Panshet Dam

My father is visiting us from Kerala. We went to Phoenix Mall at Viman Nagar on Saturday. I wrote this post about the drive to Tamhini yesterday after we returned. A line I wrote there reminded me that I had originally planned to visit Panshet first. That trip was forever postponed as life kept throwing things at us. Since my father was here, I took the opportunity to drive to Panshet.

Drive to Panshet

The drive to Panshet took us right through the heart of Pune and out the other side. We started late in the morning. The road extended up to Lavasa went past Khadakwasla before it reached Panshet. The dam seems to have created two catchment areas. I did not fully understand the geography and having just returned, I do not understand it completely. There was minimal traffic in the city itself. There were multiple road closures because of construction of the Metro. Once we were on the road to Khadakwasla and at the lake side, there was enough traffic as there was parking only to one side of the road. Bamboo sticks were used to stop vehicles from parking on the lake side of the road. But the views were lovely. We did not stop here. A little bit up the road, past the defence lands, there was a Mankar dosa point with multiple other eateries. It also had a clean, decent toilet facility since it was new. We stopped here for a bathroom break and had basundi tea. There was still some heavy traffic headed towards Khadakwasla but as we turned away from Sinhgad Fort at Donaje, the traffic was lighter. We made good time on the road to Panshet but the views slowed us down. At Tamhini, we saw a lot of jackfruits being sold on the road sides but mangoes dominated the road to Panshet. We also drove past a lot of paddies on the banks of the Mutha river. We saw some terrace farming examples of paddy as the water gushed down the sides of the hill to meet the Mutha. We passed the little town of Panshet before the dam dominated the view on one side. The canals taking water away from the dam seemed to be full but the river itself had dried up. We took a road to the side which took us past the MTDC resort where we briefly considered having lunch at. My father wanted to go to the top of the dam but we found a small road down one side which took us unexpectedly to the boating place.

At Panshet

Unlike Tamhini, where we just drove to a point and then took a U-turn, we decided to do at least one activity while at Panshet. We went boating. My wife is crazy about boating and everything related to water. On the side of the hill, we looked at the lake that had been formed by the dam. The water level had gone down considerably. When we left the parking lot, the hotel was on the lake side and one level down. The boating place was at least a few levels down from there. One could fit an old Bombay styled two story building between the lake side hotel and the boating place. We had standard Maharashtrian food at the hotel. It was delicious because of the taste and because of the hunger. My son caught my father’s hands and walked up and down the length of the old Bombay style two story building between the hotel and the boating point. We chose a standard motor boat. I am queasy about boat rides but got in without too much hassle. I somehow expect the boat to sink on one side while I get in. The boat went a distance to the side to get some paddlers away from trouble. After that we resumed the boat rides. We acted touristy, posed, and took pictures. I found it harder to get off the boat. The walk up the cliff to the hotel was a hard one. My son encouraged us on the way up. He took one step at a time. We rejoiced and took a step behind him. So reflective of life. Once we got up the cliff, my daughter wanted to play in the park filled with rickety old park things — swings, slides, etc. After a while even she found it hard to enjoy there and we decided to return home. Ride back home The ride back home was disappointing. I guess the same scenery didn’t excite us. Or we were just too tired to notice. We stopped at a roadside sugarcane place, one of those operated by a bullock. The sugarcane juice was lovely. We had just got network back on our mobile phones and the first things I saw was an alert about how sugarcane juice was bad for you. We stopped at the same place at Donaje for some cold water, some tea and bathroom breaks. We then drove home non-stop. At some point the road was not the way we had gone. But it was standard Pune fare. Nothing noticeable. On the way back, I showed my father my work place. We got back just in time for evening tea.

After travel

For certain parts of our journey, we make use of the mobile to lull our son so that we get a good attempt at eating some food. This is not possible when you try to stream content he likes. We must remember to download it for such times when network isn’t available. We made the same mistake at Tamhini but did not learn our lesson. But I used this opportunity to tell my daughter of a time when this was how it was done. She expressed happiness that she did not live in such times. I guess she doesn’t know what she is missing. We did not carry clothes for change this time and we had multiple places where we could have enjoyed the water otherwise. I may not have stopped for this, but the possibility existed and we weren’t ready for this scenario.

June 2, 2024