The Machan Gallery Vol 3

The Machan resort in Lonavala is an exclusive eco-resort with unique tree houses rising 45 feet above the forest, offering complete serenity to those looking to escape into nature. In the heart of the Western Ghats, The Machan endorses the principles of sustainability, conservation, preservation, and community. 

What is The Machan Gallery?

One of the most important pillars of a community is its artists. As such, The Machan promotes the creation and appreciation of all art forms on its property. ‘The Machan Gallery’ initiative was launched in line with this thought to appreciate the art of photography. 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. 

Under ‘The Machan Gallery’ initiative, 10 best captured moments are nominated for public vote on our social media handles. The winners are awarded gifts and vouchers by The Machan. 

What can you capture at The Machan?

The Machan is a haven for anyone interested in photography. Right from simple moments with your significant other or friends relaxing by the pool or in a hammock to stunning sunsets, wildlife, and the pitter-patter of the rains during the monsoon season, capture whatever intrigues you the most. 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 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!

Interested in The Machan Gallery? Click here to see the previous nominations. 

The Elegant Partnership of Figs and Fig Wasps

It is widely believed that figs were actually the fruit in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, not apples. The early Olympic athletes used figs as a training food. Figs were also presented as laurels to the winners, becoming the first Olympic ‘medal.’ Chances are that you may be familiar with the common fig or ‘anjeer’ that has found its way from ancient art, to the early Olympics, to gourmet cuisine, and now also to our palettes. 

Fig trees do not flower

It is one of the 750 known species of ficus, and the Machan, one of the finest resorts in Lonavala is home to several of them. If you have seen a fig tree before, you must have noticed that unlike other fruit trees, fig trees do not flower. What is this mystery of the missing flower? This secret is hidden inside the garden that figs themselves make, and the special relationship that they have with fig wasps. 

The relationship between figs and fig wasps

Over 18 millions years ago, fig trees formed an elegant partnership with some tiny, stingless wasps. Fig trees produce a secret garden of tiny flowers, enclosed within a thick wall- this arrangement looks like a fruit. You may say that the flowers are inside the fruit. Each fig species depends on a particular type of wasp to pollinate its flowers. The female wasp enters the fruit through a small opening below it and deposits her eggs in a cavity. In this process, she may lose some parts of her wings and antennae. Along with the eggs, she also deposits the pollen collected from the original host fig. This allows the female flowers inside the fruit to pollinate and mature. After this, the female wasps die.

The female is born pregnant

After the fig develops, wasp eggs develop into larvae. After the pupal stage, the mature male’s first act is to mate with a female- even before she hatches. As such, the female will emerge pregnant. The male digs a tunnel through the fruit for the female to come out of it. The wingless male wasps cannot survive outside the fig for much longer. The females come out of the tunnel, picking up pollen on their way. They then fly to another tree of the same species for the cycle to continue. The pollinator females are fragile and only live for a day or two. However, they can travel upto 160 kilometers to find figs for pollination. 

Keystone species

The now ripened and wasp-free figs emit a fruity odor in the air that attracts squirrels, maynas, barbets, fruit bats, parakeets, macaws, and even the nocturnal loris and civets. Thus, figs are a keystone species as they sustain a variety of wildlife creatures. Scientists are now using figs for this power to kickstart rainforest regeneration in areas that have been locked. 

The Machan is dedicated towards the preservation of all the species in its ecosystem. If you think these creatures are interesting, you should explore our naturalist series and find out interesting facts about more commonly seen insects like termites and spiders to name a few. Our nature paradise near Mumbai is open for you to take a trail and explore every species from frogs and squirrels to thrushes and monkeys. 

Responsible Tourism Society of India to onboards Machan Resorts to Promote Sustainable Tourism Practices in the Western Ghats

The machan and RTSOI

The Machan is pleased to announce that it is now a member of the Responsible Tourism Society of India (RTSOI). This membership will aid in minimizing any negative social, economic, and environmental impact that tourism may have on the ecosystems of the Western Ghats and preserve its communities. 

Who is RTSOI ?

