The Machan-BLADE Experience

A vacation is an escape of the body and mind from the stresses of our everyday lives. When we’re on holiday the last thing we’d want to worry about is the journey.  I’m sure everyone has had travel horror stories, be it flat tires, getting stuck in traffic, or dealing with the hassle of airports.  We want our vacations to be a time of getting back to nature and unwinding, and what better way to begin it than with a scenic ride from the skyline of buildings to the skyline of trees in Lonavala

By choosing the Machan-BLADE experience, you are choosing a premium service that won numerous awards and one that many others have left glowing reviews for.  It is a partnership that is dedicated to bringing you a memory you won’t forget, from the cruise through the skies to the warm welcome awaiting you, everything has been specified to the highest standard for your satisfaction.

Allow yourself to experience the magic of a night in the trees, complete with a delicious lunch in the woods and a serene nature trail. Gaze at the stars away from the harsh city lights and explore space with our stargazing sessions.  Every perfect evening must have a candlelit dinner to end it, and our delectable menu will indulge your taste buds with the finest pleasures.

Let excellence be your baseline and come spend the night with the Machan-Blade experience.

WORLD WILDLIFE DAY: RESTORING ECOSYSTEMS

The onset of the pandemic has transformed the way humans live and how nature responds. Each day we learn something new about nature, which remains vastly unexplored. 

The importance of ecosystem restoration and the conservation of some critically endangered species of wild fauna and flora became apparent as time progressed. Conserving and restoring ecosystems could aid in the prevention of 60% of predicted extinctions.

At the Machan, an eco-centric luxury resort in Lonavala amidst the Western Ghats of India, you’ll find a variety of wild fauna and flora like the Blue Mormon butterflies, the Malabar whistling thrush, funnel-web spiders etc. In its natural state, the property stands at the heart of a unique ecosystem where natural phenomena can coexist with humans without harming them. 

The Machan philosophy revolves around three goals: CONSERVATION, PRESERVATION, AND COMMUNITY, which mirrors this year’s theme, Recovering Key Species For Ecosystem Restoration. The resort property is home to a great variety of migratory and regular birds including babblers, barbets, kingfishers, thrushes, swallows, swifts, wagtails, booted eagles, common rose finches, blue napped monarchs, turtle doves and ashy drongos among others.

Our in-house team of naturalists has converted the once barren land into a lush tropical cloud ecosystem teeming with indigenous flora, fauna, and wildlife whereby visitors witness the beauty of 

  • The Velvety Black and Blue Coloration butterflies – Blue Mormon, popularly known as the State Butterfly Of Maharashtra. 
  • The detritivores species – Termites or White Ants consume dead plants at any level of decomposition which plays a vital role in the ecosystem by recycling waste materials. 
  • The blackish with shiny blue patchy bird – Malabar Whistling Thrush .
  • The thriving Malabar Giant Squirrel species that can live up to twenty years with a diet of fruits, flowers, nuts, birds’ eggs, and insects.
  • The glorious jewel in our ecosystem – Purple Sunbird
  • The Funnel Web Spider leads to a silk burrow that acts as a protective hiding place for quickly grabbing their prey. 
  • The pretty colourful Grey Wagtail bird can eat hundreds of insects in a day and thus protecting the ecosystem by playing a vital role as an effective and non-invasive pest controller.
  • The charismatic Ribbon Dancer Bird is native to tropical Asia and typically prefers deep temperate and tropical habitats.

Our species rely on ecosystems to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves. Despite this, we face threats to our existence and the extinction of thousands of species threatens our survival. Without them, habitats and ecosystems are in peril. 

As you watch the wildlife in Machan, viewing the natural beauty in the surrounding areas or while relaxing on the Mahan balconies, you will be able to visualize the gloriousness of the fauna and flora and get immersed in the golden hour as you see the beautiful surrounding area engulfed in wildlife splendour.

BLUE MORMON

Papilio polymnestor or the Blue Mormon is one of the most beautiful butterflies found in the Machan forest among the 90 species that have been recorded in the 25-acre property. On the 22nd of June, 2015, the Maharashtra Government declared the Blue Mormon as the state butterfly of Maharashtra.  This event made Maharashtra the first state in India to have a state butterfly.

