This year I had decided to not waste my weekends lolling on the bed. I finally made it to my first weekend getaway last week!
It feels weird that there are so many places to visit near Mumbai itself & I have never been there yet! Anyway better late than never, right? I decided to start my journey with Pune. (For more than one reason 😉 )
Booking tickets was not a new task for me. But hotel reservation was. I had planned to reach Friday night so that I can start early on Saturday. Had thought to meet couple of friends on Sunday & leave for Mumbai at night. Hence booked only from Friday to Sunday. Big mistake it turned out to be. Plan of meeting friends fizzled out. Had to walk around the city along with my luggage. Only if I could stow away my luggage I could have had a fruitful Sunday too! Anyway, the hotel was chosen based on the best deal Clear Trip offered & it turned out to be a pretty good deal. The room was quite spacious & I was happy to have a room of my own even if it was only for couple of days 😉 And a perfect mirror for MIRRORFIES!!! YAYYY!!!
I had heard the name Deccan Queen since childhood but never travelled in one! I was super excited! The train journey took almost 3.15 hours and the view from the train was amazing!
The hotel I had booked was near the legendary German Bakery! I was already looking forward to visit other legendary places. 🙂
The climate in Pune was very cool & air condition is absolutely unnecessary. I was feeling chilled even with the fan on! Woke up early as decided & had yummy coffee & pancake at The Yogi Tree, which was incidentally next door to the hotel I stayed.
First on the agenda was to go to Osho Ashram. It is situated in Koregaon Park (referred by Punekars as KP). While on the way I had darshan of the German Bakery from outside :p Lane no.1, where the ashram is situated, is surrounded by trees on both sides. It is a walker’s paradise! Earlier, they used to have a tour of the ashram. But they have stopped it now, unfortunately. If you want to visit then you would have to buy some costly day packages. 😀
After the ashram, moved on to the Aga Khan Palace, which has been turned into a Gandhi memorial. The palace is surrounded with breathtaking greenery! It is a photographer’s delight!
It was humbling to walk around the place where legends have walked!
Moved on to Raja Kelkar Museum. The museum is a tribute by Dinkar Kelkar to his son, who passed away at a very young age. He along with others, collected unique items of daily use. The creativity is amazing!
Though I loved the entire collection, the musical instrument section was the best! They play classical music in the section & it was so soothing & charming! I got a book about the museum & DVD of the virtual tour for my parents (So much for the resolution of no shopping, no increasing baggage!)
After I left for the museum I remembered I needed to get couple of things. Had a chat with the shopkeeper couple, who knew immediately that I was new in the city. They told me inspite of living walking distance from the museum they had never visited it. I urged them to do so. 🙂
My spirits were high & was off my way to the next stop Shaniwar Wada. The GPS told me it is quite nearby & since I was in a mood to explore the city on foot, I walked towards the fort. By the time I reached the fort I was utterly exhausted. I couldn’t explore the fort much & came back to the hotel.
After a quick lunch & a short nap, I was raring to go out again!
Wasn’t in the mood to have anything so just sipped on ice tea at German Bakery. I just loved the ambience! From German Bakery I moved to Goodluck, the much revered Iranian Cafe. I ordered for tea & bun maska, but I wasn’t actually hungry & also was a bit disheartened, so just had the tea. It was delicious!
So that was Day1.
Next day, I decided to have some nice spicy puneri breakfast. Pataleshwar caves was the only one on my agenda. It is situated on Jangli Maharaj Road & I found a very nice restaurant there which serves yummy & spicy misal pav. Day = made!
The Pataleshwar Cave Temple is located on the main road. And is an interesting site. Not much to see though. But the stone construction & banyan tree at the entrance enchanted me!
I was clueless regarding my next stop. So I just roamed around. Walked till Deccan Gymkhana, bought some goodies for home & team from the very famous Chitale Bandhu, walked towards FC Road but then it was too hot so I went to Phoenix Mall, Vimannagar, which is very far from the city & getting a return auto from there is very difficult. I spent couple of hours in the mall for the AC & then returned to the city. I wanted to visit the Sambhaji Garden, but it was closed for the afternoon & there was plenty of time left for it to reopen. I had fresh hot corn on the cob & some coconut water. That was my lunch for the day 😀 I walked around F C Road, in & around the smaller bylanes. But I got pretty bored & wanted to sit for a while. I wanted to visit Vaishali restaurant, but it was jam packed! I also wanted to visit Starbucks Cafe at F C Road as I had heard so much about it!
But by the time I entered the cafe I was pretty much bored & in pain what with carrying all my stuff around with me! I decided to end my journey. Last Checkin: Swargate Bus Stop 😉
Overall I had good fun. I need to plan my trip in a better way. There are many places in Pune I have missed out on. I hope the next experience turns out to be a better one 🙂