The Responsible Tourism Society of India (RTSOI) is a non-profit organization, established with the aim to promote and ensure environmentally responsible and sustainable practices in the tourism industry. The founding body of RTSOI comprises 13 widely experienced professionals from relevant fields. They are:

  • Mr. Rakesh Mathur- Former CEO, Bass (IHG) Hotels, South and West Asia; Former President, ITC Welcomheritage Hotels
  • Mr. Steve Borgia- MD, Indeco Hotels, Chennai
  • Mr. Mandip Singh Soin, FRGS- Founder & Managing Director, Ibex Expeditions Pvt. Ltd.
  • Mr. Jose Dominic- MD, CGH Earth Hotels
  • Mr. P.D. Rai- Former Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
  • Dr. Venu V, IAS- Revenue Secretary, Government of Kerala
  • Mr. Ravi Singh- CEO, WWF India
  • Mr. Toby Sinclair- Wildlife Film Maker; Director Indian Safaris
  • Mr. Avay Shukla- Additional Chief Secretary (Retired); Government of Himachal Pradesh
  • Mr. Krishna Kumar Singh- Former MLA and Environmentalist 
  • Mr. Sudhir Sahi- Consultant, UNDP
  • Mr. Niranjan Kharti- Founder, iSambhav; Former GM Environment, ITC Welcome Group Hotels 
  • Mr. Mr. Sarath C.R.- Chief Naturalist, Taj Safaris; Associate Director Evolve Back Resorts

“While we talk about the benefits of tourism, it is also important to acknowledge and take actions against the substantial negative impacts this industry has on a destination’s environment, culture, and locals. The Machan promotes eco-friendly tourism practices and is one of the few resorts that implement plans to be as sustainable as possible and minimize any damage to the Western Ghats,” Machan’s spokesperson. 

The Machan’s strategies for sustainability

  • Use of only LED lighting throughout the property
  • Provide pure mountain water for consumptions in glass bottles from the property’s 300 foot deep bore well
  • Recycle 80% of all greywater and use it to water plants on the property
  • To reduce dependency on fossil fuels, the Machan uses parabolic solar cookers to cook a portion of meals
  • All energy is generated off-grid from renewable resources 

The Machan shares RTSOI’s vision of sustainable tourism and the synergy between the two organizations aims at benefitting the Western Ghats by making positive contributions to the conservation of the biodiversity of the area and generating economic benefits for the local communities. 

The joined resources and efforts of RTSOI and the Machan will result in:

  • Formulating and implementing plans for long-term sustainability efforts
  • Working with relevant bodies of power to establish sustainable tourism practices which will not only include conservation of nature and wildlife but also allow local communities to benefit from tourism
  • Better support for eco-based research
  • Promotion of efficient energy saving practices like water harvesting, use of solar and other natural energy sources, and reducing overall carbon footprint
  • Organize training and other activities for guests, staff and locals to create awareness on ecotourism and sustainable tourism

Additionally, RTSOI will help The Machan network with sustainability experts and offer solutions to problems relating to sustainability, and inspire other resorts in Lonavala . As a member, the Machan will have a medium to share its best practices with other member organizations and promote its vision.

The Heritage Machan

Experience the quintessential treehouse charm in our ravishing Heritage Machan. There’s a touch of history to it too, as it is the first of all Machans that we built. As the name suggests, it has a unique, inherited sense of identity that clearly reflects our beliefs. The Heritage Machan is one of our most spacious offerings, as it celebrates friend circles that cherish their bond and families who build shared experiences.

The Heritage Machan is a luxury tree house experience for families looking for a great resort near Mumbai, where nature meets grandeur, and you can relish every bit of it when its sights and sounds percolate through the glass windows. It’s built around a wild fig tree, in the heart of the jungle, 45 feet above the forest floor. As the sumptuous shelter stands steadily among the branches, it captures the beautiful forest in all its glory. You wake up in the morning to enchanting sunlight and feast your eyes on the twinkling stars at night.

