If you know a Bengali, most of them would vouch for the fact that they look forward to Durga Pujo every year. As we keep on harping, it is not entirely a religious occasion, but more of a cultural festival. In Bengal, people from every religion can visit the Durga Puja pandals and soak into the throbbing and gay ambience of the festival. There is food, adda, friends, family, cute love affairs that may or may not last long, and the sense of oneness with a huge crowd of people milling towards an inimitable goddess. Considering the promise of such fun and felicity, most of us feel awful when we can’t be at home for pujo.
I have been away from Calcutta for the last fourteen years. There have been multiple instances of a no-show during pujo and it has gradually become a norm that we spend this time elsewhere. I think our parents have accepted this by now and they wait for us to be back during longer holidays in Christmas. While they attend the Durga pujo closer to home, we have devised a better way to keep ourselves occupied. If we can’t be with our loved ones during pujo, then it’s better to go on a road trip!
“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” – Babs Hoffman
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored/paid review. Visit to this property was purely personal.
I’ve been on a few holidays recently and mostly appreciated the lovely hotels I’ve stayed at. In fact, hotels serve an important tool for comfort and rest during a holiday. Me and M (my better half) have always been those kind of travellers who would get off the hotel post breakfast each day and come back only for showers and a good night’s sleep. While we were young travellers, a hotel was never meant for poolside reading or leisurely afternoons watching random foreign channels on television. We treated hotels as merely a shelter with a good washroom and an air conditioner. This time, a resort treated us well and I felt the need to start sharing my views of both luxury and budget hotels. The first one goes on to be Mystica Resort in Khandala, Maharashtra. The long weekend of Independence Day called for a mini holiday to Lonavala/Khandala, where we hadn’t been yet. So, we packed a mini bag and started off our journey from Pune to Lonavala.
The distance from Pune to Lonavala is 50 km and from Mumbai it’s around 100 km. If you’re visiting Lonavala/Khandala from any other city, you can hop off to Pune/Mumbai and use the easiest route via Yashvantrao Chavan Expressway. There are petrol pumps, washrooms and food courts on the expressway around 1 km before the Lonavala exit. Once you take the exit, you will enter the sleepy little hilly twin township of Lonavala and Khandala. The main town/bazaar road is around 3 km from the expressway and you have to turn left and traverse a narrow road for 1 km to Mystica Resort. The road leading from Lonavala town to the resort is narrow but not damaged.
Address:Survey No 133/134, Old Khandala Road | Nagpal Society, Opp Tata Prive, Khandala, Lonavala – 410401, Maharashtra, India