Little over an hours drive from Pune is a rustic village - Panshet, popular amongst the cyclists in Pune as Pune-Panshet is one of the most popular cycling routes in Pune and every weekend without fail you will find at least half a dozen cyclists slowly making their way to this small hamlet. Panshet is quite popular as a water sports destination however this place has a lot more charm than just the speed boats or water scooters in the reservoir.
I have to thank Enduro the adventure race hosted every year in Pune for letting me see Panshet the way i would have never seen it otherwise - the small hamlets on the banks of the vast reservoir and small little islands in it. There are a few camping grounds also here along with kayaks and boats. The ferry ride which the villagers use to commute from distant villages on the banks to Panshet is also quite a fun ride.
During summers Panshet also offer some good camping spots near Pune If you drive along the road next to the dam you will definitely spot atleast a dozen spots ideal for camping alongside the reservoir. Its better to speak to the nearest house from the spot that you choose to camp in and befriend them before you set up the camp. We have seen only friendly helpful people here and almost always we have found it difficult to make them accept the money that we offer for the firewood that we take from them for the camp fire!
Pune to Panshet
The route with the best roads is
Pune - Sinhagad Rd - Khadakwasla - Donje Phata (right turn from Donje Phata) - Panshet
Pune - Kothrud - Warje - Khadakwasla - Donje - Panshet
About 20 Kms from Panshet dam is Varasgaon dam. Built on the Mose river Varasgaon dam is also called Veer Pasalkar dam. Panshet and Varasgaon together with Khadakwasla form the major water reservoirs near Pune supplying water to the city. With many small farmhouses dotting the small hamlet Varasgaon is also a popular hiking place near Pune.