Sulagna Ghosh and Anumita Ghosh, both 31 years old, are friends since their kindergarten days, dating back to more than a quarter-century. Apart from their last names, they share their passion for collecting new locations – Sulagna through her camera lens, Anumita through her words.
They make great travel buds; for they are united by the love of clean bathrooms, varied cuisines and great massages (yup, the two collect spa memories)!
The girls had traveled together multiple times, in the company of their families and friends. But, the idea of getting away from the humdrum of their busy lives, to celebrate the memories of a beautiful friendship had been brewing in their hearts for a while. So, when the husbands co-operated (Anumita’s had to sign up for solo baby care), there was no looking back.
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Travel bytes from the girls
Destination: Lonavla, Maharashtra
Trip Expenses: ₹₹₹
Hotel: The Machan
Transportation: Private Car booked through Savaari.com from and to Mumbai Airport
Recommended experiences: Trekking to the Tungi Fort, Ankle dipping at Pavana Lake, Sunset at Lion’s Point, Shopping at Maganlal’s Chikki Center, Staying at The Machan
What preparations were completed before the trip?
The two decided on a property and booked a room. They booked their respective flights from Kolkata and Bangalore to Mumbai. They also pre-booked a car for the three days entirely through Savaari.com, a choice that they found to be extremely satisfactory. The trip proved to be moderately expensive, costing each of them close to ten grand a night.
Let’s talk about the destination: Lonavla
The Western Ghats was the perfect choice for the two – scenic, easily accessible and traversable in the three-day slot that they could manage.
Lonavala was chosen for the property in question, The Machan, a unique tree-house resort in the hills beyond Pune.
The girls had, mistakenly, assumed rain in the Ghats in May. The Ghats have an interesting bi-polar persona – they are lush and youthful in the rains and grave and somber in summers.
Also Read: Why you must be in Munnar in Monsoon 2018!
The earth brown visuals of the Western Ghats, though different from the lush green scenery of heavy monsoons, did not disappoint the girls in their majestic energy.
Sulagna opined that the play of depths and heights, shade and light reminded her of the celebrated Grand Canyons.
Haven of Disconnection
The heat of Mumbai made the girls dizzy as they boarded their cab from the airport towards the hills, in hopes of better weather. It took them a couple and a half hours of driving to reach Lonavala town, a small but chic town, filled to the brim with eateries and nightclubs. The town center stood out as the host of the original Maganlal Chikki Center – a place they earmarked mentally for a shopping stop. The Machan happened to be another twenty kilometers away from the town, deeper into the jungles of the ghats. The entrance and the reception area was minimalist, in a gorgeous way.
The resort was self-sustaining with renewable resources, a balm to the guilt-ridden, consumerist, urban souls.
The benevolent driver was weirded out by the over-simplicity and suggested that they reconsider their stay. Oh, and there was no connectivity to the outer world with the exception of a weak signal at the reception itself to make those perfunctory, well-being calls to the family. So, imagine an assortment of tree-house, speckled on the vales and slopes of the greenish-brown Ghats, covered with the ceiling of twinkling multitudes and cut off from the busy world, literally and metaphorically – slightly scary and absolutely divine. The girls spent the first evening exploring the resort, its beautiful tree-houses and the breathtaking sunset from their luxury room atop a tree.
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