the air; we were refreshed with the sight and continued our journey. We crossed the dam region and reached a place where there were rejuvenation centers. These were Yoga centers, my cousin told me. She said that there were people who came here from Pune for meditation and relaxation.

From here we proceeded to a place where there was a lovely resort. This resort lay at the foot of the Mulshi hill. This was called the Green Table Resort. The topography of the land here along with he picturesque surroundings completely complimented the background of the peaks which were rising up and the ambience of the beautiful flowers which showered the place. The variety that Mother Nature can provide to a tourist was evident here and we just inhaled the immenseness of the place. With butterflies flitting around from one flower to another, the photos that I took here are still with me as the best memoirs ever. I had learnt about pollination in Science but today I was able to witness it. Our family sure was a noisy lot as the moment a group of my cousins passed laughing and talking the butterflies just disappeared nowhere. I wished we weren’t so loud.

Finally we proceeded towards Tamhini Ghats and reached the place. It was around 30 kms from where we were. There were steep turns and curves as the bus sped past. IT would be a dangerous road to take but with a careful driver it wouldn’t be so difficult. As we approached the ghat we were completely enthralled by the beauty of so many feet below of green area that we saw. The valley that we were looking at, completely contrasted the peaks that surrounded it. God could be so creative with the best of blessings in the form of the best form of scenery. Where else could one find such a contrast of blessings? On one hand we had the beautiful valley seeming with the best kind of bushes and shrubs and on the other hand three were the gigantic peaks which seemed to smile down on the valley.

It wasn’t rainy season but there was a slight drizzle. This enhanced the surroundings around. The spectacular beauty of the scene around and the relaxed feeling gave us a lot of rejuvenated feel. Then as we drove on, we saw a waterfall. WE got down and enjoyed the fresh feel of the water that fell from a height. The mist and the spray that was created by the waterfall completely relaxed our senses and it was fun when all of us got wet. Our uncles and aunts sat in the mini bus preparing our lunch. So when we came back after our lovely time at the waterfall, we were given a delicious lunch. Then we proceeded ahead and what did we come across? Yet another waterfall! This and then the next and the next. There were just too many waterfalls dotting the region. This and the lush green surroundings made us just feel happy about our decision to come here with the family. My nephews and nieces started counting the number of waterfalls we saw. They came to around 22 including Zenith and Dudhsagar Waterfall. Twenty two waterfalls! That was an amazing experience and a superb and unbelievable count.

The place was replete with scenic beauty and it was a perfect place for Raghavan, my cousin who was a professional Nature photographer. He asked some time for himself and called me to walk around the place. Both of us went around and I was amazed to see the variety of flora that existed here. The trip to the marriage was worth it and I was also happy I went with Raghavan. This was an experience beyond imagination. The trip, the ride in the bus, the laughter, the lake, the dam, the waterfalls and now this close brush with Mother Nature. What more could I ask for? I wished I had taken my son and daughter along with the walk with Raghavan. After Raghavan took a considerable amount of photos to his satisfaction we came back with Raghavan promising to make a good photo blog out of the trip.

As we came back to the bus, I saw Priyanka sitting with her canvas painting kit and she was painting the scene in front of her. The painting was nearing completion and Girish my cousin was taking a video of her doing this.

Thus Tamhini Ghats is a perfect place for photographers and a paradise for nature lovers, and also a dream haven for painters It was time to go back and as we were getting into the bus Parvati said my cousins had gone on a trek. Yes, I accepted that this certainly was a perfect adventure spot with the best area for trekking. My children and some of my other cousin’s kids were cycling.

Word to the Diary – Mixture of Contrasts – It’s Tamhini