Rooms in our Heritage Machan are impeccably designed, to balance the earthy allure and the chic elegance. They are devoid of the standard brick and concrete walls, so you can soak in the beautiful scenery while enjoying all the modern amenities. The Heritage Machan is one of the few luxury experiences in a resort near pune and mumbai, as it easily accommodates six adults so you can bring your family or come with a group of friends. Finding resorts in mumbai that provides a disconnect from the city, and a total digital disconnect is impossible to find. Hence, the heritage machan is perfect for larger groups, looking to experience togetherness and joy, in the midst of nature.

It has three distinct sleeping areas, from which you watch the sun rising in the morning or setting back into the valley, all while being nicely tucked in your bed. The main deck extends to a dining area that contains a table for six. There are two full bathrooms where you rinse off your city worries and the rain shower lets you immerse in nature’s downpour. A short staircase will lead to the loft, which promises peace and privacy while you gather your thoughts. The seductive shades of wood tempt you to submit yourself to nature. You also have the private deck, all to yourself, where you reminisce about life with your loved ones in this resort in Lonavala for family.

The piece de resistance is the Crow’s nest, which is an elevated platform that provides an unrestricted view of the forest. You’ll feel aloft as the boundaries eliminate, and be at one with nature. When the crisp air clears out your clouded mind, you’ll be calm and content. At night, you sit out and relax under the blanket of stars, watching nature unveil its best features.

The Heritage Machan embodies the values that we propagate and provides an unparalleled experience to our guests. It is truly, a must-stay.

The Sunset Machan

Sunset is the moment when we actually witness the transition, the juxtaposition of the ending day and beginning night. Imagine sitting in your private deck at the Machan, at dusk, sipping drinks, feet stretched in relaxation, and all of a sudden, the sky changes colors. You witness a magnificent sight at this weekend getaway in Pune as the sky paints itself in multiple shades of red, yellow, and orange. You’re awestruck as the spectrum of colors hits your iris and penetrates straight to your soul. As the sun sinks in the valley of the Western Ghats, it melts the trivialities of the outside world and fills your heart with bursting bubbles of happiness.

The Sunset Machan is a floating loft-suite build amid the dense forest. It not only constitutes all the luxuries of a 5-star suite but also adds in the Machan charm. It is perfect for couples as well as families of four with its four posture kind sized bed and an upper loft that offers an additional bed and attached bath. Recycled old ship lamps and antique brass fittings complement the eclectic décor. Immaculate, glossy wooden ambiance gives it a rustic charm.  This weekend getaway near Pune is surrounded by diverse flora to accompany you through the large glass panels that make up for a sublime experience.

Sunsets have been a source of inspiration for poets, writers, and romantics alike. At the Machan, you can channel this inspiration into your life and use it to organize your thoughts as you disconnect from the chaos of city life. This weekend getaway near Pune is all about combining natural therapy with sheer extravagance. Here, you can soak in the beauty at dusk while being soaked in the open sky bathtub that bejewels your private deck. Your privacy is carefully ensured at the Machan and you can candidly enjoy your personal space.

The intangible sunset has a transcendent spiritual element that can have a positive, healing, creative and restorative effect on the minds of anyone that witness it. Visit the Machan to make the most of it.

The Woods Machan

We find love. A union, soulful embodied unification that possesses the power to heal us from our fractures and help us grow and develop in ways we can’t even fathom. But the desire for adventure continues. We want our hearts blasting open to the wonders of the world and travel beyond the horizon that leads to the ultimate awakening. Having both of these elements, the incandescent, effervescent thrill yet not losing the sight of your partner, the intimate communion and commitment that you share, is heavenly. The best of both worlds.

Blending these inclinations and creating the most perfect space where hearts syncopate with amusement as well as tranquility seems arduous but we’ve made it happen at the Woods Machan. The Woods Machan is one of the best couple resorts that promise extravagance with ecstasy which shifts your mind from the trifling trivialities of every day to the vast openness of nature. Here, you are present at the moment as you connect with the environment and your loved one while disconnecting from the outside world.