The blue Mormon is the fourth largest butterfly of India with a wingspan of 120-150 mm. It has a velvety black and blue coloration and is endemic to India and Sri Lanka. Within India, its range is restricted to the Western Ghats and Southern India. 

It is not thought to be threatened and is thus listed under the Least Concern status of the International Union for Conservation Nature (IUCN) Red List. It occurs throughout the year but is more commonly seen during monsoons and post-monsoons.

After modifications in the landscape and cultivation of citrus plants, the population of Papilio polymnestor has increased due to the availability of its food plants of the family Rutaceae.

At the Machan, it is often seen in the butterfly garden and even inside the regenerated forest sucking nectar from the Ixora flowers or the snake weeds.

THE RIBBON DANCER BIRD

Terpsiphone paradisi, the Asian Paradise Flycatcher, is a charismatic medium-sized bird that looks unreal because it’s an incredibly beautiful creature. It is a forest bird and typically prefers deep temperate and tropical habitats with average annual rainfall between 600 mm and 2000 mm. It is native to tropical Asia. It is native to Asia and its geographic range spans from Kazakhstan to the Indian peninsula and the south-east Asian islands. 

Asian Paradise Flycatchers show a form of sexual dimorphism called sexual dichromatism which basically refers to the difference in coloration between sexes within a species. Males are characterized by their exceptionally long pair of central tail feathers which can extend up to 25 cm past the other tail feathers. Males come in two morphs: rufous and white. Females occur only in the rufous morph. All juvenile males are rufous and look similar to the female but can develop into the white morph after their second year. The rufous morph is more common than the white morph.

It is one of the most sought-after birds at the Machan and is one of the highlights of the Machan experience. All the morphs have been sighted inside the regenerated forest at the Machan. It is on the top of most bird enthusiasts’ wish list who visit the Machan. Guests from the Starlight, Forest, and Canopy machans can often sight the bird right from their machan decks. Also, it has often been sighted near Stream 1 and in the forest near the Sunset machans

WAGGY TROTTY WAGTAIL

The Grey Wagtail, unlike its name, is a pretty colorful bird with slate grey upperparts and yellow vent contrasting with whitish underparts which makes it distinctive. The scientific name for the grey wagtail is Motacilla cinerea and is a member of the wagtail family, Motacillidae.  Like other wagtails, they frequently wag their tails and fly with undulations and often call while in flight. They have a clear sharp call note and the song consists of trills.

The individual in the image was spotted on the 15th of Jan, 2022 near the reception pond at The Machan. I had only heard its distinctive call before but started sighting it only after the pond was lined with jute mats. I am assuming that the jute mat must be harboring small insects which make a major part of the bird’s diet. It’s been coming every morning between 7 am and 8:30 am and keeps foraging on the jute mat.  It is sometimes accompanied by its cousin species, the white-browed wagtail (Motacilla maderaspatensis).

Grey wagtails are widely distributed across the Palearctic region and are winter migrants to peninsular India. They make a pan-India presence from September onwards as they descend all the way from the Himalayas, which are their breeding grounds. A single wagtail can eat hundreds of insects in a day and thus protecting the ecosystem by playing a vital role as an effective and non-invasive pest controller. The Grey wagtails return to their breeding grounds in April-May. According to Dr. Rajah Jayapal of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore, Grey wagtails are known for their clockwork precision and site fidelity as they visit the same place at the same time every year, during their lifespan of about 10 years.

CRUEL BUT A BEAUTIFUL WORLD OF WASPS

Wasps are narrow-waisted insects belonging to the suborder Apocrita of the Order Hymenoptera which also comprises bees, ants, and sawflies. There are about 1,50,000 species of wasps around the world. Most wasps are solitary creatures while some (roughly 1000) species like hornets and paper wasps are social beings and live in colonies. 

