Weekend Fling With Mahabaleshwar – My Photostory

When the monsoons put on a show, trust me, Mahabaleshwar has got the best seats. And we waste no time in grabbing them every year.
There’s some sort of romance associated with those pattering rain-drops and this place. Verdant hills seem to quiver in the freezing mist, which is why they keep themselves warm in those velvetty green quilts. Singing of birds, shrieking of monkeys, fluttering of leaves when they leap, mooing of cows… is all what you see and hear. No screeching horns, no yelling alarms… just nature at her seductive best.
A walk on these lone misty roads and Langoors suddenly prancing out of nowhere. Our romantic walk quickly turned into an adventure and we scampered towards our hotel with those bags full of goodies.
Doesn’t this look straight out of a horror movie…
Scenery bw
Venna Lake:

Uncle Patel, quiet a raconteur, took us for a wonderful long ride on the lake. Longer than the others did. With hair-raising tales of goats and dogs being kidnapped by leopards at night, tigers been relocated and sinewy bisons still inhabiting the place, it was a relief to know all these awaited the other side of the lake. Uncle Patel also took us to a place right above a house submerged 12 feet under water. He actually made us hit the oars on the roof…evidence corroborated! When I asked if I could click him, he beamed. Said this was the first time a tourist had asked him for his pic. Else he’d always been behind the lens. That sound when the oars whack those calm waters is so therapeutic.
Venna Patel uncle
Venna Lake is quiet generous with amateur photogs like me 🙂
Venna Horses
Mahabaleshwar has some of the best and out-of-the-farm produce to offer.
Venna Fruits

Don’t dare miss the piping hot ginger tea
Venna Ginger tea

With corn pakodas and green chutney for company
Corn Patties

Roasted sweet corn is another option if you don’t mind those vampire teeth later… except for the burnt black hues instead of red 🙂
Venna Corn

Shivneri Restaurant has an array of Maharashtrian dishes, including North Indian ones. We gorged on the fiery Malvani Chicken Curry, tender fried Kolhapuri Chicken, straight-out-of-the-pan Chapatis and steamed White Rice. Jowar and Bajra Bhakris are awesome. They take 30 minutes to come after the order is placed.

Shivneri Food
The gorgeous fresh pizza from the wood-fired oven and a mug of hot chocolate mocha at Mapro. It’s as touristy as it gets. They even have their own baked bread for their wide range of delectable sandwiches. Now, that’s something you cant afford to miss. (visit www.mapro.com)
Mapro pizza
This is the time to lose yourself, get engulfed by the smell of wet earth and let the cold mist kiss the tip of your nose. Leave the city behind for those two days of sheer rejuvenation… before the rains bid adieu.
Go, experience the beauty of monsoon in Mahabaleshwar…


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Warm welcome to BitesandPlaces!
My humble little blog has its own story to tell… my story… I’m gregarious being, vagabond at heart and have a monstrous appetite for food. I used to be a Human Resource professional until few years ago. To be among, with and for people was the reason I’d chosen this field.
Being in HR, I could only accomplish the ‘people’ part. I still yearned to be in those places I saw on TV and travel magazines and craved to eat all kinds of food that lulls you into coma. I didn’t want to be just a spectator anymore. I wanted to be in those pictures.
Luck smiled at me and I fell sick with an awful heart, lungs and liver disorder. Family said stay home. Rest.
Rest? Were they crazy? I grabbed this opportunity and quit my job; to pursue my passion – people, places and food.

Being on my own gave me lot of spare time for all the three.
I’m not a professional cook, but I’m mighty passionate about cooking. Although Indian, BitesandPlaces does not restrict itself to just the dishes of my country, which are toothsome beyond doubt. I’ve also tried to put together a bunch of mouth-watering and eye-pleasing recipes scattered from all parts the world. A lot of them are a tribute to my mum’s kitchen, the ones I grew up with. Few of them are a result of my experimentation and few others, borrowed from my generous friends 🙂

I religiously follow Andrew Zimmern’s favorite quote – what looks good to your eyes, EAT IT!! After all food is something that follows no boundaries, isn’t it.

Travel, I believe, is about exploring new places, meeting new people, building new relations, soaking in their culture, gorging on their cuisines, discovering their stories and of course, capturing all of these in my teeny-tiny camera.

After having been there and done that, I was inspired to share my travelogues with you, encourage you to travel and in some way find a bit of your happiness through me.
Thus BitesandPlaces was born!

Life’s a journey and people, places and food are all a part of it. So, come along with me and eat your way through this journey called Life…

I like staying connected. And it’ll be a frosting on my cake if you drop a line or two at natasha@bitesandplaces.com.

Celebrate Life!!!
Natasha Gracious

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