Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hill Station-ed

"It's only work if somebody makes you do it" ~ Calvin.

I agree! But sometimes when someone makes you do something, it turns out to be refreshingly... well... refreshing! Something similar happened to me one week in October. We had a representative from reputed US Automobile major visiting us in that week. The major agenda included showcasing our capabilities in the Automotive space. A regular in any of our regular client visits. However there was a twist in this tale. The agenda this time around included taking the client to a hydro power generating station en route to Mumbai. The site zeroed in was Tata Power dam at Walwan, Lonavala.

Now to anyone who is from in and around Maharashta knows of Lonavla. Known more for its
Chikki and Bhushi dam than anything else. Ideal weekend getaway for all Mumbaikars and Punekars. Not really for its power generation capabilities.

My job in this visit was like that of a foot soldier in an army of the middle ages . It invloved going to the site of the battle (so to speak) in advance and analysing the situation to ensure smooth passage once the real army (so to speak) arrives. Interesting eh?

Nevertheless, after significant arguments with my co-creators (read Father and Mother), i decided to set off to Lonavala on my trusted steed.. My 5 years young, Flame red, Pulsar 150. Now Ive always loved road trips on 2 wheels (haven't had many to speak of though). So i packed in my Sony Cybershot in my bag, switched on some music and headed out.

The old Pune-Mumbai highway, till a few years ago, used to be a single lane, slow poke of a road which articulated graphically the "progress" India had made in road infrastructure. However, this time round, I was pleasantly surprised to find the road converted into a two lane (each way), even spread of concrete. The fact that i went in October also made for the entire ride to be very picturesque.

On the way. i stopped to shoot the lovely waters of the Indrayani river and also some egrets having a mid morning snack in the placid river waters.

After reaching Lonavala, I headed to Fariyas hotel for some work. After having a particularly expensive potion of noodles there, I headed off to the Tata Power dam (Walwan dam) for the piece-de-resistance of this trip. The backwaters of the dam were SPECTACULAR! I had gone to the directors bunglow and the view from the patio there was simply breathtaking. I was in a good mood to settle down on a deck chair and take a nap. Sadly, photography is not permitted there and i couldnt capture some quick shots.

Walwan dam has been closed to public citing security concerns since the 26/11 atacks on the Taj. However, since i was from a group company and spoke nicely to the caretaker there, i was let in without too much of a fuss. Another little cheap thrill for me. To boldly go where no non-Tata mortal is allowed to go.

Once i was done dealing witht he people at the Walwan, i set off for some photo ops to the hills behind INS Shivajji on he way to Aamby Valley. The climb upto Aamby valley and the scenery around there is something anyone who loves nature must experience once their limetimes atleast. It somehow tends to bring the calm back into your stressed bodies even though you are hundreds and thousands of feet above the inhabited valley below.

I manged to click some interesting sights while i was there along with testing the self timer on my Sony to the fullest [:-D]. Talk about Narcissism!

On my way home i came across a HUGE statue of Ganpati bappa on Dehu road. Which really made me spontaneously cry out.."GOD Almighty!"..[:-)]

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