@prashantgiani

Our decked Woods Machan is a ground-based accommodation that is authentically designed to generate the feeling of a bygone era. It is decorated with tastefully handpicked relics and artwork for you completely immerse in the period feel. The solid brass light fixtures have been salvaged from ancient ships. The Woods Machan has a master bedroom, that extends to a wooden deck that is made from 100% recycled hardwood. The modern bathroom has hardwood teak floors, a standalone bathtub as well a full glass shower cubicle.

@rohantulpule

The Woods Machan is curated with the thought of blending the forest grandeur into the room so that you can be at one with the forest. Therefore, it is devoid of standard brick and mortar. Instead, we went with wooden work and glass panels so that it syncs with the tone of the forest and simultaneously offers an uninterrupted view of the same. Your vacation will constitute sipping cocktails on the private deck with your loved ones, feasting your eyes on the variety of birds and magnificent views of the Western Ghats. This kind of experience is rarely offered in other couple resorts in Lonavala.

The memories you make at the Woods Machan will top those from other couple resorts and always be cherished as you’ll remember the splendid moments you’ve shared alongside the crackling timber which lulls you to sleep.

Unveiling the Starlight Machan experience

The journey towards disconnect, revival, inner peace, and enlightenment requires a safe space. Space where you can be free from having to manage external concerns so that you can be free enough to take a journey inward. Your mind shifts from survival-based orientation to a more poetic, whimsical, and creative state of being that soak in the beauty and ignores outwardly muddle. That’s why at the Machan, we have thoughtfully designed these spaces for you so you can fully immerse in nature’s goodness.

The Starlight Machans strikes a perfect balance between natural bliss and modern comfort. The ideal, translucent roofs of these Starlight Machans, let you soak in the distinctive beauty of the forest and the night sky. The elegant space provides you comfort, peace, and privacy along with all the contemporary amenities.

The forest takes on a distinct life of its own under the influence of the night sky. You will indulge in that immersive experience in our luxury resort near Mumbai. Each of our five Starlight Machans offer a unique and captivating ambiance, that’s perfect for a romantic stay.

The Starlight Machans have duplex bedrooms, with separate bathrooms, so they easily accommodate a family of four. The charming settings to dine and unwind, including a four-poster bed, and an antique writing table. To top it all off, there’s a pool underneath the guest bedroom for you to just laze or revel in.

The large glass walls of the Machans, including the ceiling section above the bed, offer an unrestricted view of the surroundings. At night, the sky reveals all its glory, providing a rare opportunity for urban dwellers to immerse themselves in its sensational beauty. In monsoons, rain pours through the glass and strikes the ceiling, creating the most beautiful orchestra. It makes you forget all those ear-splitting traffic horns.

The private deck in front of the master bedroom contains a bathtub and an open shower so you can soak in the beautiful sunset while dousing in the plunge bath. At Machan, we are very cautious about your privacy. It is ensured by dense trees, bordering all the Machans, which hide them from one another. The resort is beautifully planned without disturbing the natural foliage in the area.

The Starlight Machans provide an escape from city noise and blinding lights. The sight of starry nights is a rarity in most metro cities, as the sky is curtained by pollution. Here, at our luxury resort near Mumbai, you witness what nature has to offer. You gaze upon the distant yet mesmerizing constellations such as Orion, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Ursa Major/Minor, Sirius, Venus, Mars, etc. October through May is the best time to visit our luxury resort near Mumbai if you’re particularly interested in watching constellations. Our naturalists accentuate your star-gazing experience with facts, myths, and stories.

The most sensual thing one can experience is mysterious. While stargazing, it’s hard to be self-centered as you submerge into the enormity of the universe. The stars are calling, from our luxury resort near Mumbai, and you must visit.

The Machan Architecture

The machan Lonavala

” Our thoughts shape our spaces, but our spaces return the favor. .”

Steven Jonhson

We shape our environment and our environment shapes us back, we are a product of our surroundings. A way to mediate our interiority, aside from mindful self-inquiry and meditation, is through harnessing the power of the built environment, which is Architecture. It is a revolutionary concept that we can architect the mind by architecting the space around us.

