Lavasa, free india's largest hill city is merely within 50 KMs from Pune and located between 2500 - 3000 ft above sea level around the 20km backwaters of the Varasgaon Dam. Though, the entire area is dotted with construction activity today, first phase at Dasve is expected to be complete by 2010 & subsequently, entire project will be ready only by 2021. A very big vision and on such a grand scale!
Lavasa will be a planned hill township located on 25000 acres of land (100 sq KMs), which is as big as Paris city in total area and will house 2,00,000 people (permanent residents) and cater to 20,00,000 tourists annually when complete. It will have everything - Water front apartments, Villas, 5-star hotels, economy hotels, restaurants, educational institutions, post graduate education like - executive MBAs, Hotel Management institutes, Golf course, Clubs, spas, adventure sports, shopping malls, landscaped gardens, watersports and many many more.
Best season to visit is from September to March when there are no rains and backwater is full.
Even though the project is not yet complete, you can experince Lavasa and visit following places on a day trip or as a Weekend gateway with overnight stay -
Scenic Drive to Lavasa in all seasons - Lots of view points enroute
Ekaant Retreat - Resort overlooking the valley and Warasgaon Backwaters
Nature trails, landscaped gardens and adventure sports for kids at Ekaant Retreat
Water front & Promenade - Dont miss the evening here when lights are on
Water sports in Dasve dam - Jet ski, bumber boats, inflatables, paddle, kayak etc.
Lavasa Experience Center - Film show on Lavasa, 3D Film (coming soon), and joy ride to visit the different places in Lavasa on board a Toy Train or a AC Minibus with large windows specially designed for Lavasa by none other than Mr. Dilip Chabria.
Lavasa is just 42Km Off Chandani chowk, Pune. For people coming from Mumbai via NH 4 Bypass road, take Chandani Chowk exit at Kothrud and proceed towards your right to Bavdhan - Ambrosia - Manas Resorts - Pirangut (Mulshi Tamhini Toll Road). At Pirangut, take a left on SH 57 which will take you straight to Lavasa (around 30KMs from here). There are ample signboards at regular intervals so you will not miss the route. Entire road is simply driver's delight and passes through hilly areas, small villages to reach Lavasa. There are two ghat sections, one at Mutha and another before Lavasa. Lavasa ghat is bigger one with few steep hairpin bend curves. During monsoon and winter, this area is covered with thick fog, mist. Hence, you are advised to keep the fog lights or headlights on (remember to switch-off as well). Roads are safe in any season and they are well marked with traffic signs.
There are no Petrol Pumps on this route but there is a Shell, BP & HP petrol pump on Bavdhan-Pirangut road. So make sure that you have enough fuel supply for the return trip through hilly areas.
There are no good hotels / pit stops enroute once you cross Pirangut however, there are few small hotels.
Very recently, MSRTC have started daily minibus services from Swargate to Lavasa and nearby villages like Mugaon, Dasve, Lavarde etc.
Once you reach the Lavasa main gate, there is further 8 KM drive on the internal roads to reach Lavasa waterfront. This road is illuminated with street lights and there are several small gardens, view points enroute.
Tip - You do not need any permission to enter the Lavasa city however typically, bikes are not allowed beyond the main gate due to security and other safety reasons.
There are currently 3 options -
(1) Ekaant Retreat located on a hilltop OR
(2) ITC Welcome group's 4-star hotel "Fortune Select Dasve" Or
(3) Serviced Apartment named "Waterfront Shaw".
(4) Mercure By Accor
This is a must place to visit for couples, for family with kids, for senior citizens, on different occasions like wedding anniversary, birthday, re-union, corporate offsites (limited capacity) or just to rejuvinate yourself over the weekend.
Ekaant is a 20 room hotel set amidst the picturesque Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats, overlooking the back waters of the 20 km long Warasgaon Lake. It is 5 KM from the Lavasa main gate and 3 Km from the waterfront and located on the holtop. All the rooms are well furnished with lavish interiors and has Split AC, mini-bar, CTV, Balcony with Valley view and internet connectivity. Resort have a mini entertainment centre with a few in-door games, like chess, carom, and table –tennis & out-door games like badminton, net cricket or one can simply laze in a hammock strung across the garden overlooking the hill-side.
Vyanjan, the restaurant at Ekaant, allows guests a panoramic view of the rolling hills & winding lake through large glass windows, while savouring a variety of dishes from the buffet laid out by the Chef. Lunch / Dinner buffets have a very lavish spread with soup, appetizers, cut fruits, Salads, non veg (seafood, chicken & mutton all three) & veg delicacies and desserts. They do have seating available on open deck except for the Monsoon season.
Tip - This is the only restaurant in nearby vicinity and they do not serve food on Aa-la-karte basis (except for the weekdays when occupancy is less). So, you will have to go for the buffet at the fixed price or drive down to the waterfront for other options.
For reservations, you can contact -
Ekaant the retreat
Lavasa Corporation Limited
(An HCC Group Company)
Village Dasve, Post Patharshet
Telephone +91 20 66757000
Fax +91 20 66757099
www.lavasa.com -> Visiting Lavasa
Check in @ 2.00 pm & check out time is 12.00 noon.
