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Malshej

Place: Malshej
By: Car
Time: 3.5 hrs to Malshej 🙂 , 5 hrs back to Mumbai 😦
Distance: 150km
To See: Flamingoes that flew away to the south of India before we arrived, 1000Rs a night at the resorts (MTDC is the only one there, the other is not worth mentioning)
But what we saw and are glad: Huge lake, walk through the fields, waterfalls along the way – several, ghar ka khana at MTDC – I wonder why the so many negative reviews on the net about this, maybe we ordered right
Bonus: The chai on the road…

Malshej ..did not know such a beautiful place existed as close to Mumbai as 150km away. It was a beautiful Saturday morning drive to this place. Getting out on weekends on a long drive after a restful sleep (read sleep until 8.30 am and not waking up in the wee hours of dawn for a leisure trip) is a different bliss altogether. The joltless travel on the Eastern Express highway have already been mentioned, hence won’t dwell on them. NH222, the state highway to Malshej is no less. Other tourists and truck drivers have not discovered it as yet, and that makes it a double whammy. The entire 3 hr (ok, a little more) journey up the ghat was very pleasant, with lush green fields on either side, blessed weather with overcast clouds, yet sufficiently bright and not at all sunny. Cakes and ‘Indian’ cookies and juice and butter crispies and biscuits more than made up instead of a greasy breakfast, saved us precious hours from a halt as well. The drive up the ghat did not seem strenuous either, though we did have our moments of adventure..what with a big waterfall gush dropping over our car bonnet all of a sudden from a jutting rock, and blinding us momentarily. Several streams and waterfalls along the way…crowdless stops at these points…drizzles…light weather without the sun squinting your eye…and an even more delightfully simple lunch at the MTDC resort were the highs. We did know about the Harishchandraghat fort (highest fort cum adventure trek in the area), and the Pimpalgaon dam with the flamingoes..but we were more than happy walking through the fields to see the lake than trek to these places which the resort guy adequately warned us could be slippery/crowded/closed 🙂 In any case, a board that proclaimed to know all about the region, did mention that the flamingoes and the other birds have indeed gone south this time of the year..so we would not have missed any. The only thing I would not want to talk about in this trip is the return to Mumbai at 6pm..another 3 hrs across powai!!

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