Home | Travel | Nashik, Sula Wines, Igatpuri and Bhandardara

Travel 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 checkin 
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. 


Photos of Bhandardara

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! 

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 stomping and 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 silence. 

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 Mumbai 
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! 



 

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