Tip - Weekends (Friday, Saturday) are always full and you need to book atleast 1-2 months in advance. You might find few rooms available on Sundays or over the weekdays though.
Ekaant Retreat - located on a hilltop with a great view of the valley and backwaters
Reception lobby at the 'Ekaant'
Ekaant Retreat has 20 standard Valley View Rooms and a Restaurant named "Vyanjan"
Rooms are all equipped with split AC, Mini Fridge, internet, 24 hrs Hot Water, balcony / Verandah with valley view and Lavish interiors
Best part at the 'Ekaant Retreat' is a leisure walk on nature trails which will take you up to the hilltop, has lots of gazebos, bridges, machaan, view points on its way. It also has landscaped gardens, butterfly garden, medicinal plants section, waterfalls, waterholes for the animals etc. On the hill top, they have all sorts of adventure sports / play area for the kids made up of natural wood (Wooden hammock, sea saw, burma bridge, etc.)
Nature Trails at Ekaant Retreat & Parking lot
Nature trails are covered with jute carpets to prevent the soil erosion and also improve the retention of water in the soil
Adventure sports, play area for the Kids - All made from natural wood
Machaan, Gazebo, benches, water holes, ponds
View Points. backwater reduces to just a small stream in summer
'Vyanjan' restaurant at Ekaant serves Lunch/Dinner buffet only to its residents. However, if you are a day tripper, you can let them know 1 day in advance.
Other Lunch options available at Lavasa Waterfront are - 'The All American Diner'* at the Waterfront shaw serviced apartments (serves a-la-karte food), Zodiac restaurant at the ITC Fortune Select (4-star), 24 hrs coffee shop, Granma's Homemade Patisserie, Tabakh (Lebanese), Oriental Octopus (South East Asian), Past Times (English pub), Chor Bizarre (North Indian cuisine) , Sub-way, Pizzawala, Brewberry's - Coffee bar and fast food outlet, Natural Ice cream, Baskin & Robins etc.
Quick bytes are also available on the roadside taparis meant for local workers. There are quite a few hotels en route to Lavasa.
*The All American Diner is a theme restaurant chain (also called as 'The Diner' in USA) offering the Great American Meal Experience. Spread over the length and breadth of the United States, each Diner has its own special look and menu which ranges from classic Burgers, Pancakes, Waffles, Malts, Shakes, Omlates / eggs made to order etc.
Temghar Dam (enroute to Lavasa) - This is one of the 4 dams that provides water to the Pune city (khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon & Temghar). The dam is under repair now however when full with water, it is a very beautiful sight.
View Points, Waterfalls (Seasonal) - Entire road passes through the hilly region so there are lots of view points and small waterfalls (seasonal) enroute before you enter Lavasa or on the 8 KM long stretch from the main gate to the promenede.
This view of backwaters is available only when the Warasgaon Dam is full (between August - February)
Lavasa Experience Center - Located on the 4th floor in a Information center building behind Fortune Select hotel. They have an audio-video presentations going on every 1-2 hrs till 6:00 PM in the evening. 3-D film experience about Lavasa is also going to start soon. You can contact the front desk for the Lavasa tour in a minibus with large windows specially designed by Dilip Chabria or in a Toy Train which runs on the road.
Waterfront & Promenade - made out of stone blocks with no vehicle movement and gives you a feel of visiting any european city. They are illuminated in the night which is a worth site to see. American diner restaurant, Apollo Pharmacy shop, Souvenier Shop and a retail shop are located on the waterfront.
Townhall Building & ITC Fortune Select
Waterfront shaw Serviced Apartments & ITC Fortune Select Hotel
Waterfront promenade & stone bridges
Lakeshore Water sports - There are watersports operational in Dasve dam from 10 - 5:30 PM (weather permitting). It is little expensive, but they have all state-of-the-art equipments in good condition like Jet Ski scooters, paddle boats, Kayak, inflatables, Bumber boats (dashing boats in limited area), cruise etc.
For 30 min Paddle boat, it is Rs.100 p.p. where as for Jet ski it is Rs. 500 p.p for 15 minutes ride which is a thrilling experience.
Lakeshore Watersports - Little expensive but worth. They have Jet ski, kayak, Pedal, Bumper boats etc.
Well, there are Studio, 1BHK, 2BHK apartments, Villas etc. available and rate quoted in the month of July'09 month was in the range of Rs. 3000 - 3500 per sq. feet for the house and Rs. 100 per square feet for the land (if buying a Villa). Units are available in the sizes from 500 sq.ft to 3000 sq.ft where as Villas will be constructed on plot size of 1/8 acre to 1/2 acres.
For more details like current rate, availability, loan, floorplans etc., Please visit Lavasa Experience center @ Lavasa City Or their Office in Pune -
Lavasa Corporation Ltd.
Viola Business Centre
D-Building, Survey no -118
Katraj-Dehu bypass road
Near cipla foundation