Travel Blog- Day 2 at Phaltan

Travel Blog- Day 2 at Phaltan
The
following day we received a wake-up call as requested since we were supposed to
start early. But I wanted to enjoy the snuggy morning in bed and with sand
still in my eyes, I called for breakfast in bed. Fit for a king, or queen in my
case, the breakfast spread was heavenly. Pancakes, waffles, fruits, poached
eggs, sausages, cereals were just a few of the items served. Breakfast is considered
the most important meal of the day and I did not hold back.

Breakfast in Bed done right
Post
breakfast, we prepared to cover the items on our itinerary for the day. We had
planned to visit the infamous and forever Instagrammed Kaas Plateau but were
disappointed to hear it was not on our itinerary as the valley had lost its
colorful charm due to the early monsoons. My luck took another downward turn
when I was informed that we would not be visiting the historic architectural
wonder, Phaltan Rajwada. The residents of this royal residence were in mourning
over the passing away of one of their relatives. Two major setbacks and my day
had not even begun. Biting the bitter pill of disappointment, we moved towards
checking the first stop on our list, Thosegar Falls. 
Thosegar Falls
My personal Vantage point 🙂
Thosegar Falls is one of
the highest waterfalls in India situated on the edge of the Konkan region.
Managed & maintained by the Forest Dept, a well laid out path with clear
directions led us from the entry gates to the viewing gallery of the
waterfalls. There are 2 prominent waterfalls, a large one and a small one. The
areas close to the waterfall have been well secured to ensure visitors do not
trespass and disturb the calm natural surroundings. We were paid a visit by the
local tree residents who seemed very interested in our camera. An hour later,
we bid adieu to the falls and drove over to our next spot Ajinkya Fort.
Those dangerous curves
Ajinkyatara Fort
We
arrived just past noon and quickly hurried up the steps to the top of the fort.
Built atop Ajinkyatara Mountain, Ajinkyatara Fort offers a beautiful panoramic
view of the city of Satara. Once the stronghold of the Mughals and Marathas,
the fort has now been modernised with a communications tower. With the fiery
sun beating down on us, we struggled to pose for pictures barely managing to
smile while we stood still.
Coz I couldn’t face the sun / camera 😛
 Fortunately enough, I still managed to grab a few
clicks of the breath taking view. Post the scenic visit to this historic
monument, we drove further down the road from the fort hoping to catch more of
the historic remains from earlier centuries.
 There is one major building where all the
historic remnants are placed under one roof; Shri Bhavani Museum or commonly
known as Aundh Museum. The museum houses paintings from the different eras
prior to the 19th century. Touted as a must visit destination, we were
disappointed to find it’s gates shut on Diwali. The museum was built within the
temple complex of the Yamai Devi Temple. This beautiful temple is situated on a
hilltop and can be reached by a drive to the top or you can choose to walk up
the steps starting from the bottom of the hill opposite the museum. Stone idols
of various Hindu deities have been set up along the steps which seem to be
guarding the followers along the path. The temple is well fortified and has
followers visiting throughout the year. A Wikipedia reference states that
Goddess Mahalaxmi & Lord Vishnu called Yamai Devi “Ye Mai” which means
“Come Mother” and hence the name. Pilgrims sit around the walls of the temple
to enjoy the cool breeze and serenity. 

Yemai Temple

We had been through quite an historic past and now wanted to race “Back to the Future”.Almost an hour’s drive from Aundh, through pothole peppered road and marigold fields, lies the Chakelwadi Windmill farm in the quietest of villages in Satara. It is said to be one of the largest windmill farms in Asia and can be accessed only in a private vehicle. We drove all the way to the top of the plateau from where we could see windmills all around us. The blades of the windmills measure at close to 50 ft and adjust their position in alignment with the wind currents.  The overall landscape of lush green plantation and patches of wildflower covered hills surrounding a pond against the backdrop of the setting sun made for a beautiful sight like no other. 

Chakelwadi Windmills

As we prance like free spirits across the plateau clicking pictures and
feasting our eyes on this rare combination of a natural energy resource and
God’s wonders, we sipped away on freshly brewed coffee and cookies already on
site by one of the hotel’s staffers. Yep, Jakson Inns organizes guided tours to
such extoic locations as well. As we headed back to the hotel, past sunset, we
witnessed a couple of cars driving up to the plateau, who would be unfortunate
to miss a glimpse of the windmills and the surrounding beauty in all its glory.
The visit to the windmill made for the disappointment of missing out on the
Khaas Plateau and the museum.
Back
at the hotel, we booked ourselves in for an appointment with Mr. Dattu More,
the hotel’s chief Reflexology therapist. A 20 minute foot therapy session
kicked away any blues from being on the road all day. It is really amazing how
well the spa room was managed and maintained even though he was visually impaired.
The therapy session was followed by a short break just before dinner. Another
beautiful evening and another lavish dinner hosted by the hotel, these guys
know how to pamper their guests. 

