Around 250 kms away from Mumbai (110 kms from Pune), there’s a small town where the sky is clear blue and vast green hiils till as far as you can see. Located 50 kms from Satara, Phaltan was once a Maratha Princely state of British India ruled by the Nimbalkars, descendants of Naik Nimbaji Nimbalkar. The first wife of Shivaji, Sai Bai belonged to Phaltan.
The drive to Phaltan, although a bit bumpy, is made pleasant with pristine lakes and acres and acres of sugarcane farms, the main crop of the region. On my recent weekend trip (hosted by Jakson Inns), I drove around the length and breadth of Phaltan and the surrounding region only to be enamoured by the sheer beauty of Maharashtra.
Things to do in and around Phaltan
Windmill Farm in Pusegaon
Around 45 minutes drive away from Phaltan, exists one of the most dream-like places in Maharashtra. The windmill farms of Pusegaon can be one of the most romantic destinations in India. There’re huge windmills till as far as eyes can see on top of the hills, clear sky, light breeze and the most spectacular sunset. You can pack some food and drinks and have a little picnic here. If you’re staying with Jakson Inns they’ll arrange a cute picnic basket for you.
There were more than 200 windmills in the region producing enough electricity to supply to the whole Phaltan area.
Ajinkyatara Fort in Satara was built in 1192 AD by King Bhoj of the Shilahara dynasty. It was later renovated by the Bahamani Sultans. Ajinkyatara Fort was also the fourth capital of Shivaji and was used to control the military operations.
Kaas Plateau and Kaas Lake
Kaas Plateau or Kaas Pathar, also known as the valley of flowers is located 25 kms to the west of Satara and around 70 kms from Phaltan. 70% of Maharashtra’s flowers are found in this region and the site is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. The flowers start to bloom from the end of September so I practically found nothing when I visited mid monsoon. However, the valley is gorgeous and you can spend plenty of time here soaking in the greenery. Kaas lake which supplies water to the entire Satara district is a quick drive away from the valley of flowers.
Some of the most surreal experiences I’ve had this year have something to do with waterfalls. 20 kms away from Satara, at the edge of Konkan region is another such surreal spot. The biggest waterfall here is about 200 mts. There’s a raised platform constructed to watch the waterfall from. Sadly, there’s no way to trek down the valley to the bottom end of the waterfalls. The overly crowded platform takes away from the joy of watching the waterfall in silence. It’s a good spot to visit but will not recommend spending too much time here. There’s a rice mill on the way to Phaltan from Satara. Make sure you stopover to buy some local variety of rice. You’ll find Ambe Mohor and Indrayani here and the gentleman manning the factory outlet will tell you all you need to know about the rice.
No, this is not one of the high profile markets which are becoming common in Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. This farmer’s market is the real deal. Farmers from nearby villages bring in their fresh produce every Sunday at this market that’s basically numbers of shops on the street-side. You’ll find a variety of local vegetables, fruits and lentils here. Make sure you buy at least a week’s stock.
Stay at Jakson Inns
My trip was sponsored by Jakson Inns, a beautiful Three Star LEED Green platinum rated property in Phaltan. The hotel has 74 rooms with rooms for physically disabled people as well as single female travellers. The room overlooks a beautiful farm in the backyard of the hotel. The property also has a number of pomegranate and chikoo trees.
The hotel has a multicuisine restaurant Green Bean and a bar; however, my favourite part of the hotel was the Kundalini spa which is managed by an exceptional therapist Dheeraj. Do go for one of his foot therapies when you’re there.
Other things to do
- Visit the Rajwada Palace of the royal family of Phaltan. Sadly I missed out on this since there was a death in the royal family and the palace was closed for visitors.
- Jakson Inns also arranges trips to the Fratelli and Four Seasons vineyards.
- You can indulge in some farm life, milk a cow, take a bullock cart and tractor ride at a farm and also have an early morning breakfast at the farm. All this is arranged by the property.
How to get there
Phaltan is around 250 kms from Mumbai and 110 kms from Pune so driving there is the best option. If you’re planning to stay at Jakson Inns, you can ask for a pickup from your city. The closest train station is Lonand which is around 18kms from Phaltan and well connected from Mumbai and Pune. The nearest airport is Pune which is 110 kms from Phaltan.
This blog post was a collaboration with Jakson Inns who hosted me on this trip. To learn more about them and the packages they offer, click here.