Grover Zampa Vineyards, Igatpuri, Indian wines, JenJon Holiday Homes – Igatpuri Lake Vaitarna, JenJon Igatpuri Sky-Deck Machaan, Lake Upper Vaitarna, Lake Vaitarna Waterfall, Maharashtra, Maharashtra forts, Weekend Getaways from Mumbai, Western Ghats, Western India travel
Hey Guys 🙂 Hope you enjoyed my previous post: JenJon Holiday Homes – Igatpuri Lake Vaitarna, Maharashtra
Today’s post is about my family holiday in Igatpuri, four hours’ drive from Mumbai. For first-time visitors, I suggest checking out the above link before continuing with this post, so that you don’t miss out on some interesting details 🙂
It was a four-day relaxing holiday. We started out early in the morning, the six of us – my parents, brother, two sisters and I – in the car, with my eldest sister at the wheel. Nearing Igatpuri, the landscape of the serene countryside was intoxicating. And then, the beautiful Western Ghats with endless mountains of varying shapes and sizes… it brought back 20-year-old memories of my amazing monsoon treks to a few of the many surrounding forts, high up in the sky.
One of the many odd rock formations in sight…
We drove on dirt paths, passing through farmland and small villages to reach our destination, JenJon Igatpuri Lake Vaitarna. It’s located alongside the enchanting and picturesque Lake Vaitarna, which provides water and power supply to Mumbai. The lake is one of the most mesmerising places in Igatpuri.
Watch my videos: Lake Upper Vaitarna, Igatpuri
We stayed in the upper rooms of the Swiss Chalet…
It afforded a complete view of the beautiful 3-acre grounds and the lake beyond…
Watch my videos: JenJon Igatpuri Lake Vaitarna – I
Each day, we woke up early to catch the fabulous sunrise from the window 🙂
Sunsets were amazing too 🙂
Watch my video: Sunset
Bed tea would arrive at 7:30 AM. Breakfast was continental as well as local, as per order.
Lunch and dinner comprised of soup, papad, salad, dal, roti, two types of chicken dishes or vegetarian dishes, rice, and dessert.
The delicious home-cooked meals were prepared after consulting our preferences. Sometimes, they served a chicken dish and fried fish. It was a fresh-water fish called “Chopda” which tasted quite good.
One day, there was a dum biryani…
Another day, egg curry…
To our surprise, over the three days, the chicken preparation wasn’t repeated even once. Each preparation had a different taste and flavour. There were 2-3 varieties of rice . One of them, the locally grown Indrayani rice, which I enjoyed very much.
High tea included onion pakoras and vegetarian sandwiches…
We simply loved the food 🙂
There are some interesting places nearby. On the second day, we visited Grover Zampa Vineyards, 20 KM away.
Yours truly with the Grover Zampa wines kept on display in their lounge 🙂
The hospitality manager Sushant Soni, gave us a tour of the vineyard and the factory.
In the vineyard…
Inside the wine factory, the entire wine-making process was explained and shown…
Then, we had a great time at the wine-tasting session, where Mr Soni introduced us to the popular wines.
Except for my mom and eldest sister who had to drive the car, we all tasted the wines. I didn’t like the idea of wasting good wine, so following my dad’s example, I ignored the spittoon and gulped down the contents of my glass each time 😉
Yours truly with the family 🙂
On the third day, after breakfast, we left for JenJon’s second property, 5 KM away. JenJon Igatpuri Sky-Deck Machaan is located closer to the hills. The approach road was a bit rough, but the trip was absolutely wonderful!
Watch my video: View from Sky-Deck Machaan
Yours truly with Mr Sethi, the property’s manager…
It was a picture-perfect farm setting with colourful flowering plants and a variety of plantations: mangoes, bananas, cashew, kokum, etc.
Betel leaf plant…
The property offers a number of outdoor and indoor activities as well as a place to party.
One of Igatpuri’s top three places to visit is Lake Vaitarna Waterfall, which is a short distance away. We – my brother, elder sister and I – went to the place with Mr Sethi and 4-5 local boys working at the property. A young couple staying at the property joined us too. It was a short trek to the waterfall.
On the way, we passed by vegetable farms…
A poultry farm…
And colourful scenery…
Crossing rocks and flowing water…
We reached the waterfall…
Watch my video: Lake Vaitarna Waterfall
We climbed down the rocks with the help of a long rope carried by one of the boys. I was tempted to stand under the gushing waterfall. Once there, it was great fun. Seeing my delight, the young couple joined me.
Watch my video: Fun at Lake Vaitarna Waterfall
Yours truly after enjoying the waterfall 🙂
During monsoons, Igatpuri gets converted into a magical world with cascading waterfalls, mist and lush greenery. So you can imagine how beautiful it would be at this waterfall.
The days went by quickly. Early mornings and evenings were spent trying out a few of the available activities.
ATV ride 😉
I hadn’t played carrom for more than two decades. With nothing else to do after dusk, we tried this indoor game in the restaurant till dinnertime. I was a total flop at it from the word go. My eldest sister would win each time.
My parents and elder sister dropped out after losing a few times on the first night, but I shamelessly persisted until the third night. It was fun 🙂 On the third night, to our total bewilderment, I won twice! In the first winning game, I got almost all the coins, but my sister gained the queen. In the subsequent game, I got almost all the coins and the queen as well! What was hilarious, was not that I won, but how I won. I would aim the striker at one corner and miss the coin, but another coin would end up in the opposite hole. At times, the coins just leaped off the board to land right into the hole! It was so very funny, we laughed aloud in the silent night 😀
That was carrom. I couldn’t say no to the children’s play area 🙂 One morning, I got out of bed and ran to the place for a bit of fun. My elder sister joined me.
Watch my video: Enjoying at the Kid’s Corner
On the fourth day, the day of our departure, the sunrise scene was different and amazing 🙂
Watch my videos: Lovely pre-dawn scene – I
We had a great time in Igatpuri, and I’m sure that you will too. Igatpuri is one of the most popular weekend getaways from Mumbai, Pune and Nashik. It’s also a paradise for nature lovers and trekkers. To avoid crowds, we stayed during weekdays. And yet, every day we saw new arrivals for one-night stays. By the way, monsoons are the best time to visit if you enjoy trekking, or otherwise too. For vineyard tours, January is the best time of the year. It’s when the grapes are harvested.
So guys, hope you enjoyed this post 🙂 Keep visiting me, see you soon 🙂