Saturday, July 30, 2016

Matheran - Weekend Getaway Near Mumbai

Matheran is a beautiful hill station just a few hours away from Mumbai. This red mud hill station is the only non-automobile hill station in India, thus be prepared to walk and ride a horse.

We decided to go there for a two day trip. Matheran is best for even a one day trip or if you are into trekking this place is good for that too.

You can board a Karjat bound train from Mumbai and get down at Neral. You can either board a mini toy train from Neral to go to Matheran, the train drops you off in the heart of Matheran. Or you can take a sharing cab which drops you off at Dasturi. You have to walk from Dasturi or opt for a horse ride. If you are driving then you can park your car at Dasturi and then walk from there. The toy train doesn't work in monsoon.

We caught the afternoon train and reached Neral around 5.15pm. We took the share cab to go to Dasturi. I had heard a lot that the cab drivers are rash drivers, I was completely sure that I would panic the moment he speeds but luckily our cabbie was nice and drove safely. They charge Rs. 70 per person. After the 20 minutes cab ride we were at Dasturi and the first thing I saw were monkeys!

If you are going to Matheran be ready to face monkeys everywhere! I repeat, everywhere! Make sure you don't tease them nor do you carry any eatables, they are going to snatch it from you.

We decided to go for a night trek (well, kind of) so we walked from Dasturi to  Matheran along the train tracks. If you are feeling adventurous and want to do something like this then please make sure you are wearing good shoes and carrying a torch or some source of light. It is pitch dark there and at times you would pass some locals going up and down the hill but other than that, nothing. Also make sure that you are prepared to deal with monkeys, if you come across any. Although they are not around at night especially during monsoon. We did manage to go half way before I started freaking out and made my way back to the hotel.

We did come across this beautiful sight on our way, and had I not been freaking out I think I would have enjoyed the sight better.

The next day we again made our way to the town and explored the place. Matheran has a number of ‘points’ sunset, sunrise, suicide, khandala etc. but the issue during monsoon is that it is always covered with fog so unless you are lucky and you manage to reach the point during the brief period when the fog is clearing you won't be able see much other than plain white blanket. Don't get me wrong, that is beautiful as well. It was raining the whole time we were there and it was just perfect!

Lake, fog, rain and me 😎 Walked almost for 20mins from the town market to this lake. The way to go to this place is narrow, covered with trees walk way. It almost feels like you are in a jungle ( technically you are! But in a civilised jungle) the walk is beautiful in monsoon. I initially did get a little skeptical about going as it was all Misty and seemed deserted but later that added to the fun. More on the this place on my blog soon. The Link is in the bio. Or you can visit #Blogger #Bblogger #Travel #Youtuber #Matheran #Neral #Maharashtra #MaharashtraTourism #travelblogger #Weekend #Hillstation #Raigad #Monkey #Indianyoutuber #Mumbai #Girl #Femaletraveller #travelblog #travelblog #trip #holiday #travelling #tourism #instatraveling #Clouds #Valley #Trek #trekking #Monsoon #charlottelake
A photo posted by Pooja Mahimkar (@poojamahimkar) on

We made our way to Charlotte lake. Reaching this place is also bit of a walk, make sure you keep asking for directions on your way as it is very easy to miss the little right turn that leads to the lake. Once you take the right turn, you enter this narrow walkway which surrounded by trees. Again, it was just beautiful in the monsoon. The walk was covered with fog and mist, we occasionally met other people who were visiting the lake but other than those handful few it was just us walking into this civilised jungle. Of Course the monkeys kept us company.

The lake is beautiful, it kinda reminded me of the Lake from Harry Potter movies.

We ate some maggi and tea at the lake and then headed back. I was too tired to walk down to Dasturi again so we decided to opt for the horse ride. I was again too terrified that I absolutely forgot to take any pictures while I was holding on the horse for my dear life.

We took a cab ride back and then then train to Mumbai and we were home!

Matheran really is beautiful and perfect for a weekend away. I wonder how awesome it would be in Winter.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tea Villa Cafe, Hill Road - Review

I ended up at Tea Villa Cafe on a rainy Saturday afternoon. The rains had damned our shopping trip and we thought of spending some time at this place and wait for rains to calm down so we could indulge in some retail therapy.

The place was bustling with people and I was glad when we got a table for two immediately. The menu looks interesting and they had tons of options in Teas (obviously) the coffee options were limited and honestly quite disappointing. Another bummer was that it is a vegetarian place so I settled for a waffles with maple syrup while my friend ordered for a vegetarian burger, both the dishes were good. No complaints there.

The tea also was interesting, the presentation gets full marks and so does the taste. I am not an expert of tea so ill rest my case saying that I enjoyed it and would love to try out different flavours.