Reflexology therapist – Mr. Dattu More

Hearty Meal
The beautiful black sky sprayed with countless
stars over a candle lit table with heart-warming songs floating in the chilly
air, this dinner could not get any better. A magical foot therapy session and
romantic dinner was the perfect way to end our long day on the road and retire
to our rooms looking forward to the next day.
We
did not have much to look forward to on Day 3 with the exception of a tour of
the Inn and returning back to Amchi Mumbai. Well, that’s what I thought until
we drove to the local farm just before breakfast to enjoy a cow milking
experience. We had missed this almost once in a lifetime opportunity earlier
and really wanted to try this. So, reluctantly but cautiously, I approached the
gentle creature while I was given first hand lessons on milking. It all seemed very
easy just as I had seen in the movies until I actually tried it. I am not
overly fond of animals but with each travel I have challenged myself to try
something new and different. I managed to draw just a quarter tumbler of milk
before my calm host shoved me out of the way.

Yes!!! I finally did it :’)

Can I please take him home?
I
also managed to get clicked with the farm’s superstars; a trio of bunny rabbits.
I just love these super cute fluffy speedsters. Can I bunny-nap them and return
back home??
With
a heavy heart, we bid adieu to our friends on the farm as we headed towards an
undisclosed location for breakfast. As we drove through the village, we passed
by Asia’s first ever sugar factory. I do not have any reference to back this
claim, but I dare not challenge the locals. We arrived at a riverside farm to
find a healthy breakfast spread across a table, just for us. A small patch of
barren, gravel-laden land next to the farm served as our breakfast hall. The
rays of the sun kissing the colourful crops in the field added a bonus filter
to the picturesque view. All arrangements were made well in advance and we dug
in straight away. Fruit juices, sprout shots, toast, marmalade, poha, fruit
sandwiches, on demand omelette, paratha. The beautiful breakfast table reminded
me of the Mad Hatter’s tea time party. It was a very special gesture by the
hotel to ensure we would leave Phaltan with some very fine memories.
Ready for some tea time party?
Gobhi Paratha by the lake, hell yeah!
and it was all Yellow!
With
selfies aplenty and poses snapped, we returned back to the hotel preparing to
check out of this amazing place which was our home for the past few days.  I did say “amazing” and I most certainly
ain’t using this term loosely.
Jakson
Inns is a sprawling three star hotel with the facilities and hospitality that
quite easily matches up to a league of 5 stars. It
Every
hotel can boast of deluxe rooms, suites, restaurants and bars but what makes
Jakson Inns stand out are their customer altered rooms. In addition to rooms, a
well-equipped gym, a banquet hall and a lawn restaurant, the hotel also has
rooms for solo female guests with video cams at the door, rooms for the
physically handicapped, a multi cuisine restaurant that can be converted into a
dining hall to accommodate a larger crowd, a board room with video conferencing
facilities, spa and your own vegetable garden in their backyard. Artistically
designed, almost resembling an art gallery, colours are strewn everywhere, from
the carpets in the corridors to the seats at the restaurant to the floor
numbers on each floor. What’s more, they are India’s first 3 star LEED Green
Platinum rated hotel. An entire floor of the hotel runs on Solar powered energy
drawn from solar panels on the roof.
Apart
from saving energy and customising their services to the needs of their guests,
Jakson Inns also looks after it’s employees. Women from the village work at the
hotel’s kitchen to prepare local scrumptious delicacies. A special day care is
managed by the hotel to take care of their children while these wonderful
people work their magic in the kitchen.
If
hotels were adjudged on the basis of hospitality, Jakson Inns are in a league
of their own. Pleasant and courteous, the service was fantastic.
Gym with a field view 
Plucking Tomatoes from their own Organic Kitchen Garden
Jakson
Inns offers that country feel with its various activities, vegetable plucking,
cow milking experience, breakfast on a farm and a tour of the places of
historic significance. Catering to families and corporates, this would be the
ideal destination to spend a weekend and catch some fresh air.
Mother
nature is calling out to you city dwellers.

You can find more details about Jakson Inns here.

Read about my latest travel post here

Until then,
TheWickedSoul



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