A Weekend trip to Bhandardara,
Nashik, Sula Wines, Manas Resort, Igatpuri
Let me clarify - it is possible to
do this trip in a weekend, but that would be too hectic and not
enjoyable. We had done it over a long 3-day weekend.
Day 1- Bhandardara and Nashik
We started on
Friday morning around 10
am, and drove straight towards Nashik. We started from
Borivali, took Ghodbunder road, and took left towards the Agra road
its end. Then proceeded towards Nashik, stopping over at Dara's Zest
restaurant for filling up our tummies, loading up the car with
petrol and checking tyre pressures. From then on, just followed the
directions to Nashik. Right after Igatpuri, we took a right turn
towards Bhandardara - which is a beautiful place with a couple of
beautiful waterfalls, and the Bhandardara dam.
The drive to Bhandardara is good,
scenic in the monsoon greenery, with lots of water bodies spread
amidst the paddy fields and other vegetation. We stopped at various
places to click pictures, and to give the toddlers an opportunity to
experience nature. The umbrella fall - which is actually a water
outlet of the dam, which runs over a hugeround
rock - was absent.
But the drive around the place was very good, and we proceeded to
the Bhandardara dam. The water from the dam actually overflows on
the road, and is a good place to have some safe fun.
After spending a couple of hours
enjoying the beauty of the place, and unspoilt breeze and the
frolicking crowds, we proceeded on our way back to catch the highway
that will take us to Nashik. Upon entering Nashik, we checked into
the Hotel Sai Saya and proceeded to have a thali dinner
at Panchvati hotel, in Panchvati area of Nashik. The drive was a bit
messy with crowded roads, but the place was not difficult to find -
seems like everybody in town knows the Panchvati hotel in Panchvati
area of Nashik!
Photos of Bhandardara
The Gujarati thali itself
was sumptuous, and the kids too liked the fare on offer. We returned
to the hotel and slept well - the tiredness of the drive had to be
washed off with with hot water!
Day 2 - Sula Wines, and check-in
to Manas Resort
Next morning, we left a litter
later than usual, and proceeded to Sula Wines. Again, had to enter
the Nashik city (hotel Sai Saya is a little outside the city on the Mumbairoad),
and proceeded on the Gangapur road until the Gangapur Octroi naka.
Right after the octroi naka, take a left from the main road, and
follow the single lane road all the way to the Sula wines. The road
is well marked with directions to Sula wines.
The Sula wines is a great place to
hangout. However, in the month of September, there were no grapes,
and the winery was closed due to public holidays. Hence, we enjoyed
ourselves sitting on the terrace and overlooking the expansive
vineyards and rolling hills in the distance. The place is good to
buy some great Indian
wines, with expert advise by the staff. However, from what I
could gather, the best time to visit the place is during the
Sulafest, which occurs in the month of February every year, and you
can participate in the various concerts, grape
various other entertainment available. The tickets to the Sulafest
event can be purchased from thebookmyshow.com
After spending some time strolling
around the expansive winery, we proceeded back on the Mumbai
highway, towards Igatpuri. We reached the Manas Resort late in the
afternoon, got the best valley view rooms (lucky! since the resort
was full with Mumbaikars due to the long weekend) and proceeded for
lunch. Again, the buffet lunch was an elaborate affair, complete
with a hot jalebi counter!
After such a sumptuous meal, it was hard to not go for a siesta.
Early in the evening, we proceeded to Igatpuri town to visit the
Vipassana International Academy. Contrary to what you might imagine,
the imposing Myanmar gate of the campus was exceptionally beautiful
and well maintained. The proportions were huge compared to the more
modest interiors. You can (would have to!) attend a video of the
introduction to Vipassana, and then you can roam freely in the
Buddha garden. You can go all the way up to the entrance to the
premises where the Vipassana participants spend their 10 days of
Upon return back to the Manas
resort, when we looked out of our valley view rooms, we noticed the
golden pinnacle of the Dhamma Giri pagoda rising right above the
trees in the valley! It was a surreal site, with the fog descending
over the early evening shadows. The resort had arranged a DJ evening
for its guests in the evening, and the dinner was as good as the
lunch. The walk around the resort in the evening, and the next
morning was awesome. Everything was completely wrapped up in the
fog, and the due covered grass and plants were a sight to behold.
Day 3 - checkout and proceed to
After spending some time in the
pool, we got ready for the breakfast. Had a hearty breakfast, and
got ready to checkout. The resort allows late checkout on
Sunday, since the occupancies in the second half of Sunday
are, understandably, quite low.
Had a great drive back home, and
reached back home in the early evening! What an amazing weekend
break...the memories of this trip would last a good time to come!
Your feedback about this page is welcome.