They get the water, tea leaves and a timer to your table and then infuse it in front of you. After the time is up, you just have to pour yourself some tea and enjoy it. Honestly, on a rainy day this was very welcoming.

The whole time that I was there, the nursery rhyme ‘I am a Teapot’ was stuck in my head.

Tea Villa Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Paint Away - Offbeat Weekend Activity In Mumbai

At times we just don’t have something new to do. We are stuck with the routine and there doesn’t seem to be anything new happening. Ofcourse chilling with friends and going to holidays work but that is not possible all the time.

PaintStrome is the fix you might be looking for. When I received the invite I was so psyched to try something new. Paintstorm is a concept that involves inspiring individuals to come together to paint, drink, eat, socialise & have a good time. It is hosted at Mumbai's popular bars & cafes once a month.

Paintstorm was born out of the realisation that options for creative recreation are virtually non-existent in Mumbai. The goal of Paintstorm is to teach share & inspire an artistic spirit on a collective & social platform. They provide a fun, creative, and non-judgmental environment in which their art eccentrics will guide you, step-by-step, through the creation of your own acrylic masterpiece which is yours to keep! They provide everything; you just have to show up and no art experience is required!

I was a little anxious as I have never painted on a canvas before but when I reached there I realised that I had nothing to worry about. They guided me perfectly though the painting. I did mess up a little bit but they were kind enough to help me fix it. I started off not so confident but ended up enjoying the event.

The workshop fees include food and drink charges, so you can just sit back paint, relax, soclialise and spend the evening doing something different than usual.

You can get in touch with them at -

A photo posted by Pooja Mahimkar (@poojamahimkar) on
A photo posted by Pooja Mahimkar (@poojamahimkar) on

Also, The White Owl Brewery was kind enough to take us around their brewery and tells us how beer is brewed.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Chaitanya, Dadar West - Review

If you are craving for Maharashtrian food especially sea food then this is the place for you. This tiny little place has become one of the favorite restaurants of the people living around Dadar. 

It is refreshing to see that college go-ers and the youth is drawn to the place, as opposed to other thali places which is generally frequented by families. They have amazing malvani food; I loved the fact that they serve unlimited soul kadhi with the Thali. They have crab lollypop which has become a hit amongst the customers, I tried it and was really liked it.

The place is small and generally there is waiting during lunch/dinner time. I advise you to go a little earlier or be prepared to wait for your turn. Dadar needed a nice place for Maharashtrian food. 

Chaitanya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, July 8, 2016

Are We Fairy Tale Princess?

“I want a guy who is witty, takes efforts, honest..” the list went on.
“He should look good, that’s very important”
“Also the family matters”
The conversation just went on with everyone listing what they look for in a guy.
“Do you really think you all are perfect?” I inquired.
A brief silent followed.
“All I am saying is that, we expect so much from the guys but are we that perfect as well?”, I justified.

Somehow these days I see a lot of the female folks around me have conditions and qualities that they want in their guy. Of course I have my hold ups as and I wouldn’t date someone who is completely opposite to what I look for in a guy. But always having high expectation and then cribbing that there aren’t good guys around is unfair.

We are not flawlessly beautiful all day, we fail in the kitchen and in other household chores (maybe some of you excel at it), we are also not overly kind, calm and selfless like all our fairy princess, and then when we are not perfect why are we waiting for a prince charming.

It is time to understand that no one is perfect and relationships and love take work, a lot of work! As long as you see the person at least trying to take effort for you then appreciate that and love that!
Under no circumstances should one settle for something or someone, but don’t let go of someone because they have two flaws and eight other amazing things.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Weekend Getaway Near Mumbai - Manori Beach

If you are looking for something to do in around Mumbai in Monsoon then visiting Manori beach could be one of the options.

Although there is no over selling point here as the beach is pretty secluded with almost nothing around but can make up for a good time by not leaving the city limits.

If you enjoy drives and sea then this could be a day trip for you. The beach is 5kms away from Gorai beach, where most of the people go. Gorai tends to get crowded on holidays and weekends but Manori manages attract less people which made it perfect for me.

Things to remember:
The roads are narrow and there is hardly space for 2-3 car parkings. Be ready to park the car a little away and walk to the beach, many come here on bikes as well.
The beach is not very big but you can sit on the rocks or on the church which is at the entrance and enjoy the view.
I am being brutally honest and telling you that the water is not exactly clean, so you need to pick your spot and park yourself there.
The beach almost disappears during high tide.
You can pack a picnic box and then lay out a picnic mat on the beach; it would make up for a really nice memory by the beach.
The road to and fro the place is beautiful and you can definitely wait and click some good pictures.