I love to travel. I am a gypsy at heart and I feel have done my fair share of visiting places.Here I’d like to share my experiences in some of these places. It will include places that I have stayed in for a few years and know really well as well as places that I have just vacationed in for a few days.
These will include places both in India, of which I sure have visited many, and abroad. I will not go in any specific order as that will probably drive me crazy if I miss a place in between. Just as much as I can not have one favorite song, its not possible for me to have one favorite destination. Each place has its own appeal and what appeals to me most at a given time will be what I will write about.
Any place that I have lived in and set up my own home will also have a list of shops that were most frequented by me. Anything from my bookstore to my groceries shop can be and will be featured. I call any dwelling that I have cooked meals in a home. Given that definition after marriage I have shared 7 homes with my husband in 10 years of marriage.
As for the homes before marriage, with the provision that my mommie cooked in the dwelling I have lived in 23 different homes in 13 locations with my parents. By any standard 30 homes in 33 years is quite an accomplishment even if I had no choice in the matter!
To begin with I share what despite moving so often and so many times I consider my home town – Pune.
The city is a wonderful blend of old and new. From being the retired soldier’s haven it has gone to being the “Oxford of the East”. It has a floating population of lacks of students who come to study at its various prestigious colleges and institutes. The city is divided by the river that flows through it into the traditionally British Cantonment area and the Old Civilian area. The fastest growing suburb of Kothrud even made it to the Guineas Book.
Things to See and Do
Way too much to be done in this mini-metro to put everything down in this post, so just treat this as a general guideline.
Since it’s always a good idea to take the name of Ganesh the first lets begin with Dagdu Seth Ganpati. Our diamond encrusted lord is very popular with his bhaktas, especially during the Pune Festival which coincides with Ganesh Chaturthi.
There is a Synagogue on the West End Road near the petrol pump. Beautiful architecture, if you are interested in that sort of thing. Many a church such as St. Patricks, St. Mary’s, St. Anthony’s, etc, dot the city as well. Not to be left out the sizable Parsi Population has an Agyari just off MG Road as well.
Other famous temples also exist but you might want to visit a slice of history as well. In old Pune, the Peshwa’s Shaniwar Wada does attract tourists with its weekly light and sound show. I must warn you that getting there means battling all kinds of traffic and it’s none to clean when you reach.
You can also visit Sihagad Fort which Shivaji scaled and houses a broadcasting tower these days. A trek up the mountain is fun in a group. The bhakar and pithla that you get to taste up there is also sumptuous. Amazing to see by moonlight.
There is a snake park at Katraj, yeah I know you’re asking why…but I have been told it’s worth a visit. Specially if you have young kids who enjoy getting scared.
If you wish to visit the modern areas you should start with a gedi at MG Road. Make sure you park at East Street in the slotted areas and amble down to MG Road. Pick up a chicken sandwich from Marzorin Bakery and walk the street. It’s a great place to meet people you haven’t seen in ages.
Koregaon Park is another great place for food what with Just Baked and Madhuban opposite each other plus Mainland China down the road. Nandu’s parathas have achieved a name which few can rival, especially as they are the only joint open at 4 in the morning after you have finished pubbing.
Discs and Pubs might not as numerous as available in Bangalore but events are planned every weekend and also on Wednesdays as Thursday is the Industrial Holiday. A visit of any of the more popular ones will give you much eye candy to look at.
You need to know where to shop for if you pick up something at MG Road for 500 bucks it will break your heart to find that you could have bought it for 300 at Fashion Street. That’s coz my powers of bargaining aren’t too great.
Typical to Pune is the pearls that you can pick up, also the puneri sari with its checkered design. Available quite easily at Wonderland if you don’t fancy heading into the wadas. If you don’t wear saris too often don’t fear the material is now available in suit pieces as well.
Lakshmi road offers its own charming shops with the more traditional market. Books for all courses can be picked up at ABC aka Appa Bhavan Chowk. If you want a study book, they have it. If they don’t have it today you will get it within a week. Never failed me yet.
Then there are the numerous Malls and Multiplexes that dot the city such as Dorabjee’s, Pyramids, Lifestyle, Pune Central, Max, Shopper’s Stop, Inox, and don’t so many more. Good to kill time in free AC, not good to spend money in, if you are looking for value for money shopping
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