My blogs are turning out to be travelogues not by prior design
but by accident. This one too is about a place called Gavkos that I recently visited.
Gavkos is a lovely privately owned farm-land and farm-house which has been converted into a picnic spot. It’s about 35 KM from Pune. There are two routes that you can pick from to exit Pune. One is via the Sinhagad Road and another from Warje. The roads meet near Khadakwasla.
The road was not good and it took us quite a while to get there. Luckily the map printed on the backside of our Gavkos Entry Pass was detailed and accurate.We had made registrations to spend just the day at Gavkos. However the farm owners have very cosy cottages on their premises where you can stay.
We reached there at around 10 in the morning. We were hungry and were glad when the women managing the kitchen served us pohe, idli, sambar,chutney and tea.
We strolled around after b’fast and I liked what I saw. The farm house of Gavkos, situated on a hill just above the confluence of two rivers, is at a very scenic spot. There are little squares of different farms all around the rivers. Looking down from Gavkos, the view is very pretty and serene. I especially enjoyed the added delight of watching the coming-together of two rivers and then moving on as one.
We enjoyed a boat ride at the confluence of the two rivers. The woman working the boat had strong nylon ropes tied to the banks and she pulled at the rope and got us across. No oars needed!
Beware the prices charged though.. you expect the villagers to be simple folks.. well, we got a taste of their cunning! When you ask the charge for the boat ride, the boat woman gives you a disarming smile and says its not much. “Just get in” she urged us ! After the ride she did not tell us what the boat ride charge was. Instead she told us that the picnickers from the city pay her anything from Rs 100 onwards hinting what we were expected to cough up! Since we knew the locals were charged Rs 2 per ride, we paid her Rs 50 and thanked her!
We then climbed back up to the farmhouse..(the farm owners have built lovely stone slab steps that go down to farms at the river side). We made our way to the central thatched hut which the women staff use as the dining area. The lunch was laid out in big steel pots.. raita, vegetables, dal, pickles.. the women served us yummy bhaji and rotis which were soft and delicious and right off the stove. The pace is unhurried and the women fuss over you and urge you to have another hot roti. I liked their warm smiles and bustling manner and thoroughly enjoyed my lunch. The lunch was topped with some mouth watering gulab jamun… ummmm…
After lunch we wandered along a path and reached the farm house which we guessed houses the owners when they turn up. We went in through the gates and walked along a tiled path.. every where around was beautifully landscaped.. there were many flowering trees, shrubs, creepers as also vegetable and fruit trees…
We came across a little spot that was marked as Sunrise Point. It overlooked the rivers and the patches of green and brown farms around it. There was a bench there where I expect visitors sit and enjoy watching the morning sun rising and waking up the world.
Update on 31 Dec 2011: I had called up the manager – Mr Deepak Deolankar recently as we wished to visit Gavkos again. Upon hearing my name, he asked me if I was the one who had written a blog about Gavkos. When I replied in the affirmative, he informed me that he does not want the publicity. The reason for this was he did not want “anybody” turning up at their farm. I found the attitude disagreeable (apart from the impoliteness) and decided against the second trip.
I have removed the contact details.