Pune is a delightful city in the western region of India. Easily accessible by all modes of transport , road , train and air.
I have edited and re blogged this for friends who are travelling in September 2015.
It is deliciously soaked in history and has an aroma of the years gone by. For a whiff of Maharashtrian Culture, Pune is the city to head to.
Do see the saree of the lady in the centre of the picture.It is THE 9 yard saree.
A direct flight to Pune from New Delhi ( there are multiple options) coupled with an advance booking will give you excellent rates too. I went by Spiceject, do read my blog : TURNOUND: Spice in Mid Air.
A bird told me Tuesday evenings are the time to get really low fares.
I would strongly recommend staying at the Westin ,Pune. Another option recently discovered is the Le Meridian, Pune located right behind the railway station.
The Westin is located on the banks of the Mula-Mutha river and right next to a happening and spirited group of restaurants within “ABC farms“.
There is also a mall nearby whereby I bought a pair of shoes from Clarks at throw away prices.
Do walk along the bridge near the Westin hotel, if you are lucky you will see the Baya birds weaving their nests. This is so much a microcosm of an “Urban Forest “. check out my blog http://www.enchantedforests.wordpress.com
Pune is a fascinating city which retains the charms of an era gone by.It was at onetime the capital of the mighty Marathas.
While I was entering the fort and observing a majestic tree at the entrance, i was lucky to photograph this gorgeous Grey Hornbill. They love the fruits of Ficus trees.
Start your trip of Pune by visiting the Shanivada Palace Fort , an island of peace in the now bustling marketplace Shanivada .
The area has many historical places within walking distance of the main gateway and would suggest a little walk around to really see things.
We discovered this Iconic tea stand. Have a sip as you walk around.
A beautiful and much revered temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha is a 5 minute walk from the centre of Shanivada.
Do go treasure hunting in the bustling markets as it’s a “treasure trove” for shoppers.
A visit to the Kelkar museum , close to Shanivada is a must for lovers of Art.
As you drive or walk around the city , keep a look out for some gorgeous buildings . This picture that follows is that of the Pune University.
Pune is also home to the famous Osho Ashram.Do visit the same, its an experience.
All who enter need to wear these maroon robes and get their blood tested for HIV.I was no exception.
We now go back in time to the 9th century and visit the Pataleshwar Shiva Temple. It is a short tuk tuk ( autosrickshaw ) drive from Shanivada.
Three very unusual observations I am sharing are:
- The temple is below ground level ( hence “Patal “or the the underworld) .
- The Nandi temple is circular ( very unusual)
- It is entirely scooped or carved out from Hard Black Volcanic Rock.
Taking a step back into more recent times is a visit to the beautiful Aga Khan Memorial. It unravels mysteries of a time when LokManya Tilak raised the slogan from this city saying “Swaraj is my birthright “.
You will be surprised to discover a memorial which contains the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi.
I sign off with this image of Custard Apples, Peanuts and the Lady.