A second home, amongst forests, with eye-catching scenic views of the Sahyadri mountain ranges, and that too just one and half hour drive from Pune! Yes Girivan is the place. Truly it is a home away from home. It is a home away from traffic and lights, yet with all basic facilities. It is just a perfect place.
At a height of 400 feet above Lonavla, this awesome place is situated. It is located at western Pune, you need to go through Chandani Chowk then Pirangut towards Paud village. At the Paud village bus stand, you need to take a right turn and just keep going straight following the road. Keep your Google map on for your help. You will see a board on the left hand side saying Girivan (Hotle, Dongargao) Take a left turn there and start climbing the mountain through twisting roads.
You will start feeling the chill in the air as you drive upwards. There are well posted security checks at frequent intervals, just to ensure the safety and security of the guests and to make sure it is not used by tress passers.
We started our journey at around 5 in the evening, so by the time we reached there, it was pretty dark. I would recommend you to start early morning may be around 7 or 8 so as to appreciate the scenic views which you see on the way and you get to spend the entire day in the lap of nature. You can take plenty of photographs and enjoy the journey as well.
We visit this place at least once every year and still it has maintained its charm and keeps us pulling towards it.
By the time we reached there, it was almost 7PM. we completed our check in formalities and went straight to the Bunglow called Shreeban which we always take on rent when we are at Girivan. At Girivan, people have built up their own bunglows and give it on rent to the tourists. We have some strange connection to this Shreeban bunglow. We enjoy the dawn here sitting in the balcony. This is the main attraction for us at Girivan.
Main advantage of this bunglow it is close to the reception, the dining area and the play area. So if you have senior citizens with you who can’t walk much or small kids, this one would be the best option.
After getting refreshed at Shreeban and surfing through few TV channels for 10,15 minutes we went to the dinning place (yeah even at Girivan we were surfing the TV as we had switched off our cable connection few months ago, kids got a good opportunity to explore it. ) The Dinner was delicious except the excessively oily pakodas. All other food items were mouth watering. We were served a full course meal of starters (Veg Manchurian), Soup, roti with two vegetables, dal, rice, papad and Gulabjam plus one non-veg gravy dish.
The dinner was too heavy and with full stomach it felt as if our brain also wants us to go to sleep earlier and concentrate on the digestion of the heavy food we ate.
We got up very early as we wanted to catch each and every moment just before dawn and the fresh morning. We placed our chairs in the balcony and sat quietly waiting for the nature show to start. The near-by tree had become bare though it had rained very heavily this year. Few years ago we had spotted a rare owl on this tree. What could be a possible cause, we kept on wondering.
We sat observing the subtle start of the dawn and the black coat of darkness was getting unwrapped, revealing a bluish orange colour beneath. Cool morning breeze was keeping our minds fresh. We enjoyed the rustling of nearby trees and the sound of waterfall while sipping our morning tea.
Though we were on a holiday the other participants of the show had their part to play. Ants had started collecting their food, bees had started buzzing and as the sun was rising slowly in the east different birds of different types were travelling and tweeting from different trees. As the whole ambiance was getting warmer and cosier, more characters started appearing on the scene including crabs, chameleons, frogs and different types of birds.
After enjoying the calmness and relaxation of almost 2 hours we went to the restaurant and had a sumptuous breakfast of Juice, Upma, Aloo Paratha, Curd, Bread Jam, Butter and Tea. The kids were more interested in playing than in breakfast unlike adults. They rushed to the play area and enjoyed themselves for some time. There is a big trampoline, few swings and slides. In front of the play area, there is a big play area for outdoor games.
We can rent many sports amenities like basketballs, cricket kits, frisbees, cycles at just Rs.200 deposit. They have put nets and created rectangle box like structures where we can play cricket. We enjoyed cycling for some time. We played Basketball and cricket. It was happy tanning activity for the entire family as we were least bothered about tanning and enjoyed the play more than kids.
We enjoy the nature trails here. There are many known, unknown pathways. Just take a stroll around those paths.
Nature had appeared at many places in many forms and different colours. You can hear the continuous drumming of the waterfalls, flowers of various colours, shapes and smell. Different butterflies were making the nature sketch more colourful. Currently at few places new bunglow construction is going on. It was surprising to see the flowers blooming in the middle of the road in crushed stones. The rawness of the forest flowers was so appealing that we kept on going forward for quite a long time.
Near the main restaurant and the office there are other attractions like a small botanical area, rabbits, love birds etc. which are kept by the authorities. There they have made small hut like structures where there are cots and chairs to relax. They have made stone pathways to roam here. They have also planted many small plants in pots along the pathways.
There are few other interesting places in the same campus such as Dhepewada, Mount view sports park etc. Do try to visit those if you have ample time with you.
This trip always gives us more oxygen and we always return with more positive attitude.
Located at 40 Kms from Pune takes approx 1.5 hours
Good place for one day picnic, overnight stay, family get together and office trip
The staff is cordial and helpful. Rooms are well maintained and clean.
Food is delicious.
Carry Odomos and mosquito nets with you
Try to reach there at 10am and stay till 10 am on the next day (they have checkin-checkout at 10am
Do not smell the colourful flowers, the more attractive the colour, the more poisonous it could be.