Every now and then, this hectic, metropolitan life catches up with us and we find ourselves longing for a break. More often than not, for us Bombayites that break ends up being in Lonavala, Khandala, Panchgani or Mahableshwar.
Without beating around the bush too much, I’m going to cut right to the chase.
What if I told you that I have discovered a lush weekend getaway, two and a half hours away from Mumbai and 30 minutes from Lonavala? That’s Right! I’m talking about my latest discovery, Kamshet! You need 2 days to enjoy your stay at this little village and here’s a small itinerary telling you where to stay and what to do.
We decided to stay at the homestay ‘Le Farm’ after having read and heard so many great things about the place.
Day 1– Arrive at Kamshet, settle down at Le farm and enjoy all its amenities and activities (Details Below)
Day 2– Explore the Adventure activities, visit Karla Caves or take a trek to Kondeshawar Temple(Details and links Below)
Day 3– Leave Le Farm after breakfast and return to base.
DAY 1- Le Farm
A large expanse of nature and greenery, a perennial water body, a large comfortable villa, delicious food and lots of fuzzy pets to play with if you’re an animal lover. If the idea of this getaway is already tempting you, read on because I’m just getting started!
Le Farm is a 6 bedroom large and comfortable villa placed on 15 acres of farmed land facing a stunning lake. It is located in Kamshet, the little village well known for the paragliding experiences it offers. You enter Le Farm through a driveway with mango trees on both sides leading to a clearing, where you can see the sprawling villa, the sloping gardens and the massive lake.
The property has ample parking available and very comfortable facilities for drivers too. The drive-in takes you right to the porch of the house where you can step down without being drenched in the monsoon.
The ground floor of the villa has 4 bedrooms, a living room stacked with games and books and a kitchen well stocked with basic necessities. All bedrooms are comfortable each having an attached toilet, lots of storage space, a coffee table with seating and an attached balcony connecting all the rooms to the grassed sloping gardens. You have the freedom of venturing into the kitchen to whip up some breakfast or you can allow the staff to prepare you a delicious meal. The house has an external covered dining area as well a small dining room placed within the gardens facing the lake.
The first floor of the villa has two bedrooms and a large terrace. The largest and most beautiful room of all is the master bedroom on the first floor. This room is predominantly made of glass and has a stupendous view of the hills and the lake. A four poster bed with dainty white curtains forms bulk of the room. A small little desk and a vintage light stand create a tranquil reading corner facing the lake. The master bedroom is directly attached to a large terrace which is a great place for everyone to sit together, play games, chat and relax.
Although the villa is extremely pleasant and homely, Le Farm is actually all about the farm experience. Having grown up in a congested city like Mumbai, I truly value nature and the outdoors. Le Farm is a wonderful place to bond with your family and to teach the younger ones about the importance of farming and fresh produce.
Le farm has an abundance of mango trees and they encourage their guests to pick fresh ripe mangoes from their plantations. They also grow onions, tomatoes, chillies, jackfruit, aamla and pineapple. Everything grown on the farm is organic and all the food prepared at Le Farm uses their own home-grown produce.
After you’ve spent your morning devouring the delicious breakfast, rolling on the grass and picking your favourite produce you could spend your evening walking down the hill to take a dip in the waters of the Lake Vadivale. Since the lake is actually a reservoir of a dam, the water is clear and the view is beautiful.
A productive swim has got to get you hungry and that is when barbecue night sounds even more exciting. The staff at Le Farm sets up a storm of a barbecue with an assortment of Veg and Non veg skewers followed by a sumptuous dinner. All the members of the staff are pleasant and chirpy and will happily go out of their way to make your stay a pleasure. Everything cooked at the farm is cooked with such love and generosity that you truly feel like you have come to your grandmas home. The warmth and magnanimity made the food twice as tasty and we couldn’t get enough of the people or the farm.
Even in the peak of summer by evening the temperatures start to drop and by night it easily reaches 21 degrees , which is great weather for a barbeque in the outdoors. After spending your first day at Kamshet exploring the farm, it’s a good idea to explore some of the other tourist attractions on Day 2.
DAY 2 – Adventure Activitities and Historic Monuments
Kamshet is best known for being a site of paragliding activities. There are various schools and organisations conducting it on a daily basis. You can choose to take a course and learn the skill or go for a tandem ride without learning to fly. A trained pilot will fly with you and all you have to do is enjoy the freedom. Open to anyone above 6 years in age.
Here are some of the best known, trusted organisations.
- Temple Pilots
- Karla Caves
For those who are not fond of adventure activities there are many other attractions worth seeing in and around Kamshet. Karla Caves, a complex of rock cut Buddhist caves are located at a 20 minute drive from Kamshet. It is known for its carvings and its renowned Chaitya Hall. The rock sculptures are over 14m in height and the Chaitya Hall is the largest in India. These caves are steeped in history and date back to between 40 BC and 4th century AD.
- Kondeshwar Temple
A popular trek taken by tourists is the one to visit the Kondeshwar Temple. This is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is also a site of a beautiful waterfall. Trekkers suggest that the monsoon makes the track quite slippery but after the monsoon, the lakes are full and nature is at its prime.
You can spend your second day at Kamshet exploring its heritage or just flying with a paragliding pilot, either way, you’ll have a great day.
On returning to Le Farm you can wash off your fatigue by relaxing by the lake and binging on some of their delicious food. You can choose either a special, authentic maharashtrian meal, fresh juices, piping hot snacks or even their famous barbeque.
After 2 days hospitality and beauty it’s hard to leave Le Farm. Even whilst bidding adieu the jolly people at Le Farm hand you boxes full of freshly pickled fruit and fresh handmade pickle for you to take home and savour the Le Farm experience for the rest of the month!
To conclude all we can say is, our experience at Le Farm isn’t one that we can compare to any hotel or resort. It felt like coming home. The warmth and hospitality left us overwhelmed and we will most genuinely recommend this ‘homestay’ to all our readers, friends and family.
To get a better look at the villa and the farm, check out our YouTube video given below!
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