A three and a half-hour drive from Mumbai brought us to this little hamlet called Malkhed. This village is located in the Haveli Tehsil of Pune district in Maharashtra, India. Situated 170 kilometres from Mumbai and about 17 kilometres from Pune, Malkhed village is also a gram panchayat. This village is not to be confused with the place in the state of Karnataka which has the same name.
This was a ‘do-nothing and relax trip’ at a guest house. However, we did go to see the 1.6 km long Khadakvasala Dam, which you can see before you arrive at Malkhed. This dam has been constructed on the Mutha River, which begins from the confluence of the rivers Ambi and Mose on which the Panshet and Varasgaon Dams are built respectively. This is the main source of water for Pune and its suburbs. I was happy to note that the backwaters of Khadakwasla Lake, right up to Panshet, Temgarh and Varasgaon dams and lakes, as well as the water in the Ambi, Mutha, Mose river do not pass through thick habitation and this limits the chances of the water-bodies getting polluted. There is no discharge of effluents into these water bodies yet. The origin of Khadakwasla lake was due to the severe droughts during the 19th century in East Pune. It was Captain Fife RE of the British Army, who recommended a high -level reservoir at Khadakwasla in 1863 and he subsequently carried out detailed surveys. This man-made lake was therefore named after him, Lake Fife. It was later renamed Khadakwasla Lake shortly after independence. In the vicinity is also the Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS).
Having an army man as a father, I was excited to see the National Defence Academy which is a mere 3 kilometres from the dam. However, as expected of a defence establishment, it is closed for visitors, though the military guards mistook my husband and me to be parents of cadets 😊! What was disappointing was the quality of the approach road to a prestigious defence academy of the nation and also the amount of litter on the road. But we were happy to get a glimpse of the academy from the outside, which looked very impressive.
Other than these short visits, we decided to stay put at the guest house and enjoy the hospitality. It was a time to step back and enjoy the wonderful view of the backwaters and enjoy the sunrise and sunset. It was time to slow down, get into your senses, choose a spot to sit, speak the language of birds and animals, look at the plants and the bounty they gave us, and just take a slow stroll.
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