“Lavasa is a grand concept.The web site (www.lavasa.com) promises much. The temperature, they say is between a cool 17 degrees to a warm 32 degrees. The temperature certainly drops as we drive up to the hill station. However, it is still quite hot when we reach.
The web site mentions that Dasve is the first township that is created. Pictures give the impression of a completed waterfront with picturesque european style town houses built around it. The lights shimmer off the multi coloured houses, and their beauty is reflected back from the clear waters.
The road to the city is truly world class, but the situation at ground zero is slightly different. The lake is almost dry, and efforts to dam the water have not worked for now. Less than 5 buildings are complete. There is construction happening at a frantic pace. Everywhere, the ground is dug up. There are huge mounds of earth, stone and gravel piled up. There are heavy vehicles all around, some of them carting construction material, others carting workers, yet some other water for the building. There are smaller vehicles with generators and digging equipment on the sides of the roads, and there is the sound of earth meeting rock, always.
There is a little water on the lake, where boats, (motorized and otherwise) heroically try to present a picture of a 'resort'. but the waterfront above, around which all the buildings stand, is almost completely dry. The water is muddy, and stagnant.
Yet, a more closer look reveals emerging beauty and painstaking care. The scale is massive. There are houses being constructed on hills spread over squares of kilometres. There seems to be a meticulous plan beneath it all. The promenade on the waterfront is created European style. The floor is of stone, and there are beautifully landscaped gardens, seats and corniches. The water flows like a river and the promenade and buildings rise on either side. Like Paris, there are quaint arched stone bridges which connect the two sides together. Buildings are painstakingly constructed in a classic style, with stone in the ground floor, and concrete above.
The infrastructure is world class - there is a dam with sluice gates to control the water level, storm drains, great roads, and we saw pipelines being constructed for internet and cable.
There are many small dwellings created to house the workers. Vehicles ferry the workers to different parts of Lavasa for work. There is even a temple constructed for them.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: There are three hotels in Lavasa now. The Fortune Select is the most expensive with tariff between INR 5000-8000. Large and opulent, it comes alive in the muted lighting at night.
There is the Waterfront Shaw which consists of serviced apartments. Exquisitely designed 2 and 1 bedroom apartments, and studio apartments with an international touch are yours at the price of INR 4000-6000 a night. The Waterfront Shaw has one restaurant now, an American diner. The food is delicious, and worth many visits.
Both of these hotels face the waterfront.
The Ekaant Retreat is the third hotel, with a tariff of INR 2000 per day, food being charged extra.
Activities & things to do: There are not many things to see in Lavasa now. Most of the landscape is dotted with construction activity. Some boating can be done in the lake, but water levels are very low. A walk in the promenade by the night is good. Visitors can visit the information centre, which gives information about Lavasa vision, current status and timelines. One can drive to nearby RamNagar for a magnificient valley and forest view. There are many beautiful tiny gardens built on the sides of the winding road, where views of the city and the valley can be seen.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: A mere mortal can think of building a house, a greater man can think of building a township, but only a mythical being can make a world class city rise from nothing, put in world class infrastructure, change the course of water and air, grow trees out of nothing, and connect it by road and air to the world.
Like god, his presence is felt everywhere, but nowhere is he seen. He has created a world class road that runs from chandni chowk, for more than 40 plus kilometres to the 690 mtr hillstation. He has built a dam to hold the waters in his city, and prevent it from flowing elsewhere. A magic technological wand is being waved to forest the mountains in a few years. Unlike other indian cities, buildings are spacious and aesthetic, with ample space and lots of forest cover.
But there are questions. Can a culture of grace, and grandeur which evolved over centuries be replicated in a few years? Can the European architectural style withstand the Indian climes? Surely, a construction of this magnitude has caused thousands of trees to be uprooted and animals to be displaced. Is this eco friendly? What has happened to the original inhabitants? Will the vision last even when the visionary is gone?
Only time will tell. But for now, it seems that Lavasa is an idea whose time is coming. When done, we will have Europe near Pune. With world class hotels, colleges, companies, and a modern city with old world charm, it will be a city that few can resist.”
- State: Maharashtra
- Famous for/as: Hill
Lavasa is among the first planned cities in India, located in the Pune district of Maharashtra. It is located behind the Dam of Varasgaon, near Pune and Mumbai and is situated on the banks of Baji Pasalkar. The distance between Lavasa and Pune is about 65 kilometres and it is about 180 kilometres from Mumbai. There are five routes that lead to Lavasa from these regions. More »
Lavasa is popular because of the mountains and valleys that surround the region. It is because of the location of this place, people find opportunities for adventurous activities like mountain climbing, hiking and trekking.. The popular attractions here include the Lakeshore, which offers opportunities of adventure sports like boating against the strong currents of the lake, cruises and jet skiing.
Lavasa is set on the seven hills of Maharashtra in the Mose valley. The city was planned and built as per the principles of ecological sustainable environment and urbanisation. The city is equipped with all the latest means of technologies and facilities, which are being managed by HCC India.
Major attractions near Lavasa include Pune, which is around 65 kilometres and is also the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Mumbai, also known as the business capital of India is about 300 kilometres from the place and is also one of the largest metropolitan areas in India. Mumbai is also the capital of Maharashtra state and has rich cultural history that attracts people, who visit Lavasa.
The weather conditions in Lavasa remain pleasant throughout the year.. The best time to visit Lavasa is during the monsoon season because of the pleasant weather that allows the exploration of natural wildlife and waterfalls located in the region.
Lavasa can be reached from Pune, which has the nearest airport at a distance of 49 kilometres from Lavasa. The airport of Pune is connected to nine other Indian cities. The other airports located nearby are Chhtarapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) of Mumbai, located around 215 kilometres. The recently constructed airport at Panvel is located 145 kilometres away.