City slickers in Mumbai and Pune looking for a nature getaway might consider the Karvi Festival that will be held in the hill stations of Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani from Sept 16-18. The three-day event—named after the karvi flower that blooms once every eight-odd years—hopes to introduce urban residents to the natural and manmade heritage of the region.
The schedule includes morning hikes, story-telling sessions, moonlit bonfires, and tastings of local produce like mahua wine, and the rare and exquisite karvi honey. Mornings are dedicated to child-friendly activities, such as interactive drama sessions with mud art, but there are other activities during the day, including talks on traditional textiles, and visits to an organic farm and the Devrai Art Village nearby. The highlight of the festival is the “concert in a cave”, where soul, folk and fusion musicians perform in a cavern at Table Land, in Panchgani.
If the activities becomes too much to handle, slip away for a walk: the hills around the Western Ghats in Maharashtra are blanketed in the delicate, purple karvi flowers.
The organisers have partnered with local hotels and homestays in the area to get patrons deals on accommodation. More on the Karvi Festival here.
Where Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani, Maharashtra
When Sept 16-18, 2016
Getting There Mahabaleshwar is 218km/5hr30min by road from Mumbai and 120km/3hr by road from Pune; Panchgani is 244km/4hr30min by road from Mumbai and 102km/2hr30min by road from Pune. The two hill stations are a short drive from each other. The closest railway station is Wathar (65km/1hr45min by road from Mahabaleshwar), which is connected to Mumbai by trains. Daily buses connect Mumbai and Pune with Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. From Mumbai, the bus journey takes between 8-10hr.
Passes Two-day festival passes ₹2,500 (includes admission to all events, breakfast on Saturday and lunch on Sunday); children below 14 years ₹1,500.
Schedule Visit www.karvifestival.com/