Panchgani among five hills in the Sahyadri mountain ranges with the Krishna river flowing in its valley was my childhood holiday and a place filled with sweet memories. In iPhotograph- Panchgani I relate some of the precious moments that I had in this angelic and charming hill station.
Precious First Memory
My very first memory of going on a holiday was when my parents told me we would be going to Panchgani in the December vacation. We were thrilled to bits to go on a holiday. Up until then we would go to my dad’s village and the farm house also memorable but this would be a new experience for us.
Panchangi was every bit a little girl’s dream. We were close to nature, had plenty of space to run, explore, hide and be ourselves. The weather was beautiful that it made you feel fresh and invigorated. There was a lovely garden at the holiday home we stayed at and we loved spending time there.
We soon became friends with the manager’s children and they would remain our friends for a very long time. With them we would explore parts of Panchgani we never knew, played like crazy, took long walks, bike rides ( me going double seat), even went hunting for a Christmas tree in the grounds and sang Christmas carols together with their family over a beautiful Christmas dinner.
We would have our meals in an elegant dining room and the walk from the room to the hall would be one which we’d have to make a run for because it used to be freezing cold in the winters. It had a carrom board and an old tv set everyone would gather around after meals.
I remember once sitting on a swing in the garden I spotted a small bird that looked like a robin and started having a conversation with it. Nature was all around and it was okay to speak to the trees and birds.
As I grew older I would take my college notes and books and studied out in the garden. It felt so good to study out in the open.
Long and Winding Walks
Panchgani always meant long and winding walks to the market place. The walks were so enjoyable even though the distance. There were beautiful schools right through.
The market place itself was a most charming one. We would do a little shopping from the Kashmiri stalls, eat some roasted peanuts and hand made gulkand ice cream and while away our time there. Our fire temple was close to the market and we would go to offer our prayers.
The market till now still remains almost the same now yes with more shops and a little busier but still with a rustic charm.
There was a time when we sat around the garden with friends we had made on that particular trip and the moon hung really low as if we could touch it. It was a most beautiful sight.
We even went down a road once very late at night and as we were plunged into darkness the sky was lit with stars and I saw my first shooting star. I was delighted. It was a very beautiful experience.
Panchgani was a place we visited umpteen number of times after that first trip and the reason being that we were always so close to nature and it had so much charm. The pictures I put in the slideshow for iPhotograph- Panchgani don’t measure up to the million memories we made there on innumerable trips even then the photographs bring back recollections of the place.
Panchgani; memories of childhood days spent with friends, surrounded by nature, long and winding roads, the moon and the stars, monkeys, horses and stray puppies, tall eucalyptus trees, the river, the mountains and innocence.