At least of the described species of wasps are parasitoids which means they lay their eggs on or in the bodies of various arthropods called hosts which could be a caterpillar of a moth or butterfly or a spider. The larvae then hatch and start eating up the host from inside.  When the larvae are ready to pupate, they pop out of the body of the host and make a cocoon sac around the host caterpillar. 

There are several families of parasitoid wasp but the most numerous ones are the Ichneumonid or Darwin wasps and the Braconid wasps. These are two of the most diverse groups within the Hymenoptera order and consist of roughly 30,000 species.

Parasitoid wasps are extremely crucial in agricultural pest control as they keep a check on the insect numbers and help in maintaining the ecological balance. There are several industries and factories which mass-produce these wasps which they then sell to farmers to spread in their farms. 

Then there is a group of wasps that are extremely crucial in pollination. One such family is Agaonidae, also called Fig wasps or fig insects. They have a symbiotic relationship with trees belonging to the genus Ficus or Fig trees. There are roughly around 900 species of fig wasps and each species has specialized in pollinating one specific fig tree species. This is an example of an extraordinary instance of co-evolution where neither organism can survive without the other one. Wasps lay eggs inside the flowing structure called the syconium which basically looks like a fruit. Inside the enclosed syconium, there are tiny flowers that look like seeds. The larvae then spend their entire larval stage inside and when the adult wasp emerges out it is covered in pollens and as they move from one fig to the other, they fertilize the fig trees.

The insect life is immense at The Machan and it has been able to spot at least 10 to 15 species of wasps around the property. I am sure there will be many more if I start searching for them specifically.

THE WINTER SPELL AT THE MACHAN

As we approach the middle of Winter Spell, the warmth of chat over bonfires and barbeque feasts is deadly. A midwinter with an open bonfire would be incredible! Taking this opportunity to offer our guests a one-stop experience, The Machan Resorts in Lonavala is an award-winning eco-friendly getaway where you can disconnect from the hustle and bustle and reconnect with nature. 

At The Machan, we take pride in providing guests with an experience that combines nature with luxury, while minimizing our impact on the environment and community. Our care is to make our guests feel one with nature and provide them with a unique digital detox experience. 

The Machan‘s activities are tailored to enhance your stay with us and to help you create lasting memories. The potent beauty of the area is balanced perfectly with comfort, luxury, and convenience. 

You can experience the sparks of warmth reflecting on your loved one’s eyes at the private bonfire arranged at your convenience with the thrill of a lifetime and soak in the surroundings as they envelop themselves in mesmerizing golden light. 

Observe the constellations formed by scattered stars during a private stargazing session. With the clear night sky above the wonderful forests full of millions of stars, you can enjoy the twinkling stars while exploring constellations using their high-end telescopes. 

Winter joy awaits you at The Machan!

THE INDIA WE LOVE: REPUBLIC DAY AT THE MACHAN

We really lucked out as citizens of India, blessed to be living in a country full of diversity. While we often talk about cultural diversity, one of India’s most beautiful features is its geographical diversity. India is home to many landforms and species of flora and fauna, most of which we remain unaware of, unfortunately, either due to lack of knowledge or because they are almost endangered. The Machan resort in Lonavala has tirelessly worked towards the conservation of one of India’s most prominent regions- the Western Ghats.

The Machan is an eco-centric luxury resort in Lonavala with customized tree houses that float 45 feet above the ground. The in-house team of Naturalists have made the once barren ground, a thriving tropical cloud ecosystem teeming with indigenous flora, fauna, and wildlife species. 

The property makes a wonderful place for bird enthusiasts as birds can be spotted from the comfort of their private deck or while taking a trek in the forest. Many regular and migratory birds have made the property their home including babblers, barbets, kingfishers, thrushes, swallows, swifts, wagtails, booted eagles, common rose finches, blue napped monarchs, turtle doves, and ashy drongos among others. 

The resort’s property has 4 km of private paths, which the guests can enjoy in complete privacy and safety. The resort organizes guided treks in the evenings, during which the local staff introduces the guests to the fascinating Western Ghats. These treks culminate at the property’s very own beautiful sunset point. 

