The Punekars love Pune…
Having visited Mumbai a couple of times, I am surprised that I have never had a chance to go to Pune. In fact in all these years I have not even mulled over the thought of missing the rich Maratha culture, but after meeting an old friend and a hard core Punekar last week, I am thoroughly intrigued about this vibrant metropolis of India. No doubt, ‘Bajirao Mastani’ movie had got me curious about the prominent historical landmark, Shaniwarwada but I had no clue that the city has much that I dint know about. Beyond being famous as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune sounded super cool when I looked through the eyes of my friend. She filled me with every detail with elan and I feel like I have woken up to a new city whose potential I had ignored.
While my friend was delighted to take her first Pune to Delhi flight as this was her maiden visit to the capital, I can’t wait to board Delhi to Pune flight to dig into the Misal pav at Bedekar Misal and the legendary Shrewsbury biscuits of Kayani Bakery.
Pune or Poona was the capital of Maratha Kingdom where Bajirao Peshawa ruled.Situated on the confluence of two rivers- Mula and Mutha, Pune is a beautiful blend of forts, hiking hills, history, modernization, culture and more. The city has an historic aura as it was the capital of Maratha Empire and it was also the place where the famous warrior, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj spent most of his childhood.
Food is always my best way of getting introduced to a city.
1. My first interaction around Pune happened at a lunch table when a friend introduced me to sabudana khichdi. She explained that how crushed roasted peanuts added magic to the dish and I was in love with this new style of khichdi that I had never eaten before.
2. Pune was also introduced to me as “Oxford of the East” when one of my school friend had opted to take up an engineering course there. The city has a record number of colleges. This sophisticated city which has no less pubs or places to party has an image of laidback, artsy and classy sister of Mumbai.
3. I have known Deccan Queen, one of the most popular trains in India that runs between Mumbai and Pune and how its birthday is celebrated every year.
4. When it comes to naming a city which has large number of two wheelers, Pune is known to top the list.
5. Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple, Shaniwar wada, Sinhgad Fort are some of the famous attractions along with neighboring hill stations like Satara, Mahabaleshwar, Lavasa, Lonavala, Tamini Ghat, etc.
6. Who doesn’t know NDA? The city has been home to the country’s only National Defence Academy (NDA).
7. Until a few years ago, I would often hear people say that they wanted to settle in Pune after retirement.
All that I have recently learned about Pune!
- Pune is the birth place of Iyenger Yoga. Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute is considered to be the soul of Iyengar Yoga and it is located in Pune.
- Mastani is a thick milk shake with ice cream, dessert drink which originated in Pune and is very popular. Sujata Mastani is the shop where I need to head without fail to indulge in their famous Mango Mastani.
- Aga Khan Palace has a rich and unique history. I like the reason of its existence. When the area was hit by famine, the palace was built to generate employment for the people. Later this palace turned prison saw the imprisonment of Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, Mahadev Desai. During this imprisonment, Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai died. Now, there exists a Samadhi dedicated to these two and a Gandhi museum as well.
- Inspired by one of the major gardens of Japan known as Okayama’s Kōraku-en Garden (300-year-old), Pu La Deshpande Udyan took the name Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden. It gets it name from Pu La Deshpande, a famous Marathi writer from Maharashtra. It is known for its Mughal Garden and the uncanny water flow from a canal.
- The city has good number for museums, palaces and architectural heritage to entertain the history buffs like me. National War Museum, Vishrambaug Wada, Lal Mahal, David Synagogue or Lal Deval, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Musuem, Darshan Museum, Tribal Museum, Mahatma Phule Museum are some of must do places.
- The rustic hamlet Maval is a must-visit in the vicinity of Pune. Also Peacock Bay, Mulshi Lake and Dam are popular tourist attraction for nature lovers.
- For long, Pune has been known to be the first city to have commercial and defense airport operating from the same strip.
- Pune is the 13th-cleanest city in India as per the recent survey conducted in 2017.
Pune to Delhi or vice versa
The flight duration is 2 hours. My friend had opted for a morning Jet Airways and she was pretty comfortable with it.
11 Long-Distance Trains run between the two stations- PUNE/Pune Junction and NDLS/New Delhi
Well, there never has been an opportunity to travel to Pune for my blogging or personal assignment but I am definitely looking for one now. Let me know if you know something exciting or worth mentioning about Pune.
A special thanks to Shobhit Agarwal for sharing his random clicks from PUNE.