The Secret Gateaway!
Last weekend I had the best gate-away I could ever ask for. The entire week’s work takes such a toll on the mind and body that it becomes absolutely essential to have a relaxing weekend to gear for the week that awaits. And, if someone proposes a weekend party or a short vacation, I usually am not up for it unless the place and company is worth indulging. So, something similar happened last week when my father and a couple of his friends had planned a weekend trip to a place situated on the outskirts of the city, Hidden Village. Initially, I was aversive towards being a party to this plan but when I saw the pictures of the place my mind immediately said a yes. With just a 75 kms drive from Mumbai, the drive was pleasant and smooth with the highway being mostly empty in the wee hours of the morning. It took us 2 and a half hours to reach the place (with a halt in between for breakfast) and as the name suggests, the place was actually hidden in a small locality called Atgaon which is 6 kms from Shahpur. For people who do not know, Shahpur is an agricultural and industrial area located on the outskirts of Mumbai.
Hidden Village is in a small corner of a road and the entire place is full of greenery, with beautiful hotel rooms built on hilly terrains. There is a waterfall coming from a nearby dam area which forms an important attraction of this place. Because the place is situated in a village, the feel and experience is also like staying in a village. The staff of the hotel is hardworking, cooperative and extremely warm.
The entrance to Hidden Village
Typical village architecture welcomes you to Hidden Village
The rooms were big and spacious to accommodate our group of 13 people comfortably. All kinds of facilities were made available in the rooms starting from extra beddings to bedsheets and pillows. The rooms were air-conditioned with hot water available 24/7. There was a big seating area outside the room with tables and chairs.
The living area in the room
Seating space outside room
The two days that I was there, the weather was at its best. It was raining and the greenery was endearing with cool breeze blowing throughout the day. When we arrived, the dam water was clean and clear with the flow quite normal to venture and soak ourselves in the cool waters. The next morning when I woke up, I was astonished to see the same dam water turned into coffee colour flowing at gushing speed, owing to the incessant overnight showers.
Clear waters of the dam Tansa
Coffee colour water thanks to incessant rains
Hidden Village is a perfect place for people across all age groups. Apart from the dam, there is a swimming pool to relax in, a recreational section where a number of indoor games are set for having fun with our group members. I particularly enjoyed playing foosball which puts your motor skills to test and can get quite exhausting towards the end. Apart from that, one can easily while away an hour or two by playing carom, pool and table-tennis.
The best thing about being at Hidden Village is that at no point in time you will feel hungry. The staff there makes sure that you are well fed during your stay. Their breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks consisted of lip- smacking Maharashtrian delicacies, namely, Misal, spicy Chicken, Mutton and Fish curries along with desi desserts to pamper your taste buds.
The Restaurant Area
There was this mini trek trail that one can take within the hidden village and go up to the dam area where you would be greeted by some white ducks. The trek trail is a relaxing walking up the slope with greenery all around and if you are lucky enough you would also spot some rare bird species out there. Make sure to keep your cameras handy to capture these birds and the flowers that you would discover on your way.
At reasonable overnight rates, I feel this is the perfect place to sneak away from the hustle of our daily lives because we truly deserve a peaceful get-away over the weekend. You can check their website (www.hiddenvillage.in) in order to check the kind of rooms and tariffs they have to offer. I am sure after checking their website, you will be tempted to pack your bags and drive off in pursuit of relaxation and mental bliss.
All images © Kainat27