Should you need a nudge to get out of Mumbai and expand your sights, let me introduce you to a young resort just three hours away. It goes by the name Saj by the Lake and it’s warm and welcoming.
The 15 rooms come with greats views of the Sahyadris and the lake nearby. The interiors done by the Busride Brothers features a small indoor garden in the washroom (separated by glass doors), fountains in the lobby and lights that seems to hang like clouds from the ceiling. The fibre cows with eclectic designs add to the rustic feel at Saj. But the highlight of the resort is the serene and beautiful Pushpavati river (Pimpalgaon Joga Dam has been built across this river). It makes for a perfect sight to relish a cup of coffee in the morning or for a short walk to sit by the banks.
The in-house vegetarian restaurant Maati Baani is a pleasant deviation from the potato-cottage cheese cycle. The Maharashtrian specialities including methi pithle, kala vatana usal, nachni soup and stuffed brinjals are a must try here. The food is slow cooked in earthen pits and this imparts a nice smoky feel to the dishes. The hand bread is good by itself but wonderful when slathered with white butter and the fiery chilly pickle – thecha.
Leisure seekers can take a dip in the pool or put on their body zorbs (a cushioned bubble-like ball) and try bumping into their opponents. Or better still visit the ancient Karneshwar stone caves and a Shiva temple (with pretty stone carvings on its ceilings). If the mountains inspire you for a trek, try the nearby Shivneri and Harishchandragad peaks.
HOW TO GET THERE: Kalyan-Ahmednagar Route, NH 222, Pune. Tel: 9664151190
COST: Rs 11900 for two nights inclusive of breakfast and all sports activities for a couple.
NIVEDITA JAYARAM PAWAR