This Republic Day, get back to the India you love in all its entirety and glory. Take a hike or pick a cycle and explore what the Western Ghats have to offer, secure in the knowledge that your carbon footprint is minimal and your leisure is not in any way proving harmful for your motherland. 

CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR AT THE MACHAN

The onset of a new year is the time for celebrating one year of life and reflecting on fond memories with your favorite people. However, corporate life in bustling cities leaves very little room for reflection. Especially with the hectic year that we have shared, the farewell of this holiday season deserves a little extra care and thought. Celebrate this new year like never before, at The Machan resort in Lonavala, 40 feet in the air. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CX_NTtUlr0m/

The Machan Resorts is an award-winning, eco-friendly getaway for you to disconnect from the concrete hustle and reconnect with nature. It proudly houses customized tree houses that offer unmatched, spectacular views. The Machan aims at maximizing guests’ comfort and minimizing any damage to the environment and the community. The Machan experience combines extravagance with natural bliss and offers experiences like Shirin-Yoku, stargazing, bonfires, and guided nature trails.

The resort’s isolated location, devoid of light pollution, offers guests a spectacular look at the starry nightscape. Gazing up from the comfort of their private decks, guests from Mumbai particularly enjoy the starry skies – which is quite a rarity in the city today.

Guests can indulge in this surreal experience over a private dinner, around a lively bonfire, or in the comforting company of their family and friends. 

The resort’s property has 4 km of private paths, which the guests can enjoy in complete privacy and safety. The resort organizes guided treks in the evenings, during which the local staff introduces the guests to the fascinating flora and fauna of the Western Ghats. These treks culminate at the property’s very own beautiful sunset point. 

Guests can also use this much-deserved break to indulge in spa therapies in the heart of the forest- truly an experience like no other. It is said that how you spend the first day of a new year is indicative of how the rest of the year is going to be, and we think a year of nature and relaxation sounds splendid. 

The Machan Gallery Volume 3 Results

The Machan resorts in Lonavala launched ‘The Machan Gallery’ initiative to encourage and appreciate the art of photography, in line with the resort’s philosophy of promoting community and creation. Under ‘The Machan Gallery’ initiative, 10 best captured moments are nominated for a public vote on our social media handles. The winners are awarded gifts and vouchers by The Machan. The winning entries for Volume 3 are:

The desire to disconnect in nature and seek inspiration for creation is a common drive in all The Machan’s guests. From wide-angle shots on a professional camera to pictures taken simply on your phone, we encourage and appreciate all forms of photography, for each photograph is a wonderful memory specially curated by you. 

The image presents a mutual co-dependence between darkness and light- a duality in reality that is often an important metaphor we often tell ourselves and others to provide some comfort when needed. Mark Frost rightly said, “For instance, there is no light without darkness—and this troubles many of us—but without it, how else would we tell one from the other? We spend half of every day in darkness; surely we should make our peace with this.”

The second photograph also interestingly represents another duality and mutual co-dependence. Men and women- two ends of a spectrum with a great half-discovered middle in between them. What keeps this spectrum from falling apart is the security one gets -while looking into another’s eyes- in the knowledge that ‘you and I’ are ultimately ‘one.’ 

The duality in the third photo lacks the mutual co-dependence that has otherwise also been a common observation amongst the entries. As humans, we depend on nature for life and sustenance and not the other way round. After ages of exploitation, our race is finally awakening to the idea of a sustainable lifestyle and preserving nature. In this big, beautiful, natural world, we can be more than just parasites. We can enjoy and consume the best of nature, but we can also be healers, conservers, and appreciators- much like The Machan itself. 

Resorts near Pune are a visual treat to the eyes, both real and artificial; but capturing their true beauty and the memories made there requires patience, creativity, and appreciation for the same- all three values that we hold dear to our heart. 

The Machan is an ideal weekend getaway from Mumbai and Pune for a digital detox and an art indulgence. Plan your next holiday at The Machan and don’t forget to pack your cameras!

We invite you to The Machan to disconnect to connect; to disconnect to create.