Nisargshala Camping, Near Velhe. Date – 12th/13th May 2018
Camping is always refreshing, soul cleansing and fun. The sense of adventure, being wrapped up by nature and disconnect from the rest of the world does something to your spirit no posh hotel can match. Sleeping right on the earth (almost), under a clear starry sky, breathing in fresh wild air is something that can cure any stress or convert the biggest skeptic. I recently had a great experience at Nisargshala Camping (about 80 km from Pune). It is a very small operation managed just by owner Hemant and his associate, Sunil. No frills, no pretence, just pure, simple camping.
Nisargshala has a huge expanse with a large camping area complete with a mountain and their own waterfall. It’s secluded with no network coverage or internet. But it has small villages within a few km for necessities.
The camping experience was absolutely amazing. Hemant and Sunil took very good care of us and were perfect hosts. All the arrangements were made professionally, so the tents, food, rappelling and star gazing was an absolute pleasure and very informative. My wife, who was camping for the first time, was a bit sceptical before but she had a great time and enjoyed it. Learning to pitch tents on your own and tending to your own barbeque fire was a really fun experience.
I have camped many times before, both good and bad. Nisargshala is definitely a great camp. There are enough rules to make sure no one misbehaves or no one disturbs other campers. And there is enough freedom so that you can pitch your tent anywhere in the area, so that you can have your own private time too. Also there are no compulsions for morning wake up or activities. So you get the best of both worlds. A comfortable stay, fun activities as well as time to chill out on your own.
The night time barbeque was a lot of fun, well marinated and prepared chicken as well as vegetables, which we grilled on our own and feasted on. The dinner, breakfast and lunch was really good too, home cooked local Maharashtrian food. The star gazing was fun with Hemant being a very knowledgeable guide. It was an experience watching all the stars and planets and actually understanding how to locate celestial objects and view the night sky. We even saw a bit of the Milky Way Galaxy which was great too!
The small trek and rappelling at the nearby waterfall (dry in summer) was very professionally handled. It was a lot of fun and a test of one’s nerve and fitness.
Definitely a must visit! I did find the cost to be on the higher side at Rs. 1800/person. But it includes the activities and food so it’s okay probably. Read on for photographs.
PHOTOLOGUE (Feast you eyes on the beautiful landscape)