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EASY TRIPS

Day
Tripper

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Avanti Kalagram, Pune, Maharashtra
A CRAFTY RETREAT
A herd of deer catches your attention,
warm your hands at a bonfire set
up specially for you, or just spend
Above: Works of art
lend a distinctive
a place when they acquired land
in these parts. Guided by the vision GREAT FROM
that make up the restaurant’s
substructure. After breakfast, kids
1. You can bring back
sculptures made
of bamboo flower making and the more
complex art of styling pots from natural
charm to Avanti of M-seal, like this
imposing antlers extending from a quiet day reading a book while Kalagram of Deepak’s father, an artist, this project Mumbai and Pune have the choice of enjoying indoor one of Krishna, from grey clay, traditionally used to create
graceful bodies of the ones grazing, occasionally glancing up at the serene Below: The six
is aided by funds from Tata Power’s activities like foosball or table tennis, Avanti Kalagram Ganesha idols. If the kids are feeling
while those on watch duty, ears perked waters of Khamboli Dam or the studios here Corporate Social Responsibility GREAT FOR or joining one of the staff on a short (see Shopping) artsy, Vishal will help them perfect
up, look for any sign of trouble. This could surrounding Sahyadri Hills. showcase different programme. The architect and interior A quick getaway with the family trek up a track leading to a seasonal 2. Furniture built the proud stance and the defiant eyes
be a scene straight out of a forest, It’s almost impossible to imagine arts and craft items designer duo are trustees of this project, waterfall and an area for adventure in-house and of Chhatrapati Shivaji. Else, herd them
an antique bicycle
but wait – they don’t try to hide or run a road lined with water bodies, which trains villagers in arts and craft. GO NOW activities. Rock climbing, rappelling replica add to the back to the restaurant where Priyanka
away as you walk up to them, your shoes farm houses and rice fields just As the project wound up, it transformed To make the most of early and zip-lining can be arranged restaurant’s cool spreads out colourful wooden beads
crunching on a gravelly path at Avanti about 45 minutes from Pune’s into a working space for artisans the summer holidays. at advance notice (see Good to Know), quotient on a table to create a keychain that
Kalagram in Pune. These lifelike iron infotech hub Hinjewadi, and is now fast morphing into a hub but are best done in the monsoon 3. Kids can get ideas will serve as a memento of your stay.
for craft projects
sculptures, created by artisan Prabhakar but that’s what the quaint of activity with a little something or winter when the weather With work on a swimming pool
4. Experience the
K Singh, are a reason enough to visit. villages of Rihe, Bahirwadi for every visitor. Maharashtrian specialties like pithala is more amenable. magic of creating
and Swiss tents in progress, you can
There’s more though. As a guest and Katarkhadak around You hear chirping birds welcoming and Punjabi ones like chicken masala As the sun moves up into the sky, something with be sure there will soon be many more
at the 3.5-acre property, you can feel Avanti Kalagram offer you. a beautiful morning. The smell up his sleeve for the main meals. you retire to the cooler climes your bare hands happy memories at this property.
the breeze on your face as you speed Owners Gauri and Deepak of freshly-prepared, delectable poha You’re not thinking about that, though, of the studios where a charming 5. Learn to make
down a dirt trail on your mountain bike, Bachal might have foreseen greets you at an ethnic-style restaurant- if you are caught in the antics of squirrels and enthusiastic local lady, Mukta, a bamboo lamp to words vibha ravi
light up your home
learn the art of bamboo flower making, the aesthetic appeal of such cum-gallery. Cook Hari Chauhan has scampering about on the bamboo beams introduces you to the simple craft photographs jeremiah christanand rao

TURN OVER FOR ALL YOU NEED TO GET THERE


EASY TRIPS AVANTI KALAGRAM, PUNE, MAHARASHTRA

to keep the kids occupied


in the hot afternoons

CLEAN LOO GUIDE


If you’re travelling from Mumbai,
the Food Mall right after the Khalapur
Toll Naka has a clean washroom.

