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Posts Tagged ‘One day outing’

Ananda ValleyI visited ‘Ananda Valley’ with my colleagues last saturday. It was a more of a team building activity than a picnic. We gathered near our office and started at 8:30 AM.

Best thing I like about Pune is – as you drive few kilometers away from city immediately the scene changes, you can breathe fresh air and enjoy nature. It was bit of cold and pleasant atmosphere in the morning. On the way, we enjoyed some garama-garam pattice which I got from Hindustan bakery.

To reach Ananda Valley:

  1. Take Pune-Nasik Highway, Cross toll entry (take return toll of Rs. 31.50/-) at Moshi.
  2. Drive till toll exit.
  3. After Exit look for 2 petrol pumps (BP, HP) on the left side.
  4. Take left after the 2nd petrol pump take the road that goes to Kadus village. You will leave the highway at this point.
  5. Drive more 10 kms to reach Kadus village.
  6. Ask for Dr. Kataria’s Farm i.e. Ananda Valley. After 1 km, look for sign on your right.
  7. Total distance is approx. 50-55 kms from Pune on Nasik Highway(NH-50).

We reached there at around 10 AM. Our booking was already confirmed and the concerned person explained us the details about the activities of the day. There were many other groups from different IT companies. We had breakfast which consisted of Pohe, Upma, Kokam Sharbat, tea, coffee and farm-fresh bananas.

Eco TourOur guide then took us for an Eco-tour. We followed him as he took us to different spots. We clicked some snaps in the garden on the way. We traveled from one direction to another and finally came at a hill. We climbed up and panorama from here was amazing. We could see lake and some greenery of the fields from the hill-top. Then we descended down to climb another mountain. This is a good trek. I found a pair of vulture hovering over us in the sky. They were at great altitude and capturing them in camera was O-O-Q (out of question). 😦

By the time we returned, it was lunch time and we were hungry. We enjoyed delicious Maharashtrian Thali (with Jowar Bhakri, Pithale, thecha and all that stuff). Then we took some rest.

In the afternoon, we enjoyed a bullock-cart ride and also some tatoos and mehendis. We played few games of carom and Fuss ball. Magic show was on but we took no interest in it. It seemed very boring and we just ignored it.

We didn’t indulge ourselves in any kind of actual team building-like tasks or games like other groups; the only reason was our group itself was small and other reason was, we just wish to relax. But we interacted more among ourselves. At end of the day, I felt I knew my colleagues more than yesterday and that was what it mattered for us.

AV is better option for corporate picnics than a family outing. They now have accommodation facility for overnight stay for families. I still feel rainy season will be better to visit as it will be green. This is certainly NOT the place for bird watching and photography.

+ points: Nature, Food, Hill climbing, team building activities.
– points: Less activities in the afternoon, no boating.

We came back in the evening. Ours was different kind of team building outing. 🙂

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It was 3:30 pm on Sunday and I was doing nothing at home. It was instant plan to go to Ramdara. My friend confirmed by SMS and at 4 pm we started for Ramdara. As we drove, we noticed that there was sudden change in climate. The sky turned very cloudy at once and signs of rain were pretty much clear.

We reached Ramdara after an hour of bumpy rides. Not entire road was in bad condition. There were few scenic views too. There was a patch which is covered by Pearl millet (Bajra) fields on both sides of the road and it looked amazing. Fortunately there was no rain till then. There is huge parking area near the temple. As soon as started towards Ramdara temple, some birds caught our attention. We headed to the opposite side of lake to catch some birds. I tried to capture Iora bird. My friend went and spotted Baya weavers and their nests. These small yellow beautiful creatures were busy building their nests; few were engaged in feeding their young-ones. We sat there watching and clicking them. It is always immense joy to watch birds and observe their behavior. After some time, the rain drops alarmed us and we packed our cameras back in our sacks. There were light showers.

We went inside the temple. Ramdara has beautiful temple surrounded by small lake and coconut trees. The temple has beautiful idols of Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman along with other sculptures of different deities in hindu religion. The nandi in the temple is worth a dekko. There is also hermitage of Dhundi baba near the main temple.

How to reach:

  1. Start from Swargate and take Solapur highway.
  2. Cross Hadapsar, Manjri etc. Travel straight till you reach “Loni Kalbhor” Toll plaza.
  3. As soon as you cross Toll plaza, you will have to cross a bridge.
  4. After crossing this bridge, you will see a fade “Ramdara” sign board on left hand side showing to turn to right side. Take immediate right turn to go to Loni kalbhor village.
  5. After distance of 2 mins drive, we will get a small chowk. Take again right turn from there. (You may ask local people)
  6. Now enjoy some bumpy ride to Ramdara temple. It is 7 kms distance from here.

The environment in Ramdara is pleasant. We can enjoy a good one day outing here. You can visit this place throughout the year.

For One-day outing – Start in morning and reach by 9:00 am so that you can also see some birds. Carry our food and water bottles and mattresses. You can enjoy playing games, etc under dense tree shades. I guess there are rest rooms also at the back side of temple. You can return by afternoon or evening.

PS: You can enjoy guavas here sold by local people from their guava gardens.

For Bird-watchers – Start for Ramdara early morning and reach there by 6:00 am.
Birds you can see – Sunbirds, Baya weavers, Red wattled lapwings, Drongos, Small bee-eaters, Ioras, Mynas, Bulbuls, and Doves.
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