Best driving roads: From Mumbai to Pawna Lake
Most people go to Lonavala and enjoy the run up the usually well-kept road to Aamby Valley. Little do they know that just off the path lies the excellent Pawna Lake circuit. You can choose to begin the look from the Aamby Valley Road or at the other end, through the town or via the quieter entry point just before the tollbooth at Kamshet.
We started from the Aamby Valley side and the initial 2-3km don't look promising. The road is narrow and there are potholes. The vegetation is close to you and it doesn't look like fun. But shortly thereafter, the road stays narrow but its condition improves, and you start hitting the long, open stretches which make this ride such a good one.
The views of the water of the Pawna reservoir are beautiful, and the road isn't too tight but it's constantly twisting. You only pass a few villages here and there, and be warned, there's little food and no fuel stations on this little piece of spaghetti.
As you get closer to the Lonavala side, you come to the Pawna Dam itself, but just before that there's a strip of road cunningly built on the top of a ridge that snakes down into the vast valley. The views and the feel are wonderful.
Then of course, you go off the road to the left to the area just behind the dam itself, and the views are beautiful. About 5-8km later you come to a fork in the road. The right takes you out to the Pune-Mumbai Highway at the Kamshet toll. The left takes you below and past the Lohagad Fort, and then you hit the highway passing through the squalor that can be Lonavala town.
Traffic is light and the road is narrow, so you do have to be careful. But this is a good little run because when all is said and done, you're barely 75km away from Mumbai at the farthest point. A short, sweet run then.
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