The Machan

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My daughter had a 3 day break & we wanted to go somewhere close to Mumbai but at the same time didn’t want to go to the usual Lonavla/Khandala hotels.

My favorite travel magazine, Lonely Planet came to the rescue ! They carry this nice feature on short breaks & had written about The Machan . . 16 kms away from Lonavala on the way to Aamby Valley. They are so discreet & well hidden that unless you didn’t have the detailed directions , right down to the 2 white milestones that mark the path to their property, you wouldn’t be able to find it ! And once you find it you’re not so sure if you want anyone else to find it ! Yeah, it’s that nice 🙂

So you’re basically up on a tree in a tent with a beautiful view of the Western ghats . A tent so to say but beautifully furnished with a big bathroom … All very nice & clean . And when you sit out on the deck the clouds came rolling over you . Definitely a magical place to go to in the monsoons. The food is nice, fresh home cooked fare served in a tent (on the ground) which is lit up with only candles & lanterns at night. And the silence there has a soothing sound … It’s the sound of a hundred crickets chirping, leaves rustling & the wind howling. Both the days that we were there it rained heavily & I loved listening to the storm, safely ensconced in our tent. My husband,Rohit thought that the tent shook too much & he barely slept a wink whereas our daughter Kiara & me slept like babies 🙂 I must add here that Kiara & I are rollercoaster fans whereas Rohit gets sick just looking at the ferris wheel going round.

The Machan is located in Jambulne village which is considered one of the 25 biological hotspots of the world. So one of the activities they offer & I’d highly recommend is taking a guided nature walk around their size able property of 25 acres. They had a naturalist named Terry doing this & we really enjoyed it. Like typical city folks we squealed when we saw a snake & went Omg when he caught a small frog & held it up for us to see ! Terry also pointed out the different kinds of trees & explained how the Machan owners have revived the fragile ecosystem of this piece of land which was mostly degraded by repeated slash and burn cultivation, overgrazed and stifled by a dense carpet of Karvi (weeds).So while you marvel at the beauty of this place also bear in mind that a lot of effort went into making it the self sustaining property it is today .

After the nature walk we were charged up to do something a little more challenging the next day & decided to trek up to the Lohagad Fort,which is close by. Unfortunately when we reached midway it started raining heavily,becoming rather slippery & unsafe, so we had to turn back. But we’ll conquer it someday soon.

It was a refreshing break & we plan to return with our family. This time I’d like to book the Heritage Machan which used to be the original bungalow of the owners … 3 bedrooms with a stunning view of the valley . Always fun to stumble upon interesting places like this 🙂 I plan to discover more such hidden gems & share them with you . And with this blog I start a new category of This, That & the Other . . . The Travel Tales . I’ve always loved traveling & have done a good bit of it but the heart wants to wander a lot more . . . So to many more travel tales in the future . . .

Until then . . I’ll keep in mind what the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu said . . A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step .






  1. It is great to visit such places.Sometimes it is required to take out time from our so called busy schedule for us & our family.It always feel gr8 to visit such place wherein you do not have mobile to disturbe, no Idiot Box to stop you to spend time with your family.It feels good to spend time in such superb natural environment, out of our regular Concrete hang outs.I like the place you described.We in our friend circle always try to explore such places. Will try to visit Machan.Thanks for information

  2. Manasi my manasi,
    You weave lovely tales and after reading this and closing my eyes…it’s the next destination when I am in Bombay again. Thank you for your lovely stories and for always bringing a smile on my lips….keep the writing spirit up and I promise to keep reading…..

    1. Alka my dear Alka , you’re comment brought a smile to my face 🙂
      I will keep writing ! You have to keep reading ! And,yes Machan should be a must on your next visit .

  3. What can I say.. Even though I was there on this holiday, it made me enjoy n appreciate it more after reading this beautiful piece !!!!! My wife, u make me proud.. Won’t say more or u’ll start crying reading my comment.. I hope u write a film or book someday soon ..

    1. The Machan sounds like a perfect retreat after a hectic schedule of the ‘business of living’. Beautifully written travelogue, and hopefully Machan should be on our holiday radar soon. Keep the articles coming…Enjoy reading them!

  4. Manasi ji,, beautiful narration..your recountal makes “THE MACHAN” more drawing.. thanks for sharing your explore…

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