Why do form and function matter?

The design, shapes, shadows, and forms have a great impact on human subjectivity. Holy spaces, Cathedrals are monumental in nature, and witnessing majestically beautiful designs and spaces transcends us to a state of aesthetic arrest. The open corridors, spacious halls, high ceilings, and floating treehouses in the midst of the forest are a few of the things that inspire awe.

The Machan started with a vision of creating an accommodation that reflects the idea of, “designing with nature”. It is built to portray that construction doesn’t mean the demolition of the surroundings. Our purpose is to dissever our guests from the city life. Our guests are not contained or limited to a small view from a window. Rather, they are exposed to an unrestricted view of the vast, endless, and majestic forest that leaves them spellbound.

The location was a mountain slope and the area was limited. So, we decided to make the house around a wild fig tree. On the one side we had a ramp that connects it to the falttish part and the tree becomes a coutyard where the house is built.

Shabbir Unwala, the architect

Every single Machan is a universal space. We refrained from putting walls between the living and the dining area so that the guests can enjoy a big open space. Bedrooms are concealed by wooden partitions. We are meticulous about the privacy of our guests that’s why all the Machans are intelligently placed where they are curtained by dense trees. It strikes the perfect balance between life and luxury. Nature’s therapy can be enjoyed while being nicely tucked in the comfort of your machans.

One of the greatest challenge is building the machan was to keep the modernity and the automated comfort intact while blending in the natural elements. We ensure this convenience in our Stargazing Machans with the retractable roof, that unveils the mesmerizing night sky with a single click. The architecture of the Machan is crafted to give you a completely immersive experience of the surroundings.

Every Machan is unique in itself. As they have a personality of their own, guests find it easier to choose one as it matches their requirements and their desired aura. This leads to a more personalized experience. Below are the highlights from each of our Machans:

  • The Heritage Machan incorporates a hanging room that makes you feel aloft while you savor the scenery. A Loft is also built 40 feet above this Machan, which provides a complete 360-degree view of Jambulne and the surroundings.
Heritage Machan
  • The Starlight Machan is your doorway to the stars as it lets you sleep under the night sky bejeweled with stars. The experience in bewitching. It also allows you to witness several constellations through the telescope that we provide.
Starlight Machan
  • The Canopy Machan is made from 100% recycled hardwood that contributed to the master bedroom, a bathroom, and a private deck. It has only glass walls so guests can have uninterrupted views of the surroundings.
Canopy Machan
  • The Jungle Machan truly brings out the jungle experience as real trees, sprouting from the floor are fully stretched through the roof. The goal of living in harmony with nature is completely realized in the Jungle Machan.
Jungle Machan
  • The Forest Machan is truly fascinating as it floats 45-55 feet above the ground. This Machan is perfect for a family getaway as it is children-friendly and offers spacious rooms where you can spend time with your family.
Forest Machan
  • The Sunset Machan is designed as a loft suite that has four distinct sections. It is known for its spectacular sunrise and sunset views. It is perfectly placed for guests to soak in the morning sun and watch the sky showcase brilliant shades of red and yellow when the sun goes down the valley.
Sunset Machan
  • The Cabin: The Machan also offers a secluded cabin for those who love their time away from the noise. It is built on the ground so it has a different look to it. It resembles those ancient samurai houses in Japan with its sliding rood that bends on the edges and the open porch with a water feature.
The Cabin
  • Woods Machan: Our Woods Machan is designed to be cozy and snug, with its fireplace, to keep you warm in the chilly nights. Sunlight filters through the tall trees and reveals seductive shades of solid brass in the Wood Machan. It’s both couples and eco-friendly.
wood machan

The architecture of the Machan is planned to mirror our main purpose, which is, being at one with nature. It is uplifting to see our vision coming to life.

Carbon Neutrality at the Machan

As we idly sit by locked up in our homes and waiting on the world to change, we must realize that it is up to us to change it. This year let’s focus on reimagining and recreating the future by restoring the environment. We are capable of great deeds but often lack the emotion to execute them. Let’s find it in our hearts to be gentle to the future generation by increasing biological diversity, eliminating waste, and reducing our carbon footprint.

