Thursday, November 14, 2013

Saguna Baug: Weekend Gateway from Mumbai

I was in luck last weekend when my friend invited me to visit the Saguna Baug with him! My finances are at an all-time low, and yet I was itching to travel “somewhere” and this weekend gateway seemed like the right option.
I was sceptical at first as the place should ideally be visited in the monsoons. But like I said, anything is better than sitting at home.

The moment I stepped into their compound, I knew I had made the right decision. Established in the middle of a small ‘village like city’, Saguna Baug has rural charm with modern facilities. They have stay facilities, of different kinds and numerous activities. You can visit them for a day too! That’s what I did!
One of the stay options. My next trip here will be with 2-3 day stay

We began by a guided tour of the place. I was amazed by the variety of trees and plants which the place flaunts. They mostly grow rice and onions there according to the nature of soil. But they also have a beautiful area of flowers like red roses. Small ponds which flaunt beautiful lotuses after a few meters itself. Even though we roamed under the harsh sunlight, the air was refreshingly cool. 

Banana Tree: Photo courtesy Anil. Parmar

My friend and I decided to skip the guided tour midway the moment we discovered this! We could not resist taking nap! I realised that nothing beats sleeping under a tree near a resting river!

My favourite thing apart from travel. Photo Courtesy: Anil. P
Well, we decided to follow our group again after sometime, and we discover that they are enjoying catching fish. Saguna Baug is well known for fish rearing, and local boys dive in the ponds to catch these. This is an activity itself. I respect all foods, however, I was completely grossed out by this. Somehow the sight ghastly feel to this. No pictures here guys! Individual fishing rods are also provided if asked for.

Archery: One of the many activities
The best part of the activity is the dip in the Ulhas River which flows right through this compound. We could see the water bed the moment we approached the sight. I could not have imagined a free flowing clean river just 2 hours away from Mumbai. We swam in the river, floated and collected stones. Splashed!

The clear water bed of Ulhas River. Photo courtesy: Anil P

We head off for the need of survival- Food! The food is prepared by local villagers and delicious is not the word for it! The service is by young men who are very eager to serve you. My friend said, “They are so good because they are young! They work with zeal.” We ate till we could not even get up from our seats! We were too engrossed in food to think of clicking. So no pictures here. But the rajma, dal, rice, roti, salad, chaas, sweeets, palak sabzi were irrestible after the Ulhas dip. We though we might just sleep of the afternoon, but headed for the river yet again. 

Enjoying the cool feel. Photo Courtesy: Anil. P

How to reach Saguna Baug

I took a train to Karjat (S) from Thane (T).
We get off at Neral
We take a rickshaw from Neral to Saguna Baug.

Things to keep in mind while you travel to this part

  -          For Saguna Baug, the amount includes food and tea. The food is really good
  -          Neral is crowded on  weekends as a number of weekend gateways are through this station. No worried here as it is just  the family crowd
  -          Rs. 100 is the cost of the individual rickshaw to Saguna Baug
  -          Keep a change of clothes

Top three things I loved about Saguna Baug
1. Ease of reach
        2.The Ulhas River
        3. Reasonably priced

Check about other weekend gateways on this link


Anil Parmar said...

One important aspect to keep in mind is that the place is bereft of all the luxuries you may expect in any resort nearby Mumbai. However minimum requirements are taken care of. And if you love wilderness, then this place is for you !

Natasha Rokadia said...

Thank you for all the info - Would love to try Saguna Baug - a day visit could be a start :D