After traveling from Jodhpur to Jaipur via car and then boarded our plane to Pune, i.e., Air Asia, an International Airline. What was different about Air Asia? There were posters of superstar Rajnikanth all over it for the promotion of his latest film, Kabali. Quite a sight, I must say. The new era of marketing and promotion is here!
I took several pictures from the window seat that I luckily had. The sky changed in every few minutes. Here are some of the shots I managed to capture of the wonderful view:
Moving on, we reached Pune in an hour and a half. We hired a car for the rest of our travels, an Innova, and I slept quite comfortably in the backseat while my mother, elder brother and younger sister all sat, chatting on the middle seat and my father, with the driver on the front seat. It took us a lot longer than usual to reach Sangli because of the constant downpour. We all went to sleep as soon as we reached our destination and changed into comfortable clothes.
The next day was packed. We had to attend the wedding functions and they were wonderful. My mother has some truly lovely friends. Those ladies were so affectionate towards my mother and welcomed us so heartily even when they were busy.
The wedding reception was amazing. It was monsoon themed. The stage backdrop was potted plants with a mechanism that looks like it was raining because I could see the water running. The ceiling was decorated with 400 upturned umbrellas and the lighting kept changing to blue and pink and the music, Ah, the music. My favorite part. There was a band playing the beautiful Bollywood compositions back to back and the piano! The grand white piano. I just couldn’t take my eyes off it. I’ll share the video of the same on my Instagram soon.
|Apparently, my brother doesn’t like being captured.|
The best part though wasn’t the decoration, but the fact that the food items were restricted to 16 in total. Less in number, but amazing in taste and quality. Indian weddings are known for their pomp and show, their extravagance, but this one, this wedding in Sangli was the first one to keep the number of delicacies served to 16 which goes easily up to 80-100 in any big fat Indian wedding. Times are changing and so will the society, one wedding at a time.
Now, while in Sangli, we had the afternoon to ourselves so we visited the two popular Ganesha Temples situated there. The weather was amazing, a slight drizzle, enjoyable and the greenery. Sangli is, by far, the greenest city I’ve visited. The population is less, the weather is wonderful, greenery everywhere and more importantly, the people are kind and affable. A gem of a town, I must say. One of the pictures that I took:
|An unedited wonder, is it not?|
Some beautiful captures from my elder brother, Raghav, who loves capturing the world in his own unique way:
Leaving Sangli, we headed to Mahabaleshwar, a popular hill station, via car, but the rain was heavy, it took away half of the day. We visited a few beautiful tourist points over there, including a famous temple that has a Shivling in the shape of a Rudraksha that emerged out of the ground itself and there are five holes in the Rudraksha that depict the five rivers that emerged the same time when the Shivling appeared. It is also said that the water in those holes comes from these rivers and never empties or dries. I saw that Shivling, but it is fairly easy to conjure up a false but exciting tale. Here’s a picture of the aisle just outside the gate of the temple taken, of course, by none other than my brother:
We ate at Mapro, an amazing restaurant in Panchgani, swarming with people. Here a picture of the wishing well:
The heavy downpour made it impossible to explore Mahabaleshwar any further, so last minute changes in the plan and we headed, in the evening, to our next destination, Alibaug, a coastal town. We reached Alibaug in the dead of the night and settled at the first hotel we saw as the plan had changed midway and it turned out to be cozy. We were snug as a bug in a rug!
We checked out from the hotel in the morning to visit the Alibaug Beach. It was clean, no crazy crowd, vast and the weather was amazing. Cool winds blowing, but not too hard. We had loads of fun over there and my brother took this amazing picture:
We rode a carriage that took us to the far end of the beach and back. We left when the first shower hit. Now this was supposed to be our day in Lonavala, so we headed there right after lunch. On the way, we saw various scenic miracles and took several pictures.
The rain made it impossible for us to head straight for Lonavala. The way was blocked when we were just 2 kilometers away from entering Lonavala and we had to take a detour which resulted in the loss of an hour. Now the hotel that we were supposed to go to was situated in such a place that after reaching almost as close as we were to Lonavala when trouble came that the way was closed for tourists because of only God knows what. The rain was the root cause, of course. Now we took a detour to our second option and headed to Hotel Lonavala and in the way came the first and India’s only wax museum. Art has so many forms, and not one fails to bewitch me. I created a video compilation of a few statues which you can watch on my Instagram.
Now, Lonavala would have been a lot more fun if we hadn’t got stuck in traffic on its narrow roads and top it off by the heavy downpour. So as we retired in the evening to our cozy rooms after a long walk, a little Chikki (Famous sweets) shopping and eating to our fill, we dozed off instantly.
Until next time,