Thursday, July 5, 2018

Tapola - the stress buster.

If the monsoons in the city (Mumbai-300kms away)/Pune-150kms away) are getting on your nerves with all the flooding, building crashes, road accidents, road cave-ins and tree falls, don’t despair. Just hop on to your favourite mode of transport and get up to Mahabaleshwar and then down to Tapola to enjoy the true beauty of nature in the rains. There are plenty of agro tourism homestays out there that will help you unwind and awaken the poet, romantic, playwright, storyteller or maybe assist you to meditate, introspect and commune with nature in all its glory.
Last weekend we, a group of friends, drove down to Tapola and had the time of our lives. We stayed

agro tourism homestay

in a River view Agro Tourism homestay and could view the gently flowing Koyna river rippling with raindrops and then calming down, and it had a muddy look to show how much of fun it had rolling 

koyna river

down the hills.
One afternoon we requested the homestay to get us fish from the river for lunch. They obliged and fried and curried the fish. It was very tasty and as fresh as it can be.

fish kolas homestay koyna river

If you want to go boating or kayaking or just plain cruising on the river, there is a boat club which conducts all these activities for a reasonable cost in downtown Tapola. After that if you wish you can spend some time sipping a beer or two in the local bar for local flavour. You will be pleased with all the creature comforts and consider yourself blessed if you don’t have a BSNL mobile connection as that is the only one that works in Tapola. And if the need arises to make an urgent telephone call, the locals are very helpful and lend you their mobile phone to assist you make that important call.
But of course, unless you plan to stay there and write a book or a screenplay or maybe have your easel and paints with you, after a couple of nights you want to get back to the urban buzz.
On the return, near Panchgani, there is this beautiful one street village Bhilar where almost all the 

library house

houses lining the street are libraries and each house specialises in a specific category of books like History, Science, Politics, Fiction, autobiographies and the like. But all the books are in Marathi and anyone can drop in and browse/read to their hearts’ content. Most of these house have some beautiful

library house murals

murals on their walls too. Hence painting and reading seems to be the mainstay in Bhilar. We visited

library browsing

the house that had fiction and browsed around on our return to Mumbai.
And of course don’t miss visiting MAPRO garden which has a great variety of crushes, juices, jams and the like to carry sweet memories home.
If you are a foodie the ‘Jai Bhavani’ restaurant in Katraj is a must visit for its yummy delicious

jai bhavani restaurant

 mutton and Jowar Bhakri, a typical Maharashtrian meal followed by solkadi as a digestive. After this

restaurant mutton bhakri

 meal just ensure you don’t drive/ride immediately as it does tend to make you drowsy with satiation.