Visiting Bhilar book village in Mahabaleshwar

In the era of Kindle, would you visit a village dedicated to books? On the way to Mahabaleshwar over a weekend, we spotted a huge signage that read Pustakanche Gaon – Bhilar. Predictably, the next morning we showed up in the village to find out more. Bhilar is a quiet town, sandwiched between the twin hill stations of Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani in Western Maharashtra. Much like its neighbours, its population of barely 3000 earn their…

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Fireflies and vegan meals in Purushwadi

[Last updated: 25 May 2019] Picture this Somewhere in the interiors of Maharashtra, you’re walking on a lonely winding road – no street lights – pitch dark – dense forest – and millions of fireflies glowing like Christmas lights. I saw this magical sight in Purushwadi, a village merely four hours from Mumbai. Every year, Purushwadi is host to the Fireflies festival, around the month of June-July. Well, it’s actually Grassroutes – an eco tourism organisation…

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Off the beaten path in Maharashtra: Phaltan-Satara with Jakson Inns

This is my 100th post on Wannabemaven. Three years and 100 posts, that’s the longest I have stuck to any hobby. Many persistent efforts later, the blog is getting noticed. Occasionally travel brands reach out and if it interests me, I am always willing to collaborate. Earlier this year, on the Independence Day long weekend, I headed to a rural town in Maharashtra called Phaltan. How many of you have heard of Phaltan? I’ve been…

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Celebrating the Bhandara festival at Khandoba Temple, Jejuri

bhandara festival jejuri - Khandoba Temple near Pune

I was randomly surfing the web one evening when I saw a picture of a temple in Jejuri covered in carpets of yellow. A quick search told me that the spectacle is called the “Bhandara Festival”. Bhandara is turmeric and the festival is related to a local God named Khandoba. Khandoba was a folk deity belonging to the 9th century. He was believed to possess qualities of Lord Shiva and his wives: Mhalsa and Banai – who…

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My Stay at Prince Desert Camp, Jaisalmer – In the Middle of Nowhere

Everything happens for the best. No really! Earlier this year, we planned a new year’s getaway to the Rann of Kutch to visit the famous Rann Utsav. Unfortunately our bookings, done by an online travel agent, got cancelled at the last moment. And with that our dreams of staying in tents and star gazing at midnight in the vast white desert of the Rann of Kutch were in shambles. But the travel enthusiasts that we…

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