Finally temperatures are cooling here. Saturday was in lower 30’s which is a big relief after the month of mid 40’s in May. June and early monsoon showers are very welcome.
To make most of the lovely weather, we made an impromptu trip to Blackbuck resort in Bidar. Technically in Karnataka, Bidar is a 3 hour drive from Hyderabad and a popular weekend destination from Hyderabad. The resort is set on banks of Vilaspur lake about 25 kms from Bidar. Most people start early on Saturday morning, have breakfast en-route and spend the morning exploring Bidar fort and tombs before heading to Blackbuck resort for lunch.Rest of the day can be spent at the resort with variety of activities.
Nested on banks of lake, the blackbuck resort is home to langoors and peacocks. It is clean, spacious and offers package deals including meals at a reasonable rate. The staff is very helpful. While the resort is not very luxurious, it is a great place to unwind after a hectic week. A lovely place amidst nature a short drive from hustle and bustle of Hyderabad!
To keep visitors engaged, the resort offers a lot of activities. Nature walk to see Emu farm is offered in the evening. Lots of different varieties of birds are seen en-route and come visit the lake at sunset. There were these yellow flowers in bloom all along the path along with fiery red Gulmohar. And so were these unique fruits that the birds love to feast on. When the lake is full post monsoon season the resort also offers coracle rides on the lake.
The sunset over the lake was brought to life by the chirping of birds, playfulness of monkeys and the beautiful red-yellow afterglow. After sunset we enjoyed a wild life documentary along with a round of beer and snacks. Telescope was setup to star gaze and post dinner a campfire was setup.
The best part of staying at the resort is the safari at sunrise to see the blackbucks. Even Varun was thrilled to get up early to go out in the jeep and see deers in their natural habitat. We not only saw deers but a wild boar, countless peacocks and many langoors. While we were driving back, a dog chased a herd of blackbucks around and it was surreal to see them galloping away.
We also saw a whole bunch of colorful birds whose name I don’t recall anymore.
We came back from the safari to breakfast and then sat on the private gallery off the cottage to watch more birds and animals come to the lake below. We saw lizards and a huge reptile cross across the brush below amongst other scary animals like tadpoles, frogs and squirrels.
We left after taking a short nap as we were tired after carrying Varun on the long nature walk and waking up early to for the Safari. Our initial plan was to leave after lunch and shop for the Bidri artwork that Bidar is so famous for. But the mid day heat got to us. It was back in 40’s again. Varun slept as soon as we started driving back. We plan to visit again after the monsoon season when the weather will be cooler, the lake full and the deers back in larger numbers.
If you have visited Lonavla, you may have heard about Rajmachi point.
It’s a scenic viewpoint on Mumbai-Pune highway with magnificent views of Khandala valley. We went there with Varun in December, during our last trip to India. We were visiting the Vaghjai temple that’s around the corner from this point and walked up the park so Varun could run around.
The place was over run with tourists, school children and pilgrims from temple. And of course with monkeys. The monkeys are aggressive, so keep an eye out on your food and shiny objects. Kids especially are fascinated by them and get hurt when monkeys snatch peanuts/corn on the cob etc (which they are enticed with by various hawkers outside the park) from their tiny hands.
It’s not worthwhile to make a trip to Lonavla just for this, but if you are in the neighborhood, make a quick stop at the park for kids to run around, watch monkeys and to stretch your legs before the drive back to Mumbai.