SAFETY
Though Katarkhadak and Bahirwadi
villages are close by, the roads
are dark when night falls. Within
the property, pathways are lit at night,
but it’s best to stay indoors after dinner.
Snake sightings have been reported,
but no untoward incident has been
reported on the property.

MEDICAL AID
A first-aid kit is kept in the
reception-cum-restaurant area.
Harsh Clinic, a 10-minute walk from
Avanti Kalagram, can attend to minor
injuries or ailments (closed between 1pm
FACT SHEET nearest railhead. From Mumbai, 22105 Indrayani and 3pm). Paud Government Hospital,
GETTING THERE Express is a good choice (leaves Chhatrapati Shivaji around 36km away, can handle
Closest metro: Mumbai (156km) is a three-hour Terminus [CSTM] 5.40am, arrives PUNE 9.08am; bigger medical issues.
drive. Start early to avoid traffic. ` 375 AC Chair Car). Return by the 12128 Intercity
Closest town: Pune (38km) is an hour away. Express (leaves PUNE 5.55pm, arrives CSTM CHILD-FRIENDLINESS
Closest airports: Pune Lohegaon Airport (45km) 9.05pm; ` 375 AC Chair Car). This is a place made for kids. Apart from
and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport craft and adventure activities, a foosball
Mumbai (160km). Flights to Pune from Mumbai GETTING AROUND table and table tennis facility are enough
are expensive, so driving is the obvious choice. We used the services of Anfa Travels to keep them busy. Wide open spaces
Mumbai is well connected to most other metros, (Laeeq: 00-91-9821352189; from ` 3,500/ day offer scope for outdoor sports like
with multiple flight options. AC sedan) from Mumbai. Avanti Kalagram badminton or football if you carry
Closest railhead: Pune (PUNE; 30km) is the can arrange for a pick-up from Pune Station. the gear. For those addicted to Cartoon
Network, cable television with kiddie
channels saves the day. However, stairs
WHERE TO STAY Maharashtrian fare or North Indian The property across the property and balconies
Avanti Kalagram: While this food. Select other Indian food items is dotted in rooms on upper floors mean
with artworks
is a great day-tripper, if you decide can be prepared at a day’s notice and artefacts you would have to keep an eye
to spend the night, Avanti Kalagram (breakfast: 8.30am – 10am, lunch: 1.30pm on toddlers.
is a good choice. The double rooms – 2.30pm, dinner: 8.30pm – 9.30pm,
are the only ones with air conditioning. but timings can be modified to suit
The property offers package rates your convenience if you inform GOOD TO KNOW
for a day picnic, overnight full-day picnic in advance; veg thali: ` 350/ person, Ý Zip-lining, rappelling and rock
and a night picnic (00-91-8796831610 non-veg thali: ` 550/ person). climbing can be arranged for a group
[Sanjay Sawant], 00-91-9767800505 of 10 or more and with a day’s advance
[Chandrashekhar]; www.avantikalagram. SHOPPING notice, as a special instructor needs
com, info@avantikalagram.com; Avanti Kalagram sells lamps to be hired for these activities as per
Kathardhak Village, Righe-Andhale Rd, made of bamboo (from ` 250), terracotta government rules. So, it’s best to call
Mulshi Taluka, Pune; twin room from figurines and showpieces (from ` 25), ahead and confirm availability of these
` 5,000 with meals and activities, bamboo plant holders (from ` 250/ activities before you plan this trip
day package: ` 800/ person with meals set) and very interesting sculptures (from ` 500/ activity, ` 1,000 for all
and activities). made of M-seal (from ` 375). three). The waterfall rappelling takes
place from June to October.
MAP: RADHA RAMACHANDRAN

WHERE TO EAT WHAT TO PACK Ý Only Aircel and Tata Docomo


Avanti Kalagram gives you Toiletries and a good pair work here.
the option of including meals in your of walking shoes or sandals, Ý The waterfall on the property
packages, a sensible idea given that sun glasses, wide-brimmed is seasonal (generally through
there are no restaurants within walking hats, sunscreen lotion, the monsoon till December).
distance. It serves a set menu of tasty books or board games

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