Mahabaleshwar, Wai And Panchgani Diaries Part 1 – 3rd March 2021 to 9th March 2021.

4th March Day 1… Mapro Gardens and Venna Lake

Mapro Gardens – Ghureghar- Mahabaleshwar

Humble Beginnings.

When we hear the name of Mapro, the first thing that comes to our mind is jams. Located around the idyllic hill-town of Panchgani in Western India, Mapro Foods manufactures Fruit Jams; Fruit beverage concentrates – Crushes and Squashes; and Fruit Bars.

Founded in 1959, the Company had its humble beginnings in the hill-town of Panchgani, near Mahabaleswar, when a businessman named Kishore Vora a pharmacist by profession, decided to make some strawberry jam..

Mapro started operations in a small room, as a home business with a mutually beneficial relationship with the farmers to make strawberry jam for product sales. This eventually led to the launch of the Mapro brand in 1978. Started with just 12 permanent employees in 1971, Mapro now have around 300 employees. With an annual processing capacity of around 30 thousand MT, Mapro is a market leader in Western India. .

Getting there.

Mapro Gardens is located in Ghureghar which falls enroute to Panchgani and Wai. State Transport buses are readily available from the ST stand every 30 mins. The buses go to Wai and you can get down at the Mapro bus stop.

Inside Mapro Gardens

The entry is free. Be ready to be blown off by the sight that you see around you. Its all about strawberries and the countless strawberry related products. The rush was less because the Covid lockdown were recently lifted. Because of this I could spend some time looking around and enjoying the scenes.

While inside, make sure you try various mocktails and delicacies available in the restaurant. They have wide varieties of strawberry mocktail and pizzas. Make sure you try them. You can also take a leisure stroll around the garden and relax. You can also visit their store and make purchases. After spending sometime, I moved on to my next destination.

Venna Lake – A place to unwind after a long day.

Venna Lake is an artificial lake and a popular tourist attraction in Mahabaleshwar. Built by Shri Appasaheb Maharaja of Satara in the year 1942, the basic reason to construct this lake was to cater to the excessive water needs for the city dwellers of Mahabaleshwar. Including the surrounding area of about 28 acres, the lake has a periphery of around 7-8 KM. Enveloped by thick foliage of trees, Venna lake offers for a classic horse ride along the waterfront besides the serried rows of eateries with a variety of sumptuous local delicacies. You can also enjoy the boat ride on the lake or just sit around doing nothing enjoying the beauty of the nature.

Getting There.

The lake is situated around 2 kms from Mahabaleshwar and falls on the Mahabaleshwar – Wai route. Buses are available from the ST stand or you can hire a cab. I was a bit delayed on my return from Mapro so had to take a cab which cost me Rs 150.

Sunset and the Lake

I’ve always had a thing for sunrise and sunset. And the idea of spending the evening beside a lake watching the sunset was too irresistible. I reached Venna Lake just in time to see the sunset. It was almost 5 pm and the sun was in the last stages of calling it a day. I chose a vacant bench on the promenade and just sat down to enjoy the beautiful nature around me.

After enjoying the beauty of the nature in general and the sunset in particular, it was time to head back to the hotel, but not before having some tasty onion bhajiya for snacks. Being a hilly and forest region, it gets dark pretty quickly over here. Not wanting to be left out in the dark in a new locality, I hired a cab to take me back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel, I only had the energy to freshen up and have dinner before calling it a day. After all the (mis)adventures of the morning and roaming around, I just wanted to get some sleep. Dinner was simple – rice and daal. And after that I hit my bed. The hotel staff had arranged for a cab ride the next day to take me to the various tourist spots inside Mahabaleshwar. So slept early so that I could wake up refreshed.

Day 2 of the trip was equally hectic and exciting. I was about to visit Old Mahabaleshwar and the different points inside Mahabaleshwar. More of it in the part 2 of the trip diaries. Please comment and leave your feedback.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.