Mahabaleshwar for the Independent Traveler!

Hey y’all! What’s up?

It’s Independence day for us here, and I’m absolutely thrilled for the long weekend that awaits me! Lots of curling up in blanket and reading – sigh – that’s the good life!

But not the only way at a good life, there’s a better way – Travel. So on this Independence day, I urge you, to just take off. There are lots of places to go visit in the monsoon, but Mahabaleshwar would have to be my numero uno choice for this weather. Bonus points if you go by yourself.

I’ve written about my family outing to Mahabaleshwar, and awesome as it was, I did find myself wishing I’d been there all by myself on more than one occasion.. don’t get me wrong, I had a blast, but I also become something of a hermit sometimes, and that’s when I need to be left alone with my thoughts.

So here’s what I’d do had I been there by myself –

If this is the view I wake up to, and sleep to every night, I swear I'd never go home.
If this is the view I wake up to, and sleep to every night, I swear I’d never go home.

#1 Live with a Local 
The experience of living with a local, can seem like a scary thought, but not if you’ve run a background check and booked through a responsible company. I’ve seen quite a few online, and by far, Room n House resonates with my sensibilities to a great extent. Which is incidentally why, I mention it so often in my posts. In fact while I was looking for accommodation options, I came across this wonderful listing (for anybody whose interested 😛 ) – so there’s that.

One of the early entrances to the Pratapgarh Fort

#2 I’d check out all the forts without the guide
No offense to the guys who earn their daily wages by memorising a history book, and regurgitating the same knowledge for a hiked fee. It’s just that I don’t understand the concept of paying someone to talk about something, when I can read about it myself! Besides, it’d be a whole lot better if people were to scale forts, and know about stuff by themselves you know, history is best discovered, not guided.

And then there are books, that you can trust. Always, always trust books! 😀

These are the slightly larger boats some of which run on a motorized engine.. super noisy. ugh.

#3 Go Boating in Lake Venna
There’s just something about the sounds of the oars disrupting a tranquil water body , without the hum of humans mumbling away in the distance.. really. If there’s a place to achieve happiness, and peace, it would be on a lake in a boat, by yourself. The last time I went there with family, I almost wished I hadn’t.

#4 Visit the Mini Kashmir (Tapola) and Panchgani
The family decided to give this one (among many other places) a miss while we vacationed there, so the curiosity that has built up over time has only strengthened my resolve to check it out. I’ve seen a fair bit of the touristy places in Mahabaleshwar, and I’ve really enjoyed them, but the traveler in me remains majorly dissatisfied. So going on to the off beaten path is high on my to do list, but, not without keeping the family in the loop. It’s just scary to be lost and have no one know where you are.

Panchgani, Old Mahabaleshwar, is said to be the origin of the Krishna River among others, and if there’s anything that calls for a moment of awe, is to see where a mighty river begins. It’s like witnessing the birth of a legend.

#5  Shop at the local bazaar 
From my all time favourites Kolhapuri Chappals, to unconventional jholas, the local bazaars have it all and have it good! Whoever says, “you can have enough wooden utensils for the kitchen”, has never been to a Mahabaleshwar bazaar.

And with that, I can only suggest that you visit.

It’s Independence day, so choose Freedom, Travel Alone! 😉

Until Next Time,

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