The Hospitality Industry and its Carbon Footprint

The hotel industry is currently responsible for 21% of the global carbon footprint and is projected to increase up to 25% by 2035. An average hotel uses its energy on space heating (31%), water heating (22%), refrigeration (31%), cooking (12%), and lighting (3%). This seems to be a very heavy price to pay for luxurious living. Can’t we find a balance between life and luxury?

Carbon Neutrality

Carbon neutrality refers to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. This can be done by balancing emissions of carbon dioxide with its removal or by eliminating emissions from society. As of today, the world generates 36 billion tons of carbon each year, while in India, one person is estimated to generate 1.91 tons each year. India as a country produces 2.5 billion tons of CO2 every year, which is 6.8% of the total global emissions. We all must do our part to decrease our carbon footprint, and achieve carbon neutrality for a sustainable future.

Carbon Neutrality at the Machan

At the Machan, we follow the sustainability model of people planet, and profit. This reflects in our philosophy of preservation, conservation, and community. The Machan is targeting to achieve carbon neutrality by 2023. We hope we can inspire other resorts worldwide to start their journey on becoming carbon neutral.

The journey towards Carbon Neutrality

Carbon neutrality can be achieved in the hotel industry through the following ways.

  • Using Solar and wind energy: We are primarily powered by solar and wind energy and built sustainably for the future.
  • Barren Land Adoption and Tree Plantation: Over a thousand new trees are planted every year, which has been a 25-year long effort of converting barren land into lush greenery.
  • Protecting Biological Diversity: We protect 100 acres around the Machan from hunting, overgrazing, and tree cutting.
  • Greywater Recycling: We recycle all grey water and utilize it to water the plants.

World Bicycle Day: Finding the balance

We all remember that sense of accomplishment when we rode a bicycle successfully for the first time. Constantly worried about falling down, but as we grew up, we realized that riding a bicycle is just like riding through life. We are always trying to perfectly balance ourselves on those slim wheels of life, without plummeting on either side…

Those nostalgic bicycle rides with our childhood friends used to be our daily dose of happiness and joy, but the pollution of modern-day city life seem to have clouded those memories. This world bicycle day, we at the Machan try to revive and relive that same experience in the midst of nature, and hope to find the right balance between nature and luxury.

Why World Bicycle Day is celebrated?

We celebrate the uniqueness and longevity of the bicycle to reimagine, recreate and restore the future. In a study conducted by the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy, it was found that in the present scenario, bikes and e-bikes make up 6% of total miles traveled in world cities. If by 2050, bikes and e-bikes make up 14% of travel, there would be an overall 11% reduction in carbon emissions.

World Bicycle Day 2021

2021 is the era of eco-awakening. It draws attention towards a futuristic and sustainable transportation system that promotes economic growth, reduces inequality while supporting the fight against climate change. In many progressive and eco-centric countries, people are making this switch from cars to bicycles whenever they can.

Bicycles are simple, affordable, and environmentally sustainable means of transportation. It is an amazing sight when a group of bikers in their pointy little helmets and gears, pass you by in whoosh. You instantly get motivated to ride a bicycle yourself!

Cycling along the Western Ghats at the Machan

Riding a bicycle among lush greenery amplifies its physical and psychological benefits. The Machan is the only resort in Lonavala that lets you explore a biological hotspot in the Western Ghats within the protected paths of the Machan. Hop on to one of our bicycles and take it for a spin anytime you want!

Benefits of cycling to the environment

Riding a bicycle reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the impact of air pollutants like methane, carbon dioxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. The largest car factory is 70 million square feet, making 3,800 cars a day, which is 13,87,000 cars in a year, which is an additional 63,80,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. Doesn’t that number shock you? Be a part of something greater than yourself to save valuable green spaces from deforestation by adopting the habit of riding a bicycle. The global average carbon footprint per person is 4 tons, which needs to drop to 2 tons by 2050 to ensure a sustainable future. Won’t you like to be a part of this revolutionary journey?