Why a visit to Phaltan will leave you spellbound
Being urban dwellers, we tend to plan trips to the most popular tourist locations across the country and abroad. My recent trip to Phaltan, a small town in rural Maharashtra, had some unique and unusual experiences included in the itinerary- some things which probably we would enjoy a lot, but never really think about experiencing. These were the experiences in the itinerary that made me accept the invitation to go and stay in a hotel in the middle of acres of barren land. The trip had been planned by Jakson Inns (Read: Weekend Stay at Jakson Inns, Phaltan) in support of promoting rural tourism, and I must say I was impressed.
|The skies opened and it poured that evening. Photo location: Agricultural Development Trust, Baramati|
Breakfast by a river
‘I think they are going to serve some authentic local food at the farm’, said my co-blogger.
‘It’s breakfast at a farm, so obviously they are going to have some local food and sugarcane juice.’
What we were to discover was something absolutely unexpected and surprising.
As we walked over the farm, crossing tomato, sugarcane and coriander plantations, our eyes meandered over to the white canopy that emerged on the river side. Wow! A proper English setup for a breakfast by a river, complete with a live kitchen and donuts!
The temperature was well above 40 degrees, but the shade of the canopy and the river flowing just a few metres away, didn’t make us realise the heat even for a moment.
|That's an impressed set of bloggers having breakfast by the river; Phaltan|
|Donuts? Like wow!|
Riding a tractor and having sugarcane in a farm
We got on a tractor and made our way back towards the main road where our cars were parked. Yes it was a bumpy but fun ride. We stopped next to a sugarcane farm. Acres and acres of sugarcane was planted and the farmer got us some freshly plucked sugarcane to eat.
I was in no mood to let go of this opportunity after so many years. I got hold of a sugarcane and shelled it. It wasn’t very sweet (They are still not fully grown, the farmer told us) but it felt amazing to be in a farm and biting in to fresh sugarcane. Not an experience we get to have in the urban lives.
|Having sugarcane like this after many many years|
Sunset under Windmills
This was the part of the trip that I was looking forward to most. In fact it turned out to be the best memory of the whole weekend. I have seen a lot of windmill farms across India- on the way to Kanyakumari, on the Jodhpur-Jaisalmer highway. They were always seen from a distance rotating slowly in the wind.
Late in the afternoon, we were headed to the Pusegaon windmill farm, about 50 kms from Jakson Inns, Phaltan. We could see the windmills almost through the entire journey, on top of the faraway hills. What we were to experience next, wasn’t expected at all.
We got down from the car and were greeted with fierce winds and a rhythmic ‘swoosh’ sound every few seconds. We looked up and the sight of a grand 80 metre tall wind mill greeted us, with its 50 m long blades cutting through the air. I had never imagined that these windmills I have seen so many times from a distance at so many places, are actually so huge!
We spent a lot of time clicking pictures of the windmills in the backdrop of the setting sun. I was able to capture a wonderful timelapse video of the sunset as well.
What added flare to the moment was the setup that the Jakson Inns team had done for us. Imagine sitting right under a huge windmill on cushions and sipping red wine with cheese sandwiches and watching the sun slowly go down below the hills in the distance. Not an experience to be missed.
|Sunset at the Windmill Farms in Pusegaon, Maharashtra, 50 kms from Phaltan|
|Just look at the size of the windmills! Pusegaon, Maharashtra|
|What do you think those are? Yes, the blades of the windmills! Pusegaon, Maharashtra|
— Antarik Anwesan (@antarik) June 25, 2016
Other must-do experiences in and around Phaltan include a visit to the Nimbalkar's Rajwada Palace which is not open for public viewing. The palace has been used as a popular film shooting location and a tour gives a close-view to the lives of the royal family, unlike palaces open for public viewing across India. One can request the amazing team of Jakson Inns to arrange for any of these visits. (Read: The 'Wow' Hospitality at Jakson Inns, Phaltan)
|One of the meeting halls at Phaltan Rajwada|
Jakson Inns, Phaltan invited me for a weekend stay. Opinions on the blog, as always, are mine.