With stress being a regular feature of our lives, do you ever want to run away to a jungle and escape the nuances of modern life? No phone calls, emails or client meetings! Just you, in the lap of nature! We all crave to be in the peace and serenity provided by nature but do not know how. We all want to escape from concrete jungle and want some beautiful moments in the real jungle full of nature trails, exotic birds, waterfalls and morning fogs. Where evenings are warm with camp fire, where people talk to each other rather than check their phones every now and then. Yes! All this is possible at The Machan Lonavala, a luxury tree house which is 120 kilometers away from Mumbai, on the way to Aamby Valley.
The Machan is located in the scenic Jambulne jungle, about 17km from Lonavla. The property is located at a height of 3000 ft above sea level and is spread across 25 acres of land which was restored and fenced in a bid to safeguard natural flora and fauna. The property has 20000 lush green flower and fruit bearing trees. You can also witness wildlife such as rabbits, mongoose, porcupines, grey langurs, barking deers, etc. A variety of seasonal birds, vibrant insects, crabs, moths, frogs and snakes can also be seen. Now, that’s called a real jungle experience. In order to remain sustainable, water harvesting system and a solar and wind hybrid system has been implemented in the property.
The Machan has four categories of guest rooms – Heritage, Canopy, Forest and Cabin. Heritage being the original machan and the most luxurious; it is a favourite with the guests. You can enjoy 360 degree view of the valley from the glass walled rooms at such a height. You will be able to enjoy wooden floors, open showers and heritage décor, fresh air and much more. The experience is different for sure. The food served is nothing extra ordinary but fresh as they grow most of the produce in their property or get it from the nearby village. Somehow, perched at such a height, you might become reflective, feel like a bird, or you might feel free from all the worldly stuff. I am not saying that you will attain Nirvana there. But you will see nature at its best. Best time to visit is in the monsoons when the ghats are lush green or during the winters (Nov – Mar).
There are no frills on this property. No A/C, swimming pool, games room, saunas or spas, just nature and you enjoying each other’s company. A double room will cost you anything between Rs 10000 to 12000 which includes your breakfast. For other meals you have to pay and order much in advance. As you are in a jungle, there is hardly anything around the property. Room service is sluggish. There isn’t much activity on the property other than bird watching and walking down the nature trails. It is ideal for families and couples who need a quiet time to catch up with each other without any disturbances.
Take the Mumbai-Pune Expressway to the Lonavala/Khandala Exit (onto the old highway NH4)
Turn Right (coming from Mumbai)/Turn Left (coming from Pune) at the Kumar Resorts T-junction on NH4
Follow directions to Aamby Valley/INS Shivaji onto Jalvaayu Marg – 1.7 km
Continue on Jalvaayu Marg until you pass Air force colony on your left – 6.7 km
Follow this road (Aamby Valley road) to Cloud 9 Resort – 6.5 km
At Cloud 9 Resort, turn Left and again immediate Left towards Essar Agrotech
Follow this Road until you spot two whitewashed stones on the Left – 0.9 km
Turn Left onto Private Access Road and follow it to the Machan
My verdict: Go there for the sake of experience. It is certainly the one you will cherish for a long long time.