One great thing about Pune is the fact that their are so many good places not far from the city. In fact there are as many or more places to visit near pune as weekends in a year. So on every weekend you can plan a trip with your friends and visit some of the beautiful places near Pune.
Two of such places are Khadakwasla Dam and Panshet Dam which me and my friends covered lately.
Me and 5 of my friends decided to visit Panshet dam last weekend. Since khadakwasla dam is on the way to panshet dam we thought of covering that as well. We had 2 cars. I own an I10 and my friend had a Maruti Esteem. I was the one who had to leave the earliest since I stay in Kalyani Nagar. So I got up at around 9 am(pretty early by my standard), got ready, had some breakfast and left in my I10. I picked 3 of my colleagues from Kharadi and Magarpatta and went on to reach Swargate where my friend with Maruti Esteem was waiting for us.
We waited there for some time and our last friend joined us by 10 am. We bought some snacks and water and were ready for the awesome drive. We left swargate at 10 15 am and drove through the city. The drive within the city was OK because of the traffic. The weather had become great as it had rained for about 30 mins. After swargate we drove for 50 more minutes and we reached khadakwasla dam.
I wont say that it is one of the most beautiful spots near pune but it sure deserves a stop on the way to Panshet dam. We stopped there for a while and enjoyed the bright waters blocked by the dam. Since the water level was high, people weren’t allowed to get down into water.
If that would have been the case it would have been a splendid spot to have some fun in water. There were also some ladies selling sweet corn or bhutta but they weren’t good since they had to prepare them at their respective homes and then bring it to the dam. So by the time they reached the place they weren’t as hot as we would have liked. Although I couldn’t resist trying one 🙂 .
There was a huge amount of rush being a Saturday. Lot of people had come down on their bikes and cars and getting a parking spot was a daunting task in itself. There were a lot of policemen as well which was a good sign since it is a accident prone zone.
People while playing in the waters get into trouble every now and then. But I guess on that day the cops were to make sure that no one gets down in the waters. One sad part about the khadakwasla dam was that there was garbage littered everywhere. People were throwing empty packets, food left overs and other stuff anywhere. If people can avoid that, khadakwasla dam could be a lot neater place. After spending close to 20 mins at the dam we decided to move on.
We drove for 20 more minutes after khadakwasla dam when we decided to stop one more time to have some nice cup of tea( its more like office habbit). There was a nice tea stall which was service tea and bhajiyas as well. Although we didn’t try to dwell into bhajiyas and decided to save it for later. After about 15 mins break we started again and this time the drive was awesome. Since we were out of the city traffic had become negligible and there was lush green slopes on one side of the road and valley on the other side. The weather had already become great and the car was cruising on the nice road. It was one of the awesomest drive I had in recent times.
Combination of beautiful scenery, good roads, great music, power steering and friends can work wonder! And it sure did! One our way to panshet dam we saw one small resort as well and thought of checking it some other time. After 30 minutes of pure driving delight we were really close to panshet dam and that was when the roads started deteriorating.
So the awesome drive experience turned into heavy concentration driving experience since I had to make sure to avoid the potholes which were more like gift from our government for choosing them. After 15 minutes of avoiding potholes we reached panshet dam. Panshet dam was much more beautiful than Khadakwasla dam. It had negligible crowd and was way more greener than Khadakwasla dam. After enjoying the greenery and clicking few facebook profile pics we were all set to enjoy the water sports which is the best part of Panshet Dam. There are many boating clubs but not all are good. The one at the top is the best among all.
We made a mistake and went for the first one which came on our way to the top. That boat club had two speed boat, one slow boat and a jet ski(very old). Since we were 6 and there was not enough space in the steamer we decided to split in sets of 3 each and go one by one. The ride on the steamer was pretty good. They say they cover close to 2 kms by I doubt it since the time you are in the water is less than 10 mins. However they are really good 10 mins. The wind gushes through your face. The steamer bumps on the waters whenever it hits a wave and it is little bit of adrenaline rush. Next to the boating club was another bhajiya guy and this time we gorged onto them along with adrak tea. We realized there wasn’t anything else to do at that boating club so we decided to move up the road.
On our way up there was another boating club and it was much bigger, better and more crowded. There were also many options other than just normal boating. They had kayaking, surfing( desi style), jet ski and the normal boat. The surfing was pretty interesting. The surf board is tied to a steamer through a rope and you have to balance on that board. If you ask them to put you into water after the ride the steamer will make a sharp turn and it will be impossible for you to balance on that board. We did surfing as well as kayaking. Kayaking was awesome as well. You can have it for more than 30 mins. Its great to float on the water and drift along with the waves.
Although oaring is little stressful on the hand but its great fun to hit each other and try to balance the kayak. We first did surfing and then kayaking. After we were done with kayaking we were already wet since the water does come in the kayak from the oars. So we thought why not get into water completely which we finally did. We had the life jacket tied to us so it wasn’t scary at all. Had it not been for the guard there we wouldn’t have come out of water for another half an hour. Our shirts and jeans were all drenched and we were literally shivering from cold which called for another round of tea and bhajiyas.
The tea stall next to the boating club had excellent tea and bhajiyas. It was an awesome feeling to have tea next to the lake with all your clothes drenched in water. Since we didnt have extra pair of clothes it meant we had to drive all the way back wearing the same clothes. On our way back it had become dark so we had to concentrate little more while driving but still it was a wonderful drive till khadakwasla dam. One of our friend had his birthday that day so we all went to our homes, got dressed and met for a sumptuous dinner at the curve in ABC farms. After a tiring day all we needed was couple of pints of beer and a lovely meal. That was one perfect fun filled day with friends in recent times. I will be uploading some pics shortly.